The self or the individual identity of a person has been a source of interest and debate since the beginning of the analysis of the person. The debate or at least the major points of discussion often center on the ideas of genetic traits and learned behavior. More simply put genetics versus environmental factors. The shaping of an individual is in actuality a combination of inert traits and physical attributes intertwined with physical growth and environmental adaptation.

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Natural cognitive development and language development have a great impact on the development of the person and their identity. Inherited traits physical and psychological are also major components of the evolution of the entire person. An example of this type of interaction between inert and adaptive traits can be witnessed in the maturation and development of my cousin who was developmentally delayed due to physical frailties and delayed cognitive development.

My third cousin, Sam, was born to an older mother with a very traditional southern parenting style. He was believed to be mute until the age of five, when a new set of doctors realized that he had actually been born deaf. The only milestone of language acquisition he had met up until that point had been the first. He had never made it beyond the stage of cooing and babbling as a baby. When other small children were completing egocentric conversations with anyone or anything that seemed to listen he remained completely silent.

As his new doctors changed Sam’s diagnosis, they were actually able to correct his hearing. Although being deaf during the major developmental period of cognitive function and reasoning had greatly delayed Sam, his personality and other inert traits like his temperament had been steadily developing. His temperament and the general style in which he behaved were very similar to most of my other cousins within the same age range. He was slightly more attached to his mother and slightly more docile, but generally speaking a majority of the familiar personality traits and quirks rang just as true with him as with others of moreaverage development and capabilities.

Page 2 Life observation and cognitive development Essay

After his hearing was corrected, Sam was placed in speech programs and classes. He quickly acquired a vast vocabulary and was able to not only make basic pronunciations and sentences but could hold conversations. Although being deaf during such a vital period of brain development hadleft him with permanent disabilities he continued to learn and develop at increased rates. Sam grew to be very self-aware and despite his disabilities went on to finish high school with his class.

Sam, who has since early childhood has been unbelievably determined and ambitious, actually went back to school to gain a regular high school diploma after not being satisfied with a graduation certificate with special preferences. Sam now actually lives completely independently and is striving toward new collegiate goals while working part time on occasion.

Sam is proof of the fact that the intricate combination of inert traits, like temperament, and cognitive development are what ultimately shape a personality and the individualized self. A person’s physical capabilities or frailties and personality ultimately shape, not only, who they are from birth, but also who they will become by determining how they interact with and adapt to their environment.

Temperament and a majority of personality traits are triggered by different combinations of genetic traits and thus traits are often seen to run in families and can be witnessed in children within weeks of birth. Cognitive development is critical during the early stages of life and determines a person’s level of generalized functioning. The intermingling of these traits is what shapes the whole of an individual. This combination of traits sets the stage for personal evolution, as well as sociological, emotional, and psychological development.

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