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Brain Development
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Brain Development
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Preface

This book aims to consolidate various factors that underlie the functioning of the Brain, such as parental attributes and socio-economic status of the family while analysing their association with positive deviance in the developmental status of children and young adolescents.

A child’s growth and development solely depends on the synergies amongst the social environment, the economic status of the family and the nutrition and health of the child. India has the second-largest child population in the world, so planning for children’s development mandates special care. It should actually be viewed as part of national social well-being. A large section of India’s population still suffers from poverty, malnutrition, poor health and sanitation, sub standard housing and poor education facilities. In addition to these, poor quality childcare deters Brain development from reaching the desired extent.

Earlier, the joint family system was the primary institution responsible for childcare, in society. The child’s physical, psychological, social and cognitive development was assured by the resources and the surroundings created by the joint family. The transition from the joint to the nuclear family and the socio-economic status of these units has however, brought about many changes in society. Owing to the new constraints of a nuclear family, traditional care suffered progressive attritions resulting in child neglect, abuse and exploitation. It has been seen that parent participation in early childcare and education not only improves children’s development but also strengthens parenting skills through sharing experiences with other families.

Most parents do a decent job of raising kids, but effective parenting means not just relying on natural instincts but also knowing what works exactly in the context of that particular family and the socio-economic backdrop against which children are brought up. Several inter-disciplinary factors are involved in understanding the growth and development of this vulnerable group.

A lot of research by psychologists and significant contributions from social workers and educationists has enabled attention to be focused on the importance of a child’s Brain development. Early Brain development establishes a child’s social competence, cognitive skills, emotional well-being, behaviour pattern, language, literacy skills and physical abilities towards overall competency and life resiliency.

Although a considerable effort by discerning parents, social workers and interested groupshasled towards greater investment in cognitive development of children, it is necessary to understand the scientific basis of their Brain development.

The first eight years of a child’s life is the most sensitive period when the wiring of the Brain for specific abilities is established. A child’s inquisitiveness and creativity are the biggest motivations that create new connections to acquire new skills. It is for the parents to provide responsive, nurturing and encouraging experiences to establish proper wiring of the Brain connections. Children who are well- nurtured physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually develop a multitude of neural connections that serve them well throughout their lifetime.

Children either develop the confidence to try new things or they don’t—engagement in or withdrawal from new activities depends on the type of support they receive from their parents or older siblings. This is the stage when they develop a healthy sense of eagerness to tackle new tasks without the help of adults.

Alternatively, a strict vigil by parents may create guilt- related feelings or a sense of incompetency in the minds of the children or in their actions. It could result in marked lack of self-confidence in the young minds later in their lives. The interaction and conflict between instincts and socially- influenced personality traits have a mixed effect on the mental development of these children. A more encouraging and nurturing environment created by parents however, sets the stage for optimal Brain development.

Cognitive development of children follows a sequence, but in the continuum of development, there are many hurdles. Not all children belonging to the same age group display the same development skills. Some children may show some remarkable cognitive skills earlier than others. Educational professionals together with psychologists can monitor the child’s development over time through Brain mapping through careful and regular observation. One can maintain Brain health through regular physical exercises and computer-aided Brain games that keep the Neurons active and regenerate them. Over time, Neurons that are not stimulated will fail to reconnect. Therefore, it becomes important to start neuroplasticity exercises before _ the Neurons die. Recently, neuroscientists have discovered _ that the Brain can regenerate not only neural connections but the Neurons themselves. Many Brain games are being rebranded ‘neuroplasticity exercises,’ or vice versa. Despite the many references to neuroplasticity exercises on the internet, neuroscientists are still learning about and approaching this new area of fitness with caution.

Children these days have full access to a wealth of information on the internet. They can get the latest information on world geography, cultures, traditions and lifestyles of people in distant countries, planetary systems, ecology, environment, information on extinct animals, etc. while sitting in their living rooms. There is also a variety of good quality and informative TV programmes, such as animations and cartoons, sports and music that is available round the clock. Parents should put these resources to use and spend time discussing the contents of the programmes with their children.

Foreword

I am delighted to write the foreword for the first edition of the book on Brain Development by Shri Venkateswar Pujari, Chairman, iaitc. Outside the specialized world of neuroscience and for most of the uses of daily life, the brain is more or less an abstract entity.

The Neuroscience is not a discipline—a statement that may come as a mild shock to some of its practitioners. Neuroscience is, rather, away to approach specific questions about the structure and function of the human brain, whether in healthy development or when afflicted with injury or disease. Such a topic taken for writing a useful book by the non-medical professional, definitely justifies the above statement.

