Life Span Development – Toddler observation
Life Span Development – Toddler observation
Setting and Description of Child
The hospital is located in a beautiful neighbourhood in Benicia where the rate of arrival is quite low when compared to the neighbouring cities. The surroundings of the hospital are very lush considering there are several trees and bushes within the environment of the centre as well as several bushes and a variety of plants around the building. The building itself is very magnificent and is of decent size. I would neither describe its size as small or large. There is a bell tower just adjacent to the building structure. As one enters the building, there is woven bench complete with pillows placed near the front door. One can see the fenced playground from the parking lot. The playground has a lot of space, is colourfully painted, and has toy cars, tricycles and a grass area. To ensure safety at the building, all the parents have been given safety codes to enable them access the building, coupled with the fact that the entrance is always guided by security personnel.
The management of the institution has invested in a bus of a meaningful size that are decorated with pictures of several children from different ethical origins. The purpose of the buses is to drop off and pick up school going children as they commute to and from school. The students too are equipped with individual codes to enable them assess the building. Though it is quite early in the morning, the children’s faces are full of excitement and joy as they enter the building. Upon entering the facility, parents and caregivers are expected to sign in their children after dropping them off at the facility. The children are then met and greeted by friendly members of the staff. The walls of the facility are covered with posters concerning the children and their families. I had the option of either taking off my shoes or use shoe cover before entering the infant room. The infant room is colourfully and nicely decorated. The floor is covered with beautiful and big rugs, most of which have the inscriptions of letters and numbers on them. The room contains beautiful little eating chairs neatly lined up against the wall. The caregiver in the room greets each child cheerfully, always addressing them in their names in the most cheerful way. There is what sounds like a cartoon or Disney movie theme song playing in the background.
Description of the Child
The child to be observed is one-year-old, has a pale skin and her hair is rolled into two little ponytails while some bits of hair are left out for bangs. She is dressed in a cute infant jersey with black tights. Her head is conspicuously bigger than the rest of her body. She can sit up and can crawl on her own. She grabs at the corners of the mats, then crawls over to the bookshelf as she grabs more books. She can open the books. At this time, the caregiver asks her some question for instance if she can grab the books, if she can open them or if she can be assisted in opening them. The caretaker sits close to her, offering her encouragement while asking her more questions in the process.
The room is nearly empty except for another male infant playing with other books in the room. She opens the book she was playing with and manages to crawl with it still open underneath her palms, comes to a stop then lays her face on it. Compared to other male infant, she is considerably smaller. She sees the other male child grab a book and open it. She determinedly crawls over and places her hand in the middle of his open book. The caregiver grabs her and sits her on her lap then proceeds to open a book and reads out loud a short poem in one of the pages. Within a short while, she manages to crawl off her lap, grabs a book, and sits up straight and just to flip through the pages. She can use the kitchen cabinets to help herself stand up. She makes little noises and sounds like is trying to say something to the effect of “Nah Nah”. The caregiver place a tray of cherries directly in front of her. She manages to crawl to the tray, grab one of the cherries and place it inside of her mouth, at which point I can see her little front teeth. She can grab a cup with both hands and bring it up to her mouth to drink up its contents while murmuring “meh meh meh” in the process.
Biosocial development with regards to infants refers to the manner in which their social progress interrelate and correspond with their biological growth. A few organs grow at a faster rate than others. For instance – the organ that controls other organs in the body – is just a quarter of its impending size at infancy; the brain can grow to a remarkable seventy-five percent of its complete size by within a year. The ability of the infant to engage in increasingly complex social interactions increases the more they mature biologically (Berger, 187).
Vision and Socialization
Children at 12 months of age are capable of seeing objects more clearly compared to their blurry vision at birth. An infant’s fascination with other people’s faces increases the older she grows older, as they try to understand facial expressions such as frowns, smiles and expressions of joy. The interest about the facial expressions of adults continues throughout infancy the older the child mature. This explains the fact that the girl under observation would pose between her playing with her objects to gaze at the faces of those around her and hold their gaze for a prolonged period. She would also spend a considerable amount of time looking at the faces of the other infants around her as well as the faces of the caretaker who interacted her more frequently.
