Jul 1, 2009

Connection Between Child's Brain with Love & Affection given to them.

Back few months I watch Oprah. (Been wanting to write about it, but got stuck with some other stuff.) The show was covering an important topic regarding “children’s brain development linking to love and affection given to them”.

They showed the story of a little girl name Danielle, who is a 10yrs old girl (6yrs old when they found her) with the brain activity/development of an infant. Little Danielle lived on a quiet street in a tiny run down house. A neighbour saw the pale young girl looking out a broken window and called the authorities. When help arrived they found a starving six-year-old wearing nothing but a diaper. She weighed 43 pounds and was unable to speak, she communicated by grunting. The house was filthy with feces and cigarettes on the floor and infested with thousands of cockroaches.

She had been neglected and abused by her family, was found eating whatever found on the ground and she was only wearing a very badly soiled diaper!!! Sad, but true. Then she was adopted by a kind and loving family...and that’s where the uncovering story begins.

As Dr. Perry said in the opening minutes, Danielle's story is just the tip of the iceberg. What happened to Dani at the hands of her birthmom is unthinkable for most emotionally healthy parents. But for thousands of adoptive and foster families, they see children with varying degrees of developmental delays due to trauma daily.

In Dani's case it looks as if she has severe autism or mental retardation. In other cases the child can look like they have ADHD, or can have more sociopathic behaviors, be diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, or look as if nothing is wrong.

What didn't get detailed in the show was Dr. Perry's book (i didn’t read the whole book, just had a few snapshot on the internet), which is full of case studies that show the myriad of ways that trauma can manifest itself in developing brains. If my understanding is correct, actually Dani is not retarted or autism. It’s just that her brain did not get enough stimulation to grow due to the neglect.

Dr. Perry explained that the effects this neglect has on children can vary, but the lack of brain stimulation in the early years can cause developmental delays and even permanent damage. Neglected children may struggle with basic skills, education and building relationships.

Oprah spoke with Judge Tracy Sheehan via satellite who was appointed Danielle's legal advocate before becoming a judge. Judge Sheehan had never seen a neglect case as bad as Danielle's, saying "It was really mind boggling that a child was so devoid of social skills. She couldn't grab her sippy cup. She couldn't do positive or negative reinforcement regarding potty training...she was being raised like a potted plant, literally."

Further, Dr. Perry spoke on how parenting in this modern age is very different to how children were raised in centuries and generations past. The development of a child's brain benefited from the multiple number of caretakers and close relationships in the past - aunts, grandmothers and others were a regular part of a child's life. Now, children are sent to daycare where 1 adult can care for up to 10 children at a time combined with isolated parents who struggle to cope with the day. Dr. Perry didn't call this neglect, but underdevelopment of a child's potential. It is not that it is not a good thing for us to be sending out kids to daycare, just make sure that your kid still does get sufficient stimulation to aid the brain develop.

Did you know that brain scans prove that a child not receiving the correct stimulus, nurturing and interaction will actually prevent a child's brain from developing in size and actual grey matter?

Dr. Perry was one of the first people to use MRI technology to look at the effects inadequate nurturing and touch or lack of touch can have on the brain of a small child. He compares a brain scan of a normal, healthy 3-year-old child with a child who was severely neglected his first three years of life. "The first thing is that the brain is a little bit smaller. The brains of really severely neglected children tend to be smaller than the brains of children who have not been neglected," he says. "The brain didn't grow and shrink. It just didn't grow”. Shocking? Terkujat?

On the brain scan, Dr. Perry also notices dark spaces in the neglected child's brain. "Big, big ventricular spaces, which will impact sleep, regulation of anxiety, regulation of mood, whether or not you're very happy or sad," he says.

"As you grow, the brain is essentially like a sponge," Dr. Perry says. "It's absorbing all kinds of experiences. So if a child is not held, touched, talked to, interacted with, loved, literally neurons do not make those connections, and many of them actually will die." If you guys remember the TV advertisement susu with the glowing brain, your child’s brain is exactly as it is being demonstrated. The milk might help those tiny cells connect, but true love and attention works better. Do you agree with me?

Simple things like eye contact, touch, rocking and humming can make all the difference to a baby. It makes neurons grow, it makes them make connections.....Then, it makes the brain more functional. So anak akan makin pintar, bukan?

So remember to hug and kiss your kid at every given chance ok, it will make them smarter!!

9 comments:

yatie chomeyl said...

ok. i'll make sure i hug and kisses baby SN every single second sampai dia rimas dgn mommy dia hehehe

Ely Hasrul said...

sedihnye depress dgr psl danielle nih. i since sami sehari smpai skang i love u hug & kisses mmg xbenti.. skang sami bleh ckp 'i luwuluwlwu' back kt kitorg hahahahhahahahha patu kiss dia abis la basah muka kitorg hahahhahaa

Mama-Miya a.k.a MiuMiu a.k.a "Jedi Hopeful" said...

ely miya pun kata "Aaai Laay Yuu" siap buat sign language i luv u. makin syg kan bila anak syg kita blk. peluk kita pun gaya peluk geram2 cam syg sgt. cant imagine camne nak neglect anak coz terlalu syg kan?

Farah said...

huhu sedihnye dgn citer danielle tu..sampai mcm tu sekali neglection memberi impact kat budak...

ni yang rase cam nak benti keje je..

nadnye said...

Bestnta info nie...kesian kat Dani tu.. no human touch at all, anak sendiri tak jaga..

Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D. said...

There is effective treatment for children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is an evidence-based, effective, and empirically supported treatment. see Creating Capacity for Attachment, edited by Arthur Becker-Weidman & Deborah Shell, for example

kakyong said...

ohhh.. harus semakin kerap bermain & berpeluk2 dgn anak2 nih... :D

Hanz said...

If only I can be WAHM...takper2, pujuk diri sendiri masa terluang sentiasa diabadikan ngan anak2.thanks for the infos.

Momma Mia said...

good sharing. Thanks dear.

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor am I a lawyer. I am not a scientist nor am I an expert. I am just a wife and a mother, who is putting her thoughts and findings in a blog. All of the posting on this website & my blogs were written by me for educational purposes and as my sentimental library, but are not meant to diagnose nor treat any medical disorders. Any other materials that I may have quote from other published materials are for educational purposes only and not for any other manipulative reasons. Anyway, whatever weird stuff that I published are the real stuff that I believe works for me. Tips and tricks that might work for me. You are free to put it in your head if you thinks its valuable, but if you think its rubbish... Please don't mock me. Do please shut your pie hole.
 
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