Essay on Sensitive Periods in Developement

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Sensitive Periods in Developement

The child does not grow uniformly and homogeneously like a crystal or a carrot, but by stages or phases, which succeed one another and which, differ from one another. For proper growth and development it is necessary that the potentialities for developing human relationships with which the infant is born be exposed to the organizing influences of another human being. Accumulating evidence indicates that there exist critical developmental periods during which the organism is ready for differential development, within which periods it must receive the proper stimulations if it is to develop adequately. These critical developmental periods may be broadly outlined as follows:
1) The period during
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2) Maternal deprivation for a period varying for days within the first and second years, and weeks or months during the third and fourth years.
3) Changes from one mother-figure to another during the first four or five years.
With respect to the reality of the critical developmental periods, it is, of course, well known that such critical developmental periods exist in the development of the body, with the principle well established that the earlier the interference with their development the more widespread will the disturbance in growth be. Tissues must reach a certain stage of differentiation before they can respond; later such tissues achieve a certain relative fixity, so that they can yield.
Prenatal environmental influences For many years , in fact, it was believed that the baby in the uterus was completely insulated form all outside influences, but now we know that is not entirely true. Environmental influences ranging from radioactivity and stress in the outside world to drugs, chemicals, hormones, and viruses in the mother's bloodstream can affect prenatal development. Even though the placenta acts as a filter, keeping the blood of the mother and the fetus from mixing, a number of potentially dangerous substances can pass through it. And, of course, if the
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