This slide presentation was presented at a symposium held on June 17, 2014, in Washington, DC, to discuss the emerging science demonstrating the impact of toxic stress on the lifelong health of a child. The symposium was also designed to create consensus on a broad, implementable vision to strengthen federal policies and funding to address toxic stress and early childhood adversity. This presentation focuses on using advances in advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and epigenetics to catalyze the design and testing of new strategies across multiple sectors to strengthen the foundations of lifelong learning, behavior, and health. It begins with slides showing racial gaps in reading scores, racial differences in infant mortality, and the impact of cumulative adversity on child development in the first three years. It notes the current conceptual framework guiding early childhood policy and practice is incomplete and 21st century science can change the narrative for policy and practice across sectors. Final slides discuss generating hypotheses to guide the design and testing of new intervention strategies, the importance of parent involvement in early childhood programs, and the need to transform the lives of the adults who care for children to achieve breakthrough outcomes for children experiencing toxic stress. Links are offered to videos that address the impact of toxic stress on healthy development and how genes and experiences interact to build brain architecture.
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