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Child Case Study


Guadalupe Cortes
Child Development 201
September 14, 2013
Professor: B. Hunter

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This child case study is on a young girl name Mariela P. She was observed at the Richard
J. Daley Child Development Lab. Her birthday is on August and she is four-years-old. She has an
elder sister and lives with her father, mother and sister. Throughout the paper, it will compare
Marielas development to what develop mentalists say is normal. This paper is focused primarily
on physical characteristics, self-esteem, social/emotional characteristics, language, play
behaviors and evidence of special interests. The paper gives examples of how Mariela is
successfully developing normal for her age.
Mariela lives at home with her father, mother and sister. She is four-years-old, and the
youngest member in the family. Marielas mother is the one that always brings her and picks her
up from the Daycare Center. Mariela has no trouble at all separating from her mother when she is
brought to the Daycare Center.
Mariela is verry active child for being four years old. Mariela is normal average for her
physical development. Mariela is physically fit and enjoys playing with others when allowed to
do so. She enjoys running around every chance that she gets. When playing outside, she was able
to skip, hop, and climb the playground ladder. She has a good sense of balance; she can jump,
stand on one foot, and ride a tricycle. Mariela shows a preference for her right hand the most.
She writes with her right hand, grabbed toys with both hands but more with her right hand. She is
able to insert objects and use drawing and writing tools with control.
Mariela is able to unfasten and fasten zippers and buttons all by herself with no trouble at
all and with no help from the teacher. She likes the independence of being able to do things on
her own. She is self-reliant in the bathroom and washes her hands when she arrives at the
Daycare Center and when it is time to eat. At the Daycare Center, Mariela is able to use regular

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pencils, colored pencils and markers quite well in order to write, draw and color. One of her
favorite activities to do is to paint and draw. While painting, Mariela likes to make a mess
because she thinks it is fun. She likes to draw her friends. Mariela is able to write her name
precisely. She also likes to pick up the mess she makes. She is good at using her fine and gross
motor skills while working on crafts and art.
While being observed, Mariela likes to play with others and on her own as well. She is
also a good friend to her classmates, and she gets along with them quite well. Mariela is in the
constructive stage of play. She plays cooperatively with other children. Cooperative play is
playing together, taking turns, and playing games. Mariela enjoys being physical, and it is
beneficial for children to get a lot of activity, because it keeps them active. Overall, Mariela is in
the average range for a four- year-old girl. In all aspects her physical growth is normal. She does
everything that a four- year-old would do. She is a very active child and enjoys playing. Mariela
is physically fit, and she enjoys playing outside doing physical activities.
Mariela enjoys attending the daycare center and learning at the Richard J. Daley Child
Development Lab. She likes to do many activities that deal with learning. For example, she likes
to draw, paint, write her name and put puzzles together. Mariela is able to separate from her
parents without difficulty. She makes eye contact with both of her teachers when they are talking
to her or to the class. When teachers ask Mariela to choose an activity, she is able to choose an
activity without the teachers help. Before Mariela chooses an activity, she first has to look
around the class room in order to chooce the right activity for her. Mariela enjoys playing in the
dramatic play area a lot; she spends most of her playing time in the dramatic play. She also
displays enthusiasm when doing things for herself. Every time she makes a mess playing, she

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always cleans up; the mess she makes without the teachers asking her to clean it up and every
time she moves from one place to another, she cleans up the mess she makes.
While observing Mariela, it is noticeable that she is friends with some of her peers in
class. She knows that they are individuals, and they are all different from one another. Mariela
loves to play in the dramatic play area and so do some of the other girls and boys in her class, so
they get along and play well in that aspect. She typically plays with the girls because they are
interested in the same things. Mariela plays well cooperatively. Mariela is smiling most of the
time. She is always happy. She shows love for her friends by hugging them. She knows how to
share. She also sometimes spends time watching others play for a while. She likes to do hands-on
activities; so she is good at constructive play, as well. It is necessary for preschoolers to start
developing good social skills. Overall, Mariela has many of the expected social/emotional skills
and abilities for her age range. She is right on track developmentally for social and emotional
skills. Mariela continues to grow rapidly in each stage of her life, and will continue to do so in
the social/emotional stage.
Cognitively, Mariela is in the normal category because according to develop mentalists,
she is developing normal for her age. Examples are that Mariela knows how to write the letters
of the alphabet. She knows how to write her name. She just does not know the correct order the
letters go in. She is able to count. She is a good listener, and she is becoming interested in how to
sound out certain words. These are just a few cognitive abilities which are normal for four-yearolds. As each year passes, and as Mariela continues to get older, cognitively she will continue to
progress.

