Influences of genetics and the environment to individual differences

One of the jobs of human service professionals is to explain complicated theories to clients using simple language. See how well you can practice this. Remember, you are all practicing together; write to each other with ideas. Read the case below and respond to the questions in paragraph form (for your main post).

Case of Alex and Sally

You are working as a child protection caseworker for the state and have been concerned about one of your foster families. Earlier in the week, Martha (foster mom) called in distressed because baby Alex (10 months) did not seem to be engaging in social activities or learning much and she fears that he is “withdrawn and delayed”. She complained that his foster sister Sally (16 months) was much more adventurous and sociable. Both children have been evaluated by a child psychologist and were found to be within acceptable rates of development.

You have an appointment with Martha to discuss her concerns. How will you explain the influences of genetics and the environment to help her understand individual differences? What advice would you give to Martha to help her foster growth for Alex?

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