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2-Analyze development of infants and toddlers (conception to three years old)

By the time a baby is born they have 100 billion nerve cells. I learned from Chapter
5 of Children that infants develop through cephalocaudal patterns. Cephalocaudal
patterns is the sequence in which the earliest growth always occurs at the top,
which is the head, with physical growth and features differentiations gradually
working from top to bottom. The infants brain develops at a fast rate. By the age of
three the brain is already 80% developed. Neurons change in two significant ways in
the first years of life. Myelination begins prenatally and continues after birth into
adolescence, and connectivity among neurons increases which creates new neural
pathways. Heredity and the environment are thought to influence the timing and
course of synaptic overproduction and retraction. I learned from Chapter 5 of
Children what wires the brain is repeated experiences. An infants brain depends
on experiences to determine how connections are made. Infants must practice
something in the environment that motivates them to act and use the perception to
fine tune their movements. An infant develops motor skills for processing and
acting. Motor skills represent solutions to an infants goals. According to Dynamic
Systems Theory, nature and nurture, the infant and the environment all work
together as part of the ever changing system. Motor development begins with
reflexes. Reflexes allows infants to respond adaptively to their environments before
they have the opportunity to learn. Movements involved in some reflexes eventually
becomes incorporated into more complex, voluntary actions. The timing of
developmental milestones in the first year can modify the onset of
accomplishments. Infants develop new skills with the guidance of their caregivers in
real world environments of objects, surfaces, and planes. When caregivers provide
babies with physical guidance by physically handling them in special ways, or by
giving opportunities for exercise, infants reach milestone earlier. The onset of
reaching and grasping makes significant achievement in an infants ability to
interact with their surroundings. Infants define grasping by developing palmer grasp
and pincher grip. Vision lets an infant pre-shape their hands as they grasp an object.
Information to an infant comes through their senses. Sensation occurs when
information interacts with sensory receptors. Perception is designed for action. In
visual perception, faces are the most important stimuli in childrens social
environment. Infants show an interest in human faces from birth. Actions educate
perceptions. The developmental domains of a young child are physical, social,
emotional, cognitive, and sensorimotor development. I learned from the power
points that looking, talking, and facial expressions help children recognize their
caregivers. I learned from Discussion Board #4 that according to Piagets Theory,
all children develop cognitive abilities such as language in four stages. In the first
stage, the sensorimotor stage, the emphasis is on movement and physical
reactions. At the early stages language skills are basically physical. Children in the
early stages learn by physical movements and experiences. Infants develop
language by interacting and talking. I learned from the Ted Talks What do babies
think that how babies learn compared to how their childhood is dependent on:
1) How long childhood lasts

2) How big the brain is compared to the body


3) How smart and flexible they are
How long a childhood is, can be directly related to knowledge and learning. Babies
are good at taking in a lot of information at once and processing that into one idea.
A long childhood is connected to knowledge and learning. Children actively
construct their own cognitive worlds. I learned from Chapter 6 of Children that
infants build mental structures that help them adapt to the world. Piaget developed
four stages of cognitive development. They are sensorimotor, preoperational,
concrete operational, and formal operational. In the first stage, infants construct an
understanding of the world by coordinating experiences with motoric actions. I
learned from Chapter 6 of Children acquiring the sense an object has permanence
is one of the most important accomplishments of an infant. Piaget opened up a new
way of looking at infants with his view that their main task is to coordinate their
sensory impressions with motor activity. Attention in the first year is dominated by
orientating/investigating processes. Infants attention is strongly influenced by
mobility and habituation. Infants respond to changes in stimulation. Joint attention
which occurs at 7-8 months is associated with the development of self-regulation
later in childhood. Memory involves retaining information. Attention plays an
important role in memory as part of a process called encoding, which is the process
by which information gets into memory. By the end of the second year long term
memory is more sustained and reliable. I learned from Chapter 6 of Children
without concepts you could not make generalizations. Infants categorize concepts
either on the basis of external features or the basis of prototypes or averages.
Learning to put things into correct categories is an important aspect of cognitive
development. The Bayley Scale of Infant Development was developed in order to
assess infant behavior and predict later development. The Bayley Scale of Infant
Development has five components; cognitive, language, motor, socio-emotional,
and adaptive skills. Infant testing is related to perceptual motor development and
includes social interactions. Language is a form of communication. Language is
highly organized. Long before infants begin to learn words, they can make find
distinctions among the sounds of language. The first six months infants get better
at perceiving the changes in sounds from their own language. During the first year
babies go through a sequence of crying, cooing, and babbling. Babies understand
words earlier than they can speak. I learned from Chapter 6 of Children that the
ability to speak and understand language requires a certain vocal apparatus as well
as a nervous system with certain capabilities. The brain area involved in language
are Brocas area and Wernickes area. The support and involvement of caregivers
greatly influences a childs learning abilities. Adults use strategies to enhance the
childs acquisition of language. Adults use child-directed, recasting, expanding, and
labeling. The key is encouragement. Children are biologically prepared to learn.