Early years prove crucial

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 January, 1998, 12:00am

The human brain grows incredibly fast during the first three years of life, so giving it enough exercise is very important.

That is one of the main aims of the Potential Development Association (PDA).

Ann Chen Yuk-chun, a PDA developmental therapy consultant, said providing early stimulation and preventing learning difficulties were important tasks for the association.

Activities include a baby gym and special games for children aged up to two years old, as well as teaching reading, writing and other skills.

Ms Chen said coming to the PDA did not mean children had learning difficulties or psychological problems.

'Children at an early age should have more opportunities to stimulate their brains and do exercises which are beneficial for their long-term development as well as learning ability. That's why parents bring their children here,' she said.

Ms Chen told Sunday Young Post that the PDA also provided parents and teachers with training in how to help children develop intellectually and emotionally at school and at home.

'Hong Kong has just opened the door to concern about the development of children during the past few years. However, comparatively speaking, we're still lagging behind Japan and Taiwan,' Ms Chen said.

The PDA, in Wan Chai, also helps if parents or teachers suspect a child has learning difficulties.

She said they could identify moderate to severe learning difficulties by simple observation.

Ms Chan said those that suffered learning difficulties may be just as intelligent as other children.

'A lot of people who have learning difficulties are also very successful when they go out to work,' she said.

Some of the keys to good child development were cultivating good sensory ability, emotional stability and good learning ability.

'A good family education and moral education are also important for children's development,' Ms Chen added.