It is important to know the difference between the sequence and the rate of development, as it helps to identify the child’s abilities and needs during these stages
Sequence of Development
The Sequence of development refers to the fact that development usually follows the same basic pattern, that it usually happens in the same order. The sequence of development is a definite order of milestones that children and young people meet and accomplish. This means that children usually finish one area of development before moving to another. If a child has difficulty meeting a milestone, it can mean some delay in progressing to the next development area too. These developments can vary in each child. An example of this could be that a baby will learn to hold their head up before learning to sit unaided. Or a child will learn to walk before they can run.
Rate of Development
The Rate of development refers to the speed at which the child’s development takes place. This also varies in each child although they tend to follow the same pattern. For example where one baby may achieve walking unaided at 10 months another may accomplish it at 16 months.
The main difference between the sequence and rate of development is that the sequence is the order in which development takes place, while the rate is the time frame given for the average development of a child at a certain age. All children, however, are unique and will therefore develop at their own rate, so the rate of development is just a guideline. It is important to understand that although the sequence remains generally the same, the development rate can change considerably and many other factors such as individual growth patterns, social background, health and nutrition, disability and learning difficulties can have an effect on the rate of the development.