Personal or internal factors are those who are specific to the child.
There are 5 main personal factors that can influence a child’s development, these are:
• Genetic: genes are determined at conception. If something is faulty at this stage, this can have an enormous impact on the child’s development. Genetic multifactorial disorders (inherited from the parents’ DNA) such as a high blood pressure, hearth diseases, CNS disorders, diabetes or other immune system illnesses. In some cases, it may be necessary to check each parent’s DNA (prenatal tests) to learn about genetic inheritance patterns. Moreover, if a mother misuse substances or smokes when pregnant, there is an increased chance of delivering an underweight baby at birth.
• Health: this is a crucial factor that can change the child’s development. Proper nutrition has a significant impact on a child’s development both physically and psychologically. Nutrition is related to functional outcomes for children as they grow. An unhealthy eating can lead to weight gain/loss and other negative effects. Asthma, or other health problems due to the surrounding environment, such as an inadequate quality of living conditions, or prolonged exposure to environmental pollutants may as well determine a delay in the child’s development.
• Physical disability or a disadvantage in the language, such as a delayed language or communication problems, may impact children’s development. In fact, when children can’t fully express themselves may find it very difficult to develop friendships. This personal factor affects cognitive and social/emotional development because language is connected to the expression of children’s thoughts. For example, a child in a wheelchair with little or no control over his/her limbs, or a child with a serious physical impairment, would find it hard to do many learning activities, especially those physical.
• Sensory impairments: children with hearing or visual impairments for instance may have a delayed cognitive development. For example, a light may be too bright, or a voice tone/noise level can be too low. Some children may have other sensory impairments: they may find a smell distracting or repellent (e.g. onion, garlic, damp, etc). These impairments may be difficult to identify for early years and school practitioners.
• Learning difficulties: children with learning disabilities have a delayed cognitive development as they won’t be able to learn information at the same level of their peers. These difficulties can affect not only the cognitive development, but also both social and emotional development. In fact, these children may not be able to play in the same way as their peers and will not be able to fully understand the needs of other children. This will ultimately make impossible or very hard to play by rules correctly, due to the fact they will not fully understand the rules.