About Adoptee Rage

Statistics Identify large populations of Adoptees in prisons, mental hospitals and committed suicide.
Fifty years of scientific studies on child adoption resulting in psychological harm to the child and
poor outcomes for a child's future.
Medical and psychological attempts to heal the broken bonds of adoption, promote reunions of biological parents and adult children. The other half of attempting to repair a severed Identity is counselling therapy to rebuild the self.

Monday, March 20, 2017

"The Limbic Imprint" Begins at Conception Determines Life

"The Limbic Imprint" Begins at Conception Determines Life

The fetus, post conception begins recording all sensory information that constitutes the potential infant's "Limbic Imprint". The new baby prior to birth, during birth and through the age of two records experienced sensory information in the limbic imprint that is prior to the development of speech. The newborn infant is an extremely sensitive being, in fact, more sensitive than he/she will ever be during the adult life. The newborn has the ability to experience all of the sensations and feelings, yet will not cognitively be able to recall them.          

Since conception, the newborn's early feelings, sensations, impressions experienced and recorded in limbic memory, remain throughout our lives. Twenty five years of thorough research and studies in the field of prenatal psychology show undoubtedly a direct correlation between the way we were born and the subconscious behavioral and emotional patterns in our adult lives. This is due to the mechanism called "limbic imprint".

The basic structure of the human infant brain brain at the tip of the spinal cord there is a segment called the reptilian brain, responsible purely for the physiological functions of the body. The part of the brain that still remains functional when a person is in a coma. The basic physiology of the body  continues to function, the female coma patient's menstruation and pregnancy can continue gestation. The cortex, referred to as "gray matter," responsible for our mental activity. The part of the brain responsible for cognitive functions: logic, calculating, planning. And the limbic system within the brain, responsible for emotions, sensations and feelings. Limbic imprinting occurs in that part of the brain, which is not directly connected with the cortex, responsible for cognitive memory. 

During gestation, birth and early childhood, the limbic system registers all of our sensations and feelings, without translating it into language of cortex, simply because it's not developed yet. That memory lives in the body through out the rest of our life whether we know of it or not. We are born into this world eyes wide-open to receive love from our maternal and genetic linked mother. When we do receive love, as our first primal experience, our nervous system is limbically imprinted – "programmed" with the undeniable rightness of being. Being held in the mother's loving arms, feeding from her breast and seeing the great joy in father's eyes, provides us with the natural sense of bliss and security; it sets the world as the right place of genetic safety and biological comfort.

If our first impressions of being in the body are anything less than loving (painful, frightening, isolated), then that "anything" imprints as a valid experience of love. It is immediately coded into our nervous system as a "comfort zone," acting as a surrogate for the love and nurturing, regardless of how painful, frustrating and undesirable it actually was. And in the future, as adults, we will unconsciously, automatically re-create the conditions that were imprinted at birth and through our early childhood.

Research in prenatal psychology, Dr.Thomas Verny, Dr. David Chamberlain, Dr. William Emerson shows that an overwhelming amount of physical conditions and behavioral disorders in are the direct result of traumatic gestation time and complications during delivery, including unnecessary mechanical interventions, including overdose of anesthesia.
On top of the devastating effect of trauma during the birth, what happens after it,- like routine impersonal postpartum care,- is also a source of psychological fear: lack of immediate warm, soft and nurturing contact with the mother, premature cutting of the cord, rude handling, circumcision, needles, bright lights, startling noises... all this sensory overload becomes instantly wired into the newborn's nervous systems as the new "comfort zone"...against all logic. 

As logic resides in a different part of the brain, which is not yet developed. That person will continue to unconsciously recreate/attract the same repeated situation of perceived abuse and/or become abusive. Even if later on in life rational mind/cortex will recognize this as pattern of "abuse," the imprinting already experienced in a different part of the brain, which doesn't have the skill to reason or stop the pattern.

According to a 1995 study by Dr.William Emerson, 95% of all births in the United States are considered traumatic, 50% rated as "moderate," and 45% as "severe" trauma. As tramatic birth experience affects all of us. Born into excruciating labor pains, into the numbness and toxicity of anesthesia, we are limbically imprinted for suffering and numbness. Traumatic birth strips us of our power and impairs our capacity to love, trust, be intimate and experience our true potential. Addictions, poor problem-solving skills, low self-esteem, inability of compassion, to be responsible, - all these problems have been linked to birth trauma. 

