What Do Children Need
All children, those who are developing typically or atypically, those who have developmental disabilities, and those who are at-risk for developing problems, have a number of physical and psychological needs in common. These needs must be met if infants and children are to survive, thrive, and develop to their best potential. Many developmental psychologists view the early years as the most critical years in the entire lifespan. Never again will a child grow so rapidly or change so dramatically. During these very early years, children learn all of the many behaviors that characterize human beings-walking, talking, thinking, and socializing. Truly amazing, all of that within the first two or three years! And never again will the child be so totally dependent on parents, caregivers, and teachers to satisfy the basic needs of life and to provide opportunities for learning.
To discuss essential needs in an orderly and logical fashion, they can be separated into groups. However, it must be understood that physical and psychological needs are interrelated and interdependent. Meeting a child's physical needs while neglecting psychological needs may lead to developmental problems. The opposite is true-a child who is physically neglected frequently experiences trouble in learning and getting along with others.