Children and Adolescent Development Process

Introduction

The development of children and adolescent is an important process, which is complex and different for diverse children. The development shapes a child’s daily life in the present and in the future as an adult. Enhancing good health in development of a child emotionally, physically and mentally cannot be underestimated. The child or adolescent is affected by the surrounding environment. The parents, teachers and peers have a social responsibility of ensuring that the child enjoys psychological fitness and social experiences.

Those close to children require adequate knowledge in mental health to assist the children whenever there is a developmental disorder. Positive development will lead to healthy adults, who will become productive and live healthy lives as Herbert (2004, p. 4) points out. They are likely to become socially and economically productive in the future. Children are directly affected by the quality of support they obtain when developing (Rasmussen 2010, p. 3). This case study analysis will integrate case studies and use scholarly research. It will identify development theories and problems with their intervention. The case studies presented are for children or adolescents in school, who develop problems and need intervention.

Case Study analysis

Roles of educators and mental health professionals

Herbert (2004, p. 11) indicates that educators and mental health professionals can assist in the development of children and promote mental, physical and emotional health. They are in a position to prevent mental health illnesses, social problems and emotional disorders. They can identify mental problems at an early stage and provide necessary intervention for each problem while paying attention to specific needs of children and adolescents. People who have close contact with children should be involved in the intervention. They include mental health professionals, teachers, staff, youth workers, clinicians, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologist, parents and siblings.

NCATE and NICHD (2006, p. 3) argue that educators and mental health professionals can work as an outreach service, independent practitioners, as a team and as a multi agency that has been incorporated. They can be consulted by the child or by the parents for help. The educators or teachers and mental health workers need appropriate training that merge with the needs of the children in schools. Teachers need additional training to be able to identify issues and offer intervention before the onset of more problems. Hindrances caused by cultural practices should be overcome to enable children get help. They should focus on helping different children in need of professional help. The interventions can be introduced in schools, friendly environments and non stigmatizing surroundings.

Another role of educators and mental health professionals is to liaison and collaborate with different agencies to that offer assistance to children and adolescent with needs. Moreover, they are to act as consultants, identify issues and offer solutions based on their expertise. They can also train others who interact with children and give more knowledge on the problem. Additionally, supervise the intervention using knowledge and skills.

Intervention is an important role of the educators and mental health workers. They can utilize the support of teachers, staff, parents and other professionals to give the required intervention. Furthermore, they can plan to involve developing children in educative programs that will facilitate their decision making that affect their mental, physical and emotional health. A constant evaluation of the existing intervention can be done to include research and development of the programs.

Developmental processes and experiences of children and adolescents

Child development is the process that occurs between birth and adolescent. It involves physical, emotional and psychological change. Development is impacted by genetics, environmental factors and incorporation of genetic and environmental factors. The child becomes a newborn in the first month after birth and progresses to infant stage after one month until the end of the first year. The next stage is toddler stage, for children aged between one year and three years. The next stage of four to six years is the preschool stage. School aged children are between six and thirteen years. The last stage is the adolescent stage, of children between thirteen and around twenty years.

According to NCATE and NICHD (2006, p. 1), children experiences account for a large part of their learning and development. Austin et al (2007, p. 3) concur and add that the process of development is different for different children, depending on situations and environment.

Children’s experiences in growth begin with physical growth. The child increases in height and weight. The child experiences changes in the body at the onset of adolescent. At the initial stages of development, the growth is at its highest speed and slows down as the age increases. The growth rate is different for different parts of the body. Moreover, the growth is different in different children, depending on their genetic composition and environment. Poor nutrition and injury may affect growth negatively. Speech is learnt from the environment and continues in the learning institutions. Speech is learnt through practice and imitation.

Social and emotional development begins at birth and progresses with age. Children learn attachment and how to demonstrate different emotions from people they interact with. The ability to cope with emotions varies, depending on experiences. The environment has a significant effect on the development process and reflects in the adulthood. Children model their perception from people surrounding them.

Impact of internal and external issues

Children are affected by their parent’s behavior. Parents need to show love and teach social skills when at home. The kind of relationship parents have with their children may reflect on the child’s behavior. A child’s relationship with parents, teachers and peers affect their self image. Peers play a big role of shaping the behavior and beliefs of children during interaction. Positive behavior results to being liked by the surrounding people and peers. Children feel accepted if they are able to fit in the society. They enjoy participating in secure environments. Embarrassments, discomfort, dissatisfaction and failure are some of the issues that can arise. These problems need to bed addressed if they persist for more than half a year.

A child’s development is important since it contributes to the development of the character of the individual. The child can learn how to deal with maturity, accept changes and deal with emotions effectively. The child’s development is affected negatively if they do not get adequate attention from parents, teachers and professionals. Since children learn through observation, those interacting with children are looked upon as examples. Children mimic what they see from people who are elderly and in authority. The child fails to develop normally and acquire skills that are essential in life.

