Understand Child and Young Person Development

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Understand Child and Young Person Development

Sequence and Rate of Each Aspect of Development and the Importance of Them

When looking at and discussing a child’s development, you have to remember that all children are different and grow at different rates. Every child will follow the same sequence but they may not necessarily do it at the same time as each other. For example, you could have two, 6 month old babies, 1 could already be able to crawl, and the other 1 may not have mastered it yet and may not until they are a bit older. You must remember that your child is an individual and not group him with another child and expect him/her to reach the milestones at the same time. It is important also that a parent/carer, teacher etc., know the expected sequence a child follows, so they can tell if a child is falling way behind and they may need to intervene to help them along.

Many skills and areas of development overlap. A child will not be able to learn a physical skill without the development of their cognitive, social and communication skills as well. The areas of development may be separated but it is important to remember that they do not work on their own but together.

The aspects of development are:
* Physical
* Communication and Language
* Cognitive/intellectual
* Social
* Emotional
* Behavioural
* Moral

PhysicalFine motor skillsGross motor skillsGeneral co-ordinationHand-eye co-ordination| Social, behavioural & moralTaking turnsCo-operating with othersDeveloping social skillsEmotionalDevelopment of self-esteem and self-expressionLearning about the feelings of others| Areas of development|

CommunicationUsing language to explain reasoningExpress feelingsDescribing events|

CognitiveDeveloping creative and imaginative skillsUsing skills in different waysUsing language to explain reasoningProblem solvingDecision making|

Table 3: Areas of development
Source: Burnham, Baker 2010, Supporting Teaching and Learning, pg150

Physical Development

Physical is the development of the gross motor skills and the fine motor skills. It is an important area of the overall development of a child and young person. A child acquires independence through the development of their physical skills.

Gross Motor Skills refers to whole body movement development, including learning to sit up, crawl and then walking. They develop quickly in the first few years of a child’s life.

Fig 4&5: Gross & fine Motor Skills
Source: Walker, 2009. p.61&62

Fine Motor Skills refer to the movements made by your fingers. The fine motor skills development is linked to your vision. This is known as ‘hand-to-eye co-ordination.

0-3 years – For the first 3 years of a child's life, they develop and grow at a fast pace.
A baby is born with a range of reflexes. These are: * Rooting reflex – to root for milk
* Swallowing and Sucking reflex – for feeding
* Grasp reflex – Automatically hold on to things placed in their hands

Fig 3 Grasp
Source: Newbornbabyzone.com, 2012[accessed 10.03.2012]
* Startle reflex – holds arms out and clenches fists
* Walking and standing reflex – Move legs as if to walk when held in a standing position

They do not have much control over their bodies, but as they grow and get older, they will start to have more control and by the time they are a year old, they will be able to crawl, sit and some may even be starting to take their first steps independently. By 2 years they will have more control over their hands and will start holding objects, be able to clap, wave and point. By three, they will start to hold a pencil properly. They will have more confidence in walking and running and will start playing with bigger toys like bikes (with stabilizers) or tricycles. They will be feeding themselves and drinking from a cup with no trouble. 3-7 years – At...
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