A lack of adequate care means, the child may be potentially more vulnerable in the face of major challenges and that compensatory action may be required later

Download (0)

Full text


Content Writer: Dr. G. Baradha


11.1 Introduction

Care refers to the practices of caregivers in providing for the basic needs of children.

Care is the provision in the household and community of time, attention and support to meet the basic physical, motor and social needs of the growing child and other members. Indeed, from birth and throughout childhood, children rely on the care they receive, especially from their primary care givers, for support, assistance and guidance. Children who benefit in their early years from proper nutrition, good health care, intellectual stimulation, emotionally supportive and responsive human interaction, affection and love are more likely to survive, grow up healthy and acquire emotional, social and decision making skills and capacities. These children perform well in school, thereby increasing their prospects for developing self-esteem.

Conversely, if the care provided by the care givers is inadequate, negligent or distrusted, this can have an adverse effect on a child’s development, health and survival. A lack of adequate care means, the child may be potentially more vulnerable in the face of major challenges and that compensatory action may be required later. Interventions to stimulate the development are one of the compensatory actions. A stimulated baby will be an alert child, a happy youth and an adult with a zest for living and participating in society.


This lesson enables the learners to understand:

 the meaning of stimulation and its effect on development

 the kinds of early interventions and

 the developmental hazards

11.2 Early stimulation, intervention and its effect on development

Early nurturing and stimulation lay down the neurological pathways that promote improved learning, health and behavior throughout life. In particular, the influence of early nurturing and stimulation on brain development includes impact on the immune and stress regulation systems

The development of the brain is strongly related to the subsequent development of cognitive abilities, learning capacity, adjustment, personality and social behavior. Poor


Content Writer: Dr. G. Baradha

stimulation may result in low learning achievement, low intellectual capacity and behavioral problems.

What is stimulation to child?

Early care giver – child interactions play a profound role in the development of self - regulation, cognitive development, language acquisition and socio –emotional adjustment.

Warmth, nurturance, stability, predictability and responsiveness exhibited consistently by primary caregivers promote the healthy development of children. Moreover, positive interactions during the first years of life tend to be linked with better subsequent cognitive abilities not only among normal children, but also among children at risk due to environmental or biological factors.

Forms of early intervention /stimulation

 Love the child

 Help the child to develop an understanding of basic fundamental concepts

 Develop an interactive process between parent and children

 Encourage the child constantly

 Create structural environment

 Spend time to stimulate the child’s intellectual development

 Communicate with the child

 Guide the child with the right track

 Enthuse to involve in activities

 Provide close and dependable relationship

 Give nurturance security

 Encourage exploration

Although each child is born with their own capacity and intelligence, the circumstances and situations into which one is born plays a vital role in the child’s development. The role that parents play in their child’s development is enormous and great implications on the child in his totality, including the cognitive, physical, emotional, social, language and spiritual aspects of development. It’s important to start very young. Early intervention allows young children to develop an understanding of basic fundamental concepts, making future easier.


Content Writer: Dr. G. Baradha

Importance of early childhood stimulation

 A stimulated baby will be an alert child, a happy youth and an adult with a zest for living and participating in society. Improving children’s well being at the earliest age must be an integral and systematic component of education and poverty reduction policies. It is essential to support the first phase of learning, which begins with parents and family members.

 Singing to a child while looking into his eyes, massaging him, teaching him to walk or to sit, to paint or draw are some of the techniques used to stimulate children’s positive physical and psychological growth. This process is not a form of therapy or formal education, but rather a group of techniques and activities which seek to maximally develop babies physical, social and emotional capacities

 The first seven years of life and the first three in particular are the critical for forming the foundations for the future health, growth and development. During this period children will learn more quickly than at any other time

 Parents and caretakers play a very important role. They should help children learn, offering them new and interesting inputs to help stimulate the senses. But above all, they should show them affection. A child’s maturation process passes through several stages in terms of language, motor skills but without contact or affection, the child will isolate himself. New born and young children will learn more quickly if they receive care, love and affection and of course encouragement, mental stimulation, nutritional food and health care.

 The tools a child uses to learn and discover the world around him are the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch – which is why a baby’s interaction with the people around him is so important, because the more he relates, the faster he will learn.

Affection, holding, rocking and talking to a baby stimulates his growth and form the basis for emotional development. It is of the utmost importance for the baby to feel safe.

Crying is a baby’s way for asking for attention, so when caregivers respond quickly, whether this be taking the child into arms or talking to him, will serve to reassure and relax him.

