Child Observation

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Child Observation and Commentary

Course Title: Developmental Disabilities in Adolescence
Course Code: ADPS-841
Instructor: C. Jama Adams (PhD)
Email: cadams@jjay.cuny.edu
By
Eyob Ayenew
Id No: GSR/1024/2002

Applied Developmental Psychology
Institute of Psychology
Addis Ababa University

July 2011
Part 1: Background Information
I observed a 35 months old female child. She is the first and the only child for her parents. Parents were come from Amhara region (Region-3) around Lalibela four years ago to Addis Ababa. They are not educated though they can write and read a little bit. They were living in remote rural area and they could not attend their education. The father is 29 years old and he is a daily laborer. He earns an average of 50 birr per day except the missing days, which he might not get a job. The mother is 23 years old women and she used to work in different homes as a cooker of food staffs. However, after she got birth, she started to live as a homemaker and look after her child. They rent a small room, which has only one class at the back of my house. They paid 200 Ethiopian birr per month. It is around 6 meter square and not comfortable to live as a family in this class and the child sleeps with her parents. Their income is insufficient which only depends up on the daily income of the father and they do not have the ability to pay more for a house to get better shelter. In such family getting adequate food staff and balanced diet is challenging. Consequently, the child mostly eats what is prepared for adults. They could not afford to buy special food for the child. Both parents are young and they have the potential to do better for their future. As they told me, they are decided to let the wife to go abroad, one of the Arab countries to work and came with money. This idea is not comfortable for me, as I have had awful information about those women who went to Arab countries as a house worker. We discussed a little bit though they were not consider my idea. What I understood is that they do have such information but they believe that chance matters. I asked the mother in the presence of the father about the condition of pregnancy. The mother replied there was no much difficulty during pregnancy except the expected vomiting, being new for the condition, the routine of sleeping on the left side and some mood swings. Actually, the pregnancy was not planned. Even they were not much worried about family planning and how to do it. Nevertheless, they did not try to abort the pregnancy. Rather she attended one of the health stations in her area once in a month. She give birth a "healthy" baby in a hospital. She did visit health station for her kid's vaccination once in a month for nine months. However, in the sixth month they went to visit a pediatrician to know what to feed after a while. The mother said, "When the doctor saw my child, he was so surprised that the baby was above the norm of her age in terms of weight, height and health and advised her to continue breast feeding with only small food staff". It was after this time that the child started to be unwell. As the mother said, 'it is the eye of the doctor made my child to be sick". There was no scientific explanation for her perception anyways. Nevertheless, she believed the doctor's eye and saying was not comfortable for the child. Starting from this time onwards almost for two years, the child's behavior changed; she cried a lot, unable to sleep and difficult to sooth and feed. Consequently, her weight decreases and worried parents. That...
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