Normally, a woman gives birth the way she herself was born, due to the same mechanism of limbic imprint. That's all her body knows about "how-to" procreate. If she was born with complications, it's most likely, that she will automatically repeat that scenario. Unless she consciously alters that limbic memory, she will unconsciously hand down her own birth trauma to her daughter, as she herself received it from her mother. Giving birth for the first time is a huge step in healing. That's why the following deliveries are usually much easier. That, of course, is a very general observation.

The Mantra "We Fell In Love" Adoptive Mothers

"Fell In Love" The Adoptive Mother Mantra

Almost every adoptive mother that tells "her" story,
the over-used mantra "we fell in love" is used to describe
her feelings. In reality "falling in love" is a romantic notion
that describes the temporary insanity of two young kids that feel desperate without each other. In the adoptive mother case she is desperate for a baby, is driven by resources (money) and demands to get one. To fall in love is between two individuals that are equal in class and both experience mutual feelings.

The adopted child is not in-love with the adoptive mother...As the infant loves his own genetically linked mother, not the adoptive mother. The infant will fight the adoptive mother's intrusions, continue to refuse her until the infant's exhausted hope devastates his awareness of his mother's absence. Where all hope is lost for the infant, depression sets in as he gives up in the face of defeat. In the sorrow of misery the infant has lost, his anguish and despair is all that he has left as the baby gives up on his short life and prefers annihilation to the constant state of being in his mother's absence. Where all hope is lost for the lost infant, he still can remember the tranquility of his mother's womb as if he survives, he will never forget his mother's world and the object of which he loves.  

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Best Interests of the Child


"The Best Interests" of a Child"
The most serious and discounting contingent factor that   "overrides" this list of child-rights,
#3 "the care, protection and safety". Adoption is considered
superior and "permanent" to the foster family placement, but in reality, permanency is not guaranteed to this child but assumed by the court. (Regardless of current stability, adjustment and years of content in the foster placement) Is the unfulfilled promise that child adoption guarantees in a percentage of child adoptions. Where a happy, well adjusted and thriving child living as a member of the foster parent's family. Removing this child from their established foster family situation is guaranteed damaging, regress and produce emotional strife for the foster child being removed and placed with strangers in the new adoption placement that is considered "In the child's best interest".    
The following is based on the United Nation's Convention on the rights of the child 
Depending on the status of U.S. "ratification" of these rights in the country.
The U.S. has not formally ratified these rights, and they are used as a general guideline                    in U.S. Court Procedures. 
The following aspects are relevant for the best interests of the child:
  • The child’s views and aspirations;
  • The identity of the child, including age and gender, personal history and background;
  • The care, protection and safety of the child;
  • The child’s well-being;
  • The family environment, family relations and contact;
  • Social contacts of the child with peers and adults;
  • Situations of vulnerability, i.e. the risks that the child is facing and the sources of protection, resiliency and empowerment;
  • The child’s skills and evolving capacities;
  • The rights and needs with regard to health and education;
  • The development of the child and her or his gradual transition into adulthood and an independent life;
  • Any other specific needs of the child.

