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10-year-old boy, Alec. The child has had pervasive relocations in his life, beginning at age 2 and endured a challenging separation between his parents. Since the separation he first experienced 50% split parenting, living with his mother one week then his father and stepmother the next, until such time as he was school age. He then began to live full time with his mother during the school week and visit his father and stepmother every other weekend, until age 7 when his mother relocated to an area which is a seven hour drive from his father at this point the mother also remarried. From that point to the present he has stayed with his mother and stepfather the majority of the time and traveled to visit his father and stepmother on the Christmas holiday, spring break and through the summer, which usually works out to be about 2 months. Prior to age seven he the time that he moved away with his mother he also changed schools 4 times, as she relocated in the general metro area several times. Alec has two siblings from his mother, a half-sister (8), and a half-sister (3) and two siblings with his father, a half-brother (3) and a step sister (15). Prior to age 5 the half-sister (now 8) also lived with his father (not her biological father) on the same 50% schedule but since then has been barred by the mother from spending time with Alec's father's family for her own reasons mostly associated with the father's remarriage and attempt to have another child which began when Alec was between 5 and 6.
Part One: Physical Development Description
Alec's physical behavior is age appropriate. He is in the 60th percentile for weight and the 80th percentile for height. He has excellent fine motor and gross motor skills. He has good coordination, balance, agility and strength and his body awareness is also age appropriate. He rarely falls, can lift heavy objects and play coordinated physical games such as sparring and play sword fighting with his siblings and father. He is also very aware of his physical body, being able to be both quiet and move rapidly simultaneously. He plays both gross motor physical games and has excellent hand eye coordination, with a propensity to play and enjoy computer and videogames.
By age 5 it is reported that Alec could hop on one foot without falling. According to Janssen et all (2012) the ability to perform complex and coordinated asymmetrical movement should be present in a child about the age of 8 and movement improvement increases with age, declining slightly for some boys especially when they enter the period just prior to puberty, where the rapidity of growth can accelerated to such a degree that body awareness is slightly compromised. Alec has not seemed to be affected by such a period as of yet and his fine and gross motor movements are all age appropriate and within normal to advanced stages, especially considering the ability to move rapidly and quietly simultaneously and perform complicated rapid movements while playing, with only a very occasional loss of balance.
Part Two: Cognitive Development
Alec seems to interact well with others his age, but is rather reluctant in settings where he does not know the other children. He interacts well with children in his class but is reluctant to play with new students or unknown children especially in novel situations. When staying with his father he has few friends to play with and only reluctantly begins play with unknown peers. Alec is a thoughtful child when alone and often makes statements about the feelings and needs of others. He often waits a long time before expressing his own needs, such as when he is hungry, thirsty or even cold or hot. When with other children he hangs back and waits for others to ask for needs and then follows suit by agreeing with them that he also has this need. Alec waits for others to make suggestions about play when deciding what to do next. If he takes the risk to direct activities and is not agreed with he often disengages completely in play. Alec can play at the same game (on the videogames or the pc) for hours but when engaged with physical play he loses interest as soon as any conflict arises. Alec has a game he plays with his cousin about zombies, it is a memory game where they talk endlessly about the demographic characteristics of zombies and often it becomes part of physical play. He relates a great deal of collaborative collective information about zombies from things he has read and movies he has seen. Alec often relates conversation to things he is thinking about and his memory is jogged by what he sees, places he has been that remind him of where he is now. Alec's language use varies when talking with adults and peers…he is very dominant in conversation with those he considers his equals and often tells them when they are wrong correcting them with his own information. He uses the computer for problem solving often googling things he is interested in to find more information. When Alec is not emotionally invested in his own beliefs or needs he is very capable of seeing other's perspectives. For example he plays very well with his youngest brother and sister, even though their needs and understandings are different. He also uses language to seed them to ask for things he wants, giving the indication that he sees their position as different and as good vehicles for getting desires met. Alec is extremely logical in his language and will often correct others when he feels they are wrong, but listens and absorbs instruction well, when in the right frame of mind to do so. When playing with toys that require construction skills, such as a roller coaster toy of his brothers he uses trial and error as well as balance skills to make the toy work. Alec seems to learn best when he can look at something in a diagram or picture but he has excellent reading comprehension and can construct mental pictures from reading descriptions. He excels in both math and reading skills.
Alec is clearly beyond the stage of ego-centrism associated with Piaget as he is fully capable of cognitively understanding the feelings and needs of others and does not consider himself to be the center of his world. He is aware that others have needs likely associated with sibling interactions and can put his own needs second when needed. Alec is clearly well involved in the concrete operational stage and is in process of assimilation and accommodation mastery but has yet to fully accomplish dissequilibration especially when the issue associated with the process are fundamentally emotionally effective or he perceives them as unfair to self (Meadows, 1986, pp. 33-38) Alec is only rarely observed exhibiting self-talk and is likely in the transition point between open self-talk and internalizing such thoughts and language. Alec rarely needs scaffolding to assist him in learning tasks and is a very independent learner, therefore you could say that his zone of proximal development is widening, with few exceptions. He participates in reciprocal teaching with both peers and adults and exhibits selective attention, effortful control, elaboration, mneumonic strategy, problem solving strategies and has excellent, long-term / short-term memory, memory retrieval strategies (pp. 109-112). With regard to Gardner's intelligences Alec exhibits strengths and weaknesses he is strong in visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal and logical-mathematical but does not exhibit strengths in interpersonal (very standoffish and shy toward others), linguistic (a pervasive minimal speech impairment) and the musical intelligence level is unknown though some of his computer games may aide in this aspect of his learning style. (Gardner, 2000, pp. 41-45)
Part Three: Language Development
One of the most fascinating conversations I recorded with Alec was one where both he and one of his siblings was present. Alec, "Meric, are you hungry?" response, "yes" Alec: Why don't you go ask Daddy for some lunch and a drink?" Response: "OK." Another interesting conversation I had with Alec had to do with how he felt about school, Me: "What do you like about school, Alec?" Alec: I like reading time, especially when we go to the library and look for books that we like and check them out. Me: "What kind of books do you check out?" Alec: "Usually books about computers but I like reading about zombies too, but there are not very many zombie books at my school., so I look for books about magic and fantasy stuff…Oh, and I really like science books that tell you how things work, all kinds of things, machines, robots, nature…I have a book on storms and weather that I got from the library at school." Me: "Do you ever go out and buy books for home?" Alec: "Yeah but I like it better when my mom takes me to buy video…[continue]
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