Child Development

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Physical Development.

0-3 years – This is a period of fast physical development. When they are first born, babies have very little control over their bodies. Their movements are dependant on a series of reflexes (for example – sucking, grasping) which they need in order to survive. In their first year they gradually learn to have more control over their bodies so that by 12 months, most babies will have developed a degree of mobility such as crawling or rolling. In their second year , babies will continue to grow and develop quickly and it is at this stage that most children will start to walk. Their ability to control their movements will mean that they will start to use their hands for pointing and holding small objects and start to dress and feed themselves. They will also be able to play with a ball and will enjoy climbing, for example on stairs or furniture, in their third year, children will start to have more control over pencils and crayons and will enjoy looking at and turning pages in books. They should be able to use cups and feed themselves. They will be starting to walk and run with more confidence.

3-7 years – At this stage, children will be able to carry out more co-ordinated movements and will be growing in confidence as a result. They will be refining the skills developed so far and will have more control over fine motor skills such as cutting , writing and drawing. They will also become more confident in activities such as running, hopping and kicking a ball.

7-12 years - Children will continue to grow and develop, and will now be refining many of their skills. They may start to have hobbies and interest which means that they have more skills in that area. For example sport or dance. They may also be able to make very controlled finer movements, such as those required for playing and instrument or sewing. Girls in particular will start to show some early signs puberty from the age of 10 – 11. In boys, puberty usually starts later, when there will be another period of rapid physical growth.

12-16 years – at this stage of development, young people will be growing stronger. Boys will be starting to go through puberty and many girls will have completed the processes and have regular periods. Girls will have experience breast engagement and increased fat layers. Boys will experience an enlargement of their testes and penis and muscle strength. Their voice will break and become deeper. Between these ages there can be a great variety in height and strength. Boys and girls may experience a growth spurt at this time, although at the end of this stage, most boys will be taller then most girls.

16-19 years – this is the stage at which young people become adults and often at the peak of their physical performance. Although many girls may have reached physical maturity, boys will continue to grow and change until their mid 20s.

Communication and language development.

0-3 years - From the earliest stages, adults will usually try and communicate with babies even though they are not yet able to understand what is being said to them. This is because it is important for 7babies to be stimulated and have an interest shown in them. I cases were babies are neglected and do not spend time with any adults they will find it very hard to learn the skills of the effective communication later. At this stage, babies will be listening to language from those that are around them and will start to enjoy songs and playing games. Most will start to try and speak at around 12 months, although pronunciation will not be clear and words will usually be used in isolation. Between the age of 1 and 2 years they will start to put words together and their vocabulary will start to increase fairly rapidly so that by 2 years, most children will have about 200 words. Between 2 and 3 years, children will be starting to use negatives and plurals in their speech. Although their vocabulary is increasing rapidly they will still make...
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