1.2 The difference Between the Sequence and Rate of Development Children’s development generally follows a predictable sequence of stages known as milestones. However, occasionally a child may skip a stage or go through a stage very quickly e.g. a child may miss out crawling and move straight from sitting to walking. An example of a sequence is the physical development of a baby where movement begins with their head and then downwards and from the centre of their body outwards. The time of a child’s development milestone isn’t as consistent as the sequence because children’s stages of development happen over different rates rather than particular ages. An example of this is that children don’t begin walking all at the same time. Some children are learning to walk before their first birthdays whereas others may learn to walk many months later. However, it is important to understand that although a child may be developing slower in certain aspects of development, they maybe excelling in others and that all children are generally following the same sequence.
2.1 Personal Factors Affecting Children’s Development
Early childhood development can be affected by a number of factors. A child’s health plays a crucial role in their development and can be determined by factors including the genetics they inherit from their families, malnutrition from a poor diet and poor conditions in their environment. Unhealthy children may find they are less equipped to tackle problems in comparison to healthy children. They may also be restricted in participating in activities which can have a detrimental effect on building relationships with others, access to creating an understanding of their environment and their progression in motor development.
Disability can have a profound effect on a child’s development. The three core areas of disability are physical disability, learning disability and sensory impairment. Normal development involves children to be able to interact with their environment, and to understand their findings. Children with physical disabilities will often be restricted in their ability to effectively interact with their environment which can then have a detrimental effect on their ability to develop cognitively and emotionally. The limitation of exploring their environment can also impact on their motor skills due to lack of mobility. Furthermore, children who spend time away in hospital may have limited opportunities to develop age appropriate social skills, language skills and speech.
Learning disabilities can affect children’s ability to grasp, process and analyse information. Disabled children often show an uneven pattern of development e.g. language development and physical development which can have some effect on their ability to interact with others. Inadequate interaction with others may have a negative influence on a child’s personal skills, their self esteem and often causes a reluctance to face problems. Children with sensory problems such as visual or hearing impairments may experience difficulties including mobility, language development and communication skills. Visually impaired children often suffer with mobility issues hindering their physical development which reduces their ability to explore their surroundings. It also interferes with engaging in imaginative play limiting the child’s ability to develop imitative skills. Hearing impaired children commonly lack language and communication skills as they have a reduced opportunity to take advantage of the critical early period of language development by hearing people’s voices. The lack of communication skills can impact on the child’s ability to engage with other children.
2.2 External Factors Affecting Children’s Development
Poverty can create a lasting disadvantage in children’s development. The areas of poverty to take into account are housing, diet, education and leisure...