A Journey Through Infant Development: The Eleventh Month
“I’m looking for fun and adventure! I’m looking for more!!!” As children develop on a neurotypical pathway, they begin to look for activities to be more elaborate and exciting. The same old games become boring – it’s time for adventures and more challenges. This becomes especially true as a baby transforms from an infant to a toddler. As parents, we naturally begin to add these challenges as our children begin to show readiness. My son continues to enjoy the exciting new things of life, but one monotonous thing he loves is his grandma!
- You love your grandma! We took a vacation to Florida, and had a ball! It became extremely evident to me that you know what you want! You were attached to grandma like glue. You’d be playing nicely on the living room floor, and if grandma entered the room you’d scream and go crawling over to her (screaming the entire way). Once you were in her arms, there was no putting you down! When we returned home from Florida, you didn’t see her for nearly 3 days (eternity to you). When you saw her again, you did the same screaming approach that you did earlier – but held on even tighter! When you were sitting in your chair eating, you actually had to have her right there by you. When she waved like she was going to leave, you reached out and grabbed her arm and pulled her to you – all while shrieking. Although I’m a little jealous, I’m happy to see that you are forming a special bond with her, and that relationships are important to you.
- There’s excitement in moving While crawling is still the preferred method of movement, you notice that this isn’t the way the rest of the family gets around. If there is a couch or table to hold on to, you are walking. It shouldn’t be long before you are walking on your own. I hope it’s sooner than later, simply because crawling outdoors is hard on the clothes!
- Extreme Peek-a-boo You love playing peek-a-boo; but if I run off and hide while the blanket is over your head, you laugh even harder. The challenge of finding me is so fun, and the reward in finding me is priceless. I like this game better, too, because it gives me more exercise running from you and a bigger reward when you find me – there’s always a big laugh and gigantic hug!
- Adding humor You are so funny. You are beginning to do things intentionally to make me laugh. The other day, you and I were picking up some Easter eggs off the floor. Initially you were putting them away with me; then suddenly you grabbed one, looked at me to make sure I was watching, and then crawled away with it. You then “hid” it under the couch, looked back at me, and laughed. You thought you were so funny. It’s amazing to me how much you understand about human interaction already, and how to enhance it.
If a child has fallen off this neurotypical path of development, these activity changes can be overwhelming. The dynamic, fast moving, adventurous life is then too much, and there is a tendency to become trapped in the monotonous way of doing things – just to feel safe! This is another reason that I love Relationship Development Intervention (CORE Approach): nothing new was created, just slowed down enough so that what happens naturally in neurotypically developing children can happen for those who missed it the first time. Through a very careful approach, challenges are added to every day life in a supportive and trusting environment. Because of this, kids who normally fear change, challenges, and other dynamic attributes can slowly become successful in adapting to our fast changing world. The transformations are amazing!