Early Experiences Are Important Determinants of Adult Health Status
A child’s early experiences are lifelong determinants of health and well-being. Studies in neurobiology, neurodevelopment, and early intervention show that the years birth to school age are critically important for brain development.
During this critical time, children develop the essential language and cognitive skills required to learn, develop their ability to manage emotions and stress, and learn to cooperate with others. Properly shaping the architecture of the brain in these earliest years of life has profound benefits in adult life.
Many of the risks for the diseases of adult life (e.g. heart disease) are, in part shaped by learning, coping, and decision-making skills that are set in the earliest years of life. These skills determine performance in the school system and set children onto life pathways that in turn, affect their health and well-being over time.
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