Cognitive Maltreatment and Neural Development

Guided Response: Review several of your peers’ posts. Respond to two peers, offering a reflection of the bag from the perspective of a family member who used it with their child. Describe what the strengths are about their bag for addressing the concept of literacy development. Is there anything you would do differently? Constructively provide that feedback for your peer as well. For example, you might say, “The questions were well written and help extend the content in the story,” or, “The story was engaging, however it was rather difficult and long to read. I might recommend a story that fits the developmental level more appropriately.”

Additionally, suggest one way that the peer can supplement their bag by including an activity for a non-English speaking child and family. As with prior discussions, though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. This will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with the topic of literacy.

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In your responses to no fewer than two of your classmates, compare and contrast your respective responses to the Perry study and illustrative examples, offering constructive criticism of your respective arguments and conclusions. Additionally, identify any insights you have gained as a result of reading the responses of others.


Cognitive Maltreatment and Neural Development

The neural development system is very important during brain development, especially for children in their early life as the brain and nervous system are developing. Brain development slows down after childbirth and continues to develop and forming connections throughout our lifespan (Mossler and Zeigler, 2016). According to Mossler and Zeigler (2016), the neuron is the basic building block of the nervous system. These neurons communicate by releasing neurotransmitters into the synaptic gap that exists between sending and receiving neurons. Mossler and Zeigler (2016), continues by explaining that synaptic growth is stimulated through both maturation and experience. So, it is important that as our children grow, we help them have a safe and healthy lifestyle. However, it is also important to know that during neural development processes any impact such as accidents and maltreatment can affect our brain/ neural development. Some examples of maltreatment are all forms of child abuse which include, physical, emotional, sexual abuse, and neglect. All these types of abuse can affect a child’s neural development. According to Perry (2009) “The majority of these children do not receive adequate mental health services; indeed, most are not even known to be maltreated or traumatized. Sadly, I had witnessed an incident at work in which a child suffered from malnutrition. As social workers are mandated, reporters. My staff went twice to a home visit and noticed that the child looked weak and down, the second visit she brought the child some food and asked some questions to follow up on his well-being. The three-year-old child reported that he could not remember when and what he last ate. After investigation and calls to DCFS, the child was removed and was reported that due to the malnutrition the child had iron deficiency which resulted in affecting his cognitive and motor skills. Sadly, there are a lot of cases that go unseen in today’s society. I am glad during this pandemic, schools are offering free food and meals in the community.

As we can see, not providing adequate meals can disrupt neural development and can even cause developmental, and other problems such as depression and anxiety due to lack of food. Also, “trauma, neglect, and related experiences of maltreatment such as prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol… (Perry, 2009). This shows that even during prenatal development as parents we need to be aware that our choices can affect the neural development of our child/ren.

Analyzing Perry’s study, the child’s brain is sensitive and like a sponge. Their brains can be affected by life positive or negative experiences. Perry’s approach to the neurosequential model of Therapeutics (NMT) “allows identification of the key systems and areas in the brain which have been impacted by adverse developmental experiences and helps target the selection and sequence of therapeutic, enrichment, and educational activities (Perry, 2009).” Perry system re-align many of the neurons that were damaged due to trauma or maltreatment from abuse through therapeutic approach and educational enrichment. There are three central elements of the model which are NMT developmental history, a current assessment of functioning, and a set of recommendations for interventions and enrichment that arise from the process. The strength I find in this study is that it is client-centered. The information gathered is geared directly for the client allowing the therapist to obtain information from prenatal care, birth, any attachment issues, and ability to identify resiliency or vulnerability that impacted the client’s functional development. I find NMT “Mapping” the most important and interested, to be able to visually identify areas in the brain that have been impacted by trauma. Lastly the ability to provide recommendations and tools to help manage and cope with maltreatment abuse is phenomenal. I feel that the limit in this approach is not having enough therapists, social workers, and individuals that come into contact with maltreatment aware and educated on this approach. I feel we need to educate professionals in this approach to help their communities.

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