Abandoned children suffer severe brain damages and are less evolved mentally than the children who are with their parents.
Babies who have been abandoned in Romanian, special institutions are less evolved than children living with their parents or in foster care.Their heads and brains are smaller, their white matter structure is different than the one of children that have been sent to higher quality foster care.
New study, showed that the wiring of the brain is deeply interrupted and damaged by neglect, explained Charles A. Nelson of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. These psychological changes can be remediated by placing the children in better foster care.
The study began in year 2000, in Bucharest, and evaluated 136 abandoned babies who have spent almost all their lives in special institutions. When they were two years old, researchers picked half of the babies and sent them to better foster homes.
From that moment, scientists have been comparing the evolution of these kids, to the ones which have lived with their natural parents.
The programme thought foster parents to develop relationships with the children and were given insights about the children’s emotional and cognitive needs, as well as strategies to help on the best development of the children, stated researcher.
Children who have been transferred to foster care, turned out to have advanced to having similar grey matter to the children who have never been institutionalised and have lived with their biological parents. Process which proved that living in a proper foster care, can reverse the process of psychological damages.
By the age of two, the institutionalised babies, haven’t had received no linguistic or sensorial stimulation and grew up to have an average IQ of 70. Observing the babies’s poor development, researcher were concerned that their brains weren’t growing enough and suffered serious reductions of white and grey matter.
The investigation on the white matter, showed large differences in the corpus callosum, and in other regions, such as the sensory processing data and the limbic circuitry.
The corpus callosum is the path of communication between the two sections of the brain, a process fundamental for processing the language. Other minuses of their brains were related to attention span and making decisions.
According to doctor Nelson, the development of the brain is directly related to the experiences after birth, especially in the demanding situations. If these experiences don’t occur, progress is stopped. When coming into the world,the brain of the new born baby is expecting specific experiences, one of them being, care and devotion.
Image Source: Prevention Action