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Effects of Early Stimulation and Deprivation. The general philosophical trend has been that stimulation is always “good” and deprivation is always “bad.”. Questions. Can overstimulation occur? Is deprivation ever in the child’s best interest?

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The general philosophical

trend has been that

stimulation is always “good” and deprivation is

always “bad.”

  • Can overstimulation occur?
  • Is deprivation ever in the child’s best interest?
  • When are the best times for stimulation or the worst times for deprivation?
  • Is stimulation worthwhile for the acquisition of all human behaviors?
  • Are there some behaviors that cannot be facilitated by early exposure to stimulating experiences?
effects of early stimulation
Effects of Early Stimulation
  • In 1983, 70% of 4-year-olds from families with incomes higher that $25,000 per year attended preschool
  • Parents believe early educational stimulation is valuable
  • Some experts believe that too much early stimulation toward a skill, like reading, may actually cause difficulties later in reading
effects of early stimulation5
Effects of Early Stimulation
  • Many parents
    • Believe that kindergarten is “too late”
    • Begin to “teach” their children at birth
    • Believe that early educational stimulation is valuable
programs to enhance early motor development
Programs to Enhance Early Motor Development
  • Programs designed to stimulate early motor development fall into two categories
    • No programming
    • Programming
programs to enhance early motor development7
Programs to Enhance Early Motor Development
  • No programming
    • These programs do not emphasize specific practice of future motor skills
    • Instruction should be withheld until the infant learns body control
    • Infants are to be left on their back until they are capable of changing the position
    • Nonrestrictive clothing advocated
    • Hard-soled shoes are discouraged
programs to enhance early motor development8
Programs to Enhance Early Motor Development
  • Programming
    • Parent takes an active role in moving the baby or limbs of the infant during activity
    • Infant walkers, bouncers, etc., are encouraged
    • Specialized equipment is available
    • Manual manipulation for infant fitness and flexibility
programs to enhance early motor development9
Programs to Enhance Early Motor Development
  • Little research is available to substantiate either “no-programming” or “programming”
  • American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that structured programs not be “promoted as being therapeutically beneficial for the development of healthy infants”
  • “parents are encouraged to provide a safe, nurturing, and minimally structured play environment for their infant”
  • Philosophy: preschool years may be the most critical part of education
  • Preschoolers need to be provided with certain types of play activities that are essential in development but not available at home
    • Safe and noncompetitive
  • Program includes 7 levels designed to enhance motor skills, social skills, and self-esteem
    • Physical fitness
    • Arts
    • International play
    • Music and dance
    • Yoga
  • Lofty claims are not made, but there is no controlled research to suggest that this program is superior to “no program”
  • Parents claim the programs are beneficial for both child and parent
  • Consumers should be cautious
swim programs
Swim Programs
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Red Cross, and YMCA state that
    • Infant and toddler aquatic programs DO NOT decrease the risk of drowning
swim programs14
Swim Programs
  • Children are not ready for swimming lessons until their 4th birthday
  • Drownproofing programs may give parents a false sense of security
    • Child may be at greater risk of drowning
swim programs15
Swim Programs
  • Hyponatremia
    • Water intoxication
    • Occurs when an individual ingests too much water
      • The body’s electrolytes are reduced and kidneys cannot filter excess fluid
      • Sodium levels reduced
      • Symptoms of restlessness, disorientation, weakness, and death
    • Common in those who practice forced or frequent submersion
swim programs16
Swim Programs
  • Giardia
    • A parasitic condition which develops due to cyst growth in the digestion tract
    • Causes diarrhea and is easily transmitted to others in a pool
  • Safety in the pool
    • Shower after class (wash off Giardia)
    • Wear tight legged diapers/pants
    • Children who are ill or with diarrhea should not participate in swim lessons
swim program guidelines
Swim Program Guidelines
  • Children are not ready for formal swim lessons until their 4th birthday
  • Avoid total submersion
  • Provide measure for avoiding fecal contamination in the pool
  • Children should never be dropped or pushed into water
  • Babies chill easily; limit exposure
suzuki method of violin playing
Suzuki Method of Violin Playing
  • Begin at birth
    • Infant listens to violin music
    • Child watches musicians play violin
  • The child begins lessons at 2 to 2 ½ years
  • The child’s motivation is important
suzuki method of violin playing19
Suzuki Method of Violin Playing
  • Child should not be forced into taking lessons
  • A properly sized violin is used
  • Little is known about the residual effects of such early programming
head start programs
Head Start Programs
  • Designed to give financially disadvantaged children a “head start” in education
  • The major goal of Head Start is to “enhance the social competence of children from lower income families”
  • Social competence = ability to deal with the present environment in school and for life
head start programs21
Head Start Programs
  • Children of Head Start programs were 10 times more likely to complete a high school education without failure compared to their socioeconomic counterparts
  • The D.C. Study reported that programs like Head Start and other preschool programs affected children’s long-term performance positively
head start programs22
Head Start Programs
  • Head Start Family and Child Experience Survey (FACES)
    • Surveyed the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of Head Start children
    • Generally, Head Start children were found to “very often” use their free time in acceptable ways,” “follow the teacher’s directions,” and “help in putting things away”
head start programs23
Head Start Programs
  • Head Start Family and Child Experience Survey (FACES)
    • The children COULD NOT
      • Identify or write the letters of the alphabet
      • Copy complex geometric figures
      • Demonstrate “right from left” or “top from bottom” in reading
head start programs24
Head Start Programs
  • Head Start Family and Child Experience Survey (FACES)
    • Overall conclusion was that Head Start children are ready for school on the basis of how much they had learned by the end of kindergarten
infant walkers
Infant Walkers
  • Designed to support babies who cannot yet walk independently
  • There are many questions about safety and efficacy of the device to promote early walking
infant walkers26
Due to risk and lack of clear benefit, the sale and manufacture of infant walkers should be banned in the US

