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Applying Neuroscience to Early Intervention
Module 1 Welcome to the developing brain
Module 1 is designed to build your understanding of early brain development and how this knowledge can help to inform your relationships with infants, children and young adults. However, it is first worthwhile flagging up that understanding neuroscience and the workings of the developing brain are not a panacea for society’s ills. Module 1 therefore also focuses on some of the criticisms of neuroscience, including some post-conceptualist perspectives concerning its inclusion in early years discourse and practice. Once you have completed this introductory Module, you will understand what neuroscience is and how it is relevant to the work you do. You will also gain a general understanding of early brain development as well as some of the neuromyths which can sometimes leave us baffled when it comes to what to believe.
Lesson 1 Getting started
Lesson 2 Introduction
Lesson 3 What is neuroscience?
Lesson 4 Brain development from conception to five years
Lesson 5 Synaptic pruning and neural growth - use it or lose it
Lesson 6 Criticisms of neuroscience
Lesson 7 The effects of neglect
Lesson 8 Babies' brains are like sponges
Lesson 9 Critical periods
Lesson 10 Brain-based programmes
Lesson 11 How to spot the neuromyths
Lesson 12 How to separate the myths from the facts
Lesson 13 Interactive quiz
Module 2 To and fro, up and down – the importance of early socialisation in brain development
The ‘to and fro’ in this title refers to the reciprocal nature of interactions between parents and their children. The ‘up and down’ refers to the child’s (or young adult’s) emotional states which need to be regulated within these interactions – from birth. The reciprocal and containing elements also extend to the interactions between professionals and children and their ability to bring the child back to a safe psychological state. By the end of this Module, you will understand the critical role of early interactions between parents and their children, and how these help to build the foundations for self-regulation and resilience. You will also explore the impact on early brain development and consequent behaviour when these interactions are consistently harsh and unresponsive. Strategies are also given to help you nurture self-regulation in children and young adults and support parents to co-regulate their children’s emotional responses.
Lesson 1 Introduction
Lesson 2 Antenatal attachment
Lesson 3 How mirror neurons help us connect to others
Lesson 4 Emotional responses
Lesson 5 The importance of co-regulation as the foundation for children's self-regulation
Lesson 6 What is self-regulation?
Lesson 7 Co-regulation leads to self-regulation
Lesson 8 Strategies to nuture self-regulation in children and young adults
Lesson 9 Interactive quiz
Module 3 Catastrophic cortisol – the impact of toxic stress on brain development and wellbeing
An element of stress is critical to our survival as a species. It is when levels of the stress hormone, cortisol are continually raised because of maltreatment and a lack of responsive relationships, that children are in danger of developing problems psychologically, emotionally and intellectually which persist into adulthood. This Module contains contributions from a range of professionals concerned with children’s welfare, not only those from the early years sector. The relevance to early years professionals is just as important and is included to encourage reflection on the issues from different professional perspectives.
Lesson 1 Introduction
Lesson 2 The neuroscience of attachment
Lesson 3 What causes attachment disorders?
Lesson 4 How to identify an insecurely attached child
Lesson 5 Supporting children and young adults with insecure or disorganised attachment
Lesson 6 The three types of stress and their impact on wellbeing and learning
Lesson 7 The good, the bad and the ugly - how excessive cortisol impairs early brain development
Lesson 8 The role of the HPA axis in stress response
Lesson 9 Interventions to support healthy parental responses
Lesson 10 Types of early adversity and the impact of each one on psychological and emotional development
Lesson 11 The brain and self-regulation
Lesson 12 The cycle of abuse and crime
Lesson 13 Strategies to cultivate emotional resilience and positive changes in behaviour
Lesson 14 Approaches to cultivating emotional resilience in children and young adults
Lesson 15 Interactive quiz
Module 4 Brain under construction – how quality early childhood education and care builds healthy brains
This final Module of this programme is critical to the success of your role as a change-instigating Neuroscience Champion, as it provides a clear link into the Neuroscience Champion Checklist, informing how you move from reflection to action.
Lesson 1 Introduction
Lesson 2 Enabling relationships
Lesson 3 A word of caution
Lesson 4 Personal resilience - What it means and why you need it
Lesson 5 Pass it on! You need to be resilient to share this gift
Lesson 6 Resilience test
Lesson 7 Enabling environments
Lesson 8 The relationship between emotional responses and their influence on executive functioning
Lesson 9 Enabling activities
Lesson 10 Let children have their say!
Lesson 11 Examples of good practice
Lesson 12 Growth mindset and neuroplasticity (part 1)
Lesson 13 Growth mindset and neuroplasticity (part 2)
Lesson 14 Interactive Quiz