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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham

Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Your name: (Beatriz García de Ackermann)

Instructions
Respond to three letters from each chapter, giving appropriate advice. Draw information
from the chapter while formulating your response, and make sure to use correct terms and
definitions. Reference information you use from the textbook by citing the page number in
APA formatting. If you use information from outside the textbook, make sure it is credible
and generally supported by the medical and scientific community with appropriate citation
for the website or video. Avoid anecdotal evidence or opinion. Your written responses should
be 2200-2500 words minimum, no maximum, cumulatively (Including the original Dear
Abby letter). This word count is for the entire assignment (NOT per answer). You will
answer a total of three questions per chapter, so nine in total for each unit.

Dear Abby,

I’m concerned because my ten-year-old daughter’s grades have been dropping. It’s been a tough
year for her. She has already begun menstruation, and it is on the heavy side. She’s about five
feet tall and has a BMI of 29. She’s missed quite a few days of school because she says she can’t
breathe, but I wonder if she is just having problems with friends. What should I do?

Big in Baltimore (Chapter 11, Letter 1)

Dear Big in Baltimore,

Overweight children more often asthma. Although asthma affects people of every age, rate is
highest among school- age children, with marked increases worldwide. Furthermore, on
average, as excessive weight builds, school achievement decreases, self-esteem falls, and lone
liness rises. School age children are more likely to reject their obese classmates, who often hate
school and over time it will get worse. There are hundred of causes for overweight children.
Obesity is more common in children who watch too much TV and drink soda and children who
do not get out and get active. As far as her not being able to breath I would get her checked for
asthma. Parents report that 10 percent of U.S. 5 – 9 years old’s currently have asthma and six
percent of them having had an attack within the past year. There are three levels of prevention
for asthma. Primary prevention requires changes in the entire society. Better ventilation of
school and home. Less pollution, fewer cockroaches, fewer antibiotics. Secondary prevention,
decreases asthma attack among high-risk children. If asthma runs the family, then prolonged
breastfeeding, less dust and smoke, and no cats. Finally, tertiary prevention includes the prompt
use of injections and inhalers. So, I think that you need to get her BMI under control and then
get her some help with her breathing and see if that help anything at all.

Sincerely, Abby

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Dear Abby,

I’ve noticed a real change in my seven-year-old son’s thinking. He is not as easily distracted as
he used to be, and he seems to process ideas much faster. Almost every one of his skills has
become more automatic and efficient. I know he is just getting more mature, but I thought early
childhood was the time of rapid brain growth. Why all the changes now?

Brain Buster in Belmont (Chapter 11, Letter 2)

Dear Brain Buster in Belmont,

That’s great that you see your child advancing and maturing so much! It’s always good to see
your children be more successful. Yes, you’re correct that children have rapid brain growth in
early childhood. However, their brain continues to grow and develop. What’s happening is his
corpus callosum has connected the hemisphere of the brain, giving him better balance and two-
handed coordination. Also, myelination is occurring, which speeds up thoughts and behaviors
like you are noticing in your son. The brain takes a very long time to finish growing and
maturing, so you will probably see even more improvements in the future! I hope this helps you
understand why all these changes are occurring now. (P 332)

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

What does an IQ score of 120 really mean? Is it more of an aptitude score or an achievement
score? Does it change a lot over the life span? I’ve heard IQ scores are on the rise. Is this true? Is
the population getting smarter? Also, what is the big controversy over IQ testing in schools? It
sure seems like they give plenty of other tests.

