Brain Wiring Game: Demystifying Synapse Formation and Brain Development During the Early Years
A Participatory Learning Tool for Promotion of Nurturing Care
Keywords:workforce development, Knowledge translation, Implementation science, Effective Parenting, Public health
The early years in a child’s life are ‘critical’ as synaptic connections in the brain form and mature in this period. A child’s potential for development becomes irreversibly reduced if these early years are not enriched in a stimulating physical and psychosocial environment. Elucidating the underlying technical scientific concepts related to brain development to lay persons is a challenge specially in low-and-middle-income countries like India with limited literacy and/or ignorance. If these technical concepts are to be taken to the last person, across the last mile then simple, effective, acceptable solutions need to be metamorphosed for the local context considering the cultural, social and economic constraints.
Brain wiring game is a participatory activity that helps to sensitize the audience about the ‘sculpting’ role of experiences on synapse formation and brain development during the early years. It evolved in 2018, during the preparatory phase of a field implementation research for empowering caregivers on Nurturing care being implemented in 4 districts of Maharashtra, India. Since then, it has been played with more than 200,000 individuals representing an entire spectrum from rural, urban and tribal areas, irrespective of their literacy status or socio-economic background. It has been played in a variety of settings ranging from classroom training sessions, field training sessions, mothers’ meetings at village level, Palak melawa (Community fair for Parents), sensitization meetings and community-based events. The participants who have been sensitized through this include parents, other caregivers, frontline health workers, para-medical staff, village council representatives and health professionals.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Abhishek Raut, Pranali Kothekar, Subodh Gupta, Pramod Bahulekar; Poonam Kawade, Savita Dakhane; Chetna Maliye, Simin Irani, Rajlaxmi Nair, Kundan Idzes
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