Procedural safeguards in best interests’ determinations

Procedural safeguards and documentation in best interests’ determinations include:
  • The right of the child to express her or his views and to have them taken into account: In a judicial or administrative procedure, children have the right to be heard and to have their views taken into account.
    • The process of hearing the child needs to be documented, with a clear description of how the child’s views are balanced against other views and other information sources. The communication with the child has to be effective and child-sensitive and might require quality interpretation and cultural mediation. In cases of unaccompanied or separated children, the role of the guardian or representative is essential to facilitate the communication between the child and the authorities.
    • The child has a right to a hearing when the decision making body is a court. The hearing should be held without delay in a child-sensitive way and prevent secondary victimisation of child victims and witnesses in judicial proceedings.
    • The child’s age, gender and background, the child’s level of development and evolving capacities should be considered.
    • Child-friendly information in a language that the child understands, enabling the child to form an opinion and to express her or his views should be provided.
    • In transnational cases, children who do not speak the language of the country of destination have a right to translation and interpretation. Interpretation should be made available free of charge and with a neutral bearing when interpreters are directly involved.
  • Guardianship and representation: children have a right to an independent representative or guardian who is competent and equipped to represent and promote the best interests of the child.
  • Legal representation: When the best interests of a child are formally decided by a court or other competent body, the child is entitled to legal representation, legal information and defence, including for children applying for asylum or special protection as victims of crime.
  • Legal reasoning: Decisions need to be documented, motivated in detail, justified and explained, including how the decision is considered to relate to the best interests of the child and how the underlying considerations have been balanced to arrive at the decision.
  • Mechanisms to review or revise decisions: Formal mechanisms have to be in place to reopen or review decisions on the best interests of a child. Children need access to support in accessing and using these mechanisms. It has to be clearly established when a case or decision can be reopened or reviewed, as for instance when there is new evidence or when the authorities have not been able to implement the first decision.
  • Right to appeal: Best interests’ determinations are subject to legal remedies. Children need to have access and support, such as legal assistance and representation, to appeal a decision. During the appeal procedure the implementation is suspended. For decisions concerning transfer or return of a child to another county, sufficient time must be available between the decision and the execution of the decision, to enable the child to hand in an appeal or request a review of the decision.

Balancing rights and interests in best interests’ determinations

The different elements considered in an assessment and determination of the best interests of a child may appear to be competing or in contradiction. Potential conflicts are solved on a case-by-case basis. The right of the child to have her or his best interests taken as a primary consideration means that the child’s interests have high priority and are not just one of several considerations. A larger weight is attached to what serves the child best:
  • The possibility of harm outweighs other factors;
  • The child’s right to be brought up by her or his parents is a fundamental principle;
  • A child’s best interests can generally best be met with her or his family, except where there are safety concerns;
  • The survival and development of the child are generally ensured best by remaining in or maintaining close contacts with the family and the child’s social and cultural networks;
  • Matters related to health, education and vulnerability are important factors; and
  • Continuity and stability of the child’s situation are important.

