Chapter 6 Notes

9 Pages

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 2260
Susan Chuang

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Chapter 6: Grasping the World: Infants at 3 to 6 Months Developmental Domains Physical Development • Growth o Weight, height, head circumference measurements are major indicators of health o Babies may double their birth weight by about 6 months of age o Babies head circumference will increase as much as 3/8 inch per month o Ababy’s length will also increase as much as ½ inch a month o Legs may be bowed, bones are malleable o Babies do not need shoes until they begin to walk o Babies are seen frequently as having a head that is somewhat flatter at the back, or a bald spot • Physical Skills o Enable increased learning o Coordination to see objects and learn to hold them o Grasp items with whole hand, then learn to pass them from hand to hand o Play objects should be the right size to be grasped by tiny hands • Gross Motor Skills o Reaching and grasping helps babies find out about the world through their senses o Increased back control, may be able to sit for short periods o Top-heaviness, high center of gravity o Increasing neck and then back control – cephalocaudal sequence o Increasing back control followed by arm and then hand control – proximodistal sequence o Baby may discover to roll over – as soon as she does, movements will expand o Moving forward via “swimming”, later will allow to crawl o Babies should be purposefully placed on their stomachs when they are awake and supervised o Ability to put feet in mouths and suck on their toes • Fine Motor Skills o Baby’s ability to grasp objects increases her access to sensory information o Mouthing objects is satisfying – first teeth may be about to erupt o Development is not a linear progress of skill acquisition but a process that is interdependent – each domain influencing other domains o Big increase in baby’s hand control – ability to perform deliberate actions is increased o Grasping and letting go is a challenge o Doesn’t know where items are in space o Palmar Grasp: a hand grasp using the whole hand (and palm) o Banging things together – enjoy noise o Lying on tummy produces some challenges, sitting may be preferred Cognitive Development • Senses and Perception o Babies senses are acute o Baby prefers to hear human voices but is influenced by a wide variety of sounds o Ability to differentiate between sounds increases over time o Facial expressions o At age of 4-6 months, infants introduced to purees – first “solid” foods o Tracking – following moving objects with their eyes and by turning head – able to see farther away and has improved head control o Binocular vision, some sense of spatial dimensions o 5-6 months – babies reach for objects that they can see and that are within their grasp – trial and error o Visual info interesting – acuity (the degree to which one or more of the senses is functional or effective) increases  Enjoy contrasting patterns, bright colours, faces o Tracking ability visual connections are not present in the brain at birth, they stabilize by 6 months  If visual impairment impedes the process during this time, cerebral connections are not established, impairment is permanent o Culture can affect even very minute factors in an individual’s life o The baby’s skin is their largest sense organ, sends many messages to the brain o Skin is soft, sensitive to temperature, texture, pleasure and pain o Infants and toddlers are sensory gluttons – we experience simultaneous visual auditory and tactile stimulation and sometimes olfaction and taste as well o Must be a balance between high and low sensory stimulation o Habitutation demonstrates that the child has formed a mental representation, or scheme, of that stimulus (person, object, event) o Dishabituation represents an increase in responding to a stimulus because the stimulus is novel and the child has not yet created a mental representation • Mental Schemes o Mental map of preliminary concepts connected with her firsthand experience – cognitive schemes o Early schemes – how her blanket feels, mom’s smells, how she feels, sees and smells her soapy bath water o Everyday happenings and material are babies’most important stimuli • Sensorimotor Behaviour and Circular Reactions o At 3 months, increased interest in their world, can be seen playing with people and objects that are within their sight and grasp o Behaviours more controlled and deliberate o Sensorimotor Stage: the first stage of the individual’s cognitive development; this stage has six substages  Chain of substages termed “circular” because one action prompts a reaction, which causes the action again – repeated behaviour o Child progresses from one substage to the next as he gains greater gross and fine motor skills and cognitive ability o Babies’explorations will move into patterns when they perform actions that cause a response – primary circular reaction  Babies will repeat actions many times which shows they have some sense of deliberation and an ability to decide to do something, even if they cannot carry it out successfully  Simple, repetitive acts resulting from an enjoyable experience – typically observed at 1-4 months, a substage of sensorimotor activity o Secondary Circular Reaction: actions the child repeats as a result of his becoming interested in the external results that they produce, typically observed at 4-8 months; a substage of sensorimotor development  The baby’s actions will be concerned with the external environment rather than with her own body  When something happens by chance, baby will repeat the action that brought about the result – shows baby has some basic understanding of cause and effect and that objects are separate from her Figure 6.1 – Piaget’s Substages of Sensorimotor Development • Substage 1: simple reflexes (birth – 1 month) • Substage 2: first habits and primary circular reactions (1-4 months) • Substage 3: secondary circular reactions (4-8 months) • Substage 4: coordination of secondary circular reactions (8-12 months) • Substage 5: tertiary circular reactions, novelty, and curiosity (12-18 months) • Substage 6: internalization of schemes (18-24 months) • Concentration Span o Baby may show enjoyment by playing for longer periods during these months o Facial expressions, cooing sounds, range of expressed emotions wider o Physical agitation (wriggling, leg-stretching, sound changes), indicates the need for a change of scenery or a new object to handle and mouth o Baby of 3-6 months is particularly interested in new things to look at o Visual preferences – enjoy faces the most, scans in outline and in some detail, also interested in patterns of high contrast o Babies have different styles that lead to different patterns of attention • Communication and Language o Early screening and close observation are necessary to ensure that a baby’s senses are enabling her to play and communicate o The senses of sight, touch and hearing are probably the most important o Babies have the ability to recognize the range of sounds found in speech o Baby may learn to recognize their own name o Associations with sounds to seeing adults do things, may enjoy hearing voice talking or singing o At 3-6 months, baby makes same sounds regardless of language she hears – contented sounds, cries, different noises – sounds may have meanings attached o The sound, coupled with an action – within a context – may offer meaning o Receptive Language: hearing and knowing what a sound means  Limited at the end of this stage, context-dependent o Expressive Language: utterance of meaningful sounds, words, phrases, and sentences  Found in crying and cooing – tell us what the baby is feeling, but as yet she is not making the sounds deliberately o Over next few months – vocalizations more deliberate • How do infants communicate? o Body Language, facial expressions, sound production, responses o Remarkable ability to let you know when they are please or unhappy – crying indicates unhappiness or to get a response when attention is required o Baby may make deliberate attempts to communicate with adults – intentional communications – infant initiates connections with adult using sound and body language o Babies are likely to respond to adult language if it is relatively high-pitched, repetitive and accompanied by eye contact and exaggerated facial expressions – motherese/parentese o Conditions that encourage language development – positive relationships, exposure to simple language, reinforcement of infant’s sound production o Homes with more optional talk – family members engaged in more playful conversations and elaborated language structures and were more encouraging toward language production – more opportunity to practice expressive language o Children who hear complex sentences more frequently are more skilled at understanding and producing them o Children who get a healthy dose of language interaction at home or in child care develop hefty vocabularies and strong functional language o Developing reciprocal communications (communication exchange in an equal give-and-take manner) depends on the adult and infant having enough relaxed time to share experiences and on the adult’s attuned “sensitivity”:  Recognition that even the youngest infant can signal her needs and wishes  Accurate reading and interpretation of a baby’s cues and signals  Adult’s response contingent on the baby’s signals  Consistency and predictability over time o Insensitivity could stem from lack of knowledge about child development, erroneous info, stress or emotional issues • Facial Expressions o Provides the a
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