Critical Period

Critical Period

A child is respon­sive and learns from stim­u­la­tion dur­ing crit­i­cal period.

“It is clear that the mere act of eat­ing, the food even not reach­ing the stom­ach, deter­mines the stim­u­la­tion of the gas­tric glands.” ~ Ivan Pavlov

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Thomas Keenan and Sub­hadra Evans say that crit­i­cal period in child devel­op­ment refers to the time in the early stages of a child’s life, when she is respon­sive and learns from stim­u­la­tion. A child demon­strates increased sen­si­tiv­ity to any kind of exter­nal stim­u­la­tion dur­ing this period, and any exter­nal stim­u­la­tion received dur­ing the period affects devel­op­ment. On the other hand, if the required stim­u­la­tion is received at the wrong time, its influ­ence may not be far-reaching or it may not have any influ­ence at all (Coyne et al., 2010). Carol Mar­tin and Richard Fabes argue that the strongest proof comes from research on lan­guage devel­op­ment, which revealed that chil­dren who lack ade­quate expo­sure to lan­guage before the age 6 to 7 years may never acquire the use of language.

Coyne, I., Tim­mins, F. & Neill, F. (2010). Clin­i­cal Skills for Children’s Nurs­ing. Oxford: Oxford Uni­ver­sity Press.
Keenan, T. & Evans, S. (2008). An Intro­duc­tion to Child Devel­op­ment. Lon­don: Sage Pub­lish­ing.
Mar­tin, C. & Fabes, R. (2009). Dis­cov­er­ing Child Devel­op­ment. Boston : Houghton Mif­flin Co.


Key Concepts

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