Freud's "Family Romance" Is Fact In Adopted Children


Freud's "Family Romance" Is Fact In adopted Children

Sigmund Freud, the famous Viennese architect of psychoanalysis, had a significant influence on modern adoption theory and practice. So did his daughter Anna Freud, who carried on her father’s legacy after his death in 1939 and became well known in her own right as a developmental researcher, a child analyst, and a theorist of “psychological parenthood.”
Freudian ideas about unconscious desires, erotic instincts, and critical childhood stages in the formation of adult personality and behavior shaped the way that many parents and professionals thought about adoption, especially its special challenges and potential hazards. Early in the twentieth century, physicians, artists, and feminists were in the vanguard of Americans interested in psychoanalysis. Freud lectured at Clark University in 1909 and his translated writings made him a more popular figure in the United States than in any other country in the world. Freud always maintained that the American version of psychoanalysis was hopelessly naive and ridiculously optimistic—he called it a “gigantic mistake”—but Americans paid little attention. They embraced psychoanalysis as a practical means to cure a variety of ailments related to personal adjustment, sexual happiness, and family life. Adoption was just one example.
One starting point for Freud’s approach to development was the belief that becoming an individual required escape, over the course of childhood, from the absolute power and love of parents. In order to accomplish this liberation, he argued, children invariably called upon fantasies—acted out in play and daydreams—and imagined that their “real” parents were much better, kinder, and more exalted than the imperfect people who were actually raising them. Freud called these comforting but entirely fabricated fairy tales the “family romance.” The fictional stories that children told themselves about their origins mattered because they linked Freudian theory directly to adoption.
Freud’s prototypical “family romance”—the one he assumed virtually all children experienced and occasionally remembered—was an adoption scenario. This scenario was developmentally useful precisely because it remained imaginary. It allowed children to safely express ambivalence and anger toward their parents, all the while encouraging them to develop independent identities necessary to becoming a healthy adults.
What worked for most children, however, caused definite problems for children who actually were adopted. Adoptees who imagined another set of parents were not engaged in benign falsehood. They were facing up to reality. “There is a real element of mystery in the illegitimate child’s background which makes such correction by reality either impossible or unconvincing,” wrote social worker Mary Brisley in 1939. The convergence of fantasy and real life was the key issue for psychoanalytically inclined clinicians in social work and psychiatry whose interests included adoption. Viola Bernard, Florence Clothier, Leontine Young, and Marshall Schechter were just a few examples. Psychoanalytic ideas crowded the adoption world from World War II on. Erik Erikson’s concepts of “identity” and “identity crisis” were among the most widely disseminated Freudian ideas, applicable to adolescent development and youth movements in general as well as adoption in particular.
Because the loss of natal parents was an all-too-real component of adoption, the family romances of adopted children pointed toward unanswered and sometimes unanswerable questions. Who were my birth parents? Why did they give me away? Was there something wrong with me? Such painful dilemmas were deeply implicated in the problematic self-images and flawed relationships that some adoptees manifested, and that came to the attention of clinicians. It is not surprising that parents and professionals who took the Freudian family romance seriously favored adoption policies and practices, such as matching, that tried to erase natal kinship, hence concealing the emotionally difficult truth that one set of parents had been lost and replaced with another.
Even at the height of enthusiasm about confidentiality and sealed records, the ritual of "telling" children about their adoptions acknowledged that adoptees were different than their non-adopted peers. Adoptees’ family romances were more like nightmares than daydreams, and they had the potential to produce deep sadness and distress. Knowing that they had indeed been given away, and feeling that their very self-hood was divided and incomplete, adoptees were at special risk for a range of psychopathologies. Freud’s developmental theory implied that adoptees faced emotional challenges inseparable from the adoption process itself, hence anticipating and helping to bring into being more recent concerns with loss and attachment.
Psychoanalytic approaches to birth parents and adoptive parents also circulated widely in medicine, social work, clinical psychology, and the popular press. By midcentury, illegitimacy was widely perceived as the result of unhappy and destructive parent-child relationships that remained both unconscious and unresolved in adolescence and adulthood. Seen through this Freudian lens, adoptions of children born to unmarried women were no longer tragedies to be avoided, but constructive acts that transferred children to adoptive parents whose psychological (and other) qualifications were superior to those of their neurotic birth mothers. On the other hand, the infertility that logically motivated married couples to adopt was also suspected of having unconscious sources that might signal neurosis or worse.
All parties to adoption, in other words, shared some form of psychological dysfunction. After 1945, the goal of home studies and other therapeutic practices was increasingly to guarantee that professionals trained in psychoanalysis and other human sciences would play a crucial managerial role in the adoption process. Even Jesse Taft, a leading educator who disliked the orthodox Freudian emphasis on trauma—it “implies fear of life itself” she wrote in dismay—believed that skilled psychological interpretation and help belonged at the heart of adoption. With the skills to explore the emotional minefield that placement exposed, the psychological engineers who oversaw family-formation confirmed that adoption was abnormal while also promising to normalize it. Sigmund Freud’s chief legacy, in adoption and elsewhere in American culture, was to multiply deviations and simultaneously insist on their cure....                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But the psychological experts forgot the "cure" in adoption dysfunction that has become the norm in American adoption culture that insists that adopted children adapt and ignore the adoption fabrications and accept them as adoption reality. To say that pretending adoption is normal is mentally healthy and denying that adoption is abnormal is psychological dysfunction.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Disconnected Adopted Child


Adopted-Child's Disconnection

The psychological definition of normal human connection:
When we think of Connectiveness, we think about the extent to which children believe:
  • #1. they are part of something
  • The adopted child is outside looking in, not part.
  • #2. they can relate to other people
  • The adopted child can't relate in a group of biological strangers.
  • #3. they can identify with special groups
  • The adopted child is isolated from his true self.
  • #4. they have a sense of heritage
  • The adopted child has no heritage.
  • #5. that something important belongs to them
  • The adopted child does not belong.
  • #6. that they belong to something or someone
  • The adopted child belongs to no one, but is owned by adoption.
  • #7. that people or things they are connected to are held in high esteem by others.
  • The adopted child is absent from self-esteem.
  • #8. that they are important...
  • The adopted child is insignificant.
  • #9. that they are connected to their own bodies...
  • The adopted child is disconnected.
It is important to observe and beware of connectiveness in the life of your teenager as there are usually clear signs that he is not feeling connected. He may feel more comfortable in groups. He may think he is a loner, have a hard time communicating or maintaining friendships, be shy and withdrawn, or aggressive and demanding.
Too little connection leaves a teenager feeling alone, abandoned and isolated.  Too much connection may give an impression the teen possesses little sense of self, or is too conforming and overly dependent.
By being observant, you will be mindful of some of the factors that may lead to low self-esteem. Your awareness could also uncover other problems that your teen may be experiencing or will experience in the days to come.
In my next post, I will write about some ways that parents and caregivers can increase the connectiveness of their adolescent. There are practical steps that you can take to make sure your teenager is feeling connected to you and to her family. Connectiveness will have a major impact on how she relates to her entire world in the years to come.