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While being observed in the daycare center, Mariela is showing normal signs cognitively
for a four-year-old child. According to Piaget, she is in the pre-operational stage. An example
would be, while her teacher is giving instructions to the class, Mariela is listening closely; and
she is able to follow tasks after being given instructions. Although when the teacher is reading a
book that does not involve dancing or moving around, Mariela does not show interest and starts
plating with her hair, hands and legs. When Mariela is working independently on a project, she
will show her teacher what she has created in order for the teacher to give her a compliment.
Mariela is able to complete assigned tasks without getting distracted. Mariela really enjoys
learning and doing fun school activities.
Marielas Language Development is improving. She listens to what the teacher tells her
but does not speak sometimes. When the teacher asks her where she wants to go play, Mariela
gives single word answers by naming the area she wants to go play in. Mariela enjoys chanting
and singing every time the children sing a song in class. She has conversations with her friends.
Mariela has a special interest on playing in the dramatic play area most of the time. Every
time her teacher asks her where she wants to play, Mariela will answer dramatic play most of the
time. There was not a day that Mariela will not play in the dramatic play area. Although, she also
likes to draw pictures and write down her name in the drawing area. Most of Mariela's interest is
devoted to the dramatic play area.
When I first saw Mariela, it was during circle time and her teacher was reading a book to
the class. Mariela was the little girl that first caught my attention because she could not stay still.
She was playing around with her hair, hands and legs. She was uninterested on paying attention
to the story her teacher was reading to the class. That is why I chose to do an observation on her.

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I have enjoyed doing a case study over Mariela. I have learned many insightful strategies
to see and understand if children are progressing adequately, according to their age throughout
the early stages of their life. It is crucial that children progress accordingly, so they do not fall
behind in school. After doing a case study, I now know what tips and signs to look for when
deciding if a child is progressing in all aspects of life.
The experience of visiting the Richard J. Daley Child Development Lab was really
fascinating. The room had some pictures and artwork that the children have made. Each age
group had their own teacher that taught them. I was observing a class with young children ages
three to four, and the teachers name was Ms. Contreras. Ms. Contreras was fun-spirited,
exciting, and she was always in a good mood and welcoming children with their parents to the
daycare center. I learned many ideas from Ms. Contreras while I observed her teaching. It was
fun to see what activities the children did throughout the time I observed, because every child
participated in different areas of play.
I went to the Richard J. Daley Child Development Lab on my free time to observe
Mariela. I was able to observe when her mother brought her to the center and when her mother
picked her up, as well. I was also able to observe Mariela doing different activities inside class
and playing outside at the playground on her own and with a group of friends. I basically
observed Mariela doing the same activities everyday that I went to the Richard J. Daley Child
Development Lab. I wish I would have been able to observe Mariela speak more because every
time she would speak, she was far away and I was not able to hear what she would say from the
noise that was there. I also did not have the opportunity to see her use her imagination. I believe I
would have learned more things about Mariela if I would have had the opportunity to speak with
her in person.

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At the cognitive level, it is important for four-year-old, to start learning how to write; and
I observed this by watching Mariela write her name. She knows the letters of her name, but I was
not able to tell if she knew the rest of the alphabet. I watched her interact with her peers socially.
I really enjoyed and had a great time observing Mariela. I looked forward to every day
that I will have to be teaching and observing young children. It was a great experience, and it
will help me in my future with my teaching career.