Sunday, July 6, 2008

Touchpoints: Birth to Three

I had the distinct pleasure of attending a talk given by world-renowned pediatrician T. Bery Brazelton last week at the American Library Association's annual conference in Anaheim, California. The theme of the presentation was based on his work with infants, families, and educators in the strengthening of families. Dr. Brazelton is the founder of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center at Children's Hospital Boston. Brazelton is also known for developing the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) in 1973, which is used in hospitals across the nation to assess an infant's own unique behavioral strengths, responses to care, and possible issues.

According to Brazelton, “Our goal is that parents everywhere work with supportive providers, feel confident in their parenting role and form strong, resilient attachments with their children. To help achieve this, providers must be responsive to parents, knowledgeable about child development and eager to see every parent succeed.” (

Dr. Brazelton is a gentle speaker whose presentation called for librarians, community members, and families to improve the quality of care for children as they grow. His books are accessible to parents and emphasize understanding a child's development, needs, and the need for strong parent-child attachments. His small, topic-based parenting book series, "The Brazelton Way," provide overviews of subjects of concern to parents and advice from Dr. Brazelton. Topics include discipline, calming a fussy baby, feeding, sleep, sibling rivalry, toilet training, and handling anger and aggression.

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