Intentional Distortion By Adoptive Parents & Normal Childhood Development

Intentional Destortions By Adoptive Parents
& Normal Childhood Development
All human children begin life in egocentric thinking, selfish or from the child individual's point of view as the mind is too immature to comprehend the other's perspective. Adult social behavior defines behavioral rules of what is and is not acceptable conduct.
In adolescence and early adulthood egocentric thinking does not completely dissolve but the adult's quick thinking alters their selfish responses to a more acceptable social manner when engaging in interpersonal relationships.

The adopted child is no different in their childhood development, yet adoptive parents seem to expect the impossible from a young child's ability. The most common complaint by disappointed adoptive parents is that their adopted child is not grateful for the adoptive parent's sacrifices. No biological child is held accountable for the decisions of their parents, so why is the adopted child held accountable to a different set of standards that no biological parent would force on their own offspring? The fact that a child has no ability to understand or comprehend the complex concepts that the mature adult deals with everyday. The common concepts that adoptive parents complain about in forums:

#1. The financial loans, mortgages, money and interest borrowing to finance the child adoption.... No child or adopted child should be held accountable for the good or bad adult financial decisions of the parents. The financial strain created by adoption financing is the sole problem of the adopting parents, they should never have committed to such an endeavor, especially when the parent's would blame a child for their poor decision making that amounts to psychological immaturity and risks the mental health of the adopted child.

#2. The concept of adoption... is a concept that is too complex to comprehend until adolescence, that is why it is introduced in childhood, as the child has no idea of what it means. In cognitive development the adopted child gradually realizes the monumental implications of consequences that are ignored by adoptive parents and the child is expected to be happy about loosing everything.

#3. The adoptive parents complain that the adopted child will not bond with the adoptive mother, is closed-off or is not affectionate.
The adopted child's biological family's collective genetic traits, personalities and temperaments are far different than the traits and personality functioning of the adoptive family. The adopted child has their own origins, parents, family, culture and identity that is vastly different than the adoptive family. The multiple traumas that the newborn adopted child has had to endure are ignored like a blank slate as these violations occurred before coming to the adoptive family....but does not erase these very real traumatic experiences that impact the psyche of the inexperienced child's mind.

#4. The "savior" adoptive parent mentality...The savior title might bring the adoptive mother social recognition, status and awards,
but the "savior" title means nothing to a child. When the savior concept is taught to an adopted child, they are expected to behave in specific manners defined by the idea that the parent is omnipotent. The "god" like adoptive mother expecting the adopted child to act "thankful as a follower" of the adoptive parent as God. The worst manifestation within the distorted adoptive parent thinking, the construct that they project onto the adopted child as a "sinner" that is flawed in their individuality, person-hood and in their humanity. Although it is a constant boosting to the adoptive parent's ego, the adopted child's ego, self-worth and self esteem is ruined in the savior/sinner process.

The irresponsible and damaging adoptive parent's dangerous schemas, irrational projections and fear based behaviors that are forced on adopted children cause more trauma, more distorted thinking and dysfunctional ways of coping that arrest a child's normal development. This outlines the "adopted child's role" as a possession owned by the adoptive mother, and not as a unique individual that has worth and will make their own path in the world. The distorted way the adopted child is treated by the adoptive mother will forever compromise the adoptee's life and destroy their ability to be spontaneous, free and creative with their life. What constitutes control and domination by adoptive parents forever deprives the adopted child of childhood, innocence and the ability to thrive in the world is forever relegated to being owned as a prisoner of adoption circumstances that will always define the adult adoptee in a negative capacity.
Normal Stages of Development in Children:
Egocentrism, Concept Development and Comprehension:
Only when entering the concrete-operational stage of development at age seven to twelve, children became less egocentric and could appreciate viewpoints other than their own. In other words, they were capable of cognitive perspective-taking.
"the young adolescent, because of the physiological metamorphosis he is undergoing, is primarily concerned with himself. Accordingly, since he fails to differentiate between what others are thinking about and his own mental preoccupations, he assumes that other people are obsessed with his behavior and appearance as he is himself." This shows that the adolescent is exhibiting egocentrism, by struggling to distinguish whether or not, in actuality, others are as fond of them as they might think because their own thoughts are so prevalent. Adolescents consider themselves as "unique, special, and much more socially significant than they actually are."

