1.1 Explain the factors that need to be taken into account when assessing development
Young children are difficult subjects to assess accurately because of their activity level and distractibility, shorter attention span, wariness of strangers, and inconsistent performance in unfamiliar environments. Other factors that may affect a child’s performance include cultural differences and language barriers, parents not having books to read to their child and a child’s lack of interaction with other children. Consequently, assessment of infants, toddlers, and young children requires sensitivity to the child’s background, and knowledge of testing limitations and procedures with young children.
Informal relaxed settings where the child can be as much at ease as possible are recommended when doing assessment. Assessing a child within the context of his or her community and the interacting social systems, and taking into account the family’s needs, resources, and concerns affect both the evaluation and possible interventions.
When testing young children the examiner needs to take certain aspects into account. The young child’s immature developmental status influences the responses to testing more than older children or adults. Other considerations, which are important, are the socio-physical environment and sensory integrity of the young child.
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