Each student will interview a child or adolescent in a non-clinical context (with parents or caregivers, or with peers or in a social setting) for one hour. Choose a child of a similar age to children you work with or are interested in. The interview does not need to follow a rigid structure. Prior to the interview/observation, look through your textbook for concepts that will help guide your thinking and planning (see Davies pg. 249-250). write 100 words describing the information you’re seeking from the exercise and what you hope to gain from the experience. Acknowledge preconceived biases and reflect on them.
Remember children are not inclined to sit still for an hour and answer questions so you may need to engage in play while asking questions. Consider bringing a ball, toys, crayons and paper to the interview. You cannot interview an infant, but you can interact with the infant, gauge responses, and draw meaning from the interaction. You can also talk to the parents.
Notice how the individual relates to others, plays, expresses feelings, makes sense of what is happening, and finds ways to act according to social expectations (and possibly, not as expected). Note what seems typical or atypical about this child’s age-functioning and any characteristics that you think make this child unique or distressed. Write up findings from the interview/observation in narrative form. (you only need to write the findings not the interview)
After writing your findings, spend some time reflecting in writing. What did you learn? What surprised you? What were you right about? What were you wrong about? Were you able to engage the child in a way that produced meaningful interaction and answers to questions? If not, what might you change to ensure a more fruitful process next time? What biases did you have to overcome and were you able to do so? What about the experience or the individual child challenged your biases? DO NOT write that you have no biases.