Can a lack of love ~ a lack of touch and affection and attention ~ alter the development of the brain?
Child psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.:
Absolutely. It sounds very odd, but, in fact, when you are an infant and your brain is developing, the love that the people around you give, the touch, the eye contact, the tone of voice, the things, the physical manifestations of our love literally provide stimulation to the developing brain, and the neurons in the brain have more sprouts. They make certain areas connect more effectively. They make certain areas grow. They literally make the brain become functional.
Dr. Perry was on today’s show to lend his impressive professional expertise. He is the founder of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas. The show was a celebration of families who have opened their homes and their hearts to foster children.
At the end of the show, Anderson introduced Danielle, a feral child who grew up in isolation, and Diane and Bernie Lierow, the loving family who took her in and changed her life. Mr. and Mrs. Lierow have written Dani’s Story: A Journey from Neglect to Love. Is is about Dani’s tragic beginnings of horrific neglect and how the couple and their five sons transformed her life.
There are a half million children in foster care.
The New York Times suggested he might be filling the space vacated by Oprah Winfrey. Actually, I think he’s way better. I like his compassion, empathy, and journalistic integrity.
Today’s post is a celebration of foster children. It is a celebration of the families who embrace these children and give them a strong, healthy foundation for their lives.
Today’s post is also a celebration of survivors of child abuse and neglect. You deserve to be loved.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Please join me in wearing your purple and celebrating survivors.