 To ensure proper development, it is necessary for children to interact with others, to feel loved from birth and play with family members. This helps to feel secure and in the future this will influence school performance and even a greater capacity for facing life’s difficulties

 Investing in stimulation of the brain’s early development, as well as in child’s good nutrition and health, will have a long- term economic benefit which can be quantified.

According to the organization of American states, it is shown that children who have participated in well-designed early stimulation programmes perform better in a school, are more socially and emotionally competent and have a much higher verbal and


Content Writer: Dr. G. Baradha

intellectual development than other children. As such, all this contributes to the development of more active and alert society members who have the capacity for economic and social success. It is an investment in the country’s future. The real value of early stimulation – the ability to form adults with the capacities for developing a full. Life is priceless and immeasurable but this benefit is not only tangible in the long term;

investing with health and nutrition programmes for young children increase their chances of survival. Moreover, with regard to their education, these programmes prepare children for school, improving their performance and reducing the number of drop outs(www.intervida.org/.../...intervida...the importance of early child… Spain)

Practical techniques for childhood development and stimulation

To stimulate the children for early childhood development, parents and care takers have to take various steps in terms of formal/informal, simple/technical, individual/group and by one person/group of persons. There are several practical techniques for early childhood stimulation that helps to promote socio – emotional development, physical, motor and mental skills in preschool children. Almost all methods of sensory or intellectual stimulation employ some type of stimulation based on one or more type of stimulation of the visual senses in a variety of ways. Audio or hearing stimulation is also a strong method used during early childhood that can achieve significant results in pre-school aged children

Early Childhood Development: The Five Senses

Parents who want to accelerate or promote mental and sensory development on their children can always relay on the use of games and playing. For example, using the sense of touch to give the child experience with a variety of textures or changes in temperature are simple, safe ways to stimulate a child’s sensory experiences. Taste is stimulated by experiencing a range of different flavors. Colours and flashing lights on toys or other play objects are likewise ways of affecting substantial stimulation in early childhood skills and sensory development. Physical stimulation using motion and moving objects including rolling, bouncing, flopping or tumbling toys and objects can also be highly effective.

Early Childhood Development: Audio Stimulation Techniques

Parents and caregivers of young children can use stimulants such as noise makers to activate audio senses. Nature sounds or environmental sounds recordings played to children are gentle but effective audio input that greatly help with early childhood stimulation. Another frequently used method for neural stimulation includes playing classical music selections in the background, while the child is doing other things including their nap time. While the music is


Content Writer: Dr. G. Baradha

relaxing, it’s also, able to activate multiple areas of child’s brain. Surprisingly smooth jazz (vocal) has been found to be an excellent auditory stimulant for young learners in a broad range of situations. New age music can likewise be an effective stimulant as an aid to early childhood development. In addition, many children love noise makers from banging on empty pots and pans or shaking rattles, tooting whistles and horns to extracting sound from musical instruments of all kinds. It may be nerve wracking to the parents and siblings, but is essential to child’s development.

Pre-Natal Stimulation in Early Childhood Development

Not only pre-school aged children can benefit from sensory stimulation but a pre-natal stimulation can also be effective. This can be introduced through:

i. Playing soft, low-volume music through head phones placed 180 degrees apart against the mother’s skin

ii. Talking or reading to the unborn child iii. Gentle massage

Benefits of Early Childhood Development through Sensory Stimulation

Any of the above mentioned areas can be successfully used as an effective means of early childhood stimulation to promote intellectual and sensory development in pre-school age children. Providing this stimulation allows the brain to develop more extensively and at a faster rate than non-stimulated children. This early childhood stimulation will give the child a developmental advantage over other children of the same age or level in more than 85% of cases.

Such early developed children ultimately do better in school, integrate better with peers, siblings and parents, that also tend to be happier and better adjusted overall.

What you can do to help your children learn to listen and talk

 Copy the playful sounds babies make as this encourage two-way communication

 Play simple games such as ‘ peek-a-boo’ and tickle games

 Talk, using short and simple sentences

 Talk about and point out objects that can be seen and heard; for example, ball, car, plane

 Sing songs and rhymes together

 Expand on simple words; for example, the child says ‘car’; you say ‘push car’

 Praise attempts to talk; for example, ’good talking’

 Smile and show that you are listening

 Look at books together and talk about the pictures

 Talk about what is happening when you are with children


Content Writer: Dr. G. Baradha

 Talk about what children are doing

 Make sure children are looking at you, you at them, when you talk

 Take children for walks, go to the park and other fun places, and talk about these places to help them learn new words

 Encourage children to watch television shows that will help them learn. Limit their television watching so you have time during the day to do a variety of things with them

Stimulation for holistic development

To ensure optimum growth and development, parent-based stimulation is vital for young children. Though children learn through their own experience, trial and error, repetition, imitation and identification, it is imperative that parents provide a broad array of stimulating experiences for their children to thrive well.

