The monumental task of simply surviving poverty puts an enormous physical and emotional toll on both parents and children. The "surround of force" they feel sends alarming waves of stress that swell unabated, day after day. Such stress becomes toxic across time.
When children live with this type of stress it slows down the neural connections that develop in a child’s brain the first five years of their lives. Additionally, the parents' insecurities around food, rent, auto upkeep, employment, and supportive relationships, create chaos and violent interactions.
Starting from birth, a child’s brain begins to develop around repetitive experiences. What if there really aren't any? What if chaos prevents scheduled and repetitive events on any given day? What if you don't know where you'll sleep tonight, not because you're homeless, but because your Mama has to work the night shift off and on. What if someone comes when you cry one night but not the next?
If there is no appropriate early intervention, neural connections become impaired in ways that last a lifetime. The stress response system is just one example. When the brain is sent into fight, flight, or freeze several times a day, the stress response system becomes hyper-reactive to the point that it takes less and less to set it off. The result is a child who is unable to control their behavior, make good choices, focus in class, or have academic success.
Talitha Koum’s goal is to send these children into public school at kindergarten with a brain organized for learning, the emotional strength to self-regulate, problem solving skills, and compassion for others. It is the role of our therapeutic nursery to shape each child’s day with consistency of loving care, sensitivity to their individuality, and opportunities for self-expression. Learn more about our curriculum.