© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
McMaster University child psychiatrist Dr. Jean Clinton is seen at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School on Wednesday prior to giving a presentation about brain development to local child care and education professionals.
Although an early start is best when it comes to healthy brain development, there are no lost causes, McMaster University child psychiatrist Dr. Jean Clinton said.
Speaking to a packed crowd of childcare professionals, educators and child welfare advocates, Clinton told a Prince Albert crowd on Wednesday that the brain is built by experiences.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not genes alone that determine who we are, but the environment has a huge impact on how we turn out,‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúIf the environment is nurturing, loving and supportive our brains get built different.
‚ÄúHow as a community can we make sure that kids are surrounded by relationships that help them?‚ÄĚ
Clinton said that it‚Äôs ‚Äúcompletely‚ÄĚ fitting that the Regional Intersectoral Committee and Community Mobilization Prince Albert supported her Prince Albert speaking engagement.
These organizations band various agencies together in tackling individual as well as system community issues.
Taking the ‚ÄúIt takes a village to raise a child‚ÄĚ motif to heart, Clinton concluded; ‚ÄúThe village needs to be functional.‚ÄĚ
It‚Äôs not genes alone that determine who we are, but the environment has a huge impact on how we turn out Jean Clinton
Although there is a prime time of brain development, the only time it
really stops developing is ‚Äúwhen you‚Äôre in the grave,‚ÄĚ Clinton said.
‚ÄúOur brain, we now know, can change throughout our life,‚ÄĚ she added.
‚ÄúIf you want to think of an idea model, you would construct your house really solidly so that when the windstorm of adolescence comes along you‚Äôre on solid foundations, but if you didn‚Äôt get the solid foundations then you can still do what you need to re-wire and reconstruct,‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúLet‚Äôs get it right in the early years because that will head off a whole lot of problems later on.‚ÄĚ