Development of Children and Young People Between Birth to 19

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All children are different and develop at their own pace. The rate of development varies in children even though the pattern in which they will develop will be the same. Physical, social and emotional, intellectual and language are the areas of development.

Physical development

Physical development from birth to three years is a rapid process. A child by the age of six months is able to move their head when hearing sound and movement and able to reach for their feet when lying on their back. They try and grasp object. When given a rattle they hold and shake it. From six months onwards a child learns to sit up using support until they can manage without any support and eventually learning to crawl or shuffling on their bottoms. They are able to rollover from their tummies on to their backs and vice versa. They start to hold on to furniture learning how to walk along or by using the aid of a baby walker, up until they gain the confidence to walk alone. Their hand and eye coordination improves as they learn to pass an object from one hand to another, and begin to show preference for one hand. They learn to play with bricks. Firstly banging them together to being able to build towers, eventually building larger towers.

By the age of two children will have learnt how to sit, walk, feed themselves and they will have moved from eating soft mashed food to eating solids, as sign of their teeth will be clearly visible. They will have learnt to kick and throw a ball. They will be able to grasp a pencil to make scribble on paper.

From three to seven a child is more independent. Learning how to jump, climb, catch and walk up and down stairs confidently. They learn to pedal and eventually ride a bike without support. Using their fine motor skills to hold and use a pair of scissors, able to gain control of a pencil. Increasing in their writing skill. Can also fasten and undo buttons and shoe laces.

From the age seven to twelve years a child will progress in running, jumping skipping and enjoying playing games as a team, even though they may misjudge their ability until the age of nine.

Between twelve and nineteen a child goes from childhood into adulthood. This is referred to the adolescences stage. This starts from the age of 11 up until the age of 19 or 20. It’s the stage that teenagers learn to detach from their parents and become more independent. Every child rate of growth is different.

Boys normally begin adolescence around the age of 14 year, which is later than girls, even though by the end they are usually bigger than girls. They will develop body hair as their body shape changes, their muscles begin to grow, increasing their strength. Their voice will change and become deeper. In the early stages to mid stages of puberty testicles and scrotum will begin to grow. Penis growth starts later but continues for longer.

Girl’s breasts start to swell from around the age of 10. They will also develop hair in the pubic region that will become dark and curly. Their body shape will change. Some girls may be physically mature by the age of 13. This is dependent on the age at which she begins puberty, which varies, ranging from 8 until late teens. The average age for girls of menstruation is around 13.

Social and emotional development.

From birth to about one year old a child mainly communicates through facial expressions such as smiling at familiar faces. A child of this is very dependant and requires comfort from an adult. They recognise familiar faces and get distressed when separated from a parent. They enjoy interacting and playing games such as peek-a-boo and they gradually develop a sense of identity and want to do things for them self. They easily get jealous when attention is not given to them and try to please adults. Temper tantrums start when not being given what they want or not wanting to share toys.

From three to four years a child is more self-motivated and is able to cope with unfamiliar...
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