A2. A personal factor that may influence a Childs development would be being born with or later developing a brain tumour. Brain tumours can often lead to epilepsy, speech and communication difficulties, and even physical disabilities. A child that has epilepsy can be affected emotionally through embarrassment caused by having a seizure and the effects the seizure has on the child’s body i.e. They may lose control of their bladder. A night time seizure makes it difficult for the child to pay attention during lessons the next day, due to fatigue. An absent seizure (looking vacant/day dreaming) may disrupt their ability to process and remember information temporary. This can lead to difficulties with their reading, writing and maths. The child may get frustrated and annoyed as anything learned just prior to an absent seizure has to be repeated, due to short term memory loss. Other affects;
Anti-seizure medications also may cause problems with mental processing and can cause fatigue or hyperactivity, especially when trying to get the dosage right for the child’s needs. Children who can appear to be seizure-free may be experiencing epileptic discharges in the brain (epilepsy type waves occurring when there is no physical sign of a seizure). However a child may show signs by being restless, distracted easily, and not being able to focus on the task at hand. Behavioural disturbances: – Fear, stress, embarrassment, frustration and even outbursts of anger. Having a buddy system in place and peer support may help build low self esteem. Being consistent and using clear direct instruction, repetition and praise and encouragement all helps.
Another personal factor is asthma which is a chronic illness that can start in infancy. It can affect a child’s physical development they may not grow as tall as their peers due to having to take their preventative inhaler that contains steroids. Also having frequent time away from school can impede on their social skills as well as falling behind on lessons. An asthma attack can be brief or it can last for several days. An attack can be very scary and exhausting. Although asthma is not curable, it can be controlled by taking medication and by avoiding contact with environmental “triggers” for asthma. Triggers that can induce an asthma attack are;
allergens (substances to which people are allergic), such as pollens, foods, dust, mould, or animal dander irritants in the air, such as dirt, cigarette smoke, gases and air pollution odours in the household, such as household cleaners, perfumes, paints, varnishes, fabric softeners, laundry detergents and cooking fumes respiratory infections, such as colds, and flu exercise
Emotional stress such as excessive fear or excitement weather conditions – very cold, windy or sudden changes in the weather medications, such as aspirin or certain cough medicines
This illness can cause behavioural and emotional effects in a child. They could experience lower self esteem due to not taking a part in sport activities, fear of trying for fear of an asthma attack. This can then have an impact on peer relationships, not being able to share fully in reached goals, or share in group camaraderie. Loneliness can occur possibly even depression.
External Factor The external factors, which surround the child as opposed to being of the child can influence the child’s development in different ways, for example, the family environment can be a huge influence on the child’s development. A break-up of the parents can be massively disruptive for children, this may cause them to become withdrawn, or lose interest in school and education. Loss of focus and inability to concentrate, outbursts of emotion, lack of sleep. Not being able to cope emotionally because of all the changes at home. i.e. Home routine disrupted arguments, loss of one parent in the household can cause grief, insecurity, fear, anger, self blame. Not being able to express their feelings verbally. Which can lead to unpredictable behaviour, isolating themselves from people, having angry outbursts, and even self harming? All can affect a child in areas of their development especially socially, emotional, communication and even intellectually.
Another external factor is poverty and deprivation, lack of food will cause lethargy and inability to concentrate at school. It may affect the child’s growth and health. Low self esteem due to not having the latest fashion in clothes, ill fitting clothes, bullying due to the way they look. Not having books, the latest gadgets and games etc will impede on their fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination especially in their early years. Socially older children may make the wrong choices and even turn to crime to get what they don’t have. There may be low expectations due to their parents being uneducated or not being good role models.