Unit 075 = Babies and Young Children Up to the Age of 3 Years

Topics: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Attachment theory Pages: 5 (1451 words) Published: May 16, 2013
Thinking about child development please answer the following questions which relate to the under 3s

How and why do variations occur in the rate and sequence of development and learning?

Causes of variations in rate and sequence of learning and development include:

Disabilities - Learning disabilities can be divided into three broad categories: Developmental speech and language disorders, Academic skills disorders, "Other," a catch-all that includes certain coordination disorders and learning handicaps not covered by the other terms Once, scientists thought that all learning disabilities were caused by a single neurological problem. But research supported by NIMH has helped us see that the causes are more diverse and complex. New evidence seems to show that most learning disabilities do not stem from a single, specific area of the brain, but from difficulties in bringing together information from various brain regions.

Pre birth experiences: Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use - Many drugs taken by the mother pass directly to the foetus. Research shows that a mother's use of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy may have damaging effects on the unborn child that may affect the child mentally or physically as they develop.

Experiences - Throughout the twentieth century, psychologists such as Bowlby, Freud, Erikson, and Sroufe have stressed the profound importance of early socioemotional experiences on later psychological outcomes.

Environmental / External influences - The ability to adapt to our environment is a part of normal development. Children growing up in cold climates, on rural farms, or in large sibling groups learn how to function in those environments. But regardless of the general environment, all children need stimulation and nurturance for healthy development. If these are lacking—if a child's parents/carers are indifferent or hostile—the child's brain development may be impaired. Because the brain adapts to its environment, it will adapt to a negative environment just as readily as it will adapt to a positive one. The physical environment shapes children's behaviour. Large, noisy, over stimulating rooms can produce undesirable behaviour in children. Smaller spaces help children to focus and cut down on distractions

Parental influences - Consistency is also important in the regulation of children's behaviour. The rules for behaviour must be consistent over time and among adults. Consistent enforcement of rules is reassuring to children that this is a predictable place, a place that you can trust. With respect to socioemotional development, psychologists such as Freud, Sroufe, Bowlby, Erikson, and Mary Main have claimed that children's early attachment relationships with their primary caregivers lay the foundation for later social functioning. Researchers have found that securely attached children are more cooperative with their mothers, achieve higher cognitive and academic scores, are more curious, and maintain better relationships with teachers and peers, as compared to insecurely attached children.

Why may learning take place in different ways?
Children learn in a variety of ways, they can copy adults and other children; they can also learn from their own experiences as they will repeat activities that fascinate them or are enjoyable. Most of what babies and toddlers learn comes from ‘doing’ rather than being taught by adults. It is important to provide a range of different opportunities and experiences for them so they can learn based on their own preferences.

What is the importance of play
Play is essential for children’s development. Through play, children can develop a variety of skills that support every area of development. Good play opportunities allow children not only to have fun but to explore, but also learn about materials, concepts and how to socialise. Play begins very early on in babies’ lives as long as they have an adult who can engage...
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