The development is an inclusive term that incorporates changes in several areas. These areas or domains deal with 3 broad categories:
Physical and motor development: It refers to changes in body-size and structure, functioning of various body systems, brain development, perceptual and motor development.
Cognitive development: It refers to the development of cognitive and intellectual processes, including memory, attention, intelligence , academic knowledge, problem solving, imagination and creativity. It also includes development of language.
Socio-emotional development: It refers to how we develop relationships with other people, and how our emotions emerge and change as we grow older. It includes emotional communication and self-control, understanding of self and others, interpersonal skills, personality, and emergence of friendship and moral reasoning.
These domains or areas are inter-related and combine in a holistic manner to make a person’s developmental pattern unique. Each domain influences and is influenced by others. As a baby develops physically, several motor skills are acquired. As the baby becomes capable of grasping, reaching, sitting, crawling, standing and walking, he or she is able to better explore the environment, resulting in further cognitive development.
Improved thinking and understanding helps formation of better social relations as well as emotional expression and comprehension. On the whole, each domain helps the child move towards enriched experiences, learning and overall development.