Wondering in Wichita (Chapter 11, Letter 3)

Dear Wondering in Wichita,

An IQ score is found by dividing your mental age by your chronological ag (358). In this case, an
IQ of 120 means you answered the questions above the average of people in your age category-
woohoo! For example, if a 10-year-old answered questions at a 12-year-old is level they too
would have this score as (10/12) x 100=120 (358). The average IQ score has a range from 85 –
115 so this means as score of 120 is above average (358). IQ is highly correlated with
achievement test which measure one is proficiency in school subjects rather than the ability to
master a skill (359). IQ does change as people with lower IQs in childhood have become highly
successful adults. We also this with the Flynn effect as average IQ score have substantially
changed over decades (359). Nations have seen this raise in IQ scores every decade (359). The
controversy over IQ has many factors including: less definitive than once thought to be,
scientists fund we have multiple types of intelligence, and there are other things that influence
scores such as a cultures and families. (359/360).

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

My son has been diagnosed with a pervasive development disorder. The doctor has
recommended additional testing, but I’m afraid he’ll be labeled and treated differently if we do
the testing. He does have some problems with social skills and doesn’t communicate well with
others, but he also seems very gifted in other areas. Can his condition improve? What causes
such disorders? Is there a treatment?

Autistic in Albuquerque (Chapter 11, Letter 4)

Dear Autistic in Albuquerque,

Pervasive in development disorders are diagnosed to children who developed slowly but were
not withdrawn, or having mental retardation. Autism is diagnosed when the child has woefully
inadequate social skills, they do not seem to be mentally retarded at all. There are three signs of
an autism spectrum disorder; delayed language, impaired social responses, and unusual
repetitive play. Some kids with autism experience being gifted in different areas such as math or
drawing, their speech is close to normal. If your son is experiencing any of those signs I would
recommend getting further tested. It may help you to be able to better help your son. For
example: creates new forms of communication. Try talking to your child with short, concrete
sentences. Watch and try to know how to express yourself, autistic children have particular ways
of showing their feelings and moods, it is important that you can decipher it in order to act
accordingly. In this way, it is possible to establish a common language, such as gestures, art or
music.
Show him your affection. It is essential to show him restraint, support, and affection. Show him
that you care and that you want to share with him his experiences. Autistic children, having
different ways of expressing themselves, often do not clearly show what they want, but you
should not forget that that does not mean that you do not feel the need for love.
Handle routine changes carefully. Children with autism have a very strict routine and their
modification often generates an imbalance. That is why, if you know that there will be a change
in the routine, such as a holiday outing, it is important that you try to communicate it before,
either with drawings or talking. It is also important that you take some objects or toys from your
child so that he feels safe and familiar.

I hope these tips are helpful to you, with love, Abby.

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Dear Abby,

My daughter has a real struggle focusing in her class. Her teacher thinks she may have ADHD,
but she doesn't seem to be hyperactive. I wonder if she is just bored in school? It seems every
time a child’s mind wanders we cry “ADHD.” Isn’t it normal for children to daydream? I know I
did. Is ADHD genetic? Is it more common for girls? It seems children with attention deficit
disorders are everywhere. Do we just have impatient parents and teachers or is something
wrong in our society? Do you have any suggestions for helping my daughter?

Daydreaming in Dallas (Chapter 11, Letter 5)

Dear Daydreaming in Dallas

It seems your daughter is struggling with class and paying attention. Almost the percent of
children have something known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD, which is the difficulty to
pay attention. Often when a child has ADD it comes with hyperactivity which then becomes
known as ADHD. Children with ADHD are inattentive, impulsive, and overactive. This can lead
to being disruptive. In your daughter case it is twice as likely for boys to have ADHD than it is
for girl. These children tend to have difficulties academically and is the classroom. To help your
daughter you can find was to help her be more attentive in class. I would use medication as more
of a last resort, if you feel that she needs it then use it to help her. Be patient with your daughter
and involve the teacher to see how both of you can help her to do better in school.

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

My son has two children in his class that have obvious learning disabilities. They always need
extra help, take more time to learn, and disrupt the class. I don’t mean to be rude, but why don’t
they put them in a special school? Wouldn’t that be better for everyone? I know that when I was
a child, that’s what they did. Has the law or school policy changed? Do you have any
suggestions?

