Growth and Development

Posted: August 7th, 2013

Growth and Development




Growth and Development

A description of how the concept of development differs from the concept of growth.

The concept of growth refers to the increase in the child’s physical changes, such as height; arm length, and head circumference, caused by an increase in the number or size of cells. The rate of growth differs from child to child. The concept of development refers to the changes experienced in the body from the simple to the more complex and detailed. Development sequence is generally the same in children although the rate of development differs from child to child (Allen & Marotz, 2009). Development not only refers to the physical changes, but also to the orderly patterns at which these changes happen and the complex level of function (Bukatko & Daehler, 2011).

A summary of the domains of development identified in chapter 2 of the course text

Development domains include “physical, motor, perceptual, cognitive, social-emotional, and language” (Allen & Marotz, 2009 p. 30). Children have rapid and noticeable physical development, which slows down, as they grow older. They learn how to support themselves and sit up, before learning how to crawl or walk. Motor development is the child’s ability to move and control different parts of the body. Factors such as brain maturation, sensory input, increased muscle, healthy nervous system, and exercise contribute to the development of motor skills. Perceptual development refers to how the child interprets the information he hears and sees (Bukatko & Daehler, 2011). The child also acquires information from other senses such as smell, taste, and touch.

Cognitive development refers to a child’s acquisition and expansion of his mental and intellectual skills. The child is able to recognize, process, organize, and use the information that he or she has acquired, in an appropriate manner. A child develops his or her language skills as he or she matures and gets an opportunity to learn. Before acquiring language skills, the child communicates by laughing, crying, or by using body movements. By the age of seven, most children have acquired enough language skills, and they can express themselves verbally.

Children develop social-emotional skills when they learn how to interact and form relationships with others. The children learn various social skills as they mature. They learn how to share and play with others, make friends, and get along with other children, as they get opportunities to do so, and as they mature. The children learn how to gain self-confidence, and how to have self-esteem. They learn emotions such as joy, fear, and sadness based on their experiences and their interactions.

An analysis of the developmental milestone examples in the text (sitting, walking, talking) and the purpose they serve

Some developmental milestones are the major accomplishments that a child makes, which are predictable in nature, as they appear in an orderly way. They include sitting, walking, and talking. Some children are different in the way they achieve these milestones. Because of the predictable nature of the child’s development, children who do not achieve any of the milestones should see a specialist because it is an indication that there might be something wrong with him or her. The environment is important in determining the child’s developmental milestones because it can slow down or hasten the progress of the developmental milestones. The developmental milestones help in determining the level of the child’s development. Every child is different and delayed development might be an indication of atypical development. Knowing the average rate of achieving these milestones helps the parents to seek help when their children do not develop typically. The developmental milestones reflect the importance of having the suitable environment for the child. Children who have a good and supportive environment are able to achieve these milestones at the appropriate age (Gillberg, 2003).

Identify and explain three factors that might contribute to atypical development

Atypical children have development differences or delays. They do not develop using the typical sequence. Some of the factors that contribute to atypical development include genetic factors, poor health and nutrition, and injury (Allen & Marotz, 2009). Children can inherit some conditions that will contribute to their abnormal growth and development. For instance, conditions such as spina bifida and Down syndrome are hereditary. These problems can affect the child’s normal development, because it can lead to physical and mental malformations. Children who have poor health and nutrition lack the necessary nutrients for growth, which in turn discourage their development.

Poor health and nutrition leads to conditions such as kwashiorkor, which affect the growth of a child. Children with such conditions display reduced activity and attention, and this limits their development. The children also have reduced sensitivity and responsiveness. Malnourished pregnant women risk the chance of passing different problems to the child, as the child will be born malnourished. It is necessary for mothers to feed well so that their children can grow normally. Children need all the major nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates when they are growing. A child who has suffered an injury might not be able to develop typically. Children who suffer brain damage will have cognitive problems and this will affect his or her cognitive development. Such children will display reduced intellectual capacity (Slater & Lewis, 2007).




Allen, E. K., & Marotz, R. L. (2009). Development profiles: Pre-birth through twelve. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Bukatko, D., & Daehler, W. M. (2011). Child development: A thematic approach. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Gillberg, C. (2003). Clinical child neuropsychiatry. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press

Slater, A., & Lewis, M. (2007). Introduction to infant development. New York: Oxford University Press

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