Child Development 0 - 19

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Unit 2.1
Describe the expected pattern of children and young people's development from birth to 19 years, to include:

* Physical development
* Communication and intellectual development
* Social, emotional and behavioural development.

All children are unique and a lot of their developmental milestones happen naturally as they get older, however some can be affected by different life factors, such as health, environment and background and more specific skills can be learnt and encouraged. I have outlined below the usual expected patterns of development for children showing the rate and sequence in which development takes place. However all children are individual and this is an outline of expected development.

Physical Development
0 – 18 months – Newborn babies have very little control of their bodies, however at birth the sucking reflex kicks in, allowing a baby to take milk from the mothers breast or bottle. Another instinctive reflex of the baby is grasping. By 3 months they start to gain a little control and would usually have strengthened their neck muscles in order to hold their heads up for short periods of time. By 6 months the muscles are usually strong enough to sit upright. As their first year progresses they start to gradually gain more control of their bodies and become mobile in their own different ways, such as crawling, rolling, or shuffling. 18 months – 3 years – As their second year goes on, they continue to develop quickly and the muscles and confidence have built up so that most children will start to walk unaided. They can now judge distance, aiding them in feeding themselves, and pointing and indicating objects of interest to them. They will also enjoy and mimic the dressing routine, using not just their hands but their individual fingers to grip things, such as buttons. This is also demonstrated by them starting to use crayons to colour and by turning the pages of a book. By this time they also have the control to be able to climb stairs and up onto objects. Their co ordination is also beginning to form and they will start showing an interest in playing with a ball and similar objects. 3 years – 7 years – At this stage they are becoming more co-ordinated with their movements which brings with it a lot more confidence. They start to show a greater control over objects, whereas before colouring would have been scribbles on a page, now they are drawing specific objects and colouring in carefully. They will have developed fine motor skills and be able to use cutlery including being able to cut with a knife. As their bodies become stronger and their co ordination grows they are able to use large play objects, such as space hoppers, bicycles, scooters. They will also be able to run, hop, jump, bounce and throw a ball. 7 years – 12 years – This is the time when they refine some skills that they take a particular interest in, such as football, dancing and other like hobbies. They have learnt how to co ordinate and control very precise bodily movements to enable them to play instruments, to sew and to be very precise with drawing and colouring up to the lines in pictures. Towards the end of these important years, some girls may start showing the early signs of puberty, however in boys, this usually happens at a later date. 12 years – 16 years – At this stage of the developmental cycle girls have usually completed puberty with many having regular monthly periods. Boys are now starting to go through puberty and growing stronger and some may be starting to show signs of facial hair and their voices will have become lower. The height of both boys and girls vary a great deal at this time, however by the end of this time frame, boys are generally taller than girls. 16 years – 19 years – By this time a girls body is starting to develop physically and she is starting to become a woman. Environment can be a major factor here, as physical development can be drastically altered due to...
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