Special Needs in San Jose (Chapter 11, Letter 6)

Dear Special Needs in San Jose,

Schools have now started what is called mainstreaming and inclusion techniques.
Mainstreaming is having a special needs child be taught with other students in a regular
classroom setting. And occasionally the student is sent to a resources room with a teacher who
can provide additional tutoring (344). Inclusion is the special student is educated in a regular
classroom setting along with the appropriate help aids (teacher just for the student, freedom to
visit to resource center for extra help/time on a project) You have already expressed some
challenges on these techniques – needing extra help, more time and disrupting the class. But
these teaching methods have proven to provide opportunities such as; the special needs child
gets a chance to feel normal, gets to go to “a normal school”, gets to feel included in social

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

settings to learn and make friends. And gets to be educated like other students. Suggestions to
you and your son is to be willing to sacrifice some time to help this student learn, teach your son
about with they need help and/or to befriend them. It can only help both you and the students.

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

My seven-year-old son’s schoolteacher referred to him as a concrete operational thinker. What


does that mean? She mentioned something about logical concepts. Should I be concerned? He
seems perfectly normal to me.

Concrete in Concord (Chapter 12, Letter 1)

Dear Concrete in Concord

This is a good thing that your son’s teacher referred to him as a concrete operational thinker!
This simply means that your son is at a stage in is life where he can think logically. If you think
about it, operational comes from the Latin word operate, which means “to work or to produce”.
Your son can think productively! You daintily should not be concerned, he is right where he
should be. The concrete operational stage occurs in children from about 6 – 11 years old. Some
other logical concepts that may have been mentioned is transitive inference. This is connected to
the maturation of the hippocampus, which occurs around age 7. It sounds like your son is doing
well and is right on track with is development! No need to worry (Pp 351/352)

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

My eight-year-old daughter only cares about herself. She seems to judge whether something is
right or wrong by whether you get a punishment or a reward. Is that normal for children her
age? How do I teach her that we should do things just to help other people and our society or
just because it’s the right thing to do?

Moral in Montana (Chapter 12, Letter 2)

Dear Moral in Montana,


Your child is in the age of concrete operational thinking. Helping is not a concrete thing. Them
understand needs to become concrete. You may find teaching what helping is by giving a list of
helpful concrete actions. At this age they discover the ability to categorize things. This is an age
where anything can be learned.
I recommend that it you are asking for help that you asked help in a specific task.

Sincerely, Abby

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Dear Abby,

My brother told me men are more moral than women, yet I know prisons have more men than
women, and men are more likely to cheat on their spouse than women. So why would I believe
that?

Crushed in Carson City (Chapter 12, Letter 3)

Dear Crushed in Carson City,

It is probable that his brother has a trauma, the morality is not a question of men or women, but
of moral conscience of each human being regardless of being man or woman, it is true that the
prisons are fuller of men than of women because in the case of the manhood "There is a more
pronounced tendency to physical violence, there is less self-control, it is more impulsive," he
says. "However, women are subtler, more calculating." They resort less to direct physical
violence "This is explained under anthropological terms." "It's a question of the role and of
genetics."

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

My ten-year-old seems to remember things that are important to him but always forgets things
that are important to me. It’s a bit frustrating. Is he taking advantage of me? How effective
should memory be at his age? Is it common to be better at remembering some things than
others?

Forgotten in Fremont (Chapter 12, Letter 4)

Dear Forgotten in Fremont

It is totally normal for kids to forget things that do not pertain to them. Their memory is better
when the action/thought/events is repeated over and over. So, when he does not remember your
thing that is why. He is not taking advantage of you but if you go over your week’s events a few
times it can help him remember.

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

I’ve heard that children become much more pragmatic in language use during the school years.
What does that mean? What should I look for in my children to know if they are developing
correctly?

