Social development encompasses a range of skills that result in the participant being fun and comfortable to be around. At a basic level, is it a pleasant experience to spend time with the child, or does it result in stress or other adverse feelings?
What are the areas of functioning that are important to consider?
- Social: The quality of the interactions with others and the progression of relationships with family or other familiar people. The ability to make and keep friends, cooperating, and responding appropriately to the feelings and interests of others.
- Gross motor: The use of large groups of muscles to sit, stand, walk, run, maintaining balance, and moving from one position to another.
- Fine motor: This involves more use of the hands and fingers to draw, write, handle or maneuver things with the hands, and developing skills involving those muscle groups.
- Language: Speaking, articulation, pronunciation, using body language and gestures, communicating, and comprehending what others say.
- Cognitive: Thinking ability, learning, logic, problem-solving, memory, reasoning, and understanding and forming concepts.
In the past ten years the fields of psychology, communication, education, and child development have converged on critical aspects of social and language development. Subsequently, we not only have better tools to diagnose specific elements of delays or problems, but we are also much more optimistic about what we can do to help the child (especially with early intervention).