Indicators of biological and environmental obstacles to a healthy development for Kristopher were evident even before his birth, according to the case vignette. Biologically, the habitual use of crack cocaine by Kristopher’s mother during pregnancy laid the foundation for physical and psychological impediments for Kristopher. Babies born to cocaine users are “at risk for a wide variety of problems, including prematurity” (Berk 87) which was the case with Kristopher.
While the case vignette does not state whether Kristopher was born drug-addicted, there is a high probability the he was, which would have led to his being feverish, irritable, have sleeping problems and abnormally shrill cries. As Berk states, “when mothers with many problems of their own must care for these babies, who are difficult to calm down, cuddle, and feed, behavior problems are likely to persist” (87).
Furthermore, evidence indicates that babies prenatally exposed to crack cocaine develop lasting difficulties from constricted blood vessels to altering the production and functioning of neurons and the chemical balance in the baby’s brain. This could lead to urinary tract and kidney deformations, which could have contributed – in addition to the environmental factors to be discussed later – to Kristopher’s later bedwetting and encopresis.
Based on the information presented in the vignette, one may infer that Kristopher’s side-effects to his mother’s addiction and his potential addiction may have contributed to his mother’s decision to leave, which will further environmentally impact his healthy development. Were we to apply the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) checklist to Kristopher’s earliest circumstances, we would find that Kristopher’s mother and Mr. Ramirez would not have passed the HOME tests.
Taken a step further, the application of the standards for developmentally appropriate... [continues]
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