Images of children’s brains: normal versus neglected
Last week we talked about how hardship in the early years can show up in the actual brain development of children. Today, we have the pictures. New brain images of children with normal and neglected childhoods shockingly demonstrate how important the early years are for children’s cognitive development.
Neurologists say that adverse childhood experiences can shape the development of young brains. Such brain research has only been applied to child advocacy relatively recently. But looking at the studies, there is no doubt that much of a child’s success in life is determined by brain development during the first years.
We can’t ignore the evidence. If we are really dedicated to making sure every child has a chance, then we must, as a society, do more to make sure those early years help a child’s development. High quality child care can provide children with stimulating experiences and anti-poverty programs can prevent hardship and deprivation at home. When you vote next week, think of the kids we can help by investing more in the early years.