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Observation techniques are helpful to collect details about a child’s behavior, demeanor, and emotional state. The name ‘Betty’ is used in this case study to protect the privacy of the child selected for the project. The purpose of this paper is to present the observation results with reference to the child’s behavior and interactions with caregivers.
Who Is This Child?
Betty is a three-year-old Caucasian female with fair, curly hair. Betty’s movements are slow. She prefers sitting on the floor and playing with dolls. When Betty wants to ask something, she does not shout, but she stands up and comes to her mother. Most of the time, Betty is focused on her play, and there are only some cases when she demonstrates dresses for her doll to the mother. When Betty answers her mother’s questions, she speaks quietly and avoids eye contact. Choosing three phrases to describe Betty, it is possible to state that the girl is silent, good-tempered, and focused on her activities. Betty has successfully passed developmental milestones like walking and talking on time. Since Betty is rather silent for her age, it is important to learn whether this behavior is typical of her; how she communicates with other toddlers and adults; how she behaves outside while running, jumping, and playing active games.
Who Is This Child in Their Body?
While referring to Dunn’s (2007) sensory profiles, it is possible to state that a sensation avoiding pattern is typical of Betty. The girl avoids noisy spaces, unfamiliar stimuli, and other detractors. She prefers playing independently, without involving other toddlers or adults in her games. Betty’s temperament can be described as having the features of melancholic and phlegmatic types. According to Lillas’s (2014) discussion of sensory, regulation, executive, and relevance systems, it is possible to note that Betty’s regulation is good, and her behavior is rather stable. She does not react to stimuli actively. Betty also demonstrates developed speech, motor, and gross motor skills. However, more information is required to conclude about her relevance system and previous experiences.
These qualities cause Betty’s mother to focus on creating safe and calm environments for the girl. More attention should be paid to developing Betty’s social skills to prevent stress while contacting with strangers. While comparing the observer’s and Betty’s sensory profiles, it is important to note that the observer follows a sensory sensitivity pattern. Both profiles are similar in terms of persons’ choice of rather passive roles while contacting with other people, but the observer is more responsive to stimuli. These aspects affect the relationships positively because the observer can notice many details and make Betty more involved in interactions without causing much stress.
Who Is This Child in Relationships?
The mother is the closest relative to this girl because Betty feels most comfortable while interacting with her. Betty is also friendly while contacting with other female relatives, but she is not interested in contacting with her father or other male relatives. While focusing on the Circle of Security, it is possible to state that Betty’s mother encourages her to explore the world and learn something new, but the girl feels uncomfortable because of new experiences. Therefore, the mother demonstrates support and accentuates the safety of environments at all stages of the Circle of Security (Powell, Cooper, Hoffman, & Marvin, 2014). It is easier for Betty’s mother to comfort the girl rather than to encourage explorations because she understands that Betty does not like situations associated with ‘going out’. For Betty, the continuous and accentuated support and assistance during the ‘going out’ and ‘coming in’ stages can have positive effects and reduce stress and pressure.
Support for This Child and Caregiver
To support Betty and make environments more appropriate for her, it is possible to apply the principles of therapeutic and the Circle of Security interventions because the SPACE program and the developmental repair strategy are not appropriate for this case (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2010; Pawl, 1995; Wilson, 2011). The building of secure relationships depends on ensuring that a child is respected and supported. Caregivers should be attentive, focused on children’s experiences, and interested in helping them (Powell et al., 2014). This intervention is selected to improve the security of Betty’s surroundings, and it should be followed by Betty’s mother. It is important to create positive experiences for Betty. However, challenges can be associated with Betty’s unwillingness to interact with caregivers, and Betty’s mother should pay attention to the girl’s reactions to different activities and situations. This approach differs from the past recommendations because, at the previous stage, the family was interested in helping Betty become more sociable.
The experience of interacting with Betty and her mother is associated with observing a real situation from the family’s daily life. Although Betty and her mother are not involved in the same activity, the girl feels the mother’s support. At this stage, it is important to answer questions on how Betty and her mother cooperate, what emotions are typical of Betty, and what other behavioral patterns she can demonstrate. It was easy for me to communicate with this family because Betty’s mother was friendly. To work with the family effectively, it is necessary to observe Betty in various situations, and the relatives’ support is important. The observation has not provided enough information about Betty’s behavior, and more sessions are necessary to conclude regarding the girl’s social skills and abilities to adapt to new environments.
The paper has provided the results of the observation project. Betty’s sensory and behavioral patterns are discussed in detail. The focus was also on describing qualities, reactions, and emotions typical of the girl.
Australian Childhood Foundation. (2010). Making SPACE for learning: Trauma informed practice in schools. Melbourne, Australia: Author.
Dunn, W. (2007). Supporting children to participate successfully in everyday life by using sensory processing knowledge. Infants & Young Children, 20(2), 84-101.
Lillas, C. (2014). The neurorelational framework in infant and early childhood mental health. In K. Brandt & B. Perry (Eds.), Infant and early childhood mental health: Core concepts and clinical practice (pp. 85-95). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Pawl, J. (1995). The therapeutic relationship as human connectedness: Being held in another’s mind. Zero to Three, 15(4), 1-5.
Powell, B., Cooper, G., Hoffman, K., & Marvin, R. (2014). The circle of security intervention. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Wilson, D. (2011). The sounding board: Developmental repair [Web log]. Web.