Elkind also created terms to help describe the egocentric behaviors exhibited by the adolescent population such as what he calls an imaginary audience, the personal fable, and the invincibility fable. Usually when an egocentric adolescent is experiencing an imaginary audience, it entails the belief that there is an audience captivated and constantly present to an extent of being overly interested about the egocentric individual. Personal fable refers to the idea that many teenagers believe their thoughts, feelings, and experiences are unique and more extreme than anyone else's. In the invincibility fable, the adolescent believes in the idea that he or she is immune to misfortune and cannot be harmed by things that might defeat a normal person. Egocentrism in adolescence is often viewed as a negative aspect of their thinking ability because adolescents become consumed with themselves and are unable to effectively function in society due to their skewed version of reality and cynicism.
There are various reasons as to why adolescents experience egocentrism:
  • Adolescents are often faced with new social environments (for example, starting secondary school) which require the adolescent to protect the self which may lead to egocentrism.
  • Development of the adolescent's identity may lead to the individual experiencing high levels of uniqueness which subsequently becomes egocentric – this manifests as the personal fable.
  • Parental rejection may lead to the adolescents experiencing high levels of self-consciousness, which can lead to egocentrism.
A study was completed on 163 undergraduate students to examine the adolescent egocentrism in college students. Students were asked to complete a self-report questionnaire to determine the level of egocentrism present. The questions simply asked for the reactions that students had to seemingly embarrassing situations. It was found that adolescent egocentrism was more prevalent in the female population than the male. This again exemplifies the idea that egocentrism is present in even late adolescence.
Results from other studies have come to the conclusion that egocentrism does not present itself in some of the same patterns as it was found originally. More recent studies have found that egocentrism is prevalent in later years of development unlike Piaget's original findings that suggested that egocentrism is only present in early childhood development. Egocentrism is especially dominant in early adolescence, particularly when adolescents encounter new environments, such as a new school or a new peer group.
In addition, throughout adolescence egocentrism contribute to the development of self-identity; in order to achieve self-identity, adolescents go through different pathways of "crisis" and "commitment" stages, and higher self-identity achievement was found to be correlated with heightened egocentrism


Children’s first words are generally composed of nouns: the people and things in their lives.  Children start to understand and use verbs more frequently as their vocabularies build.  They then begin to use modifiers and adjectives.  Concepts are among these early modifiers and adjectives.  Children acquire these concepts at different stages in their development.  Read on for conceptual milestones for children ages 1 through 6.

Conceptual milestones for children ages 1 through 6:

Ages 1-2
  • Follows simple commands using spatial terms in or on
  • Uses a few spatial terms such as in or on
  • Uses simple directional terms such as up or down
Ages 2-3
  • Understands number concepts such as 1 or 2
  • Understanding of spatial terms become mastered with in, on, off, under, out
  • Begins to understand same/different
  • Time concepts begin to emerge, specifically with soon, later, wait
  • Begins to use color and size vocabulary
Ages 3-4
  • Advances spatial terms to understanding next to, besides, between
  • Uses spatial terms behind, in front, around
  • Begins to follow quantity directions such as a lot and empty
  • Identifies colors
  • Identifies what is different
Ages 4-5
  • Understands comparing concepts such as big, bigger, biggest
  • Advances time concepts to days of the week, yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week
  • Understands sequence terms such as first, then, next and first, middle, last
  • Understands the following concepts different, near, through, thin, whole
Ages 5-6
  • Understands opposites such as big/little, over/under
  • Understands right/left
  • Understands number concepts through 20
  • Can describe how things are same and different
  • Use conceptual terms to describe
Like all speech and language milestones, concepts developmentally emerge in children’s vocabulary.  If you are concerned with your child’s language milestones, particularly with their conceptual knowledge.

