North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Emotional and Social Development (ESD)

Subdomain: Developing a Sense of Self with Others

Goal: Children form relationships and interact positively with familiar adults who are consistent and responsive to their needs.

Skill Progression: Separation

Age: 15-18 Months

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Separation anxiety peaks; vocalizes to an adult from a distance

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child when the parent leaves the child with another adult. Also watch natural interactions during routines.

Elicitation Strategy

No elicitation needed.

Behavior Observed

Separation distress may still be present, especially with babysitters. When the child is playing some distance from the adult, the child talks to the adult to maintain contact.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

For children with extreme separation anxiety, a small item that carries the early parents smell may help. Difficulty with separation may also indicate a need to work on a secure attachment, so the child can build a safe base for trust that the adult will return.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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