Shifting to a Neurodevelopmental Approach to Behaviors

Bruce Perry, MD, PhD, child development pioneer and the author of my two favorite books related to my profession (pictured below), spoke in Seattle last month to present his research. He showed that children who were taken out of traumatic homes and placed into nurturing ones showed negligible behavior improvement when the nurturing homes used a behaviorist system of discipline. Regardless of how loving the family was, the use of both punishments and rewards added to the child's toxic stress. Conversely, when the foster and adoptive families regarded behaviors as communication of needs and responded by meeting those needs, the children flourished. We are finding it more and more challenging

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