Working with Infants
NDS The Role of the Neurodevelopmental Specialist and the Infant Brain
Research The human brain is the most complex machine in the universe.
Implication If you are working with the most complex machine in the world, how can you
not be important?
Research There are more cells in an infant’s brain than there are stars in our Milky Way.
That’s about 100 billion brain cells.
Implication Your job is to get those brain cells moving by encouraging interactions
Research The infant’s brain is not wired for learning at birth.
Implication If something is not complete, it has the potential to be complete. (Really look at
the importance of the next two research points.)
Research The foundational networking of the brain’s synapses is nearly complete after
Research The amount of connections in an infant’s brain can increase or decrease by 25
percent depending on the environment and stimulation the child does or doesn’t
receive in the first three years.
Implication You can positively or negatively affect an infant by what you do and don’t do.
Research An infant’s first experiences imprint the child’s genetic blueprint. That means
that every interaction and experience from you or other adults has the capacity to
help the brain develop to its fullest capacity.
Implication You need to know what you can do to make sure that happens. How will you
interact? What will you say? How will you support the child? (The next two topics cover
infant learning and positive interactions.)
Research An infant’s early experiences are critical to the child’s later intellectual and
Implication You help lay the foundation for what’s to come!
Research The neural circuits that are consistently turned on over time will be
strengthened. Implication You help to strengthen those circuits with conversation, reading books,
nurturing, and really everything you do. Cells that fire together, wire together.
rapid brain development during the first three years of life.
Implication Since the brain develops the most during the first three years of life, your
interactions with and responses to infants literally help to lay that foundation.
Can you say, “NDS”?