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The Importance of the First Year

Posted by: Rhonda July 12, 2016

“Change the beginning and you change the whole story.” Dr. Dmitri Christakis

Research confirms that when it comes to child development, what happens in the first year has life-long effects. But have you considered the complex relationship between a child’s early motor skills and their later ability for cognitive processing?

“The jerky, uncoordinated movements of a newborn mirror the unorganized neural networks in their brain. Since the brain is built on demand, the more the infant moves, the more robust connections develop in the brain.” The saying, “‘use it or lose it’ is as true for infants as it is for adults,” writes Christine Roberts, a professional modern dancer and educator.

“The stakes are much higher for young children because the sensory motor connections are just being formed. Our orientation in space, our ability to maintain balance, our ability to process touch, sight, and sound sensations all form during the first year!

“Linking the body to the brain in order that thought, intention, and action are coordinated and effortless, is the bedrock for school readiness.” Read more.