Thoughts on functional age equivalent vs. chronological age

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by nerfherder, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    I note that some parents/caregivers might have use for this idea.

    I realized a couple years ago, that while observing Kiddo interacting with The Baby Vikings, she shared behavioral and emotional reactions with the four year old. I started watching in more depth, and figured, "OK, Kiddo's emotional function is that of a four year old girl."

    I didn't realize how important that understanding was until a year or so later, when in a fit of pique she made accusations at school, which led to a home visit from a CPS social worker and a deputy sheriff. In the deputy's interviews with all involved, when he surprised me by asking All The Right Questions, one he asked was "About what age would you say she functions at?" Things not having changed that much, I was able to state with confidence "She functions emotionally at the level of a four year old."

    After his private interview with her, when he assured me (whereupon, unlike the supermom I have a reputation for being, I burst into tears) that he saw no evidence of abuse or neglect, he said "Mrs. ______, you nailed her developmental age perfectly."

    (note: This deputy is known to a few other parents of challenging offspring, a couple of us have shared "Deputy C____" tales of how he helped us - and how respected he is in this small town. He told me that after he retires, he wants to go back to school and study to be a special needs teacher.)

    So, when you think about how to act, how to react with your difficult child's, how easy is it to say "He's at the level of a ___ Year Old?" How much does having that as a tool in your toolbox help you find help, and help you cope?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, our difficult child's do function at a lower functional age for quite a while. The good news is that most of them do catch up eventually. That time is normally when their frontal lobe finally completely finishes growing at about 24/25. Yeah I know that sounds like a long time.

    It doesnt always work though. My idiot brother in law is stuck acting like a 5 - 7 year old. My oldest granddaughter likes to play with him because he is right at her level. Tony and I picked up on it right away. He would color with her, pick up on her jokes when he couldnt understand ours, plays dolls with her, everything. Its as if he is a 7 year old. She is 6 and a half. When she outgrows him I dont know what will happen. I know he doesnt much like teens.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Yes, it's hard to remember sometimes that though she's intellectually functioning above her age of 11, her emotional age is about 5. But she's too big for spankings these days. *sigh* She wears a bigger shoe size than I do already.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    And our kidlets can have different developmental levels in different areas which complicates things. It is hard for people to understand that a child may be gifted in one area yet significantly delayed in another.

    academically: 12
    emotional: 4
    cognitive: 7
    language: 5
    athleticism: 9

    chronological: 14
    academically: 10
    emotional: 10
    cognitive: 12
    language: 9
    athleticism: 12

    chronological: 15
    academically: 13
    emotional: 15
    cognitive: 13
    language: 12
    athleticism: 18