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Abstract Ref Number = APCP62
Invited Speakers
Critical Periods of Child Development in the First 1000 Days of Life Critical Periods of Child Development in the First 1000 Days of Life
Ahmad Suryawan Division of Growth Development Social Pediatrics, Department of Child Health, Soetomo HospitalFaculty of Medicine, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia
The first 1,000 days of life – a period of age between conception and one’s second birthday - is a unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and development of children are established as well as a critical window when the brain has reached 80% of its adult size. The first 1,000 days are characterized by rapid rates of neuronal proliferation (cell numbers), growth and differentiation (complexity), myelination, and synaptogenesis (connectivity). The critical period is the time when the amplitude of sensitivity of synaptic plasticity to the evoked neuronal activities and the refinement of the synaptoarchitectony becomes maximal. The concepts of critical periods refer to unique episodes in the development when specific structures or functions become especially susceptible to the influence of particular experiences from environment. The quality of relationships and experiences during this critical period set either a strong or fragile foundation for health, learning, cognitive and behavior that follow. Multiple genetic and epigenetic mechanisms control the opening, onset, duration, and closing of the critical periods. Efforts to understand which aspects of child development become set early on and which remain open to change have been shape by notions of critical periods. Based on what is now known about the biological basis of brain development in the first 1,000 days, it is not surprising that the roots of of the child’s development are laid down very early in life. The child brain is enormously plastic in its ability to recover from early insults, but the window of opportunity does narrow with advancing age. The science suggests that it is far better policy to build the brain right in the early age prevention programs than to depend on therapy once a deficit of development has occurred.
Keywords: the first 1000 days, critical periods, child development
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