When working children and young people with learning disabilities it is important to collaborate with other professionals involved with the child sharing advice and guidelines, supporting and managing the child’s needs while encouraging their development. When working a school, pupil’s background and family environment are external factors that can effect a child’s development. Pupils come from range of different family environments, cultures and circumstances and a lot of changes which occur during the year may not be known to the school.
These may include family break-up or the introduction of a new partner, bereavement illness, moving house or changing country. Any one of these may affect effect a children’s emotional and/or intellectual development, and you may notice a change in pupil behaviour and ability to learn as a result. Over the years there have been major changes to the structure of the family which increase diversity such as, more single parent families, which links with the decrease in the nuclear family, gay and lesbian families, extended families and more step families (reconstituted).
Poverty and deprivation have a significant effect on a pupil’s development. Children who come from a deprived home are less likely to thrive and achieve well in school, as parents may find it harder to manage their children’s needs, which may impact on other areas of a child’s development. Linked to Poverty and deprivation, education plays an important role in a child’s development, if children are not attending school they may disengage with education due to falling behind with work or parents regarding education as not important.
Some children may have joined a school from abroad and there is a language barrier or they may have come from a home schooling environment and may need additional support in settling in. Primary and Secondary Socialisation are personal choices a child or young person will make as they grow older, as they decide on friendship groups, extra curriculum activities, academic involvement and so on. Professionals working with children and young people may need support and guidance to make the choices which are right for them. Theorists
There have been a many number of theories on development and many of them will influence the way professionals work with children and young people. Psychologists have different views and theories about how children learn, some feel that a child’s ability is innate and others that it depends on the opportunities that are given. This is the ‘nature versus nature’ debate. Piaget was the first psychologist to make a systematic study of cognitive development. Piaget’s work includes a detailed observational study of cognition in children.