To begin to answer the question of what is the difference between development and rate of development it is vital that we completely understand the meaning of the words. A sequence of development is the order in which the development of t6he child would happen; for example a child will sit before crawling and would then go on to walk. The rate of the development is the speed in which it would happen, for instance; by four to six months the child will have control of their head and arm movements, and by seven to nine months they should be able to sit without support and may have begun crawling.
It is extremely important to remember that all children develop at different rates and that the sources or information that we receive or are told are only guidelines of the developmental rates. We are able to use these as a reference to monitor what children can or cannot do at specific stages in their lives.
Although they aren’t one hundred percent accurate for each child they are still effective tools to help us plan to ensure they get the attention they need for areas they find challenging. The development of the physical skills of the child follows a definite sequence; to show an example would be that of a baby; when they would firstly have to learn to hold their head and upper body up before they are able to sit with only the lower back supported.
However, whilst the sequences are common amongst most children, the rate in which they develop these skills are often different.
It is vital to monitor a child’s sequence and rate of the development in order to determine what type of help they may or may not need in the future and to ensure they are referred to the correct people to aid in development were possible so they don’t fall too far behind. Often the child’s developmental sequence can differ between children, for example one baby’s physical development may begin with rolling over, followed by sitting up, then crawling, walking and finally running, whilst another may sit up, walk, and then running missing out rolling over and crawling. Although elements are missed from the development process, it still proceeds in what is viewed as an unexpected pattern. The rate can often differ like this too, one child being able to walk at ten months and another at sixteen, all children are different which is why the rate differs so frequently. With so many factors in a child’s life affecting their development, the rate and sequence of their develop it’s not surprising that the variance between each child can be so big. Everything from a childs health status to their family background can affect various stages of their development.