The correct assessment of the child is critical for planning further interventions and educational activities. Under these conditions, correct and effective evaluation tools and approaches acquire the top priority. It helps to acquire information about the main developmental areas and children’s behavior and use the acquired data to plan future activities. The presented analysis rests on a child’s portfolio and information collected via the interview and observation. A participant is a three-year-old girl (here named M) living with her mother, father, and two sisters. She demonstrates specific behaviors and reactions peculiar to her age; however, some areas demand additional attention. Using this assessment, it is possible to offer a plan to support the child.
The first area that should be investigated is the strengths and accomplishments of a child. Following the developmental theory, every individual should demonstrate specific skills at various stages of his/her evolution (Davies & Troy, 2020). Using this information, it is possible to evaluate the state of a child. Thus, M has developed locomotor skills; she interacts with small objects and can play with bricks, building complex structures. It is one of her strengths, showing her developed physical abilities (Davies & Troy, 2020). Moreover, she is polite and correctly uses language to outline her needs. It is another important developmental milestone that can be viewed as an accomplishment for a child o M’s age (Mindes & Jung, 2014). It can be concluded that her skills and knowledge are sufficient or even higher than average.
The attachment theory can be applied to determine how M builds relations and her attitude to close people. Regarding this framework, children should feel secure because they trust caregivers and feel close relations with them (Johnson, 2019). At the same time, a child should need interaction with others (Johnson, 2019). M demonstrates warm feelings towards her family; she shows images of her parents, expressing her love. However, she also demonstrates some signs of avoidant attachment. These include independence in physical and emotional spheres and a lack of interest in interacting with others (Newman & Newman, 2015). M feels good playing alone, and other children are not needed for her games. She is also very independent and performs major tasks on her own. Finally, she often talks to herself using a mirror in class. It might indicate the lack of parents attention at home, meaning that a child performs most tasks independently (Johnson, 2019). It might become a severe problem in the future and precondition the emergence of psychological issues.
Temperament is another critical area that should be assessed working with a child. Following the temperament theory, behaviors and reactions demonstrated by an individual can indicate the overall type of his/her character (Newman & Newman, 2015). M is calm and reserved, she does not demonstrate too strong emotions. Moreover, her responses to stressors (such as a destroyed brick tower) are calm and neutral. For this reason, she can be characterized as a phlegmatic child because of her lack of emotional reactions (McCormick & Scherer, 2018). Applying another model, M can be viewed as a slow-to-warm individual who is usually observant and calm (Mindes & Jung, 2014). It influences her way of thinking and attitude.
M has numerous interests, and she likes spending time playing with toys. The ability to interact with objects, demonstrate creative thinking, and engage in various tasks are critical determinants of a child’s health (Levine & Munsch, 2017). For this reason, it is possible to conclude that M is appropriately developed for her age. She is interested in performing creative tasks (such as building towers) or other games. She also wants to share some pleasant moments by presenting photos or other actions. It means her interests are at the desired level, and she does not have any threatening signs.
A child should also demonstrate specific dispositions for learning to succeed in future educational activities. These include persistence, motivation, attention, questioning, and problem-solving, attention to instruction (McCormick & Scherer, 2018). As for the case, the observation shows that M has all these features. She tries to solve challenging problems on her own, but if she fails, she asks for assistance. Moreover, she always listens to instructions attentively and can describe her current issues using clear language. It means that M can be a good learner as she is motivated to acquire new skills and perform creative or complex tasks.
The developmental theory can also be applied to evaluate the developmental ability of the child. It states that 3- to 4-year-old children should be able to walk unselfconsciously, play active and creative games, jump, and care about themselves in some simple ways (Lerner, 2018). Thus, the assessment proves that M. has all these skills. She plays games, is independent while eating can use a spoon, and can put on her coat by herself. It means that she has the appropriate developmental abilities and meets the central milestones for her age. Moreover, she can perform more complex tasks, which signifies her fast evolution.
Finally, a behavioral development framework can be applied to the case to assess M’s state. Following the framework, people should demonstrate specific changes across their lifespan, and their analysis might indicate problematic issues (McAfee et al., 2016). M is active, and interested in playing and sharing emotions with caregivers. She is polite and uses the correct language. However, some of her behaviors indicate a lack of attention, such as playing alone, talking to herself, not needing a partner, and an increased level of independence. It means that some of her actions are not typical for a child of her age and should be addressed to understand the cause of their emergence.
