How Can We Know So Much About The Early Years And Yet Do So Little

rhamilton's picture

Compelling neurobiological and behavioural evidence points to events occurring between conception and 6 years of age as key determinants of human brain development. During these early years many external stimuli, sights, sounds, touch, food, effect the brain for life with lasting impacts on the child’s development, behaviour, school performance and vulnerability to various diseases. Coordinated science-based national clinical programs, in Sweden and Cuba for example, have shown that the deficiencies resulting from deficient shaping of a child’s development in those early years can be ameliorated or totally reversed. Unfortunately many wealthy countries, including Canada lag far behind in dealing with this major societal problem. More than a quarter of Canadian children reach school age with significant developmental deficiencies-scary stuff!

Might this website serve as an effective conduit to spur additional research and foster collaboration between scientists, advocates, health care professionals, educators, donor agencies and policy makers? How can cost effective care programs be mounted? What advise do Cuban and Swedish researchers and care givers offer?

The journal of Paediatrics and Child Health recently (December 2009, Vol. 14 N010) published brief summaries of presentations made at a May 2009 Conference in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada entitled “Putting Science into Action”. There are not comprehensive detailed papers but they provide a compelling look an urgent, very disturbing problem.

Richard Hamilton

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