Saturday, July 6, 2013

Easy to Read Books on Child Development: Series by Louise Bates Ames

Louise Bates Ames was an American psychologist specializing in child development. She worked at the Yale Clinic of Child Development and hosted one of the first TV shows on child development.  She died in 1966. She published a series of easy to read books on child development by age, one for each year from 1-9 and then a book about ages 10-14.  Although dated in some ways, the book series is a nice resource for parents wanting to know about temperament changes and how this is impacted by developmental levels. 

Because my son had some developmental symptoms, I had trouble knowing what was just typical development and what was a struggle connected with his autistic qualities.  These books were a quick resource that helped me put his changing interaction styles into perspective.

 Excerpt from Your Three-Year-Old:  Just as the tides have their rhythms, so does human behavior have its own predictable rhythms.  As the child grows older, "good" ages alternate with "bad"; times of equilibrium alternate with times of disequilibrium; and periods when behavior tends to be expansive and outgoing alternate with periods when everything seems to be pulled in.

I personally appreciated having a resource that talked about the developmental stages of temperament, rather than just focusing on cognitive or motor goals for each age.  Some have commented that the books don't contain much information or that they are dated.  I would say that is probably true, but the dated portions don't negate the developmental gold in the pages, and the fact that the text is not complex is a plus for me.