Child Development – the Importance of Early Stimulation for Brain Development
Speaking at the regional conference “Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Healthy Development of Newborns and Children,” Dr. Ranko Rajovic, an internal medicine specialist with a masters in neurophysiology, employed at the Faculty of Education in Koper, Slovenia, and author of the NTC Learning Program, spoke about the mistakes parents make which slow down brain development and child development.
He said parents made those mistakes unconsciously. As he pointed out, the first important stimulation for brain and child development is contrast. Despite this, parents still buy pink room decor for a female child when born, and blue for a male. Therefore, important stimulation is lacking.
The problem of early stimulation of children’s development
As the results of the PISA test show, children from the territory of the former SFRY are among the worst in Europe. Although children display good reproduction of knowledge, it is still below the European average. Their functional knowledge is much lower.
Finland has the best results among European countries. However, East Asian countries achieve the best results on the PISA test. Obviously, they have something that we don’t, Dr Rajović believes.
Dr Ranko Rajović states that the main problem could be the absence of early stimulation. According to him, early stimulation of brain and child development is paramount, and we miss it for some reason.
The school system is based on old theories of child development
Many abilities develop even before the birth of a child. The greatest potential of the brain for developing abilities concerning languages, symbols, numbers is from the first to the fourth year, and that period is largely over when the child starts going to school. These abilities continue to decline toward the age of ten, when the stimulation of complex, abstract thinking is initiated in schools, Dr Rajović said in one of his lectures.
Dr Rajović points out that a child today is not the same as a child 60 years ago, and that the school system is still based on theories from the middle of the previous century.
Brain development – intellectual abilities depend on the number of connections between nerve cells
A child is born with a number of connections between nerve cells in the brain which are called synapses. In the earliest period of life, rejection of unnecessary synapses occurs and the development of new ones begins. The disappearance of the first synapses is a sign of good brain development. These synapses involve primitive reflexes, which disappear very quickly after birth.
The development of the brain and the child’s IQ is the parent’s concern
Dr Ranko Rajović also spoke about the fact that intelligence was not hereditary, but only the potential for the development of intelligence, respectively the number of nerve cells.
The brain uses about 30% of our energy and it will not keep unused synapses. At another conference where he spoke earlier, the question of what synapses the brain could fail to make was answered by Dr Rajović with “many.”
In Central European countries, testing has been conducted revealing that every other child has a developmental disorder called cortical developmental disorder in medicine, and in pedagogy cognitive developmental disorders. The countries where the testing was conducted were: the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary.
According to Dr Rajović, the main cause of this is the lack of brain development stimulation at an early age that fosters the development of neural connections, respectively synapses. His book titled “Child’s IQ, Parents’ Concern” is, among other things, about this.