Child Development in Social Work

Topics: Jean Piaget, Attachment theory, Developmental psychology Pages: 7 (2202 words) Published: April 5, 2012
1.1 Child Observation Summary Sheet .

Assessment Information

Personal details

1) Childs Name X
2) Age12 months
3) GenderMale
4) DisabilityNone
5) Ethnic OriginIndian
6) ReligionHindu
7) Class Middle

Ethical Considerations in undertaking the observation

I explained the purpose of the observation to the mother and advised her that she and the child had a choice to withdraw at any time. I also confirmed their personal details shall remain anonymous and that the findings will be written in the form of an assignment but will only be shared with the tutor for this module.

Method / Context of Observation

The observation was conducted in a naturalistic setting which was in the child’s home. This was thought to be the most appropriate method since it is more probable to be valid as the child is likely to be involved in natural behaviour.

The child’s family’s views

The mother was very interested to know what the observation was about and was keen to learn about my findings. However, the mother queried what it meant that all the tick boxes were not filled for the child’s particular age range and I explained the limitations as set out below.

Brief Summary/Conclusions in relation to Sheridan Scale and Assessment Framework Triangle

I completed Sheridan’s checklist to measure the child’s development for his age group. Although some aspects of this tool were useful in assessing the child, I found this exercise as a ‘one size fits all’ approach as it does not take into account individualities of children that develop slightly later than others. However, the Assessment Framework Triangle provided a systematic way to observe the child and enabled me to see in practice what I have learned in theory.

Signed ……………………………………….. Date……………………

1.2. I observed a friend’s child, referred to as X throughout the essay, within his home for 45 minutes to record the child’s development progress and see in practice what I have learnt in theory.

The observation started at 9am and X had just woken up. X is an Asian child of Indian origin living with family members that practice Hinduism. As soon as X spotted me in the corner of the lounge, he gave me a big smile. His mother put him on the floor whilst she warmed his food. The mother pursued to seat X on the sofa. Whilst X was eating his breakfast, he was reaching out for toys on the floor. I handed him a ball which he threw on the floor, watched it roll and began searching for it when it was out of sight.

There are four main theories that explain child development of which a relevant one is cognitive (intellectual) development which was founded by Piaget. Piaget was interested in children’s intellectual development hence he believed for children of different ages, there are various stages of cognitive development. Give the age of my child, I looked at the ‘sensorimotor’ (movement) stage which was designed for children aged 0-2 years. As suggested by Brain and Mukherji (2005), by the fifth substage (12-18months) of the sensorimotor stage, children, through touching and handling objects, develop ‘object permanence’ which simply means to maintain an ‘understanding that an object exists even when it cannot be physically perceived’ (p81). X has clearly displayed having acquired the concept of object permanence since he threw the ball and searched for it eagerly when it was out of sight.

According to Piaget however, there is natural progression within the development of object permanence of which ‘invisible displacement’ is the last phase. This stage is reached ‘when an object is hidden when the child is not watching’ (Jarvis and Chandler 2001) and they search for it. From the observation, I noticed that X was playing with a number of toys including a large toy train which the mother contends is amongst his favourites. Whilst the mother distracted the child, the train was hidden to experiment whether X...
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