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    Early Childhood Intervention

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    During early childhood, the brain reaches about 70% of its total weight with the growth of white matter (protects the brain) and grey matter (responsible for covering cerebral regions). However, the grey matter cells still need to be connected in order to activate the full function of the brain. There are a number of different areas of the brain that will connect during the early childhood period of rapid growth. Using your understanding of brain development and Piaget's pre-operative stage of cognitive development, respond to the following scenario.

    Early Childhood Interventions

    You work as an early childhood specialist with an at-risk population of children through Head Start. One of your job functions is to assess children for possible developmental learning delays. To do this, you have to understand how poor nutrition, exposure to infectious diseases, and lack of parental knowledge related to accessing services could interfere with the cognitive development of young children.

    Using your knowledge of basic brain development and Piagetian theory, respond to the following questions.

    1. What developmental problems do you expect children in your Head Start program to have because of living in a lower socio-economic neighborhood? Explain your response using support from the readings.
    2. According to Piaget, children ages two to seven are in the pre-operative stage of development. Using the scenario above, explain the importance of make-believe play and its uses in working with children. Create a plan for using play with three-year-old clients that would allow you to assess cognitive development.

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    Solution Preview

    Early childhood interventions for 3-year olds
    In the social sciences, the examination of socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the most widely studied constructs. As it relates to early childhood development and Piagetian theory, research indicates that SES is associated with a variety of factors including, but not limited to cognitive, health, and socio-economical, educational, and emotional outcomes in children. Effects are present prior to birth and continue into adulthood. According to Piaget, the preoperational stage occurs approximately between the ages two and seven. This stage usually marks one in which children tend to be adept at using symbols. They role-play or 'make believe' excessively at this stage. So for instance, child will play 'doctor' or 'baby' or 'police.' At this stage, Piaget purported that children lack the understanding that people will have different opinions, that things will look different to other people, or that things will appear altered even when untouched.

    While a host of mechanisms connect SES to a child's well-being and development, most inferences have involved inequalities in access to resources, as well as how people (parents and children) react under stress. For the children, the research indicates that SES impacts the well-being at different and multiple levels including, but not limited to school, family and neighborhood dynamics. Furthermore, the effects of SES are moderated by the child's and his/her own characteristics; family characteristics, and external support systems (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002).

    The Critical Years
    Research has shown that the development of intelligence, personality, and social behavior, occurs mostly during the earliest years. In fact, it is estimated that half of the intellectual development potential is ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution discusses an early childhood intervention.