The Mental health of an individual includes emotional, psychological and social well-being. A sound mental health is important in every stage of life right from the childhood. The overall growth of an individual depends upon both physical and mental well-being. Maximum development of the brain and the central nervous system occurs during childhood.

The brain is active throughout every day, even as we sleep, but we rarely, if ever, stop to consider that our thoughts, actions, and perceptions are the outcome of several trillion signals exchanged among nerve cells. The brain is such an efficient processor of information that most of the time we do not realize the magnitude of its task.

With all its intricate and powerful circuitry, the brain does not work in isolation. Most parents’ do a decent job of raising kids, but effective parenting means not Just relying on natural instincts but also knowing what works exactly in the context of that particular family and the socio-economic backdrop against which children are brought up. Several inter-disciplinary factors are involved in understanding the growth and development of this vulnerable group. There is a need for understanding the growth and development of the brain in a child and parents should strive not only for a healthy physical growth of their children but also their mental growth.

Although educators are expected to bring about functional changes in the brain (the organ of human learning) they are given no formal training in the structure, function or development of the brain in developing children as part of their education. This book consists of 12 chapters which deal with the need for awareness of brain development. The second chapter impressively elucidates the human brain anatomy and its working. The other chapters enliven various ancient and modern methods which enhance the mental and neurological working of the child’s brain.

This book has been written with a special emphasis on inculcating ancient techniques like Yoga and Karate for the development of the brain in early Stages. There is also a mention of brain-related diseases to overcome several myths and enlighten the readers about its implications and further treatment. The fruitfulness of the approach discussed in the book reaches far beyond the healthcare and research professions in most people’s everyday lives. This book is going to help all the parents, mentors and all others who strive to build a healthy society by laying a foundation . towards a child’s overall growth.

Overall, the book establishes the need for knowing the power of the brain and its functionalities with the child's development process. Reading across the content areas is designed to be reader-friendly, so that literacy is achieved by every non-medical people and can, indeed, become lifelong learners with curiosity in their brain. It is my hope and expectation that this book will provide an effective ‘earning experience and referenced resource for all health professionals caring for infants and children, leading to improved student and patient care.

**Contents and Sample Pages**








Brain Development

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148
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Preface

This book aims to consolidate various factors that underlie the functioning of the Brain, such as parental attributes and socio-economic status of the family while analysing their association with positive deviance in the developmental status of children and young adolescents.

A child’s growth and development solely depends on the synergies amongst the social environment, the economic status of the family and the nutrition and health of the child. India has the second-largest child population in the world, so planning for children’s development mandates special care. It should actually be viewed as part of national social well-being. A large section of India’s population still suffers from poverty, malnutrition, poor health and sanitation, sub standard housing and poor education facilities. In addition to these, poor quality childcare deters Brain development from reaching the desired extent.

Earlier, the joint family system was the primary institution responsible for childcare, in society. The child’s physical, psychological, social and cognitive development was assured by the resources and the surroundings created by the joint family. The transition from the joint to the nuclear family and the socio-economic status of these units has however, brought about many changes in society. Owing to the new constraints of a nuclear family, traditional care suffered progressive attritions resulting in child neglect, abuse and exploitation. It has been seen that parent participation in early childcare and education not only improves children’s development but also strengthens parenting skills through sharing experiences with other families.

Most parents do a decent job of raising kids, but effective parenting means not just relying on natural instincts but also knowing what works exactly in the context of that particular family and the socio-economic backdrop against which children are brought up. Several inter-disciplinary factors are involved in understanding the growth and development of this vulnerable group.

A lot of research by psychologists and significant contributions from social workers and educationists has enabled attention to be focused on the importance of a child’s Brain development. Early Brain development establishes a child’s social competence, cognitive skills, emotional well-being, behaviour pattern, language, literacy skills and physical abilities towards overall competency and life resiliency.

Although a considerable effort by discerning parents, social workers and interested groupshasled towards greater investment in cognitive development of children, it is necessary to understand the scientific basis of their Brain development.

The first eight years of a child’s life is the most sensitive period when the wiring of the Brain for specific abilities is established. A child’s inquisitiveness and creativity are the biggest motivations that create new connections to acquire new skills. It is for the parents to provide responsive, nurturing and encouraging experiences to establish proper wiring of the Brain connections. Children who are well- nurtured physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually develop a multitude of neural connections that serve them well throughout their lifetime.