Hearing and Social Development
Because babies are born with the capability to hear sounds around them, they make attempts to turn their heads to locate the origin of the sound. Infants are easily startled by loud noises, which frequently make them cry. At the same time, they find soothing sounds such as the sound of a beating heart or a calm voice singing a soothing song or lullaby to be comforting. One-year-olds have the capability to distinguish between familiar voices and strange voices, making it easy to be comforted by those they constantly interact with such as parents and caregivers. According to a study done by Healthy Children.org, infants tend to amuse themselves and those within earshot by cooing and babbling sounds. Their ability to recognize the tone and the implications of the voices of those they regularly interact with improves significantly at this age. For instance, they can different the implications of “No!” and “No-No”. At 12 months of age, they can say a few words such as “mama” or murmur “oh-oh”. At this age, she will similarly attempt to imitate words spoken by adults in her continuing determination to speak more fluently (LaFreniere, 177).
Similar characteristics were observed while at the care centre. The girl under observation made repeated attempts to interact with those around her by imitating their activities. She crawls to another male infant inside the infant room flipping aimlessly through one of the books and places her head within the open pages of the book. This is a demonstration of social development. The observation girl was able to crawl from the lap of her caregiver, grab a book and flip through the pages, and even sit up. She was able to grab off the highchairs and use it to help her stand. She can use the kitchen cabinets to help herself stand up.
Cognitive Development and Language Development
Cognitive development can be defined as the process leading to the evolution and variation in the logical or mental capabilities for instance thinking, reasoning and comprehension. Also included in the definition is the attainment and consolidation of knowledge. Infants depend on experiences that are related to language, emotions and perceptions for cognitive growth. They are accustomed to associations between characteristics of objects, activities, and the physical setting. Nonetheless, they are predominantly accustomed to individuals. Parents, caregivers, members of the family, associates, educators, and guardians have a crucial role to perform in the cognitive growth of babies by creating a conducive relational or social-emotional setting in which cognitive progress takes place (Berger, 207).
Infants demonstrate a high standard of interest in resolving complications. Even very young babies will endeavour to resolve a problem, for instance, how to locate their thumbs so as to suck on them. Mature toddlers may resolve the challenge of how to get to a stimulating toy that is a little far by attempting to crawl toward it or by pointing to a grownup for assistance. Infants and toddlers resolve problems by diverse techniques, including applying learning systems they have established, emulating solutions discovered by others, using items or other individuals as apparatuses.
Reproduction is generally assumed to be a great way to learn. It has been recognised as vital in the attainment of traditional knowledge as well as language. Imitation by infants has been established for grown up facial expressions, movements of the head, and tongue projections. According to LaFreniere (2000), the results obtained from imitations in human infants tendencies to copy facial and manual movements, languages and emotionally loaded facial expressions. Infant simulation includes awareness and motor procedures. The very initial ability to imitate creates the possibility of imitation games whereby the adult emulates the youngster’s behaviour, for example projecting the tongue outwards or making a sound that corresponds to that made by the infant, and then the toddler emulates back. This kind of contact grows with time as the baby and the grown-up add features and differences in their emulation games (Carlson, Elizabeth, Egeland & Sroufe, 98).
Babies participate in both instantaneous imitation and late imitation. Instantaneous imitation happens when toddlers watch and instantaneously endeavour to emulate or mimic behaviour. For instance, instantaneous imitation can be observed when a toddler’s parent takes out his tongue and the child projects his tongue in reaction. As they grow, infants are capable of engaging in delayed imitation, emulating the conduct of other much later after having seen it. As infants mature, they are capable of engaging in delayed imitation, repeating the behaviour of others at a future time after having observed it. An instance of delayed imitation is an infant redoing part of a parent’s workout routine, for example lifting an item numerous times as a parent would do with weights.
