Skill Attainment and Loss

Skill attainment is the acquisition of a particular behavior once it has been shown to be performed consistently and meaningfully. Skill loss refers to the phenomenon that occurs when a previously acquired skill ceases to be displayed; the lost skill may or may not be later regained. Loss of previously acquired skills in the form of true developmental regression is generally associated with atypical development and is quite rare, but a slightly different phenomenon occurs in typical development. Normative development includes discontinuities, reflecting developmental processes that may appear as reversions but ultimately lead to the specialization and progression of skills. This entry provides examples of skill attainment and discontinuous typical development throughout the life span and then describes skill loss in atypical development.


Infants go through ...

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