All posts in brain development

Play and neurodevelopment: Have fun=building brain

Happy belated Easter. I hesitate to say happy spring given this very un-spring-like weather. I keep telling myself that any moisture we get at this time of the year is great for our plants and trees. It’s only somewhat successful at warding off melancholy.

In preparing for a meeting I came across this article from the Child Trauma Academy about play and brain development. The article is a wee bit dense but nice and short and super interesting. I might be biased because I think anything about play or brain development is fascinating. Anyhow, I hope you think it’s interesting too!

 

https://childtrauma.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/CuriosityPleasurePlay_Perry.pdf

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Adult ADHD

ADHD continues to be a misunderstood neurological disorder. Typically associated with childhood, most still assume that ADHD doesn’t exist in adults, a myth that contributes to many adults struggling with negative symptoms and the shame, frustration and negative self-image that often result. In addition, the presentation (i.e. range of symptoms) varies so much from person to person it can be difficult to identify and often people are simply labelled as “scattered”, “lazy”, or “irresponsible”.

As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, I can relate to these struggles. I was fortunate because I had so much more information about ADHD than most before I was even diagnosed (I actually diagnosed myself and then went to a specialist to confirm my suspicions!). When I speak to both children and adults about ADHD I encourage them to think of it the same way they would diabetes. We have brains that work differently, just like people with diabetes have a pancreas that works differently. Sometimes that “differently” creates difficulties and sometimes hidden gifts.

CBC is screening a new documentary tonight on The Nature of Things on adult ADHD. http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/

For more information on ADHD, here are some reliable sources:

http://caddra.ca

http://www.caddac.ca/cms/page.php?2

http://addvance.com

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Childhood fears: What’s normal?

Hi! I’ve always said that the best thing parents can do is inform themselves about typical childhood development. Have you ever noticed how much information there is out there on prenatal development (hello, babycentre app?!) and development in the first year but then once your little person turns 1 it’s like, ‘Ok, doesn’t really matter what’s going on with their development anymore. Time to just wing it!’ Often times parents’ frustration comes from a misunderstanding of what is normal for children (e.g. stop beating yourself up every time your 1.5 year old steals toys from other kids. They are cognitively unable to understand sharing at this stage!).

Here’s a website I came across that talks specifically about childhood fears and what’s typical at certain stages of development.

Child Therapist’s List of Childhood Fears by Age

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Crying can be good for us

The ‘Other’ Reason Babies Need To Cry (and why it’s parenting’s best kept secret)

I just read this interesting article about crying. I’m curious about what other people think about it. I hesitate to take everything as scientific truth, despite some quotes from doctors, but the author raises some worthy points.

I certainly agree about the value of tears for both children and adults. What I think is so crucial are the statements about the importance of being with and supporting our children when they cry. Often it’s not about fixing something but about providing security, reassurance and meaning to those tears. Many people really struggle with this idea of “being with”. So many of us just want to fix the problem and move on. It can be hard to understand the value of being a witness to emotional pain especially if we think of these emotional displays as signs of weakness.

Especially for children who often don’t have language for their feelings, having a caring adult to help provide meaning to overwhelming feelings can be essential for healthy emotional development.

 

 

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Infant Brain Development

Hi there! I don’t know about you but I am having a hard time adjusting to the fact that it’s already the middle of January. Where did this month go?! The holidays can be a great time to reconnect with family and friends but for many it can also be a stressful time. I hope you were able to rest, connect and recover. I took some time to catch up on some reading and came across a great article in the National Geographic Magazine. I am just fascinated with brain development and especially infant and child brain development. There are so many parenting books, websites, “experts” in everything child rearing, etc. but I think that, fundamentally, the more we know about children’s development, the better caregivers we can be. Stay tuned for further posts on this topic but for now here’s the article. Enjoy!

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/baby-brains/bhattacharjee-text

 

Adriana

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