The Sensitive Periods in child development-II

Further to my earlier post yesterday, ( Click here to view the post ) on the 1st Sensitive Period, lets hop along to learn about the other sensitive periods :

2) The Period of Refinement of senses

                   A crawling child is a natural explorer, who picks up objects and puts them in the mouth. He not only tastes that object but uses all other senses like seeing, touching, smelling etc… Stimulating a particular sense organ causes this co-ordination between senses. So, this Inter Sensory synchronization can be can be improved to perfection by sincere teaching and assistance. The senses act as a point of contact with the environment and the mind becomes extremely skilful from what it grabs from the senses. This sensitivity can be seen unto the age of eight years. 

The Five Senses

                   A number of times, I have observed my daughter reacting only to selected stimuli. She sees, hears, and smells, touches or tastes only which she wants to. She only responds to when her name is called and does not pay attention when I call other people in my house. Similarly, when I watch music channel, she only turns back, to see her favourite song on the TV. This choosy reaction is very essential for preventing our mind from being clogged with stimuli.

                   So, Dr Montessori has felt the importance of giving the ultimate training for the refinement of senses for the child. She has devised good teaching apparatus for this purpose.

3) The Period of Sensitivity to Language
                 Language is an appliance of combined thought. Though the child was dumb at birth, his capability to learn a language in a short span of time is really amazing. Activity through language is very necessary for a child’s intellectual development. The child possesses a minuscule teacher within who introduces him to the sounds first and then syllables, words follow and finally grammar. By the age of five years, he is able to use the basic language. He further masters the language during his primary school period.              

             In this sensitive period, the baby has great rational authority to which best attention has to be given. If the supremely sensitive child is prevented from learning the basic language, he may suffer defective intellectual growth, which will become permanent. The best example for this is the “Wild Boy of Aveyron” ( Jean Itard,1801 ), who was isolated from the society during childhood. After so many efforts, he became social but could never speak. 

Victor, the Wild Boy of Averyon

The other three sentivites will be published in the next article that follows. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Rajesh.

      Children are little warriors fighting to grow up as adults around them. It is indeed interesting to know these minute details and how they overcome by working towards perfection.


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