Toddlers (12–24 months)

Cognitive development
  • Enjoys object-hiding activities.
  • Early in this period, the child always searches in the same location for a hidden object (if the child has watched the hiding of an object). Later, the child will search in several locations.
  • Passes toy to other hand when offered a second object (referred to as "crossing the midline" – an important neurological development).
  • Manages three to four objects by setting an object aside (on lap or floor) when presented with a new toy.
  • Puts toys in mouth less often.
  • Enjoys looking at picture.
  • Demonstrates understanding of functional relationships (objects that belong together): Puts spoon in bowl and then uses spoon as if eating; places teacup in saucer and sips from cup; tries to make doll stand up.
  • Shows or offers toy to another person to look at.
  • Names many everyday objects.
  • Shows increasing understanding of spatial and form discrimination: puts all pegs in a pegboard; places three geometric shapes in large formboard or puzzle.
  • Places several small items (blocks, clothespins, cereal pieces) in a container or bottle and then dumps them out.
  • Tries to make mechanical objects work after watching someone else do so.
  • Responds with some facial movement, but cannot truly intimate facial expressions.
  • Most children with autism are diagnosed at this age.
  • Two-year-old

  • Cognitive
    • Eye–hand movements better coordinated; can put objects together, take them apart; fit large pegs into pegboard.
    • Begins to use objects for purposes other than intended (may push a block around as a boat).
    • Does simple classification tasks based on single dimension (separates toy dinosaurs from toy cars).
    • Seems fascinated by, or engrossed in, figuring out situations: where the tennis ball rolled, where the dog went, what caused a particular noise.
    • Attends to self-selected activities for longer periods of time. Discovering cause and effect: squeezing the cat makes them scratch.
    • Knows where familiar persons should be; notes their absence; finds a hidden object by looking in last hiding place first. (This is what Piaget termed object permanence, which usually occurs during the sensorimotor stage of Piaget's childhood theory of cognitive development)
    • Names familiar objects.
    • Recognizes, expresses, and locates pain.
    • Expected to use "magical thinking".
    • Tells about objects and events not immediately present (this is both a cognitive and linguistic advance).
    • Expresses more curiosity about the world.


Cognitive development
  • Listens attentively to age-appropriate stories.
  • Makes relevant comments during stories, especially those that relate to home and family events.
  • Likes to look at books and may pretend to "read" to others or explain pictures.
  • Enjoys stories with riddles, guessing, and "suspense."
  • Speech is understandable most of the time.
  • Produces expanded noun phrases: "big, brown dog."
  • Produces verbs with "ing" endings; uses "-s" to indicate more than one; often puts "-s" on already pluralized forms: geeses, mices.
  • Indicates negatives by inserting "no" or "not" before a simple noun or verb phrase: "Not baby."
  • Answers "What are you doing?", "What is this?", and "Where?" questions dealing with familiar objects and events.

4 Year-Old
  • Can recognize that certain words sound similar
  • Names eighteen to twenty uppercase letters. Writes several letters and sometimes their name.
  • A few children are beginning to read simple books, such as alphabet books with only a few words per page and many pictures.
  • Likes stories about how things grow and how things operate.
  • Delights in wordplay, creating silly Language.
  • Understands the concepts of "tallest," "biggest," "same," and "more"; selects the picture that has the "most houses" or the "biggest dogs."
  • Rote counts to 20 or more.
  • Understands the sequence of daily events: "When we get up in the morning, we get dressed, have breakfast, brush our teeth, and go to school."
  • When looking at pictures, can recognize and identify missing puzzle parts (of person, car, animal).
  • Very good storytellers.
  • Counts 1 to 7 objects out loud, but not always in order
  • Follows two to three step directions given individually or in a group
  • May put the "ed" on the end of words such as "I goed outside and I played."

