In early child brain development, child development
Concept 6: Toxic stress is associated with persistent effects on the nervous system and stress hormone systems that can damage developing brain architecture and lead to lifelong problems in learning, behaviour, and both physical and mental health.
When a child is subjected to stress the heart rate increases, the blood pressure rises and stress hormones (eg. cortisol) levels are elevated. These responses are necessary for healthy development but they must quickly return to baseline when the threat is removed or mastered.
Concept 7: Creating the right conditions is likely to be more effective and less costly than addressing problems at a later age.
As the old say", so here saying goes "prevention is better than cure", so here too remedial work upon the brain is difficult, costly and time-consuming. Scientists use the term plasticity to refer to the capacity of the brain to change. Plasticity is maximal in early childhood and decreases with age. Therefore damage done to the brain in early childhood is quite irreversible. That is why the emotional, psychological and intellectual damage to a person in early childhood cannot be totally repaired. It is prudent therefore to ensure that the growth of a child's brain is well facilitated in early childhood.
The seven concepts discussed earlier have strong implication with regards to the development of the brain . A well-facilitated brain growth in early childhood can ensure a well-adjusted person in adulthood. Conversely, a disturbed brain growth in early childhood is bound to result in various forms of emotional and psychological 'hang-ups' in adulthood.
It is a short lived, part of growing up process and a child must encounter such stresses many times in his life because they are essential in facing the realities of life. These experiences include meeting new people, dealing with frustration, coping with temporary separation, discipline and getting an immunization.
The stress is severe but is relieved by supportive relationships that help the child to cope. Some of such stress-inducing experiences are death in the family, serious illness of a loved one, a frightening injury, a natural disaster, a divorce of parents or any such traumatic experience. These experiences can have long-term effects on the child but in the midst of supportive adults the child become stronger.
Here the stress is strong and prolonged without the buffering protection of adult support. Such stress can be induced by continuous family chaos, recurrent physical or emotional abuse, prolonged maternal depression, chronic neglect, repeated exposure to violence in the family and community, etc. Levels of stress hormones remain high for long periods of time and interfere with brain development leading to emotional and psychological scarring as well as later difficulties in learning, memory and self-regulation.