Injuries are common

Head injuries

Falling down stairs

Parents need to be informed of the dangers of a walker

Childcare centers should not allow the use of walkers

Infant Walkers

Recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (1995)

johnny and jimmy
Johnny and Jimmy
  • In 1935, two twin brothers were observed for 22 months to determine a normal progression in motor development
  • Johnny was given toys and stimulation, practice, and experience in movement activities
  • Jimmy was given few toys and had minimal movement experience
johnny and jimmy28
Johnny and Jimmy
  • The researcher concluded that readiness, practice, attitude, and physical growth were all particularly important factors influencing human movement at an early age
effects of early deprivation
Effects of Early Deprivation
  • Difficult to study the effects of early deprivation
    • It is unethical and inhumane to place children in an deprived environment
  • Animal models have provided important information
  • Tragic human cases in society provide additional insight
effects of early deprivation31
Effects of Early Deprivation
  • Hopi cradleboards
    • A subject of research in the 1930s
    • Up until 1 year of age, Hopi babies may be swaddled and tied to a board
    • Legs are extended, arms free
    • Although, these babies were not permitted typical “infant” movements, when free of the board, these infants exhibited the expected movement sequences of noncradled infants
early deprivation
Early Deprivation
  • Deprivation Dwarfism
    • A disorder resulting in reduced or failed growth
    • An emotional disturbance that is registered in the higher centers of the brain
    • Information is conveyed to hypothalamus where growth hormone and somatotropin are released
    • When growth is affected, motor development may also be affected
early deprivation33
Early Deprivation
  • Deprivation Dwarfism
    • Infants who are hospitalized for extended periods fail to gain weight and develop respiratory infections
    • Symptoms disappear when infant is returned home to a more stimulating environment
early deprivation34
Early Deprivation
  • Deprivation Dwarfism
    • Also occurs in situations where children are not nurtured in a loving and caring environment despite proper and plentiful nutrition
early deprivation35
Early Deprivation
  • Anna
    • A victim of severe deprivation due to isolation (1946)
    • Left in an attic room until six years of age
    • When discovered she showed signs of minimal intelligence, could not walk or talk, and was extremely malnourished
early deprivation36
Early Deprivation
  • Anna
    • By the age of 10 years, Anna was able to walk and run clumsily, string beads, but did not speak in complete sentences
    • Died at age 11 years
early deprivation37
Early Deprivation
  • Young Savage of Abeyron
    • Victor, a young boy found in the woods of France in 1799 at 11-12 years of age
    • He could not talk, trotted rather than walk, chewed like a rodent, and was intellectually delayed
    • Despite attempts to remediate, he showed little improvement intellectually and died at 40 years of age
stimulation and deprivation concepts
Stimulation and Deprivation Concepts
  • Critical period
    • A time of particular or maximum sensitivity to environmental
    • If a child is stimulated during the sensitive period, the associated behavior is likely to occur
stimulation and deprivation concepts39
Stimulation and Deprivation Concepts
  • Critical periods
    • Specific time in a person’s life
    • For many skills, if critical period bypassed, skill may be learned, but will never be developed at master level
  • If the left hemisphere of brain is damaged during critical period for language
    • Right hemisphere substitutes
  • If the left hemisphere of brain damaged after language is developed
    • Person will never be able to speak fluently
    • Critical period for right hemisphere substitution passed
stimulation and deprivation concepts40
Stimulation and Deprivation Concepts
  • Four essential elements of a critical period
    • State of readiness must be attained by the individual in order for the environmental stimulation to be effective
    • There is a specific time limit
      • Appropriate stimulation must occur during a specific time for optimal development
stimulation and deprivation concepts41
Stimulation and Deprivation Concepts
  • Four essential elements of a critical period
    • The effects of the stimulation during the critical period create a permanent and durable imprint
    • There are critical periods for all aspects of human behavior

Animals imprint on parents and will follow them. Here is Konrad Z. Lorenz who demonstrated that incubator-hatched geese would follow the first moving stimulus

within the critical period


stimulation and deprivation concepts42
Stimulation and Deprivation Concepts
  • Readiness
    • The establishment of the minimum characteristics necessary for a particular human behavior to be acquired
    • Depends on an adequate level of physical growth, associated neurological patterns, and sufficient motivation
      • Tri-cycling skill in the twins Johnny and Jimmy
stimulation and deprivation concepts43
Stimulation and Deprivation Concepts
  • Readiness
    • Early experience with a particular skill before a child is “ready” may not be valuable
    • Signs for readiness are unrecognizable at present
      • Maybe the signs never exist
stimulation and deprivation concepts44
Stimulation and Deprivation Concepts
  • Catch-up
    • The human power “to stabilize and return” to a genetically determined growth path “after being pushed off trajectory”
    • Associated with physical growth and motor development
    • Children can also catch-up intellectually, socially, emotionally, and developmentally
    • Severity of the deprivation determines the degree of catch-up
stimulation and deprivation concepts45
Stimulation and Deprivation Concepts
  • Example of a child’s catch-up growth following a period of anorexia