By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Positive, short term stress is healthy. Children need to learn to manage adversities such as dealing with the first day of school, points out Dr. Jack Shonkoff, co-director of Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child.
But the flexibility that makes kids open to learning can make them vulnerable to damage from toxic stress — severe and/or sustained, without supportive relationships — such as poverty, homelessness, high mobility.
In an article in Education Week, Sarah D. Sparks reports on a study from Child Development in which 26,000 students who moved more than three times a year had significantly lower math achievement and academic growth than students with stable homes.
At the University of Maryland, children with six or more adverse experiences before age 3 were overwhelmingly identified as needing special education.
The article is extremely important showing that time doesn’t heal some adversity, even 50 years later.