Effect of Brain Growth and Development on Physical and Biological Development
Early child development is a dynamic process that spans the prenatal period to 8 years of age. It is the most critical stage of brain development and human development. It is determined by a variety of biological and environmental factors. These factors can affect children throughout their development, especially critical times such as the prenatal period and early childhood. Therefore, the purpose of this study focuses on exploring the effect of brain growth and development in relation to physical and biological development. Furthermore, we examine the range of abilities and disabilities students bring to the classroom based on biological and physical development scenarios. The paper also discusses the brain structures that cause or are affected by the situation in these two scenarios.
The Biological and Physical Development Scenarios
During the early childhood development process, children are likely to experience disabilities. People with disabilities refer to those who encounter long-term physical, mental, intellectual, and sensory impairments. Children may develop disabilities as a result of biological and physical experiences (Carson et al., 2016). For instance, some children will be born with disabilities such as impairments, while others may experience disabilities from the physical environment such as illnesses, injuries, and nutrition imbalances. Genetic factors, as well as environmental factors, play a role in shaping childhood development.
Many physical disabilities affect children. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a notorious physical disability that students come with them to the classroom. Research shows that approximately 2 out of 1,000 infants in developed countries are born with this condition. CP involves a group of non-progressive motor impairment conditions and anomalies of the brain in the early stages of development. Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that leads to disabilities in movement, balance, and posture. However, the leading cause of this disability is the brain damage that occurs during fetus development and birth. Physical damage occurs during delivery due to pressure on the brain or indirectly from bleeding and swelling in the brain. The brain structures affected by this condition are the cerebral cortex, which directly monitors brain movement.
In the biological scenario, children encounter learning disabilities. Learning disability or disorder is a neurological disorder affecting how a child’s brain perceives, process, retain and respond to environmental information (Thapar, Cooper & Rutter, 2017). The children who experience this disability have trouble learning and applying specific skills such as reading, writing, speaking, reasoning, and listening, although they vary in children differently. It involves mental retardation and intelligence. This disability affects the occipital lobe and temporal lobe of the brain. Also, it affects the perisylvian region, including Broca’s area in the premotor section of the front lobe.
Environmental Factors Surrounding Biological and Physical Development in Children
A wide range of environmental factors influences childhood development. These factors may protect and enhance children’s development while others deteriorate and compromise their developmental output. Children with disabilities are disproportionately vulnerable to risk factors such as poverty, violence, abuse, negligence, poor caregiver relationship, stigma, and institutionalization (Tilahun et al., 2016). Poverty and disability are closely linked; for instance, poverty increases the likelihood of disabilities. Pregnant women who live in poverty conditions experience poor balance diet, health, and exposure to harmful substances and toxins and other environmental pollutants that directly affect fetal development. However, children living in poverty conditions are at risk of experiencing developmental delays. Another aspect is stigma and discrimination. The birth of children with disabilities in some communities is associated with shame, guilt, and fear. As a result, these children are discriminated against, and they are associated with poor health and education outcomes.
Effects of Physical and Biological Disabilities on Classroom Learning
Children with physical disabilities and neurological conditions have difficulties in accessing the learning environment. Students with cerebral palsy have problems related to movement, posture, and grasping (World Health Organization, 2016). In a classroom context, some have difficulty in receiving information through hearing or sight. On the other hand, others can see but cannot process the received information. However, this causes difficulties in reading and writing, affecting the learning process in the classroom.
Those with physical disabilities such as learning disability experience speech and language difficulties. This may include deaf students and those who hear partially who experience difficulties communicating through speech. This hinders the learning process in the classroom. In general, physical and biological disabilities have a negative impact on children’s learning process in the classroom (Silberberg et al., 2015). While in class, children with learning disabilities experience shame, anxiety, frustrations, melancholy, social isolation, and lack of self-confidence. This has severe psychological effects on children, and this hinders their learning process while in class. Quick judgments are made about these students, which lowers the potential of these students being recognized. Therefore, there is a need to help and support the development of children living with disabilities. This can be done through implementing a comprehensive approach to support and care through early identification, provision of services, early intervention and assessment planning, monitoring, and evaluation. Also, community-based approaches such as Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) can address the needs of children to help empower them and their families and through education.