Pattern of growth and development

  • Pattern of growth and development
    • Directional Trend 
      • Growth and development proceed in regular directions
        • The first pattern is the cephalocaudal, or head-to-tail, direction. The head end of the organism develops first and is large and complex, whereas the lower end is small and simple and takes shape at a later period.
        • Infants achieve control of the heads before they have control of their trunks and extremities, hold their backs erect before they stand, use their eyes before their hands, and gain control of their hands before they have control of their feet.
        • Second, the proximodistal, or near-to-far, trend applies to the midline-to-peripheral concept. A conspicuous illustration is the early embryonic development of limb buds, which is followed by rudimentary fingers and toes.
        • The third trend, differentiation, describes development from simple operations to more complex activities and functions, from broad, global patterns of behavior to more specific, refined patterns.
        • All areas of development (physical, cognitive, social, and emotional) proceed in this direction.
    • Sequential Trend 
      • In all dimensions of growth and development there is a definite predictable sequence/stages
        • Children crawl before they creep, creep before they stand, and stand before they walk. 
        • The child babbles, then forms words, and finally sentences; writing emerges from scribbling.
      • Later facets of the personality are built on the early foundation of trust. 
    • Developmental Pace 
      • Development does not progress at the same rate or pace and each child grows at his or her own pace.
        • When a spurt occurs in one area (e.g., gross motor), minimal advances may take place in language, fine motor, or social skills.
        • After the gross motor skill has been achieved, the focus will shift to another area of development. 
        • The rapid growth before and after birth gradually levels off throughout early childhood. 
        • Growth is relatively slow during middle childhood, markedly increases at the beginning of adolescence, and levels off in early adulthood.
    • Sensitive Periods
      • Periods termed critical, sensitive, vulnerable when a person is susceptible to positive or negative influences


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