The home environment and lifestyle of a child can be influenced from as early as conception. In pregnancy if a mother chooses to drink alcohol they run the risk of alcohol crossing the placenta, which can lead to foetal alcohol syndrome. This condition affects foetal growth and causes delayed development, learning difficulties and congenital abnormalities. In addition there is a risk of miscarriage.
Furthermore, increasing hours of work pressured upon parents from their place of work can lead to bad eating habits, for example, fast food takeaways giving children snacks, fizzy drinks, sweets and crisps, which in-turn could lead to obesity and all the health problems that are associated with obesity, such as diabetes and osteo-arthritis. Moreover they could be the subject of bullying at school. The child may become socially excluded because of their size; they may feel depressed and withdrawn hindering their learning potential. Gender influences: Children are aware of their gender identity.
Research indicates: “By the age of 21/2 years, children think girls prefer to play with dolls and engage in domestic activities with mum, while boys prefer to play with cars or construction toys and helping dad. ” (www. geocities/gender. edu. ) Gender stereotyping is damaging to children’s social development and their personality as it damages their self-image, in addition too the identity of girls because it can affect their confidence and lower their self-esteem. Boys too can be limited by gender stereotypes by being forced to behave tough or less caring, in order to conform and by accepted by others.
This can be overcome by early year’s practitioners providing role-play opportunities including dressing-up clothes, which allow children to explore different roles. Furthermore, books and games should be avoided, which demonstrate gender stereotyping. Special Educational Needs: The range of special educational needs, (SEN) is vast and the starting point for looking if a child may have a learning difficulty can be seen through their level of academic attainment. Learning difficulties can be described as moderate, severe or profound and multiple.
They can range from a mild hearing impairment, to a severe impairment, for example, Cerebral palsy. This condition affects the part of the brain that controls movement. This may cause disability of all four limbs. Children with this condition may have motor problems, visual and hearing impairments, in addition to speech and perceptual difficulties. Dyspraxia is referred to as, “Clumsy child Syndrome” in this condition the child has difficulty with physical movement, language development may be delayed. In addition learning difficulties can occur where fine or gross motor skills are needed.
Dyslexia is a condition where the child has difficulty with words and learning to read, spell and write. This could cause the child to have low self- esteem and become frustrated, or even disruptive. These examples are just a few of the conditions that may have an impact on a child’s ability to learn and develop to their full potential. It is just as important recognising the child has SEN, as to meeting their needs to help them achieve. Communication is of paramount importance, in addition to remembering to put the needs of the child first and then the disability.
In conclusion it can be shown that a child’s learning and development can be affected by many factors, throughout the human life-span. This is why it is imperative that these factors are highlighted to early year’s professionals, so they can recognise and act upon them in the child’s best interests, to promote their well being and education.
Alcott, M. (2002) Children with special educational needs, 2nd edition, Hodder & Stoughton, London. Haralambos, Rice, D. (2002) Psychology in Focus A level, Causeway, Lancs www.geocities.com