Studies

Maltreatment and the Developing Child

The caregivers’ (mostly, the parents) role therefore is crucial to the development of the child. Without proper care and attention, the child would likely suffer from malnourishment, emotional and mental maladjustment issues. Based on these considerations, this paper shall now discuss the possible impact of extreme deprivation and neglect on the development of a child. It shall use examples of cases and case studies in order to enhance knowledge on this issue.The nature and the nurture debate have set forth the importance of both genetics and experience in the development of our brain. In generally accepted terms, medical specialists emphasize that nature or genes are responsible for the basic wiring plan, the formation of the cells, and the connections between the different brain regions (Oliver, 2007). Our experiences (nurture) are responsible for fine-tuning those connections, helping each child adapt to the particular environment (culture, family, peer group) to which he or she belongs (Oliver, 2007, p. 1). Even as the cells of our brain are already developed and we cannot do anything about how they are developed, the environment still has an influence on the development of the brain.Based on years of research on neuroscience, an infant’s experience usually has a permanent impact on the wirings of the brain (Eliot, as cited by Oliver, 2007). Upon a child’s birth and subsequent development and growth, his brain cells are fired and wired together. In the process, cells that are highly active are preserved and strengthened, and other cells or synapses which are not active are pruned away (Oliver, 2007). A child’s brain therefore requires constant stimulation in order to develop its full potential. Their best learning is from being highly attuned to human stimuli – interacting with your face, voice, and touch. Singing, talking, and reading to

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