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Title : Child development Previous topic PreviousNext Next topic

 
Child development is a multifaceted, integral, and continual process of change in which children become able to handle ever more complex levels of moving, thinking, feeling, and relating to others."Child developmentrefers to the biologicaland psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence, as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy. Related terms include "developmental psychology", referring to development throughout the lifespan and "pediatrics", the branch of medicine relating to the care of children. Developmental change may occur as a result of genetically-controlled processes known as maturation, or as a result of environmental factors and learning, but most commonly involves an interaction between the two.Age-related development terms are: newborn (ages 0–1 month); infant (ages 1 month – 1 year); toddler (ages 1–3 years); preschooler (ages 4–6 years); school-aged child (ages 6–11 years); adolescent (ages 11–20). However, organizations like Zero to Three and the World Association for Infant Mental Health use the term infant as a broad category, including children from birth to age 3.
Milestones are changes in specific physical and mental abilities (such as walking and understanding language) that mark the end of one developmental period and the beginning of another. For stage theories, milestones indicate a stage transition. Studies of the accomplishment of many developmental tasks have established typical chronological ages associated with developmental milestones. However, there is considerable variation in the achievement of milestones, even between children with developmental trajectories within the normal range. Some milestones are more variable than others; for example, receptive speech indicators do not show much variation among children with normal hearing, but expressive speech milestones can be quite variable.A common concern in child development is developmental delay involving a delay in an age-specific ability for important developmental milestones. Prevention of and early intervention in developmental delay are significant topics in the study of child development. Developmental delays should be diagnosed by comparison with characteristic variability of a milestone, not with respect to average age at achievement.
A parent is their child's first teacher and should remain their best teacher throughout life.  Functioning as a coach, the parent exposes a child to age appropriate challenges to encourage development as well as to experiences that allows the child to explore on their own and learn from interacting with their environment.  Child Development specialists have learned that from birth children are goal directed to experiment and learn from each experience.Child Development experts have taken the concept of scaffolding from the building trades.  Just as scaffolding is put up to support the structure of the building as it is being built and gradually taken down as the building is able to stand on its own, a parent needs to provide the necessary support for a child to allow them to safely and productively explore and learn from their environment.Increased knowledge of age-specific milestones allows parents and others to keep track of appropriate development.

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