Unit 4: Development Through the Life Stages
P1: Describe physical, intellectual, emotional and social development for each of the life stages of an individual.
Through every life stage we experience physical, intellectual and social and emotional development. Physical development is when the appearance of the body changes. Intellectual development is the mental process of knowing, for example problem solving. The social and emotional development is when your emotions, your personality and social interactions begin.
Conception is the process described when the penetration of an egg cell by a sperm cell fuses to form the first cell of a new living organism. Conception normally occurs in the fallopian tubes as a result of sexual intercourse.
Pregnancy begins when the embryo implants or embeds itself in the living of the uterus wall and develops. An amniotic sac filled with fluid that surrounds the embryo and acts as a shock absorber. A placenta filled with the mother’s blood and through which the embryo obtains nutrients and eliminates waste. The umbilical cord contains the blood vessels that transport nutrients, oxygen and waste products between the embryo and the placenta. The first few weeks of the pregnancy are critical for the embryo and its development can be affected by the health and behaviour of the mother.
The next life stage is birth and infancy this is to the age of 3 years. The physical developments throughout this stage are the following. The body doubles in height and quadruples in weight. Motor skills progress from simple reflexes to coordinates motor abilities such as grasping and walking. The child’s sensory and perceptual ability develops rapidly. For example when the baby is 0 to 6 months their short- sightedness reduces and their eyes begin to focus more clearly. Another physical development would the brain responding to stimulation, such as a child copying an adult clapping.
The intellectual development in birth and infancy is when basic structure of language is learned through baby talk with adults. This development would usually occur 0 to 6 months. Babies often use crying, cooing and babbling as their first communication. Further language skills are developed by the age of 1, to constructing sentences by the age of 2. Children start to be aware of world progress through immediate sensory motor experiences such as hearing familiar voices and pointing. Lastly children start to think about the concept of objects, for example objects still exist when out of sight and awareness. This development occurs from 6 to 12 months when the child begins to pass objects between hands. It develops further at 18 to 24 months when children can throw a ball and use a crayon. By the end of birth and infancy children can build a tower of bricks and use scissors.
The social and emotional developments in birth and infancy are the following. The child’s emotional responses change from basic reactions to more complex. For instance the child may become self-conscious when playing with other children. Independent behaviours increase with parental encouragement around feeding, dressing and toilet training. By the age of 18 to 24 months the child can use a spoon and remove some clothing. The ability to relate to playmates emerges at the end of birth and infancy the child; this shows the child has developed confidence and basic social skills.
The fourth life stage is childhood; this is between the ages of 4 to 11 years old. One of the physical developments in the early ages of childhood is the brain; it attains 90% of adult weight by the age of 5 and develops faster than any other body part. Physical strength increase and body proportions become more adult like. Also athletic skills such as running and jumping dramatically improve in the early years of childhood. Fine motor skills involving the use of smaller muscles develop, allowing younger children to handle small objects with more accuracy such as...
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