Brain Development in Early Childhood
The concept of brain development in early childhood has become popular in the field of Child and Adolescence. In recent years, studies have shown how critical the earlier years of life are in terms of brain development in which the child is growing and changing each week. From the time of birth to the age of five, the child’s brain is constantly going through enormous changes developing skills (forming synapses that contribute) in all three domains of physical, socio-emotional, cognitive development. Pursuing this further, although the genes may provide the basic blue print for the brain, researchers have found that experiences also shape the process that determines whether a child’s brain will provide a weak or strong foundation for all future learning. Thus, it is important to understand how this all occurs and how experiences during early childhood have a particularly large role for better or for worse in the shaping of brain development.
Research was done in the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University which is a website that specifically aims to promote awareness to parents, educators, scholars to understand the importance of how early childhood is important. The Major support for the Center on the developing child website is currently being provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Alliance for Early Success, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Harvard University.
An individual can access this website by following the next steps. The first thing is to open their web browser then type the words The center on the developing child at Harvard university then scroll down and click on the picture of the brain. Carrying further, extensive scientific research on this link has shown that the first three years of life are a period of incredible growth in all areas of a baby's development because when a child is born the brain is not yet fully developed. In fact over 80 percent of the brain development takes place outside the womb in the first years of life. For example by a child first birthday the brain will have tripled in size compared to birth.
Today there is evidence that the developing brain is affected by the support of the family, community and early experiences. The brain has several regions. Within those regions are millions of neurons or nerve cells. These neurons send messages to each other through synapses or pathways. After birth there are no new neurons just the rewiring of connections and new synapses throughout life. Over time the brain prunes or eliminates those synapses that aren't doing anything. Over pruning happens when a child is deprived from expected experiences. Some areas of the brain become less plastic or changeable when pruning is over.
Children who are rarely spoken to, have fewer toys and less experiences are at an intellectual disadvantage and more than likely will...