Monday, October 20, 2014

Planet age v. REAL Age

Planet Age vs REAL Age

You are probably asking, "Planet age what is that?" Simply put Planet age is the day we arrived on the Planet. Someone born in 1995 would be Planet age 19.

But what age are they 19 really? To determine REAL age we must assess the age at which they are currently functioning. We need to look at behavior, social development, maturity, skill mastery, and emotional development. All those criteria go into determining REAL age. If we consider all these factors they may really only be 15. 

Why is this important? If we don't pay attention to our child's REAL age then we are not effectively meeting their needs. Their development level is where their learning can happen. If we are teaching to their PLANET age we can be setting them up for failure! Wasting time and potentially a lot of money. They are just not developmentally ready to handle that new task or experience.

How do we determine their real age? Take a closer look at your child's peers. What is it that they are doing, what skills have they mastered. Now go backwards, look at a child or teen a year or too younger, then a year or two younger. Based on what you see you can come up with a rough idea of their REAL age. All children develop at their own pace, but we can help build our children's self esteem if we are teaching to their REAL age.

This is not an exact number, but the question we need to ask is; if your child's planet age is 16 and his real age 12, is teaching them to drive a good idea.  I going to say not yet. What if your child is planet age 6, but real age is 3, are they ready for kindergarten, probably not. Spend time helping him or her master some of those pre K skills in a safe and one on one environment.

Understanding our child's real age, helps us set reachable goals, that will help them bridge the gap to their neuro typical peers.