Adolescents experience physical and emotional changes. When unable to deal with the problems, they may give attention to unacceptable social behaviors and perform poorly in academics. They may become rebellious and divert from being good to aggressive.

The parents may have a difficult time dealing with problems caused by the issues. Parents are concerned with the well being of their child and may also have psychological and mental issues when their children development is not in line with normal progress.

The problem may develop into character and changing the character will require more efforts. The output of the child and parents is affected. Teachers have to investigate and devote additional time to the child as the give intervention. Financial resources are also required to enable the child obtain the required intervention.

Developmental problem within the context of physical, emotional, and intellectual development

Barkoukis et al (2008, p. 37) note that problems may arise in the development process. The problems may be related to genetics, where the child’s development in the initial stages was exposed to factors that hindered development. Such problems can be identified and rectified resulting to full recovery. Other problems may be difficult to intervene and may require assistance to enable the child reduce negative experiences associated with the problem.

Physical problems may be evident if the child is retarded. The child may have difference in weight and height. The child might weigh less than the acceptable range of weight of children within the age. Children may be slow in speech and in mental development than other children of same age.

Developmental problems within the context of emotions can manifest with poor management of emotions. Emotions range from, happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disappointments among others. When not dealt with effectively, they can result in sickness and poor development. They can lead to stress, anger, aggressiveness and withdrawal from social environments when not dealt with.

Intellectual development problems manifest themselves when the child or adolescent is not able to remember, has little ability to synthesize information and learns slowly. Children with intellectual problems are unable to solve simple problems or solve problems within a long period. Information processing increases with age. When the processing is not progressive at later stages of development, then the child has intellectual development issues.

Some of the problems in development include: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Alzheimer’s, Bipolar Disorder, depression, stress and personal disorders, among other problems.

Impact of social influences and forces on the developmental problem

Children learn from immediate environment, which may be family, school and social places. They learn what is good and bad from the society and make judgment on what is right and wrong. The notions that they develop affect their behavior and how they deal with problems.

Children are affected by the notions created by their peers. In the case study, the client develops fear of being criticized by the peers on her performance, which eventually causes her to suffer. Comments from peers and parents affect behavior. This can be corrected with affirmation from parents and teachers that the child is doing well. The relationships that the child has with parents, teachers and people surrounding them affect their behavior.

Guo and Elizabeth (2002, p. 882) mention that social forces can have an effect on the physical, emotional and intellectual development. Children should have the opportunity to develop socially. Depending on social and economic background, children have different opportunities to acquire skills. The educator and mental health professional have the responsibility of ensuring that children have the experiences that go hand in hand with healthy development.

Their intellectual abilities can be developed to enable them make the most out of the social interactions and develop normally. Parents have an influence on the child. Their position and economic status give their children a social status. Children are placed in social places by their parents. The school they attend depends on the affordability. Developmental problems are not unique to the social classes and children from the different social groups can have developmental problems.

Procedures needed to address developmental problems

Developmental problems can be prevented and intervened if the care givers provide basic needs, protection and safety of the child for healthy development. Evidence based information can be used to inform the care givers or the professionals on the best ways of assisting the child or adolescent. Children need support to deal with fear, anxiety and emotional insecurities. Appropriate intervention is needed for individual cases. The environment of the child is evaluated and protective measures taken. The child can be encouraged to interact with peers, who are likely to encourage their positive behavior (Oswalt and Dombeck 2010, p. 10).

Interventions are given according to an individual problem. Counseling and therapy can be administered. When the therapy gives poor results, the professional can turn to pharmacology. Clients should be made to understand that their cooperation is important and that therapy and pharmacological intervention are necessary.

Social interaction is an effective way of dealing with social developmental problems. When interacting, children learn to deal with their own problems. They develop solutions and implement them. Exercises can be effective in tackling emotional problems. Taking a deep breath when anxious can be effective. Moreover, exercising and engaging in a regular physical exercise like playing a game or walking can help relieve stress and anxiety. Eating healthy accompanies exercises and healthy living.

Developmental theory and research

Ecological theories propose that, how people interact with others and the environment play an important role in the social development process. The class is an example of a social system, where children have relationships with classmates and teachers. Students in the classrooms share beliefs and notions which shape their ideologies and behavior. A notion that may cause aggression or withdrawal affects the child’s behavior.

Piaget theory suggests that children learning experiences are largely dependent on play. Those close to children should provide adequate time and material for children to participate in play. The child learns self, the environment and other people by interacting with them. The experiences obtained from the experiences shape the child’s behavior.

Psycho- emotional development holds that the role of controlling emotions plays a significant role in a child. Depression, anxiety and conduct disorder can be viewed as failure to regulate sadness, fear and anger respectively. Children with poor control of emotions demonstrate developmental problem. The technique is learnt from the other peers, family members and the community.

The teachers and parents can offer intervention when the symptoms reveal themselves and become persistent for more than six months. Attachment theory dictates that children’s behavior is at its best if the child enjoys security and support from people surrounding them. The child has a constant need to get support from the closest care giver. Those who interact with children will be looked upon by the child for assistance.

