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Judith McGuinness

Developmentally a 2-year old is just learning speech but they don’t understand adult logic, they can’t mentally manipulate information. They only know things from their own perspective, they are egocentric, and their logic is based only on their own limited knowledge. Therefore, they would need to have someone advocate for them. As a CASA, it would help to interview as many close adults as possible to better try to understand the child’s needs. You can also look for certain cues to see if they are being abused, as they would be in the most vulnerable age range. At 7 years of age a child starts to think logically about concrete events. They are aware of things that are happening around them and will be able to voice their opinion. You would be able to tell if they were afraid to say something that would make mom or dad angry.They still cannot think in abstract or hypothetical ways so it would need to be brought to their attention that there are alternatives to a situation to understand very clearly what they wish would happen going forward. At 15, an adolescent is old enough to understand hypothetical and alternative situations but may be hostile and rebellious. It is best to try to connect with them on a different level first, to share things in common so that you can build trust.