SED 1: Identity of Self in Relationship to Others

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Definition: Child shows increasing awareness of self as distinct from and also related to others

SED 1: Identity of Self in Relation to OthersView examples of the developmental levels for SED Measure 1 below: Responding Earlier, Responding Later, Exploring Earlier, Exploring Later, Building Earlier, Buidling Middle, Building Later, Integrating Earlier



Note: For young children, learning is an integrated experience. The examples below may include multiple areas of learning and development.

Responding Earlier

Responds in basic ways to others

Possible Examples

  • Attends to a familiar adult during feeding.
  • Quiets when hears a familiar adult.
  • Grasps an adult’s finger when palm of child’s hand is touched.



Responding Later

Uses senses to explore self and others

Possible Examples

  • Examines own hand or foot by looking at it or mouthing it.
  • Touches others’ hair when it is within reach.
  • Plays with sound by repeating grunts and squeals.

Source: California Department of Education. 2016.

Exploring Earlier

Recognizes self and
familiar people

Possible Examples

  • Orients toward a familiar adult when own name is spoken or signed.
  • Points to picture of self on the wall.
  • Smiles when a familiar adult enters the room.

Exploring Later

Communicates own name and names of familiar people (e.g., “dada,” “mama,” “grandma,” or sibling’s name)

Possible Examples

  • Communicates, “Me llamo Luis,” [“My name is Luis,” in Spanish].
  • Communicates names of immediate family members in a photo.
  • Looks to new baby sister and communicates her name.

Building Earlier

Expresses simple ideas about self and connection to others

Possible Examples

  • Acts out roles from own family in pretend play.
  • Communicates, “I’m making cookies—just like Grandma!” while rolling play dough.
  • Draws picture of a house and communicates, “This is my house.”

Building Middle

Describes self on others based on physical

Possible Examples

  • Communicates, using communication board, “His hair is red!”
  • Identifies own height, as indicated on a growth chart posted on the wall.
  • Narrates details while drawing a picture of a friend.
  • Draws a picture of own family, representing traits such as heights and hair colors.

Building Later

Describes own preferences or feelings;
Describes the feelings or desires of family members, friends, or
other familiar people

Possible Examples

  • Communicates to an adult, “I was mad when it rained because we couldn’t go outside.”
  • Communicates that a friend is happy because he is going to have a birthday party.
  • Says, “Ayokong hawakan ang susô. Na tatakot ako,” [“I don’t want to touch the snail. It scares me,” in Tagalog].

Integrating Earlier

Compares own  preferences or feelings to those of others

Possible Examples

  • Selects a pink scarf for a friend whose favorite color is pink, then selects a blue scarf for self.
  • Communicates to a peer that they both like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • Communicates, “我喜 歡 游泳, 但是我姐 姐不 喜歡,” [“I love to swim, but my sister doesn’t,” in Chinese].


What would your example be?

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