Case Study

Summary of Child C.'s Development
This is the summary of a 34-page case study I conducted my sophomore year of college on a child in a kindergarten class.

Large and Small Motor Development

Large Motor Development

C.’s large motor development is predominately in the typical range for a five-year-old (McAfee & Leong, 2002).  While her throwing and catching skills are delayed, she excels in running and kicking.  Her height in the 90th percentile for her age and may have an effect on her running and kicking skills (NCHS & CDC, 2000).  She may spend more time playing games such as soccer that give her the opportunity to practice running and kicking but not catching and throwing. She also has a lot of energy at times and running around kicking a ball is better for releasing energy than catching and throwing.  I would suggest playing games with C. that allow her to run but also require her to catch and throw.  

Small Motor Development

In small motor development, C. is developing within the typical five-year-old range (McAfee & Leong, 2002).  She was able to complete everything on the Small Motor Development checklist (except pounding nails which I was unable to observe).  The only areas on the checklist that I observed needing attention were using drawing/writing utensils and scissors with control.  Her performance with these things depends on her mood. I have seen her practice control in writing, drawing and cutting.  As her emotional development advances and she gets more chances to cut, write and draw, I think C. will become more consistent with her performance. 

Cognitive and Language Development

Cognitive Development

For some of her cognitive skills, C. seems to be at the low end of typical skills for a five-year-old, but is not yet considered delayed.  Her color recognition is typical, her shapes identification is somewhat delayed and her ability to count is low on the developmental continuum but not yet delayed (McAfee & Leong, 2002).  With continued exposure to these skills she should be able to improve.  She may just need time for her memory to further develop.  When it does these skills may come more easily to her. 

Language Development

C.’s language development is progressing.  At ninety percent intelligible, she is at a typical level phonologically for a five-year-old.  Pragmatically she is slightly delayed.  Five-year-olds and older should be able to participate in a conversation for six turns or more.  C. usually is not focused enough for do so.  C. is starting to advance in syntax.  She occasionally is able to use more complex sentences that are six words or longer.  This is typical for ages five and above (McAfee & Leong, 2002). 

Social Development

C. displays a variety of play styles and spends the majority of her time in cooperative play which is appropriate for a five-year-old (Social Play, 2006; McAfee & Leong, 2002).  At times C. acts younger than her age and displays the interactions appropriate for a four-year-old, such as being easily angered when she does not get her way, having outbursts of anger, and learning how to take turns (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997).  According to C., she is the oldest child in her family so this may be a way for her to get attention.  Although from my observations she seems to be delayed at this time, I believe being in a stable school environment without her siblings may help C.’s social development to advance.  She may require a little extra help from adults with how to handle certain situations.

Emergent Literacy Development

            C. is an emergent reader moving into the transitional reader stage (Jett-Simpson & Leslie, 1994).  From my observations, her emergent literacy skills are appropriate for her age.  She has developed left-to-right directionality, she can move her finger along lines of text either faster or slower than the reader, and she moves from the end of one line to the beginning of the next.  At the time of the emergent literacy observation was five years, five months old.  I have had the chance to observe her writing letters throughout the semester and she has made progress.  I feel within the school year she will gain the rest of the skills typical to a five-year old. 

Aesthetic Development

            C.’s drawings represent the early representational preschematic stage of aesthetic development.  She uses scribbles to draw symbols of things that she knows, she can draw a person, and her markings are not placed in any order.  She is beginning to move onto the late preschematic stage as she is moving toward to test more symbols and gain more control.  These stages are typical for ages four to seven so C.’s development is appropriate for her age (Kellogg, 2006). 

Strengths and Weaknesses

            C.’s strengths include running while kicking a ball; small motor skills such as picking up and inserting small objects, participating in a variety of play styles and pronunciation.  She enjoys talking about the pictures she draws and making up stories about them.  C.  would benefit from instruction about catching and throwing a ball.  She would also be helpful for her to receive special attention during her social interactions with peers.  I believe C.’s current classroom environment is working to support her needs.