A Dreamy Interest in how Children Develop

As one who has researched and worked with children for a while, I often took notes about the way people behaved and why they behaved the way they did. I volunteered a little bit with the Children’s club in 2014, and I’d also like to self-reflect a little on consciousness when I was but an infant.

So, to start this out, I’d like to introduce you to the idea that babies can probably talk in their minds before their hyoid bone is lowered. Because of that, I thought it pretty interesting when I read how Louis Sachar described how the substitute with the third ear attempted to hear what was coursing through the baby’s mind. Since the baby had no organised language, they could only think in terms of sensations, much like how my brother would. He can’t see or hear, but he can still form thoughts and ideas with his other senses. But since Sharon M. Draper said in Out of My Mind, you need thoughts to have words, and you need a voice to express those thoughts, obviously my brother’s only voice is his behaviour.
On a different note, wild cats can roar because their hyoid bone is flexible, but in domesticated cats, and some wild cats that cannot roar, they cannot alter the pitch of their purr. So, what if we deossified their hyoid bone? Would the cat be able to vary the pitch of their purr, and thus produce a little roar? What’s really interesting is how humans have learned to articulate vowels and consonants in four or more categories to form organised speech. I have a theory that the reason humans lack so much sensory stimulation compared to other animals is because of our energy is focused on thinking and self-reflecting. But animals, as far as we know, don’t do that, so their senses are heightened all the time to mate and survive. Louis Sachar explored this in a book called The CardTurner.
Also, if cats can articulate some vowel and consonant sounds, can they learn to organise them into some recognisable language? Probably, but they’re not smart enough. That’s why when I asked, why do humans have races but animals have breeds? Their answer was, because animals aren’t smart enough to have their own culture. Anyway, cats can already produce nasals, such as /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/ or /ñ/. They can also make unvoiced plosives such as /t/, /p/, /k/, and /tʃ/. Some languages call for aspiration or non-aspiration. They often come up short when it comes to the voice plosives, like /b/, /d/, /g/, and /dʒ/. The unvoiced fricatives would be /f/, /θ/, /ʃ/, and /s/. The voiced fricatives would be /ð/, /v/, /ʒ/, and /z/. We’re not done yet! There’s the approximant, which are things like /l/ and /r/. The R can be trilled using either the front or back of the tongue. Cats are notorious for hissing and spitting, which would make that the unvoiced fricative. So theoretically, a cat, or any animal meeting all physiological criteria can reasonably learn to speak. Perhaps using safe brain stimulation, they can develop more memory cells. Octopi have blue blood because of their iron, and they have shown to have pretty good intelligence.

So, going back to my theory about infant consciousness, why is it that I can only remember being in this body once? And why is it that I can only remember to as early as three or four years of age? As far as I know, out of the millions, billions, trillions, etc of births that occur each year from every possible organism you can imagine, why was my mind and soul assigned to this body during this era in a specific place? Could it be possible that I was something else before that, but I don’t remember because I was an animal not meant to remember complicated events? It’s a wonder how many reflexes all creatures have that we don’t even think about. For instance, this web article, which I like because it is consistant with one gender pronoun, although it is not preferred, says that babies have incredible survival instincts; we just dont’ remember them.
So, , a child may not have the necessary information to express their true feelings about what they really want. It’s common in many parent and child relationships. Neither the parent nor the child is able to establish a clear understanding for one another when one or both of them lack the vocabulary needed to express a certain emotion. That is exactly what happened in that book, so I highly recommend you read it, and look at the first scene when the protagonist in Out of My Mind is at the toy store, and again when she is trying to warn her mother towards the end. Baby signs have been invented, and, as pointed out in Raising Rylan, it ended up having an additional benefit since he was born with very little hearing.
Another thing I found fascinating was what would happen if we didn’t learn the things we took for granted. Here’s another example about my brother. Since he’s never learned any kind of abstract concept like time, how does he perceive time in his mind? What if we decided that we would teach our future children everything but a certain item? Let’s say that in a hypothetical situation, we had many groups ready to start raising children. One group focuses on eliminating colour, another group removes time, and another removes sound and music (which already exists in Deaf culture). How would these children act when someone outside their group exposed them to the concept they never learned growing up? I probably mentioned this when I was talking about how Jonas didn’t know what colour was in The Giver, by Lois Lowry.
So, if you have a child(ren), and you are at your wits end, I’d suggest that you find out when your child is misbehaving, what prompts them to misbehave, where they are doing this, why they are doing it, who is it that they are targetting, if applicable, and how to solve the issue once it has been found, possibly by redirecting the behaviour instead of spanking. As someone who has worked with a behaviour technician to develop a behaviour support plan for my brother, these things are very intriguing, especially since not a lot of people have experience working with deaf-blind individuals who do not communicate with words.
If a child is having problems at a strange place like a day care centre, perhaps it is the way that they are being treated, and maybe it is affecting their overall development by giving them false information that leads them to make assumptions. I think one of the best ways to intervene is to give the child something they enjoy doing, or provide extra stimulation for something they don’t like doing. For example, most children don’t like to do chores, yet they must grow up learning how to do them. This is called the Premak Principle. It simply states that you must do an unfavourable task first if you want to earn a favourable reward. I have found through my own experience that providing extra stimulation, such as listening to music or reading an audiobook can help surpass the time while doing those unfavourable tasks.
I’ve once thought of implementing a GPS system on bus routes that would be available on an iOS or Android app, or even a Windows phone app. It would work on the same principle that Uber and Lyft uses. Since today’s kids are attached to their MIDs, which I like to call the iWorld, I thought it would be great if they could get realtime updates of when their bus was coming and track its progress on a map. However, some opponents of this would say that if we did this, kids would depend on their phones rather than their own self-reliable resources and not learn responsibility. I mean, what if your phone died? So, maybe they should earn it first. Somebody in Colorado tried to lobby the state legislature to ban all smart devices for children under thirteen, but many people argued that it would pose many problems, especially for people with disabilities.

