Neuroplasticityis the concept that neural pathways are constantly being reorganized in thebrain throughout a person’s lifetime. The brain experiences the mostdevelopment in infancy and early childhood, making neuroplasticity more activethan usual.
It contains various mechanisms that can reduce the effects of developmentalimpairments. However, in order for this to occur, early diagnosis andintervention of children with developmental impairments is crucial, and theonly way for these intervention programs to have an impact in neuroplasticityis through proper funding. Therefore, the state should not cut funding forthese programs because they aid in maximizing linguistic, communicative, andcognitive development and competence while neuroplasticity is at its peak, and promoteequality of these children and their social and emotional quality of life. Early intervention programs arevital in the development and competency of linguistic, communicative, andcognitive abilities of children with speech, language, or hearing impairments. Manyorganizations, such as The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, value and endorsethe use of these programs to provide children with opportunities to becompetent with their “peers in communication, cognition, reading, and social-emotionaldevelopment.” (Joint Committee on Infant Hearing). This committee has putprograms in place, such as the early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI),which focus on screening and evaluating the hearing abilities of infantsshortly after birth in order to have access to intervention programs and healthcare professionals.
However, it is believed that many of these programs, whichare provided through Medicaid and non-profit organizations, are becoming costlyfor state and federal governments. Reforms are constantly being made to reducethe government’s financial debt, and “the cost burden for services that statesare required to provide,” ranges from approximately “$1,400 per child to nearly$240,000 per child” could be resolved by cutting funding for these programs. (Ullrich,2017, Karoly, 2005) Cutting funding for these programs would have severe competencyeffects on children with speech, language, or other developmental impairments.Effects so prominent, that these children will most likely experience severe day-to-dayactivity and participation limitations.Children with developmentaldisabilities often experience daily social and emotional frustrations.
Thesechildren have the right to feel emotionally and socially accepted, and accordingto The Importance of Early Interventionfact sheet, healthy brain development is reliant on “stable relationships withcaring and responsive adults, and safe and supportive environments.” (Kahn,2011) If they have access to these intervention programs, less frustration insocial situations can be achieved for children with developmental impairments. The ideology that able-bodied peopleare superior to those with disabilities has existed throughout history.
Thissame ideology can be applied to cutting funding for children with developmentalimpairments. It seems as though those with developmental impairments are not favoredby society’s idea of normal, and therefore care should not be provided for them.However, it is important that children with speech, language, or otherdevelopmental impairments to receive early intervention programs that allowthem to feel and be socially accepted and competent amongst their peers.Funding for intervention programs for children withdevelopmental impairments opens more doors for their linguistic, communicative,and cognitive development, and improves their quality of life socially andemotionally.