Development is a concept used to describe a child’s growth, maturation and progress in acquiring a complex set of skills and abilities, in several different areas, over time.
These skills will be in the areas of gross motor (relating to large muscle groups, e.g. walking), fine motor (small muscle groups, e.g. picking things up), language and cognition (understanding or learning), and social or emotional. It is essential to remember that each child develops at a different pace and the ‘normal development range” is wide.
A child is said to be ‘developmentally delayed’ when he or she is significantly not progressing as expected in one or more of the above areas. There are many reasons a child may show signs of developmental delays, a learning disability, Dysarthria and hearing or sight troubles are just a few.
There are plenty of ways you and other prominent people can aid their learning and development and which enable to them to achieve and develop as much as possible.
Development areas to encourage
Introduce a Development Journal which will encourage your child in the following areas:
- personal, social & emotional,
- physical and thinking.
Set achievable milestones for them to reach and offer rewards to boost confidence and self esteem.
Identify individual needs and encourage singing, talking, listening as well as physical play as appropriate.
Activities that they can engage with
Introduce activities which encourage the senses. Encourage messy play, using different textures, sounds, lighting, arts and crafts.
Music can hep a child loose his/her inhibitions and may instigate dancing or movement. Provide challenges that are challenging yet achievable, these will obviously be dependent on the type of development delay and individual abilities.