5 thoughts on “Child Development and Self Awareness

  1. Very interesting blog post, well done. I learned some things i never knew before. One thing i want to comment on is something i learned in Dr. Kolb’s Fundamentals in Human Neuropsychology class where we discussed briefly stage five you mentioned. Dr. Kolb told us that at age 4 you can show a child a mirror and ask who is in the mirror and they will identity themselves. If you then flip the mirror to face yourself and ask the child who is in the mirror now, they will say themselves again. Do the same thing at age five and the answer will be correct.

    I had the opportunity to actually test the first half of this at a church i used to attend. I asked these four year old’s one by one this exact scenario. All 7 of the 4 year olds did the same thing in saying they were in the mirror each time. Now i just have to go and test those kids next year and test their self awareness.

    If i remember correctly, Dr. Kolb said he never personally got to confirm this and asked us all if we did to let him know. I should send him an e-mail after i confirm the kids self awareness.

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  2. I really like the topic of self-awareness, and I’m really interested in learning more about how it works in animals. We have known for a long time that apes are also able to recognize themselves in reflections, but we have also recently been testing dolphins and other animals. The article I found is about dolphins, and how the inspected themselves in the mirror and did tricks and or blew bubbles in order to confirm this was actually themselves in the mirror. This is incredibly similar to what babies go through when learning to recognize themselves!

    http://www.pnas.org/content/98/10/5937.full.pdf

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  3. Very interesting and important how we began to realise that we are independent subjects. Also how the science findings match with the previous attachment, or object relations theories.

    You mentioned the children with autism symptoms. I would like to add what has been observed in in mothers and children with autism, and their microbiome.
    A recent multicenter study of over 14,000 individuals with ASD revealed a higher prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other GI disorders in patients with ASD as compared to controls (Kohane et al.2012). “There is an emerging body of evidence linking the intestinal microbiota with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Studies have demonstrated differences in the composition of gut bacteria between children with ASD and controls. Many studies in the last several years reveal the central role of the gut microbiota in the post-natal development and maturation of the immune and endocrine systems, with disruption of this important balance associated with many disease states occurring throughout host life. ” As usually conclude many researchers is bidirectional, stress may lead to a GN unbalance or the dysbiosis may be the main cause the neurological disorders. Still remains the idea of what is firs, the egg or the chicken, “However, it remains to be determined whether dysbiosis is secondary to altered neural regulation of key gut functions or if it signifies primary aberrations that impact brain development and function” (Ding et al, 2017).

    There is an autism associated bateria (Clostridia, Bacteroidetes, Desulfovibrio) that after readily crossing the gut–blood and blood–brain barriers, can then induce widespread effects on gut, brain, and behaviour (Macfabe 2012).

    Based on these observations maybe we should think that mothers unbalanced host bacteria and Gut Microbiota may have a negative influence in prenatal and postnatal babies. Also, we should consider how breastfeeding may impact in newborns compared with the children fed with formula.

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  4. I find it really interesting the topic you brought up, as often when we talk about children with diagnosis of ASD, we look into theory of mind, and not so much the development of self-awareness through these particular stages. When looking into this topic further, I actually found an information pamphlet that gives parents specific skills that show good self-awareness and general strategies and ideas to help improve self-awareness.In this pamphlet they mention that “Kids With Good Self Awareness Skills”:

    1. Recognize the needs of younger children, such as holding their hands while crossing a street.
    2. Have an awareness of how their behavior impacts others.
    3. Display an ability to understand and articulate their feelings.
    4. Use self-instruction, such as, “First, I’ll do this; next, I’ll do that.”
    5. Are able to identify what they must learn in order to complete a task successfully.
    6. Understand their personal strengths and weaknesses.

    Pamphlet: http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/287778/file-231442306-pdf/improving_self-awareness.pdf%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E

    To improve on these skills, this pamphlet mentions eight points that help improve self-awareness. Some points that I found interesting include:

    2. Encourage estimation and prediction skills. Ask children how they might do on a test at school, how long it might take them to complete a task at home, or how they might perform in a game or
    sport. Have them record their estimates and then step back later to determine the accuracy of their predictions.
    3. Express yourself: Model self-verbalization skills by expressing your thoughts and problem-solving strategies aloud. For example, verbalize statements such as, “This reminds me of the time when we tried to do this,” or “I need to think about what worked and didn’t work the last time we did this.” Encourage your child to use similar self-instructional strategies to help them in their own problem-solving tasks.
    7. Be actors. Role-playing or rehearsing lines can be a big help in getting ready to meet new people or enter a new setting. Take turns introducing yourself to each other and asking one or two appropriate questions. As your child becomes more confident with these skills, simply offer a prompt prior to entering a new situation. Describe your methods of evaluation and ask them to do the same.

    Point 3 is particularity interesting to me, as I learned today often psychologist in schools assess a child’s problem-solving skills when assessing their cognition. Giving the child a skill set such as this by simply proposing the past and current problem like they do in this example is such a good way for a child to really comprehend the situation in front of them. These little things a parent does goes a long way as they help develop a child’s skill set for the future and help them develop that uniqueness you mentioned when defining self-awareness.

    In this pamplet further they talk about digital play as a positive thing when developing self-awareness, which I think could be interesting to look into further in regards to the child’s development as a whole. I found this paper if you would like to look into the topic further: http://www.childrensdiscovery.org.au/images/research/Digital_Play.pdf

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  5. Pingback: Child Development, Prosodic Processing, and First Language Acquisition | An Exploration Into Social Cognition: Anthony Devasahayam

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