Assignment 1 Paper

Submitted By hgrisel1
Words: 899
Pages: 4

The first two years of a child’s life are crucial to growth and development. Between birth and age two, children are rapidly developing cognitively, physically, and intellectually (Reynolds, 2014), which includes changes in fine motor skills, information processing, and language development (Reynolds, 2014). Language development is crucial for communicating emotional and physical needs. Although children typically follow a timeline, some change more quickly or are delayed. In the story of Ed, Kimberly and Anthony (16mo.), Kimberly is deployed in Afghanistan and Anthony is placed in a day care center so Ed can work during the day. After about three months in the first day care center, Ed got a new job and had to move Anthony to a different day care center. Ed noticed that almost instantly, Anthony’s vocabulary, attention skills and sociability had greatly expanded. There are many explanations for why Anthony’s language exploded so rapidly after being placed in the new day care center, including normative age-related changes, and the environment in the different centers. Eighteen months is a sensitive age for the development of language skills, because a phenomenon called the naming explosion occurs (Reynolds, 2014). The naming explosion is when the vocabulary of an infant suddenly increases dramatically (Reynolds, 2014). Anthony was 19 months when he was moved from the first day care center to the second, and 18 months is the reported norm for the naming explosion (Berger, 2014) meaning that Anthony’s age and behavior fit right into that timeline. It may not have been the case that the move to a new daycare center was the cause of Anthony’s changes in behavior, but instead the development of his cognitive processes that occurs between the first and second years of life (Reynolds, 2014). This cognitive development could be a cause of the naming explosion and an explanation for why Anthony’s behavior changed when he was about 19 months old. Along with the age-related vocabulary explosion explanation of Anthony’s behavior is the concept that in some infants, speech tends to slow down right before this naming explosion occurs. Berger (2014) talks about a time in an infant’s life when their language explodes and how speaking and the perception of language are independent from one another (Berger, 2014). This could have been the case with Anthony. Anthony’s language could have slowed down right before he experienced the naming explosion, and the difference between the slowing down and the spurt of language would have been much more dramatic as opposed to it not having ever slowed down. This means Ed’s amazement could have been due to the larger gap between the slow down and explosion and not solely because of the explosion. Another explanation of Anthony’s sudden increase in vocabulary could be the difference in the environment of the day care centers, including childcare providers, parents and other children. Child-directed speech gains the attention of the infant due to the sound or pitch of the word and thus, fosters learning (Berger, 2014). If the childcare providers or parents at the second day care used child-directed speech and the first day care did not, that could be a reason for the increase Anthony’s speech. Also, one-on-one attention between the child-care provider and the child is very important according to the theory that states that infants need to be taught. This behavioral theory suggests that an infant learns and grows through the reinforcement of their behavior (Berger, 2014). When children babble, their behavior is reinforced when the adult smiles at