Ways of stimulating physical development

 Attempt to get the young infant look at, reach for and kick at objects.

 Encourage the child to hold and examine rattles and other safe objects.

 Try to arrange toys for the child, to see and manipulate with fingers, hands or feet

 Use variety of objects and toys as playthings for exploration.

 Provide tiny, soft food substances to facilitate use fingers and promote self-feeding

 Encourage rolling over, sitting and creeping by providing both a safe and a non- restrictive area for practice and physical support

 Arrange soft, sturdy objects so that the child can practice standing and pulling to stand (if old enough)

 Use chairs or pushcarts as well as abundant praise and encouragement, for the child who is learning to walk independently.

Stimulation for socio-emotional development

 Lay the child in the mother’s chest

 Provide the child with stimulating experiences such as comforting, talking, playing music and moving mobiles, even though very young infants may respond little.

 Attempt to achieve smiling and cooing in the young child with active and frequent face- to-face interactions.

 Pay attention to the child, when she actively seeks attention.

 Engage the baby in frolic and imitation play such as rattle shaking, patting, hand waving, tickling and laughing.

 Play interactive games such as ‘peek-a-boo’ and ‘pat a cake.


Content Writer: Dr. G. Baradha

 Respond positively to the child’s request for help and guidance with toys and games.

 Demonstrate realistic expectations and flexibility regarding the child’s beginning skills in taking turns, sharing and waiting for assistance.

Stimulation to promote language and cognitive development

 Recognize the need to talk to the young infant, regardless of her minimal ability to respond.

 Speak facing at eye-level of the child.

 Encourage vocalizing, smiling and imitative oral responses.

 Plan for crib or change table talk time so that the baby can listen, try out sounds and repeat expressions before going on to other routines.

 Speak several simple words before and during routines and repeat those frequently, so that the baby will recognize them. Verbally praise the child for her efforts in making sounds that indicate certain objects and realize that these are forms of early words.

 Teach the words for body parts, foods and clothing materials.

 Use picture books and repeat the names of objects that the child points to.

 Occasionally withhold objects desired by the child and coax her to attempt to use words or sounds that are appropriate, if she wants it.

 Use language to animate puppets or little toys, pretending and describing where they are going and what they will do.

 Use phrases and simple commands for children to respond to, such as ‘pat the doggy’.

 Use new words and catchy phrases repeatedly (like in rhymes and storytelling). In storytelling, questioning the child in between and asking the child to paraphrase will help to ensure cognitive development

 Repeat and expand the utterances of the child.

28.3 Lack of stimulation and its impact on development / development hazards

A child may be born healthy, he may be affected by a series of circumstances such as poverty, delayed education or limited access to culture and sex preferences. A mother’s lack of knowledge in caring for her child may provoke illness and malnutrition and as such, cause her child to experience development delays. Another consequence of parent’s lack of attention may be the increased probability of intellectual deficiencies, which in the long- term will negatively affect youth development and, consequently, the future of the communities.

The development of a child’s brain becomes more vulnerable to negative environmental influences if the child has not received appropriate stimulation during the first year various aspects of the child’s learning potential can thereby be undermined, and such children are often unable to realize themselves fully.


Content Writer: Dr. G. Baradha

Particularly if they are also malnourished or undernourished, they may become prone to neurological and behavioural disorders or learning disabilities.

 Children grow and thrive in the context of close and dependable relationships that provide love and nurturance, security, responsive interaction and encouragement for exploration. Without atleast one such relationship, development is disrupted and the consequences can be severe and long-lasting.

 The quality of the care provided by caregivers can be negatively affected by immaturity in experience, low educational attainment or mental health problems (for example depression or anxiety), related to family violence, substance abuse, economic stress or constitutional illness.


Prodigies are half born, half made and mostly discovered at an early stage. The role adapted by parents and educators is vital. A psychologist once said that the parents and educators of gifted kids provide very stimulating environments; their surroundings are often full of books;

they read at a very early age; they are taken to trips to museums and concerts. Children learn best when their physical needs are met and they feel psychologically safe and secure. Children learn through play, hence play as a stimulant provides opportunities for exploration, experimentation, and manipulation that are essential for constructing knowledge during childhood years.




Related subjects :