Monday, April 7, 2014

This Friday, April 11th, Dr. Paul Yellin will be the Keynote Speaker at a forum titled Silent Crisis: The Impact of Chronic Stress and Trauma on Early Childhood Learning and Development. His presentation will look at a number of important considerations in the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development of children under stress from the environment in which they live.

Starting with the famous "marshmallow experiment" and its follow-ups, he will look at how children's impulses are shaped by whether they have - or don't have - a reliable, trusted adult in their lives. He will discuss how early language skills are acquired and the importance of exposure to language in this process. He will then proceed to look at how the developing brain is impacted by stress, using images of brains in different circumstances to clarify his examples. 

Dr. Yellin will then speak about  neuroplasticity - rewiring our brains - to see how this ability is part of resilience, the ability to bounce back, recover, and ultimately overcome adversity. When children have a "turnaround" person in their lives, they are often able to succeed even if their early development was fraught with stress and lacked the language input and emotional support that is optimal for brain development. 

This event, with other speakers including Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, Assistant Commissioner of the Brooklyn  Public Health Office of the NYC Department of Health; Evelyn K. Blanck, LCSW, from the NY Center for Child Development and Renee Wilson-Simmons, Dr.PH, Director of the National Center for Children in Poverty, is co-sponsored by Healthy Start Brooklyn, Central Harlem Healthy Start, and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Downstate New York Healthy Start, in collaboration with the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership.

The forum will be held at the Oberia Dempsey Mult-Service Center, 127 West 127th Street in Manhattan and admission is free and open to the public. It begins at 9 a.m.

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