Social cultural development is another important area to be considered. Children’s needs are linked to their environment where they grow up. After becoming adolescents, children assume responsibilities and become independent. The educators and mental health professionals should consider acknowledging the need for the adolescents to be treated as adults. When at home, they are treated as adults and in school they are required to behave as children, which are conflicting in the development process.

Cognitive development is another area that has been given attention in research. Cognitive development is an effective measure of motivating learning and encouraging proficiency. Although cognition has a genetic background, the behavior of a child should not be considered impossible to intervene. Behavior and cognition are affected by a wide range of experiences from diverse experiences and in different environments.

Treatment recommendations and specific client goals based on your assessment, developmental theory, and research

According to NCATE and NICHD (2006, p. 33), research is an informing tool that should be used regularly to assist developing children’s needs. The research should be used to teach parents and teachers to develop evidence based information for identification and intervention of development issues.

The goals of treatment for specific clients include: attention and involvement in the classroom and following instructions, encourage healthy relationships within and outside the classroom, homes and playgrounds and establishing a positive relationship with the client for easy adjustment and recovery. One is supposed to ensure that the client makes note of the concepts that are introduced in the treatment. The instructions used should encourage learning and social skills.

Basic skills should be emphasized so that the child fits in the society and gains self esteem. Teachers, parents, mental health professionals and other players should manage the problem effectively and efficiently. The behavior of the parents, peers, teachers and mental heal professional affect the children. Austin et al (2007, p. 1) adds that children and adolescents require motivation as they grow up. Appropriate treatment and materials should be considered.

How the education and mental health professions relate to and are influenced by an understanding of how children and adolescents develop

Education and mental health professionals use evidence based knowledge on development to integrate interventions. The educators may introduce curriculums designed for children that go hand in hand with the development progress of children and adolescent.

According to Atkinson (2010, p. 58), educators and mental health providers should work together in the intervention of developmental problems encountered by children. They conduct research, which informs them of emerging problems and existing problems. Using the research, they utilize the knowledge to increase understanding and offer help.

Educators get training and train others on the developmental problems. Increasing understanding enable the educators and mental health professional to detect the developmental problems very early and offer intervention. One of the main challenges is that the therapies, medication and interventions do not guarantee total solution and the client may require follow up. Incase little help is obtained, the educators and mental health providers tirelessly engage in research to offer help. The character of the child is affected and may require additional help.

Conclusion

Child development is a process that begins at birth and concludes in adolescent. The development is different for different children but it follows certain patterns. Children develop from newborn, infant, toddler, preschool, school children and adolescent. They grow fast when young and the growth slows down as they age. They learn speech and how to deal with communication as they grow. Retardation in growth, lack of concentration and poor management of emotions are signs of problems in development. Children are affected by the surrounding which shapes their beliefs.

Educators and mental health professionals work with teachers, staff, youth workers, clinicians, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologist, parents and peers to assist children or adolescent with problems. They can work as an outreach, individual or multiagency team, educators and health professionals to support mental, physical, intellectual and emotional health of children. Their roles is to liaison and cooperate with other professionals, offer consultation, train others, supervise the intervention and progress, give appropriate intervention, educate children and evaluate existing research as they develop evidence based research for treatment and generation of knowledge.

Intervention is dependent on unique problems. It can be counseling, therapy or pharmacological. Children need role models since they mimic and shape their perception on what they obtain from their environment. Early identification and intervention will help reduce the effects of the problem. Child with developmental problems performs poorly in academics, low weight and low weight.

The specific goals for the clients include: attention and involvement treatment, healthy relationship with peers, positive relationship with people surrounding them, encourage learning, ensure concepts are understood, teach basic skills, increase motivation, encourage support from the family and the surrounding as well as manage the treatment with appropriate skills. The educators train and participate in the intervention of developmental problems by cooperating. They are informed by research and participate in research to generate knowledge.

References

Atkinson, M., Lamont, E., and Wright, B. (2010). The role of primary mental health workers in education. National Foundation for Education Research Review. Web.

Austin, M., Reiss, N. S., & Burgdorf, L. (2007). Introduction to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Web.

Barkoukis, A. Reiss, N. S. and Dombeck, M. (2008). Introduction to Disorders of  Childhood. Web.

Guo, G., & Elizabeth, S. (2002).The social influences on the Realization of Genetic potential for Intellectual Development. Social Forces, 80(3): 881- 910.

Herbert, M. (2004). Developmental Problems of Childhood and Adolescence: Prevention, Treatment and Training. USA: Blackwell Publishing.

NCATE and NICHD (2006). Child and Adolescent Development Research and Teacher Education: Evidence-based Pedagogy, Policy, and Practice. Web.

Oswalt, A., & Dombeck., M. (2010). Child and Adolescent Development Overview: Middle Childhood. Web.

Rasmussen, V. B. (2010). Childhood and Adolesence: Development, Problems and Strategies for Health. Web.