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WELF1020 Child Development Question: Discuss about the Childhood Development Theory.     Answer: Pregnancy or the gestation period can be described as the developmental period of one or more offspring in the womb of a woman. There are also many theories that are associated with the gestation period. Some parts of the world have some weird rituals and theories regarding the childbirth. The people of china feed the placenta, which is the source of nutrition for the child (Thompson, Vamos, & Daley, 2017). The hormones of the placenta, according to modern physicians help the mother to cope up with the post partum depression. In western countries, the new borns are wrapped to keep them secured and free from malevolent spirits (Smidt, 2013). There is Freud’s psychosexual development theory which states that childhood experiences and unconscious desires influence behaviours. These theories help us to gather knowledge about the pregnancy and the development of the child (Smith & Blades, 2015). Erikson’s psychoanalytical theory states that there are eight important stages where the individual experiences growth and changes throughout the lifespan. His theory also focuses on social interaction and conflicts that arise in different stages. There is an also behavioural child development theory which describes how environmental interaction influences behaviours in children. Moreover, there are also Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory which shows the cognitive development of children through various developmental milestones sequentially (Bremner, 2017). One of the predominant means that is useful for the assessment of the child is the developmental milestones. These developmental milestones help to understand how children learn and grow throughout lives. It helps to identify the delay in the normal cognitive development and address the abnormalities immediately. Similarly, the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale and the Infant Behavioral Assessment Scale can achieve the evaluation and the understanding of the atypical behaviours exhibited by the child (Trawick-Smith, 2013).  Premature brain and physical developments have some impacts. It creates a stress response which increases the production of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is an important hormone as it regulates the metabolism, immune system and homeostasis. The premature development results in the birth of a low-weight baby (Graignic-Philippe et al., 2014). These result in the poor pulmonary outcome and turn a high resting blood pressure. The prematurely developed babies are physically weak and experience low growth level. They also have disabilities in learning and communicating with others. The premature birth can lead to long-term intellectual and developmental disabilities for babies such as delayed speech. It may ultimately influence the physical development as well such as low birth weight (Wolf et al., 2002). It is important for the child educators to be aware of the premature development of the child and he must take care accordingly. The prematurely developed babies face difficulty in learning. The early childhood educators can utilize the knowledge to design the curriculum as per the cognitive capacity of the child (Omizzolo et al., 2014). The parents of such child should consult with his educators and carry out infant development education along with physiotherapy and speech therapy. It will help improve their motor skills and help in developing their language.   It is the duty of the educator to encourage these children to practice new skills that they adapt during their learning period and celebrate their achievements, thus, encouraging them and help to gather courage. The educators must be aware of the difficulties that a child who is born prematurely. The educator must provide them the time to cope up with their life by providing appropriate play opportunities (Early Childhood Australia, 2013). The extent of progress in a child’s social and emotional behaviour depends on how well the brain development of the child takes place. According to some studies, the babies of those mothers who talk with their children have learned a number of words than the others (Smith, Cowie & Blades, 2015). The children can develop a good language skill if they are allowed to communicate with others. Parents who lack time to interact with their child as well as incapable of providing a good education or do not communicate have children who have low intellectual levels. It is suggested to give the children some toys or communicate with them which would help them to develop the neural connections that are essential for learning.  The educators must take help from their early experience and apply their knowledge to educate the child. These approaches from the educators would help the child to develop in a better way (Kolb, 2014). They would allow the child to interact with them and share the problems and needs of the child. They would also help to carry out intervention programs prenatally or after the birth of the child and prevent the under development of the child (National Quality Standards Professional Learning Program, n.d). The child must be provided good health and nutrition to grow to a healthy adult. The child also must be given adequate emotional support so that the child would become psychologically healthy. The child should also be immunised as per scheduled right after his birth (Smith et al., 2015). Alcohol or drugs have the adverse effect on the development of the fetus. Fathers who are alcoholic or smoke are equally responsible for a child to pick up similar behaviour. Alcoholic mothers can pas some harmful genes to a fetus, and in most cases, miscarriages are noted due to alcohol and drug (Saey, 2008). Alcohols affect the development of the cells of the fetus. The cells of the brain and the spinal cord are also gets damaged by the alcohol which affects the neural development (Nykjaer et al., 2014). Consuming alcohol during pregnancy also results in the abnormal fetal development and gives rise to the fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS.  Fetal alcohol syndrome is the condition, which is characterised by mental defects. Physical defects are also caused as the result of fetal alcohol syndrome.  Drugs also have the same effects on the development of the fetus and may also result in the difficulty in the breathing. It may also limit the flow of blood through the placenta. This causes the fetus to receive the lesser amount of nutrients than usual (Grandjean, & Landrigan, 2014).   References Berger, K. S. (2003). The developing person through childhood and adolescence (6th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers. Bremner, J. G. (2017). An introduction to developmental psychology. John Wiley & Sons. Early Childhood Australia. (2013). About Early Childhood Australia. Retrieved from: Graignic-Philippe, R., Dayan, J., Chokron, S., Jacquet, A. Y., & Tordjman, S. (2014). Effects of prenatal stress on fetal and child development: a critical literature review. Neuroscience & biobehavioral reviews, 43, 137-162. Grandjean, P., & Landrigan, P. J. (2014). Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. The Lancet Neurology, 13(3), 330-338. Kolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. FT press. National Quality Standards Professional Learning Program. (n.d.). e-Learning videos. Retrieved from: Nykjaer, C., Alwan, N. A., Greenwood, D. C., Simpson, N. A., Hay, A. W., White, K. L., & Cade, J. E. (2014). Maternal alcohol intake prior to and during pregnancy and risk of adverse birth outcomes: evidence from a British cohort. J Epidemiol Community Health, jech-2013. Omizzolo, C., Scratch, S. E., Stargatt, R., Kidokoro, H., Thompson, D. K., Lee, K. J., … & Anderson, P. J. (2014). Neonatal brain abnormalities and memory and learning outcomes at 7 years in children born very preterm. Memory, 22(6), 605-615. Saey, T. H. (2008). Dad’s hidden influence: A father’s legacy to a child’s health may start before conception and last generations. Science News, 173(13), 200-201. Smidt, S. (2013). The developing child in the 21st century: A global perspective on child development. Routledge. Smith, P. K., Cowie, H., & Blades, M. (2015). Understanding children’s development. John Wiley & Sons. Thompson, E. L., Vamos, C. A., & Daley, E. M. (2017). Physical activity during pregnancy and the role of theory in promoting positive behavior change: A systematic review. Journal of sport and health science, 6(2), 198-206. Trawick-Smith, J. (2013). Early childhood development: A multicultural perspective. Pearson Higher Ed. Wolf, M. J., Koldewijn, K., Beelen, A., Smit, B., Hedlund, R., & Groot, I. D. (2002). Neurobehavioral and developmental profile of very low birthweight preterm infants in early infancy. Acta Paediatrica, 91(8), 930-938.

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