5 Year-Old
  • Forms rectangle from two triangular cuts.
  • Builds steps with set of small blocks.
  • Understands concept of same shape, same size.
  • Sorts objects on the basis of two dimensions, such as color and form.
  • Sorts a variety of objects so that all things in the group have a single common feature (classification skill: all are food items or boats or animals).
  • Understands the concepts of smallest and shortest; places objects in order from shortest to tallest, smallest to largest.
  • Identifies objects with specified serial position: first, second, last.
  • Rote counts to 20 and above; many children count to 100.
  • Recognizes numerals from 1 to 10.
  • Understands the concepts of less than: "Which bowl has less water?"
  • Understands the terms dark, light, and early: "I got up early, before anyone else. It was still dark."
  • Relates clock time to daily schedule: "Time to turn on TV when the little hand points to 5."
  • Some children can tell time on the hour: five o'clock, two o'clock.
  • Knows what a calendar is for.
  • Recognizes and identifies coins; beginning to count and save money.
  • Many children know the alphabet and names of upper- and lowercase letters.
  • Understands the concept of half; can say how many pieces an object has when it's been cut in half.
  • Asks innumerable questions: Why? What? Where? When? How? Who?
  • Eager to learn new things. Curious and inquisitive.

6 Year-Old
Social and emotional
  • Uses language rather than tantrums or physical aggression to express displeasure: "That's mine! Give it back, you dummy."
  • Talks self through steps required in simple problem-solving situations (though the "logic" may be unclear to adults).
  • Has mood swings towards primary caregiver depending on the day
  • Friendship with parent is less depended on but still needs closeness and nurturing.
  • Anxious to please; needs and seeks adult approval, reassurance, and praise; may complain excessively about minor hurts to gain more attention.
  • Often can't view the world from another’s point of view
  • Self-perceived failure can make the child easily disappointed and frustrated.
  • Can't handle things not going their own way
  • Does not understand ethical behavior or moral standards especially when doing things that have not been given rules
  • Understands when he or she has been thought to be "bad"; values are based on others' enforced values.
  • May be increasingly fearful of the unknown like things in the dark, noises, and animals.
7 Year-Old
Social and emotional
  • Highly self-critical and eager to please
  • Can understand right and wrong
  • Complains a lot and has strong emotional swings
  • Ability at dealing with mistakes and failure improves

8 Year-Old
Social and emotional
  • Starts to develop a close circle of same-gender friends
  • Becomes more susceptible to peer pressure
  • Enjoys group activities
  • Prone to mood swings and melodramatics
  • Extremely impatient and may have a hard time waiting for special events such as Christmas

Nine year old

Social skills
  • Often displays an intense revulsion of the opposite gender
  • Will use physical complaints as a means of getting out of undesired tasks
  • Generally dependable and can be trusted with basic responsibilities
  • Prone to wide mood swings

Ten year old

Social skills
  • No interest in the opposite gender yet
  • Not as moody as 7-9 year olds; overall disposition tends to be cheerful and fun-oriented
  • Friendships are highly important, friends are almost exclusively same gender
  • Can have a short temper, but has learned to adjust anger levels according to the appropriateness of the situation
  • Gets along well with parents, eager to please
  • Has fewer fears than he/she did at younger ages

Eleven year old

Social and emotional development
  • Often critical of others, stubborn, and egotistical
  • Tends to display anger physically by hitting people/objects, throwing things, or slamming doors
  • Still no interest in the opposite sex
  • Friends are important, but with more arguments than before
  • May be worrisome and afraid of things

Twelve year old

Social skills
  • Overall disposition is pleasant and upbeat
  • Can become extremely excited over subjects of interest or accomplishments
  • Strongly prone to peer pressure and following trends
  • More stable friendships with less melodramatics than at 11
  • Beginning to be interested in the opposite sex, particularly girls

Thirteen year old

Thirteen year olds

  • Moody and uncomfortable with themselves and their surroundings
  • Likes to be alone and values privacy
  • Believes the world is out to get them
  • Insecure about their bodies
  • Does not get along well with adults

Fourteen year old

  • Generally pleasant, sunny disposition
  • Highly critical of parents and embarrassed by them
  • High level of interest in the opposite sex
  • Often a high interest in extracurricular activities
  • Wants to please and be popular
  • Has a large circle of both gender friends

Fifteen year old

  • Typically quarrelsome and unwilling to share their problems with others
  • Want to be independent and free of their family
  • Typically gets along better with siblings than parents
  • Friendships are highly important
  • Romantic interests and sex are common

Sixteen year old

  • Good overall relationship with family
  • Begins to see parents as human beings instead of authority figures
  • Friendships highly important, may have a wide circle of both gender friends
  • Love interests can be intense