How creeping and crawling can enhance babies brain development

Posted on: 10th September, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Movement is one of the most important learning aspects of a child’s young life. As parents, we tend to think that a baby’s brain is genetically pre-wired. However neuroscientists now believe that early physical movement experiences are crucial to the neural stimulation needed for baby brain development. (Carl Gabbard 1998)

Carla Hannaford, author of Smart Moves: Why learning is not all in your head, explains that beginning in infancy, physical movement plays a vital role in the creation of nerve cell networks that are at the core of learning.

An infants’ brain is full of brain cells, which are making connections especially in the first three years of life. If these connections are made repeatedly they become permanent, if not they are lost. The more children move the more information they are getting about their environment and themselves.

In early life, movement is totally reflexive. A new born baby will fling out their arms when someone makes a loud noise in what is known as the startle reflex, or automatically grasp an outstretched finger, the grasp reflex. These primitive reflexes should disappear between six and twelve months, as the brain starts to inhibit them and develop more sophisticated neural functioning. If these reflexes persist they will interfere with the mastering of intentional control of muscles and in the run-up to starting school, hinder the development of physical readiness for academic learning.

What is later seen in the classroom as bad behavior – lack of impulse control, poor social skills and difficulty in learning despite good intelligence – may be symptoms of an underdeveloped central nervous system. Simply put this means that some parts of the brain are later than normal in maturing.

Neurodevelopmental therapy may be considered with these children. It is a non-invasive programme of movements that aim to promote the development of the nervous system.

Laura Hatton is a neurodevelopmental therapist with a clinic in Bantry. She can be contacted at laurahatton@eircom.net or 086 8561785.

Laura is giving a talk in the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen on Tuesday, September 22 at 8 pm. All welcome, admission free.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jc2tlH75Q
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It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

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Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

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