“Child development” refers to the sequence of physical, language, thought and emotional changes that occur in a child from birth to the beginning of adulthood. During this process, a child progresses from dependency on their parents/guardians to increasing independence. Child development focuses on how children are able to do more complex things as they get older.
Children develop skills that focus on 5 main areas:.
Adaptive: The ability to engage in self-help skills such as toileting, eating and dressing
Cognitive/Intellectual: (Learning and Thinking) the ability to understand cause and effect and to problem solve
Communication: (Speech and Language) the ability to use and understand speech and language. Speech impairments are those areas where an individual has difficulty with articulation, fluency and voice. Language impairments are those areas where an individual has problems expressing needs, ideas, or information, and/or in understanding what others say.
Motor and Movement: The ability to use large and small muscles for movement, balance, reaching, crawling, talking, grasping, picking things up.
Fine Motor Skills: Children learn to use their smaller muscles, like muscles in the hands, fingers, mouth and wrists. Children use their fine motor skills when writing, holding small items, buttoning clothing, turning pages, eating, cutting with scissors, drinking from a cup, bottle, or breastfeeding.
Gross motor Skills: Children develop their gross motor skills when they use their muscles which require whole body movement and which involve the large (core stabilizing) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking, running and jumping, hopping, sitting upright at the table.
Social & Emotional: Social-emotional learning is the process by which children learn to recognize their own emotions and the emotions of others, establish friendships/relationships and connections with others, learn to make good decisions, their ability to regulate and approach challenges and relate to others.