The observation child demonstrated cognitively and language development several times during the observation. For instance, when the caregiver placed a tray of cherries directly in front of her, she managed to crawl to the tray, grab one of the cherries and place it inside of her mouth, at which point I can see her little front teeth. She was also able to grab a cup with both hands and bring it up to her mouth to drink up its contents. She also attempted to imitate her caregiver by saying the words she was saying, only that instead of the exact words coming out, she only manages to utter “Nah-Nah”. Her mental capabilities are also quite advanced as she is able to recognize activities that are synonymous with breakfast time. She stays around the feet of the caregiver as she prepares the bowls she intends to use to serve breakfast. She is no longer interested in playing with the other children and insists on hanging around the kitchen, going as using the cabinet knobs to stand herself up and grabbing the cabinet handles in an apparent to open them but they are carefully locked.
The psychosocial development is the process by which infants learn to have trust for others, relay their requirements and develop unique individualities. Psychologist Erik Erikson came up with an eight-step model human growth that is extensively acknowledged among teachers and mental health specialists (LaFreniere, 106). Five of the phases of progress occur throughout childhood. According to the model, if the infant fails to progress through one stage productively, she will face challenges during the subsequent phase.
Trust vs. Mistrust is the initial stage of psychosocial growth, including the initial year of an infant’s life. Throughout the first stage, a toddler learns whether she can have faith in a parent or guardian to fulfil her requirements. The subsequent phase in the psychosocial development of an infant lasts from the first to the third year. Throughout this phase, entitled autonomy vs. shame and doubt, the infant starts to be independent by learning to walk, arrive at simple decisions and encounter the world independently (Carlson, Elizabeth, Egeland & Sroufe, 198).
The observation infant from the centre was able to pass successfully through all the stages according to the observation I made. The first stage Trust vs. Mistrust was passed as the infant learned to trust the caregiver to meet her needs. She observes that the caregiver is the one who provides her with food whenever she is hungry and once played a tray of cherries in front of her. When she nearly choked on her food, it is the caregiver who immediately ran to her side and gave her a gentle pat on the back. She also passed the second stage, the autonomy vs. shame and doubt phase, by helping herself to her feet by grabbing onto the kitchen cabinets. Also the next time she choked on her cherries, she exercised autonomy by simply coughing and adjusting herself.
The Whole Child
By observing the female infant at the centre and watch her feed, crawl and interact with the caregivers and the other infants made me learn a lot about the development process of infants. Infants depend a lot on adults for their survival, and it is through such interaction that they can comprehend the world around them and learn to interact with it. It is, for example, through their interaction with adults that their abilities to read and interpret facial expressions first begins. They learn to differentiate between tones and can recognize the voices of strangers. During their grown, infants go through three important stages: Biosocial Development, Cognitive Development and Language Development, Psychosocial Development. When comparing to the rest of the group and developmental norms, I find that the child was average. She did all things as would any child in such a setting, and most of what she was doing was mirrored in the behaviour of the other infants inside the infant room. The assignment opened my eyes to the world I did not understand before, and one which previously I had completely overlooked. I learned that the process of infant development is quite complicated, and infant learns to interact with the world around them in such ways as I had never imagined before. The assignment made me feel like I wanted to get to understand children even more and understand the difficulties they face as they go through infancy, so as to be able to tackle those difficulties.
Berger, Kathleen S. Developing Person Through the Life Span. Worth Pub, 2010. Print.
Carlson, Elizabeth, Byron Egeland, and L A. Sroufe. The Development of the Person: The Minnesota Study of Risk and Adaptation from Birth to Adulthood. New York, NY [u.a.: Guilford Press, 2005. Print.
LaFreniere, Peter J. Emotional Development: A Biosocial Perspective. Belmont [u.a.: Wadsworth/Thomson, 2000. Print.
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