Pragmatic in Portland (Chapter 12, Letter 5)

Dear Pragmatic in Portland,

First, pragmatic is the practical use of language. This include being able to adjust expressions to
communicate with varied audiences in different contexts. For instance, kids learn how to
differentiate the way they talk between a formal setting and informal setting such as when they
are with friends. Watch to see if your child is going through these changes and see if they
understand language better. I hope this helps you understand pragmatics a little better. (P 361)

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

What’s wrong with our educational system? I understand that we rate lower on many
standardized tests than other industrialized countries. Do we need to spend more money on
education? Could our approach to teaching be improved? Does the problem start with how we
teach basic reading and math skills? Are our classes too big? What is the problem with our
educational system, and what recommendations would you make to improve it?

Behind in Baltimore (Chapter 12, Letter 6)

Dear Behind in Baltimore,


There are a few factors that contribute to our lower rates in the educational system. For
example, socioeconomic status. This correlates very easily with language as those who are not as
fluent in the nation’s primary language will not perform as well in school (389). It is important
for us to teach the primary language as the child’s so that they can use that as a foundation and
build on it. Being bilingual is not necessarily a bad thing but focusing on a different language
than the one spoken most in school can hurt their performance (389). Another factor in the
scores is expectations both from the parents and teachers (390). Expectations for children need
to be more explicit than idealistic while not being too high for the child so that they can still live

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

up to them. Setting too unrealistic of expectations can be bad for your child’s progress and
success (390). Teachers and parents also need to be wary of too low of expectations as that can
be bad as well. Literacy and math skills vary from each school as some nations focus on other
subjects (393). The expectations also vary from hidden curriculum by school which is their
priorities that influence the teachings (394). Money does play a part as some schools are in
lowers SES places (399). I recommend more school funding and smaller class sizes because as
class sizes decrease then teachers can teach in smaller groups and focus on problem areas for
the children.

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

How old should children be before they can stay home by themselves? Are there certain
indicators that would suggest they are old enough? Also, I was wondering about baby-sitting
other children. Is there a certain age or skill set that is required?

Home Alone in Henderson (Chapter 13, Letter 1)

Dear Home Alone,


Between the ages of 6-11 is when children become more independent and learn to take care of
themselves (409). At these ages children are baling to be alone more at the allowance of their
parents rather than be watched over constantly as with younger children (410). This period is
called middle childhood in which these changes take place. Indicators of this age bracket
include: ability to tell and set times in a schedule, they have homework, less punished, conform
to peers and worry more about “fitting in” than they once did before, strive for independence
from parents, and voice their preferences (410). It is at this maturity through middle childhood
when children can take care of younger children and pets (410). This is a period when they can
understand chores and working for an allowance (410). Once a child exhibits the later few
indicators of middle childhood it is a better way to tell they can take on the task of babysitting
(410).

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

My son hates school and his grades have declined sharply, but he won’t tell me what is going on.
I think he is having a hard time making friends and sometimes gets picked on. Could he be
drawing negative attention to himself? Are some children more likely to be bullied? What should
I do?

Bullied in Beaumont (Chapter 13, Letter 2)

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Dear Bullied in Beaumont,

You need to make sure that you have a open communication with you children. You need to
make yourself available to them so that they feel conferrable to talk to you about these kinds of
problems. As far as you child he could be drawing negative attention to himself by being a bully-
victim and this is someone who attacks others and who is attacked as well. The thing with
bullying is that it is not a quick. Most children experience occasional peer rejection. However,
some children are victims, repeatedly rejected and friendless, experiencing physical, verbal and
relational bullying. Things that need to change is that everyone in the school must change, not
just the bullies. We need to be intervening in the earlier grades and we need to keep open
communication with our children always.

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

I’m a single mother. I get overwhelmed at times but seem to be doing all right. Do children really
need a father? My children have a male school-teacher, and they occasionally see their
grandfather. Isn’t that enough? What insight or suggestions do you have for me? Can any family
type be equally successful? I don’t think a mail-order husband is in the future for me.