In such a way, analysis of the following domains shows that M meets the requirements regarding the development of a person. She can care for herself; she performs various simple and complex tasks. She can also use clear language and communicate with an educator. She likes playing and focuses on it. However, she might also feel a lack of attention at home because of her too-independent behaviors and focus on resolving numerous problems on her own.
Altogether, the given assessment helped to acquire a clear image of the selected child. Regarding the major milestones, M demonstrates the appropriate development. She has skills and knowledge vital for a child of her age. However, it is possible to plan the intervention to address the attachment avoidance problem. She seems to lack communication and interaction at home as she is too independent and talks to herself using a mirror. For this reason, it is vital to start working with her family to address the issue and resolve the problem to ensure the future stable development and successful transition to a new stage.
Davies, D., & Troy, M. (2020). Child development (4th ed.). The Guilford Press.
Johnson, S. (2019). Attachment theory in practice: Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) with individuals, couples, and families. The Guildford Press.
Lerner, R. (2018). Concepts and theories of human development (4th ed.). Routledge.
Levine, L., & Munsch, K. (2017). Child development: An active learning approach (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications.
McAfee, O., Leong, D., & Bodrova, E. (2016). Assessing and guiding young children’s development and learning (6th ed.). Pearson.
McCormick, C., & Scherer, D. (2018). Child and adolescent development for educators (2nd ed.). The Guilford Press.
Mindes, G., & Jung, L. (2014). Assessing young children (5th ed.). Pearson.
Newman, B., & Newman, P. (2015). Theories of human development (2nd ed.). Psychology Press.
Responsive Environment Plan
The assessment of the selected child’s development proves that M has skills and knowledge typical for her. She is an active girl with cognitive and physical skills meeting the main criteria for children of her age. However, some observations’ results, such as too independent M’s behaviors, talking to herself, focusing on doing most tasks independently, and lack of communication with other children, might indicate some possible. Avoidant attachment is one of the possible issues as the lack of attention from parents might precondition the emergence of the following responses. For this reason, it is possible to plan specific actions to help the child and ensure her state will not become worse in the future.
First of all, it is vital to collect additional information necessary for planning the intervention. It is critical to talk to M’s parents to discuss the outlined condition and determine the amount of attention and time they devote to her. M is very independent at home and can do whatever she wants, meaning that her parents might be busy doing other things. It can lead to the reduced attention paid to M and the emergence of the deficit of communication with parents. Additionally, it is vital to ask them about the child’s behavior at home, her preferences, and things she likes to do in comfortable environments. It will help to create a more effective intervention and create an effective plan.
Having collected this information, it is vital to plan measures and tools that might be used. M likes building using bricks, and she is independent and creative. It means that various open-ended materials can be used to attract her and make her feel relaxed. These include small stones, bricks, sand, or gravel can be offered. At the same time, knowledge and skills evolve during social interactions. It is vital to start playing with M to show that she is not alone and that interactions can be pleasant and bring more fun to a child. Moreover, it will provide an opportunity to discuss problems essential for the child, not pressing on her.
It is also critical to establish the environment that might help M to socialize and stop avoiding attachments. For this reason, the girl can be engaged in games implying interactions with other children. It will lead to developing communication skills and cultivate a higher interest in such activities. At the same time, it is necessary to monitor M’s state to ensure she does not feel uncomfortable; otherwise, it is critical to stop these activities and talk to her. Such activities will ensure she does not remain isolated and always has a chance to talk to a person.
Finally, parents should also be engaged in the process as they are the primary caregivers. The lack of attention from their side can be the leading cause of M’s symptoms. For this reason, they should be recommended to spend more time with the child and reduce the level of independence she is allowed. At this stage, a person should feel protected and active parent’s involvement. For this reason, it is necessary to avoid a detached position. In such a way, the plan implies close collaboration with parents to acquire additional information, the cultivation of the necessary environment, and the involvement of the child in games and communication with peers. It might help to make her more active and less reserved.