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Overlapping Developmental Domains

by Craig Gibson
September/October 2011
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/overlapping-developmental-domains/5020153/

"The environment itself will teach the child, if every error he makes is manifest to him, without the intervention of a parent or teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all that
happens."
Maria Montessori

When I first started working in the field of early intervention, as a lead evaluator on a multidisciplinary evaluation team, I would view each developmental domain as a separate entity. Little did I know at that time that each area of domain overlaps the other, and in order for me to be truly effective in assessing children's developmental abilities, I needed to change my mindset in how I evaluated children. This, of course, required me to 'think outside the box,' an imperative if I were going to grow in my role as an early childhood professional. Here I lay out the five domains of development and examine how each discipline has a direct influence on the other.

The Five Developmental Domains

Cognition: Thinking and learning skills
Communication: Expressive and receptive language skills
Social and Emotional: Ability to relate and interact with peers and adults
Physical Development: Fine- and gross-motor skills
Adaptive Behavior: Self-help skills

Assessing the Child Holistically

Whether you are an educator, a program director, or the ...

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