Single in Sacramento (Chapter 13, Letter 3)

Dear Single in Sacramento,

Because every situation is different I will give you some statics and some advice then you can
make your final choice based on the information. Single mothers who have never been married
is about 12 % of the United States. Almost 40% of all United States births are to unmarried at
one point. These families normally include extended family (grandparents usually). The United
States in 2008 was at 30% of single parent families and it has only gone up from there. It has
been done thousands of times /there has been plenty of single mothers who raise a successful
child(ren) but that does not mean getting married won’t help. If you find the “right guy” – why
not? He can work and provide, like a father should which would give you plenty of time to build
a better relationship with your child (s) It can not hurt to get married, but is not impossible to
do it alone.

Sincerely, Abby

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Dear Abby,

My husband and I are having a difficult time in our marriage. It seems we are always fighting,
and it’s taking a toll on my emotional stability. We are considering divorce. We have four
children ranging from two to twelve years of age. Should we stay together for the sake of our
children, or would divorce be a better option for everyone? If we do divorce, how can we
minimize the impact on our children?

On the Edge in Edgewood (Chapter 13, Letter 4)

Dear on the Edge in Edgewood,

I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time. Marriage is a serious thing, so divorce is not something
to take lightly, especially with kids in the picture. I would ²rst strongly suggest that you and your
husband try to work things out. Try going to couple’s therapy. You got married for a reason,
right? Try to go back and remember why you got married and started a family in the ²rst place.
Also, try serving each other, especially when you don’t want to. You will ²nd how much you love
your husband while you’re serving him. After trying all that you possibly can, a divorce may be
the best option for your kids. Yes, it will be hard for them to be in a split home, but it may be
worse for them to be around constant fighting. If your marriage does end in divorce, it is very
important to keep your children in mind!

You need to make things as easy on your kids as possible. As parents, you need to minimize
transitions for your children and make sure that the children maintain a good relationship with
both you and your husband. I really hope this helps and that you and your husband can work
through things. [Pp. 392-393]

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

My daughter is always comparing herself to others, and her self-esteem seems to have been
affected. She wasn’t that way when she was younger. What can I do? Is that just a part of living
in our modern world?

Comparing in Conway (Chapter 13, Letter 5)

Dear Comparing in Conway

As children mature, they develop their self-concept, or their ideas about themselves. So, now
that your daughter has self-concept she is judging herself. Self-concept can highly be influenced
by society. As you are probably well-aware, media and society are always telling us we are all
supposed to look and act a certain way. This makes it difficult for people to be comfortable with
themselves. It’s important that you teach your daughter that she is great just the way she is.
Also, make sure she knows how fake and unrealistic all the garbage in media is. Encourage your
daughter to love herself and to be comfortable in her own skin! I hope this helps and best of luck
with this! [Pp. 379-380]

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CHILD 210: Child Development Online Brigham
Young
Unit 4: Dear Abby Letters University-
Idaho

Sincerely, Abby

Dear Abby,

My eight-year-old loves cub scouts. He seems so eager to learn new things and to earn his
awards. But my fourteen-year-old son is not so excited about boy scouts. Is it just a personality
difference, or does it have something to do with their ages?

Scouting in Seaside (Chapter 13, Letter 6)

Dear Scouting in Seaside,

It sounds like this difference in attitude towards scouts may be due to Kohlberg’s three levels.
Your eight-year-old son is enjoying scouts because he is in the preoperational level. This means
that the decisions and choices he makes are directly related to rewards. In cub scouts this is
especially evident as you work towards something and receive a patch directly after completion.
This the work to produce mindset (435). Meanwhile, your fourteen-year-old son is in the
conventional level which focuses more on social, family, and community factors. The excitement
about rewards is now over and he is doing it more because he feels he must in order to please his
parents or follow the other church boys (435). This stage often happens in adolescence and so
this difference is due to ages and levels of reasoning (435).

Sincerely, Abby

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