Children either develop the confidence to try new things or they don’t—engagement in or withdrawal from new activities depends on the type of support they receive from their parents or older siblings. This is the stage when they develop a healthy sense of eagerness to tackle new tasks without the help of adults.

Alternatively, a strict vigil by parents may create guilt- related feelings or a sense of incompetency in the minds of the children or in their actions. It could result in marked lack of self-confidence in the young minds later in their lives. The interaction and conflict between instincts and socially- influenced personality traits have a mixed effect on the mental development of these children. A more encouraging and nurturing environment created by parents however, sets the stage for optimal Brain development.

Cognitive development of children follows a sequence, but in the continuum of development, there are many hurdles. Not all children belonging to the same age group display the same development skills. Some children may show some remarkable cognitive skills earlier than others. Educational professionals together with psychologists can monitor the child’s development over time through Brain mapping through careful and regular observation. One can maintain Brain health through regular physical exercises and computer-aided Brain games that keep the Neurons active and regenerate them. Over time, Neurons that are not stimulated will fail to reconnect. Therefore, it becomes important to start neuroplasticity exercises before _ the Neurons die. Recently, neuroscientists have discovered _ that the Brain can regenerate not only neural connections but the Neurons themselves. Many Brain games are being rebranded ‘neuroplasticity exercises,’ or vice versa. Despite the many references to neuroplasticity exercises on the internet, neuroscientists are still learning about and approaching this new area of fitness with caution.

Children these days have full access to a wealth of information on the internet. They can get the latest information on world geography, cultures, traditions and lifestyles of people in distant countries, planetary systems, ecology, environment, information on extinct animals, etc. while sitting in their living rooms. There is also a variety of good quality and informative TV programmes, such as animations and cartoons, sports and music that is available round the clock. Parents should put these resources to use and spend time discussing the contents of the programmes with their children.

Foreword

I am delighted to write the foreword for the first edition of the book on Brain Development by Shri Venkateswar Pujari, Chairman, iaitc. Outside the specialized world of neuroscience and for most of the uses of daily life, the brain is more or less an abstract entity.

The Neuroscience is not a discipline—a statement that may come as a mild shock to some of its practitioners. Neuroscience is, rather, away to approach specific questions about the structure and function of the human brain, whether in healthy development or when afflicted with injury or disease. Such a topic taken for writing a useful book by the non-medical professional, definitely justifies the above statement.

The Mental health of an individual includes emotional, psychological and social well-being. A sound mental health is important in every stage of life right from the childhood. The overall growth of an individual depends upon both physical and mental well-being. Maximum development of the brain and the central nervous system occurs during childhood.

The brain is active throughout every day, even as we sleep, but we rarely, if ever, stop to consider that our thoughts, actions, and perceptions are the outcome of several trillion signals exchanged among nerve cells. The brain is such an efficient processor of information that most of the time we do not realize the magnitude of its task.

With all its intricate and powerful circuitry, the brain does not work in isolation. Most parents’ do a decent job of raising kids, but effective parenting means not Just relying on natural instincts but also knowing what works exactly in the context of that particular family and the socio-economic backdrop against which children are brought up. Several inter-disciplinary factors are involved in understanding the growth and development of this vulnerable group. There is a need for understanding the growth and development of the brain in a child and parents should strive not only for a healthy physical growth of their children but also their mental growth.

Although educators are expected to bring about functional changes in the brain (the organ of human learning) they are given no formal training in the structure, function or development of the brain in developing children as part of their education. This book consists of 12 chapters which deal with the need for awareness of brain development. The second chapter impressively elucidates the human brain anatomy and its working. The other chapters enliven various ancient and modern methods which enhance the mental and neurological working of the child’s brain.

This book has been written with a special emphasis on inculcating ancient techniques like Yoga and Karate for the development of the brain in early Stages. There is also a mention of brain-related diseases to overcome several myths and enlighten the readers about its implications and further treatment. The fruitfulness of the approach discussed in the book reaches far beyond the healthcare and research professions in most people’s everyday lives. This book is going to help all the parents, mentors and all others who strive to build a healthy society by laying a foundation . towards a child’s overall growth.

Overall, the book establishes the need for knowing the power of the brain and its functionalities with the child's development process. Reading across the content areas is designed to be reader-friendly, so that literacy is achieved by every non-medical people and can, indeed, become lifelong learners with curiosity in their brain. It is my hope and expectation that this book will provide an effective ‘earning experience and referenced resource for all health professionals caring for infants and children, leading to improved student and patient care.

**Contents and Sample Pages**








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