For many blind kids, where walking around is not permissible in a private daycare home, or even when visiting parent’s friends, one has to be stimulated in other ways because of the lack of sight. Based on my experience, I found that whenever I visited other blind people, the children there were treated as family instead of strangers, and they understood the need for extra stimulation that they could not otherwise obtain just by seeing. So as long as they behaved they were free to walk around and feel what was around them. When I was little, my mother used to take my brother and me to my paternal aunt’s house so she could work. Similarly, she always dragged me to her friend’s houses. Sometimes I’d stay in the car while she did whatever it was she needed to do. However, my aunt made me sit all day, every day, without anything to do. I couldn’t simply look around me and observe the action. I could’ve used the time to write in my diary, as my writing was exceptionally good in sixth grade because I’ve read a lot of classic literature during that time. However, I didn’t have a computer until a year later, and it was but a desktop. I didn’t get my first netbook until I was beyond old enough to stay at home alone, so it was already too late. If any of these apps were available at the time, like Aira, which tells people what’s happening around them through a trained agent, or Be My Eyes, which is solely based on volunteers, perhaps my life might have been more enriched.
Here’s an interesting experience I had when I was probably three or four years old. I am going to relate back to my theory about not being able to remember things. I remember living at a house that was a two-three storey building. I cannot remember which one it was. I remember exploring a vacuum cleaner, feeling a closet, and things like that. One day, I happened to be outside, and I climbed two fences that was out on the second deck. I was walking until I felt the floor disappear, and I plunged down-down-down. I do not remember feeling any pain when I landed with a thud, except for a big jolt on my bottom half, but I remember crying pretty hard until I was eventually found. Someone must have seen me fall off the side of the house. I probably fell asleep or fainted, because it all felt like I was in a dream or haze. It was a miracle I could not feel pain because I was so distant, not to mention it was a long fall, yet I am still able to recall almost everything that happened to me. It was as if I were on sedatives 24/7! So, what do babies really remember? Later, I will write a post about using drugs for various things, sleep-walking and other parasomnias. For example, in the case of Kennith Park, he grabbed a knife in a way that cut up his hands while he stabbed his mother-in-law to death. And yet, he couldn’t feel any pain. Similarly, in 2006, I fell asleep on the port side of my mother’s van. I don’t know how long it was, but I remember dreaming that I was going to my cockatiel’s cage and cooing to Sunday, and that he chirped softly as I cradled him. When I woke up, however, I found myself holding another bird that I had previously taken with me. My cousin and I used to travel together a lot, and we used to take my bird(s) with us. This bird pecked a lot harder than the other one did, so if Zoey bit me, I didn’t feel any pain. And once, in 2004, my brother bit me on the arm while I slept, but when I woke up, I had this sore spot that I didn’t know how it got there. So, my mother filled me in on the details. Since many drugs derive from plants as a form of chemical defence, I believe humans produce tiny amounts of these substances which can have similar effects. That is why we probably hallucinate if we are sleep-deprived, why taking melatonin and cheese makes us have strange dreams and more. In 2008, I remember falling asleep in the front seat of the van, but when I woke up, I heard myself arguing with my mother. When I fully came to, I immediately stopped. I don’t remember what it was I was arguing about, but she told me she was going to call my dad. It’s kind of like when you hear your alarm go off, and you imagine yourself pressing the button to stop it, but it still keeps ringing in your ears, and again you vainly try to stop it. That’s exactly what happened to me in 2010. Somebody asked me a question, but because I was seated at the bus shelter, and I was extremely tired, I heard myself answering them, but they kept asking me the question. So, I realised that I never answered them.
Anyhow, My mother told me a story about a time I was in Mexico when I was running down five steps. It is queer (I’m using the word in its literal form) how I figured it out because I never recall. What happened was that I ran, and fell over the first step. I stood up and tried again. On the second step, I also fell, and so for the third, and fourth. However, when I got to the fifth, I did not fall. I slowly put my right foot out and noticed that the ground changed and so I did not fall this time.
Now, here’s something else I learned. According to some hypotheses I’ve read, children who grow up listening to intricate forms of music stimulate deep parts of their brain, which helps improve their personality (emotions, cognition, and identity). At this point in time, most children go with the flow. It won’t be for a few more years when they will have enough schemas to think for themselves. I would take this moment to approach this situation in a rational and logical manner, and briefly set your emotions aside to allow you to think more clearly. Some children sometimes like to test the limits to see how much attention they can get, because that also provides a sort of stimulation as well, even if that might be a bad form of stimulation. It’s all based on the reward and pleasure centres in the brain. Some people with ADD or ADHD respond better to punishment and intimidation instead of reward. Others are the opposite. Being swamped with several projects, though, I can wholeheartedly understand the pressure being added to meet everyone’s expectations in very little time. I’m sure there are some ways one can do to lessen the workload. People seem to be too fast-pace nowadays, so we do not have time for any family get-together traditions. That needs to come back.

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