Case Study Analysis Infancy/Toddles
Christopher?s Story was developed for SpecialQuest in 1999 about a little boy named Christopher that was born with spina bifida. With the support of the Port Gamble S?Klallam tribe Christopher was included and supported in the educational programs. The tribe embraced and supported Christopher and his family by helping him get the quality of education that he needed and deserved. They also ensured the family felt a sense of belonging and support from the community. The tribe developed partnerships with the Early Head Start program, child care service and Early Intervention agency to create and support an inclusive program for Christopher. Throughout the video the tribe, teachers and family members share their experience they had with Christopher and his family. The video discussed the importance of developing and maintaining collaborative services for Christopher. Christopher is portrayed in the video as a child that is loved, supported and encouraged to be able to do what ever he wants to do in life.
Christopher?s physical development is delayed. He appears to have delays in his gross motor skills. The physical and motor development separates early childhood from infancy (Lightfoot, Cole, & Cole, 2013). Christopher appears to be 2 years old and is unable to walk and run on his own. As Lightfoot, et al. (2013) stated, at 2 years of age, children can run, kick a ball, and climb the ladder of a slide. Christopher is described by one of his teachers a medically fragile with orthopedic and health needs. Also in the video, Christopher appears to utilize an electric wheel chair as his means of mobility. Christopher did demonstrate more ability in his fine motor skills. I noticed in the video that he was able to put one block on top of another, scribble on a piece of paper, use the joystick to maneuver his electric wheel chair, put a ball in a ball maze, and he was able to lift both hands over his head when he was playing with a parachute. According to the motor milestone in The Development of Children text book, Christopher does appear to be at the appropriate milestone age.
Christopher?s brain has potentially reached 80% of it?s adult weight and the process of myelination is predominately occurring in the frontal cortex were advanced cognitive and planning functions and regulating behaviors are developing (Lightfoot, et al., 2013). Although, Christopher is developing advanced cognitive and planning functions his cognitive development has limited problem solving skill. Christopher?s cognitive development wasn?t mentioned nor viewed in the video. However, according to Lightfoot, et al. (2013) between the ages of 2 and 5 there is an uneven and variability of intellectual thought in early childhood. Depending on the theorist the reason for an uneven cognitive development is because its discontinuous and stage like or continuous and gradual. According to Pidget cognitive development is discontinuous and children can go through stages that are much different from each other. All changes occur internally and individually. Pidget?s stages of cognitive development would potentially have Christopher in transitioning from the final stage of sensorimotor to preoperational development. He is potentially able to recognize that there is an existence outside of him and interact in a much more deliberate way. However, he would fail to separate his point of view from others; he would only focus on surface appearances; and he would have a hard time thinking logically when things that he originally thought were a certain way gets challenged by new information.
Christopher is part of the Port Gamble S?Klallam tribe and his social and emotional development is influenced and composed by his tribe, family, classmates, and teachers. Christopher?s sense of self is formed by his tribe?s cultural values and expectations. In video, his mother said that Christopher has thrived because the community was warm and giving and accepted him for who he is and what disabilities he has. The belief that every person belongs and is a full member of the community is the reason why Christopher seems to be doing well and getting a effective education. Christopher socialization with his tribe, family, classmates, and teachers provide him with the standards, values, and knowledge of the society he lives in (Lightfoot, et al., 2013). Christopher?s personality formation which in the video was described as gentle is the other aspect of his social and emotional development. The video shows Christopher receiving therapy services. Although, it is clear that the services are for him the students participate in his therapy creating in environment less centered on his disability but more on socialization and play. The teachers and staff involved in Christopher?s education emphasize the importance of inclusion while ensuring that he doesn?t feel like he is singled out and aren?t focusing on his differences. Christopher is wrapped around a community that believes in him and want the best for his future. I believe that this unconditional support and love is seen in the video with his bright smile.
In the video you don?t hear or see Christopher talk. However, according to his age Christopher?s developmental progress of language should be that he can correctly respond to indirect requests (Lightfoot, et al., 2013). For example, if Christopher is asked if he finished a puzzle he can respond by saying yes or no. Christopher should also have over 300 vocabulary words. In addition, his vocabulary should include verbs and adjectives. He is also including relational words. In the video the Christopher?s aunt talks about how she encourages him to explore and dream by taking him for a walk in the woods. Which leads to him pointing at something and saying, ?look?. This is an example of how Christopher is including relational words to his vocabulary. This is also a use of protodeclaratives where Christopher is creating joint attention by engaging his aunt to look at what he sees. As the book states that along with first words of language come the first errors of language use (Lightfoot, et al., 2013). One error that Christopher has likely done is overextension. This is a form of mislabeling by using a word to refer to broader groups and objects. I assume that Christopher has committed this mistake by calling his caregivers and teachers ?Mommy?. This would be a typical mistake for Christopher to make because he is surrounded by people that emulate a caring, nurturing, loving motherly figure.
The video about Christopher shows that he has a delay in physical development of his gross motor skills. Christopher was born with spina bifida and this disability can also hinder his development in the areas of cognitive and language. However, the video did not provide sufficient information for me to determine any other developmental milestone delays. I do believe that Christopher is appropriately developing socially and emotionally. He is surround by people that love and support him. He has a tribe that went to great lengths to provide Christopher with the best quality of education. The community came together to ensure that he will thrive and be the best he can be.
Lightfoot, C., Cole, M., & Cole. S. (2013). The development of children (7th ed.). New York, NY: Worth.