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Models of Child Development

1. Reflective function fits in with Greenspan's model of child development because it is the ability to look at what is being done and reflect on the experience, and Greenspan's theory is that children make strong attachments very early in life to the people who take care of them - their parents and caregivers (The DIR). These attachments are fostered by the interactions of the child and the caregiver or parent who spends a lot of time with them. He believes that infants can form these attachments very early and that those taking care of a child should interact with it as much as possible, talking to it and making its arms and legs move as it is being talked to. He believes this interaction stimulates development of the brain, and that even before the child can speak, it can still learn a great deal from its surroundings and its interactions with others.

Greenspan's theory is that language, cognition (including math and quantity concepts), and emotional and social skills are learned through interactive relationships involving affective changes (The DIR). Research has shown that the mind and brain grow the most in the early years through interactions with caregivers which involve warmth, security, relatedness, engagement, back and forth emotional signals and gestures, problem solving, using ideas in meaningful and functional ways, thinking and reasoning, and regulation of input so the child is not overwhelmed. The key is emotional interaction. Reflective function fits into this model because the child takes note of the emotions involved in actions or words and this is how they learn to use them.

2. Personality disorder, conduct disorder and autism are all disorders in which the child had failed to make a secure and trusting attachment to their caregiver in their infancy. They may come from dysfunctional families, families in which the parents work and the caregiver spends little time interacting with the child, or st...

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