Children's hearings training resource manual: volume 2

Volume 2 is a children's hearings handbook, focusing on the problems that some children face, the environment in which they live, their needs and their rights.

2 Child Development

The concept of 'milestones' is often used in assessing a child's development. Children who fail to meet these milestones at the expected rate give an early indication that something may be going wrong, either in their development or in the way they are being cared for. These milestones are not rigid and children vary in the rate at which they achieve them.

Children are born with different temperaments - the placid happy child, the crying child, the slow to warm child, and each child has different abilities that may influence the care they receive. Some children are noticeably gifted and this can affect their skills and self-esteem, in others these gifts can remain unnoticed and children never realise their full potential. Some children have disabilities, which they are able to overcome; others struggle and fail.

Ages and Stages

Child development, and the way in which children progress through the various stages of this development have been much studied.

Current thinking concentrates on the concept of 'stages' of development, sometimes referred to as 'milestones'. The process of childhood development is seen as one of passing through various stages, each at the appropriate age. Educational provision, for example, is geared to an understanding of these various stages and the changes in the way children view their world as they achieve them.

Problems and difficulties in the child's life and upbringing are sometimes first spotted when the child fails to meet the expected stage at the appropriate age. It must be emphasized, however, that each child is an individual, and children achieve these stages at their own pace.


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