Thursday, April 15, 2010
Due to a wealth of research we are extremely fortunate to have the knowledge of all that contributes to making this dream possible. Ongoing scientific evidence continues to demonstrate that through meeting a child’s needs for nutrition, sleep, safety, play and loving experiences a child’s brain will have the chance to develop optimally.
The sad news is all children don’t have the opportunities for experiences that create the likelihood of this vision. Too many of our young children are exposed to multiple risk factors that can affect the development of the brain in unhealthy ways. Risk factors may be inadequate nutrition, neglect, substance abuse, maternal depression, chaos, exposure to environmental toxins, lack of time in nature, trauma and abuse, limited predictability from caregivers, high levels of stress, and lack of quality of daily care,
All of these influences can contribute to a brain being “wired” in a way that leads to emotional and learning problems. Children’s brains learn very early how to adapt or survive in the environment to which they are exposed.
We need to ensue that everyone understands the positive impact this knowledge can have. We also need to make sure everyone knows how dangerous it is for us to ignore this information. Children will benefit most if everyone is involved in first creating an awareness and then invest in implementing change. Making this happen must take place at an individual level, in families, in childcare facilities and schools, through business and community organizations and in local and state government.
If we want success for our children it is up to us, the adults in their lives, to become aware of where change is needed and then work together to continue doing all we can to see improvements take place. For this vision to happen for all children, it is up to us to develop strategies to eliminate the detrimental effects on young children, and fund programs and services which can improve the life chances for all children.
For information on how you can easily create further awareness sign up for BRAIN. This is an initiative I started in January to make a real difference simply through sharing information with those who care!