Developmental Red Flags for Children Ages 3-5
Social–Emotional Development, Which Includes
- Affect (mood)
- Anxiety level
- Impulse control
Be alert to a child who, compared with other children the same age or 6 months older or younger, exhibits these behaviors:
- Does not seem to recognize self as a separate person, or does not refer to self as “I”
- Has great difficulty separating from parent or separates too easily
- Is anxious, tense, restless, compulsive, cannot get dirty or messy, has many fears, engages in excessive self-stimulation
- Seems preoccupied with own inner world; conversations do not make sense
- Shows little or no impulse control; hits or bites as first response; cannot follow a classroom routine
- Expresses emotions inappropriately (laughs when sad, denies feelings); facial expressions do not match emotions
- Cannot focus on activities (short attention span, cannot complete anything, flits from toy to toy)
- Relates only to adults; cannot share adult attention, consistently sets up power struggle, or is physically abusive to adults
- Consistently withdraws from people, prefers to be alone; no depth to relationships; does not seek or accept affection or touching
- Treats people as objects; has no empathy for other children; cannot play on another child’s terms
- Is consistently aggressive, frequently hurts others deliberately; shows no remorse or is deceitful in hurting others
How to Screen
- Observe child.
- Note overall behavior. What does the child do all day? With whom? With what does child play?
- Note when, where, how frequently, and with whom problem behaviors occur.
- Describe behavior through clear observations. Do not diagnose.
- Note family history.
- Make-up of family: Who cares for the child?
- Has there been a recent move, death, new sibling, or long or traumatic separation?
- What support does the family have—extended family, friends?
- Note developmental history and child’s temperament since infancy.
- Activity level
- Regularity of child’s routine—sleeping, eating
- Intensity of child’s responses
- Persistence/attention span
- Positive or negative mood
- Adaptability to changes in routine
- Level of sensitivity to noise, light, touch
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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