There are three questions within our forum this week.
1- Discuss environmental influences on early cognitive development for infants and toddlers.
2- What are notable differences for at-risk infants and toddlers?
3- How would culture differences impact this early cognitive development
minimum 250 words answer.
Cognitive development is the process of constructing knowledge as well as problem solving skills. “Cognitive development requires environmental stimulation; if children fail to receive this stimulation, cognitive growth may be stunted” (APUS, 2019.) Enrichment activities can have positive effects on a child’s cognitive development. When babies are young, their parents can offer them stimulating activities and toys. Many toys on the market for infants and toddlers are geared toward the development of cognition. Colors, shapes, varying fabrics and textures. There are a myriad of educational toys on the market designed specifically for cognitive development. Baby Einstein has a large collection of DVD’s that I used to play for my babies for stimulation. For a child to experience cognitive growth, they need to be in a nurturing environment where they receive not only adequate mental stimulation, nut also nutrition as well. Pre-natal nutrition in the form of folic acid, iodine and iron is essential while a mother is pregnant to help with brain development. Furthermore, there is substantial evidence that DHA is a key addition to the diet of infant for cognitive and motor skills development during the first year. Many nutrients are linked to proper brain development and if there is a lack of nutrition, the developmental delays or damages can be irreversible. Culture can impact early cognitive development because in some indigenous cultures, they do not have clean water or adequate food supplies to keep their children nourished and they walk around ill, malnourished like Ethiopian children for example. Those children do not receive adequate nutrition and they end up with physical and mental disabilities as a result. “Growing evidence indicates a suite of generalized differences in the attentional and cognitive processing of adults from Eastern and Western cultures. Cognition in Eastern adults is often more relational and in Western adults is more object focused”- (Smith 2012)
Smith, Linda (2012) Cross-cultural differences in cognitive development: Attention to relations and objects
Nutrition and Early Brain Development (2017)
APUS. (2019). Lesson 4: Cognitive Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood
Overall, when I think of the environment in which I live in compared to my other family members, co-workers, even those who I attend church with it is not the same environment in which I grew up in when I was a child. Of course there are many factors involved such as neighborhoods change, generations change and even beliefs based on what our world is like at the time. Technology alone alters everything nowadays. Environmental influences on early cognitive development for infants and toddlers are sometimes the many things that we forget about such as exposures to toxins or substances that can impact a child’s physical development. Infants may be born with a low birth weight or even premature due to environmental factors. If a pregnant mother does not take care of herself such as putting herself in an environment that is exposed to smoke or pollution. Unfortunately there are notable differences for at-risk infants and toddlers. For example, a toddler, being under three years of age who could be at risk for a developmental delay would be a child who was born with low birth weight, lack of oxygen, nutritional deprivation, premature birth or directly affected by illegal substance abuse among other things (IDEA, 2017). These children may have a developmental delay that is noticed early on due to lack of vocabulary, inability to walk at an average age, and even the inability to make eye contact.
Culture definitely does impact early cognitive development. A child’s development is a process and where they grow up is significant and unique to that child. The environment shapes a child’s thinking and the way they behave and interact with others. p in different cultures receive specific inputs from their environment. For that reason, there’s a vast array of cultural differences in children’s beliefs and behaviour. Language is the first thing infants hear and the way they are exposed to this language helps to define how this child is going to interact with others. Culture can teach females to be submissive or to be in power. Cultures guide and direct us to be who we are at an early age.
IDEA (2017). Sec. 303.5 At-risk infant or toddler. Retrieved on November 26, 2019 from https://sites.ed.gov/idea/regs/c/a/303.5
The Conversation (2019). How Culture Influences Children’s Development. Retrieved on November 26, 2019 from http://theconversation.com/how-culture-influences-childrens-development-99791
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