Is your baby a genius? Your very own future Albert Einstein? We all want our children to be intelligent, maybe not genius, but certainly intelligent, right? Is it all in their genes or can we do anything about it?
Many studies have shown that playing music, reading to your child, and appropriate loving touch all impact their future intelligence. Each new experience, sound, movement creates connections in our children's brains and repetition helps secure these connections. I have just recently begun reading a book titled "Your Child's Growing Mind" by Jane M Healy, Ph.D. and found in it a great list of "dos" to help your child's brain stimulation. Here are some of the items on the list...
- Childproof your home for safety
- Keep playpen time to a minimum
- Repeat repeat repeat
- Help baby focus on one sense at a time-sight, smell, taste, touch, hear
- Place toys just out of reach so they must actively grasp them
- Bring in new toys one at a time
- Talk to your child, link language with other senses
- "Your overall goal should be not to teach your baby, but to help her discover how to organize experience for herself."
What do we do if we think perhaps our child is not measuring up in their intelligence? First, keep in mind that children develop in a vast variety of time frames. Don't stress over the charts and graphs that say when your child should be able to do such and such. However there are a few things of which to be aware. If your child shows any of these, consider it a warning sign and have your child evaluated by a professional.
- Always "good", sleeps all the time
- Consistently poor eye contact with parents
- Failure to respond to voices and other sounds
- Right and left sides move unevenly
- Noticeable delay in many or all of the typical milestones
- Delay in social responses- doesn't wave goodbye, play peekaboo
- Failure to develop language
- Abnormal response to light, sound, touch
For more information about early intervention programs please go to ECLKC.
For an in depth study of childhood brain development check out "Your Child's Growing Mind".