Early childhood is a time of tremendous growth across all areas of development. During these years, a child develops physically, cognitively, emotionally, socially, expands his/her vocabulary (language skills), and strengthened his/her sensory and motor development. Each child grows and gains skills at his or her own pace. It is common for a child to be ahead in one area but a little behind in another.
The time from birth to eight years is a critical period, parents or the primary caregivers should observe whether or not the child is accomplishing certain millstones by a certain age.
However, in some instances, some children don’t follow the normal course of development; this is called Atypical development. Atypical development includes things like learning and social disabilities and disorders.
This aids in the increased awareness and ability to detect developmental delays which leads to early intervention.
While early childhood practitioners are not always well-equipped to diagnose atypical development such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability or Cerebral Palsy, just to name a few, educators should be able to recognize that something is not quite on track with a child’s development.
For example, earlier detection of hearing deficits sometimes leads to correction of problems before serious language impairments occur. Also, developmental delays caused by premature birth can be addressed through appropriate therapies to help children function at the level of their typically developing peers before they begin school.
? Description of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy comes from brain damage that happened before the baby was born, or, at birth or after birth. The word ‘cerebral’ means the disorder is related to the brain, and ‘palsy’ referring to weakness or a muscle problem. According to Stern, Cerebral Palsy is considered a neurological disorder caused by a brain injury or malformation. Once the brain is damaged, the part(s) of the brain which suffered damage does not recover. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects postures, balance, body movement and muscle coordination. It can also affect the fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.