Discoveries in Neuroscience and the Power of Early Intervention

In This Episode:

Photo of Neuroscience & Early Intervention ME Guest Jed ElisonDr. Jed Elison, the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, has been a guest on Mom Enough in the past, talking about research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the importance of early identification and intervention. Today he brings stunning research on babies who are missing all or part of their corpus collosum (agenesis of the corpus collosum), the organ in the brain that coordinates function across the two hemispheres of the brain. With his colleague Dr. Lynn Paul, of the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Elison is discovering how appropriate early intervention can bring about positive change even in children with such an extreme malformation of the brain.

In this compelling conversation with hosts Marti & Erin, Dr. Elison highlights three important, hopeful messages from this research, with implications not only for this particular group of babies, but for babies and young children in general: 1) functional reorganization of the brain is possible in early development; 2) there is “plasticity” of early development (the capacity to change developmental pathways) with appropriate intervention and support; 3) with information and support, families also can adapt and reorganize to accommodate a young child’s needs, demonstrating “family resilience” that, in turn, supports the child’s resilience. Don’t miss this fascinating and encouraging discussion of the power of early identification and intervention for babies with special needs – and the importance of rich, stimulating, supportive care and education for all infants young children.

WHY IS EARLY INTERVENTION SO IMPORTANT?


What interested you most in this interview with Dr. Elison? He emphasizes that these studies on babies who are missing all or part of their corpus callosum show that early intervention helps them “functionally reorganize their brains.” Why is that relevant not only for these babies, but for babies with other developmental challenges or even typically developing babies?

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