preservice training 903~the effects of child abuse or neglect on child development
none of this is new to me.
i learned about it all in college. working toward a degree in child development, i kind of had to learn this stuff. i learned about it all again as i was training to become a social worker, the kind that works with abused and neglected kids. i learned about it all again as i was being licensed to become a foster/adoptive parent, the kind that fosters and adopts abused and neglected kids.
the first time around, in college, i had no idea why i was learning these things, but they were interesting to me. i liked learning about brain development-how the brain is stimulated, how the brain is hindered.
the second time around, i knew i was relearning so i could write case plans, request therapy, give foster parents and birth parents an idea as to what is or isn’t happening with their child’s development.
the third time around i knew i was relearning and adding to my knowledge so i could help an abused or neglected child in my home. i had no idea who that would be, or what they would need. there wasn’t much substance to my learning. no name on my lips or face in my mind as i processed.
this time, it’s totally different. there are three names on my lips. there are three faces in my mind. there are three little lives closely attached to my heart.
it hurts this time. i know what it means this time. i see the effects this time more clearly than i’ve ever seen them. this abuse, this neglect, it has effected my children. my children.
90% of brain development happens between the ages of 0-5. in the womb to 5 years of age. most parents do whatever they can to promote brain development. parents who are abusive and neglectful are often times doing many things that hinder brain development. therefore they are also hindering physical, emotional, and social development.
the downside to this-abused and neglected kids have brains that are challenged.
the upside-neuroelasticity-changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes.
or as our trainer put it, ‘the brain is fearfully and wonderfully made’. God can change it. damage can be reversed. gaps can be filled. connections can be made.
it’s true. i’ve watched it happen. i’ve seen the miracle of a changing brain. i’ve seen the effects of abuse and neglect on the development of my children. and i’ve seen them bounce back because the abuse and neglect has ended.
it’s all a miracle. they are fearfully and wonderfully made. they are ok. they will be ok.
“for You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
i praise You because i am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
i know that full well.
my frame was not hidden from You
when i was made in the secret place,
when i was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.”