Curiosity is something that is developed very early in life and becomes very evident once a child starts to move. Although it can be very annoying to pull babies out of cupboards, dishwashers, refrigerators and toilets, curiosity is an extremely important foundation to a child’s neurotypical development. Curiosity allows discoveries – it offers children those “ah ha” moments in life. If a child doesn’t explore his/her environment – in safe circumstances only of course – the opportunity to make discoveries is lost!
- I can’t seem to get anything done while you are awake! Anytime I try to work in the kitchen, you are immediately into what I’m doing. I open the refrigerator, and there you are pulling something out of the door. I try to prepare food, and you empty every cupboard. I empty the dishwasher, and YIKES – you’re going for a sharp knife!
- You’re not only into my stuff all the time, but your sisters’ as well. If they are doing a puzzle, you sit on it. If they are playing in their room, it isn’t long before I hear, “Mom!!!!” We all love you, but your sisters have appropriately changed your name from little brother to little bother.
- Balls are so intriguing! If there is a ball or anything that resembles a ball, you crawl quickly to it. Once you pass it to me, you’ll look right at me and throw your arms in the air and scream. It’s so fun! If there isn’t anybody available to play, you’ll accept that and play catch with yourself. You’ll throw it; go and get it; and then throw it again. It keeps you busy for a long time! That lasted for about a week, and now you’re onto new things. You get bored easily.
- Brushing teeth is a very interesting event as well. Dad will hold you while he brushes his teeth, and gives you a toothbrush as well. You’ll look at him so intently while he brushes, and then put your toothbrush in your mouth. You think you are so cool brushing your teeth like dad. The look of accomplishment on your face is priceless.
- You are really getting into playing games, and find it so funny when the game changes. I handed you the top to a jar, and you handed it right back. I handed it to you, and you handed it right back (much like how we play ball). I then put it on your knee. You thought that was so funny, you grabbed it and handed it back. I put it on my knee, and the game continued. When I put it on my head, you got up, grabbed it, and tried to put it on your head – all while cracking up.
- I can no longer leave the room without you getting upset. It seems as though separation anxiety has kicked in. It’s very apparent that your awareness of your surroundings has gotten much better!
- You are beginning to cruise around now. Your crawling has gotten faster, and you can pull yourself up to stand with ease. It allows you to feed your curiosity about what’s going on in the rest of the world, and you love it! Now that you can do that much, let’s just get to walking.
If your child is always fixated on one thing when entering an environment, s/he is being robbed of making daily discoveries: How does my mom greet people? Do I greet grandma the same way I greet a cashier? How am I supposed to act in a gym as opposed to church? These sorts of skills are often taught if a child lacks it; but when not discovered in a natural environment, these skills can look very awkward or be inappropriate in different settings! Even in a gym, the expectation of how we’d behave changes according to what is happening in the gym. We are constantly appraising our surroundings to determine the appropriate way to act. Through the use of RDIÒ strategies, these discoveries can be made for a child who wouldn’t otherwise make them on his/her own. Give us a call if you want to know how!