Atypical Academic Development in Small Children

Topics: Student, Grade retention, Individualized Education Program Pages: 23 (2003 words) Published: February 1, 2015
Atypical Academic
Development in Young Children
Karen Beilfuss, Trisha Burda
and Michelle Sarich

Typical Development









Children gather information from people, things, and events in their environment They organize this information in their minds, and code it in ways that keep it usable and easily understood
They match the information with what they've learned before, noticing similarities and differences, and store the information for future use
Children's development usually follows a known and predictable course The acquisition of certain skills and abilities is often used to gauge children's development These skills and abilities are known as developmental milestones Such things as crawling, walking, saying single words, putting words together into phrases and sentences, and following directions are examples of these predictable achievements Although not all children reach each milestone at the same time, there is an expected timeframe for reaching these developmental markers

Developmental Milestones
Milestones are behaviors that emerge over time
They form the building blocks for growth and continued learning Some of the categories within which these behaviors include: ● Cognition (thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, understanding) ● Language (expressive and receptive abilities)

● Motor coordination (gross/fine motor, jumping, hopping, throwing/catching, drawing, stacking) ● Social interaction (initiating peer contact, group play) ● Adaptive (dressing, eating,washing)

Atypical Development
Some children exhibit behaviors that fall outside of the normal, or expected, range of development These behaviors emerge in a way or at a pace that is different from their peers Some children show patterns of behaviors that are unusual or are markedly different from their peers

Great care should be given to determining whether patterns of behavior are reflections of children's personality, or whether they exemplify areas of weakness and concern. Teachers and parents should note the:

● time at which skills emerge
● sequence within which skills emerge
● quality of skill level and how it contributes to children's functioning

Atypical Development cont.
Atypical behaviors should be noted and carefully recorded
They may be isolated events that have little or no impact on later development They might, however, be early warning signs of later and more significant problems Patterns of atypical behavior can be useful in confirming areas of need Teachers and parents should note the:

● dates and times of occurrence
● duration and frequency of behavior
● type of activity: language, fine motor
● settings and activities
● interactions with peers and other influences

Causes of Atypical Development
** Normal variant
Premature birth
Birth asphyxiation
Encephalitis
Brain trauma
Fetal exposure to toxins
Perinatal complications
Brain structure abnormalities
Chromosal abnormalities

Neurocutaneous syndromes
Intrauterine infection
Metabolic disorders
Hypothyroidism
Genetic causes
Nonchromosomal dysmorphic disorders
Associated with various syndromes:
Fragile X syndrome
Velocardiofacial syndrome
Downs syndrome

Student Learning in the Classroom



It is important to understand what the student is interested in and use those strengths to engage them in the learning environment (Norton, 2011, p. 221)



An early lack of understanding of number concepts has a far reaching effect on a student’s ability to understand and apply number concepts (Mazzocco et al., 2013, p. 8).



It is crucial to identify very early on those students who show difficulties in learning (Norton, 2011, p. 22).

How Atypical Development Influences
Student’s Adaptive Development


Self care skills - can the student take care of their own needs?



Classroom self-management - can the student be responsible for their own materials as well as following structures and routines?...
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