Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child Essay

Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child Essay


Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

Assessment of growth and development in children provides healthcare providers, parents, and teachers with vital information regarding the different growth components, including cognitive, motor, language and learning, and socioemotional elements. Assessment of children is essential because it can help identify behavior and learning issues that might require special interventions  (Lally & Valentine, 2021). Children have different needs depending on theirage; thus, it is necessary to use growth and development milestones for appropriate age when conducting the pediatric assessment. The purpose of this paper is to explore assessment techniques used for school-going children of different ages and examine the growth and developmental stage of a five-year-old in respect of Erikson’s stages of development.

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Physical Assessments among School-Aged Children

The physical examination approach is the same for all school-going children, 5-12 years old. It startswith taking vital signs, weight, height, and a head-to-toe exam. However, different techniques are used for smaller children and the older ones and interactions also vary  with during the physical examination. For smaller children, 5-7 years, non-medical terms should be used to describe the different exams. Additionallythe nurse should engage the child to talk about school activities as she conduct the physical examination  (Lally & Valentine, 2021). When examining older school-going children, the nurse can use medical terms but explain what they mean. For older children, the nurse can engage them in conversation about school performance and challenges rather than activities.Additionally, the nurse should apply modesty when physically examining older kids as they are sensitive to privacy  (Lally & Valentine, 2021). One common strategy a nurse can use for all the school-going children is, being open to answering any questions they might have.

Older children are more attentive, intelligent, and cooperative than younger ones. According to Piaget’s Stages of Development, a five-year-old falls in the preoperational stage (2-7 years) while a 10-year-old belongs to the concrete operational stage (7-11 years). Hence, at ten years, a child has a better understanding, higher cognitive development and intellectual abilities thana six-year-old (Lally & Valentine, 2021). Similarly, when using games and questions to engage a child as a strategy for developing rapport, a nurse will use different approaches for a younger kid and an older one. Older kids from 8 years understand the difference between reality and fiction; thus, a practitioner can use more developed games/stories/trivia to engage with them.

Assessment of 5-year-old Child

My chosen case is a 5-year-old girl, Ellis. Ellis was 3 kg at birth and has had average growth throughout. She has never been hospitalized save the occasional outpatient visits. She has undergone all the recommended immunizations from birth to now. School performance is average, and she relates well socially with friends. According to CDC developmental milestone, at five years, the language/communication developments expected of Ellis include telling a story composed of at least two events, maintaining a back-and-forth conversation, and answering simple questions after reading a story (CDC, 2022). Similarly, the cognitive milestones that Ellis should achieve at age five include counting 1-10 and naming numbers when pointed. Ellis should also recognize letters and write some letters of her name. she should be able to use the time words including evening, yesterday, morning, tomorrow and so on. The movement milestones expected at this stage is hopping on a single foot and buttoning own clothes. Finally, the social/emotional milestone achievements are following rules, singing/dancing/acting, and helping with simple house chores.

Erickson Stages of Development

According to Erikson’s stages of development, Ellis falls in the locomotor stage (3-6 years), described as initiative vs. guilt. During this stage, the child becomes more assertive as they explore the world and their abilities (Chung, 2018).A child who goes through this stage successfully feels independent and secure in their abilities and making decisions. To achieve engagement and cooperation, I would ask Ellis about her friends, whom she likes, and the classmates she feels are mean to her. Additionally, Ellis is more attached to her dolls and imaginary plays at this stage. I will ask her the names of her dolls and her favorite play. The potential findings from the assessment will include a high level of cognitive development and understanding(Galotti, 2018). Another potential finding is either a girl with high confidence or lacks confidence symbolizing the success of the locomotor stage, or lacks confidence because of feelings of guilt. Additionally, another potential finding will be behavioral issues such as antisocial behavior, if present, signalling a possible mental health concern.


Assessment of school-age children is a highly engaging process that requires applying various strategies to gain cooperation depending on the age. For example, a child who is five years has a developed understanding but will still need guidance on answering questions. To engage a child who is five years old and gain cooperation, talking about her friends and favorite plays will do the trick since play and friendship are central to this stage. Erikson’s stages of development place a 5-year-old child in the locomotor stage. Success through this stage leads to the development of purpose, while failure causes a sense of guilt. Finally, cognitive and social/emotional development will potentially be observed through the assessment.



CDC. (2022, February 7). Important Milestones: Your Child By Five Years. Retrieved from CDC:

Chung, D. (2018). The Eight Stages of Psychosocial Protective Development: Developmental Psychology. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 8, 369-398. https://doi.10.4236/jbbs.2018.86024.

Galotti, K. M. (2018). Cognitive psychology: In and out of the laboratory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Lally, M., & Valentine, S. (2021). Cognitive Development in Early Childhood. In M. Lally, & S. Valentine, Lifespan Development: A Psychological Perspective (pp. University of Arkansas.


Assessment Description
The needs of the pediatric patient differ depending on age, as do the stages of development and the expected assessment findings for each stage. In a 500-750-word paper, examine the needs of a school-aged child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and discuss the following:

Compare the physical assessments among school-aged children. Describe how you would modify assessment techniques to match the age and developmental stage of the child.
Choose a child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Identify the age of the child and describe the typical developmental stages of children that age.
Applying developmental theory based on Erickson, Piaget, or Kohlberg, explain how you would developmentally assess the child. Include how you would offer explanations during the assessment, strategies you would use to gain cooperation, and potential findings from the assessment.
You are required to cite a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.


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