The Amazing Brain part 4
Posted: Wed, 05 May 2021 14:08
This four-part mini-series is all about our brain: It is the most remarkable organ in our bodies, it can reorganize and change itself (neuroplasticity) and there are links to what and how we do things in Conductive Education.
This fourth and final part is "Child Development and the Brain".
Every child is born with a staggering 100 billion neurons in their brain. That is a galaxy worth of nerve cells ready to start exchanging electrical impulses and creating neural pathways.
While you are never too old to learn, the first five years of life are critical for neurological development. During this time, the brain is developing at rapid speed making it the ideal time to harness neuroplasticity.
In the case of brain injury and neurological disability, the more specific the skill is that a person practises, the more likely they are to recover. To maximise the brain's ability to adapt or rewire itself, research shows that getting access to intervention as early as possible will give a child the best chance of learning, regardless of the condition or diagnosis.
When it comes to brain injury in babies and children, we know that to be successful, early intervention must:
• Be individualised to the child's specific needs to maximise a child's potential.
• Minimise known complications that might interfere with learning.
• Focus on practising real-life skills (training in motor skills, cognitive skills, communication skills, reading skills, sleeping skills).
• Maximise learning opportunities in the home, preschool/school and other key environments
• Include parental support to reduce anxiety, stress and depression in parents.
Here are a few suggestions you can try, to help your child's brain to learn and grow:
This image is a bit small so here is the link: https://bellevuetoddlers.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/brain-map.pdf
Most importantly, remember that your health and well-being matter too! We are often our children's first teachers and they not only learn about practical things from us but pick up on attitudes that can last a lifetime. It is really important to take care of your own physical and mental health to be able to 'parent' well.
Novak, I. (2019). Why Neuroplasticity is the Secret Ingredient for Kids with Special Needs. Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Available at www.cerebralpalsy.org.au. (Accessed: 15/03/2021).