Founded in 1996, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center is rooted in and builds upon the work of T. Berry Brazelton, MD, internationally renowned pediatrician, whose scientific research and clinical observations of babies and young children, beginning in the 1950s and spanning six decades, radically reshaped the field of early child development and the practice of pediatrics.
Dr. Brazelton entered the medical profession at a time when a baby was considered a “tabula rasa,” a blank slate without any innate capacities. As an extraordinary observer and listener, Dr. Brazelton keenly sensed the discrepancies between his careful observations of infants, children and their interactions with their parents, and the reigning theories of his time. In essence, he discovered early on what neuroscience has recently reconfirmed at the neural level: that babies are born with innate and individually distinctive capacities for social interactions.
Motivated by these discoveries, Dr. Brazelton and other like-minded researchers and clinicians led the way in dramatically shifting the policies and practices in hospitals and other settings serving children and their families, most of which are now taken for granted and accepted as best practice.
Today, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center strives to ensure that what scientists are learning in the laboratory can be transferred into practice and policy. Given the legacy of Dr. Brazelton’s productive questioning of received wisdom, and that of other pioneering scientists throughout its history, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center also aims to bring ongoing observations of children’s and families’ experience, as well as what practitioners are learning in the field, to continue to inform and challenge science, advancing its accuracy and its relevance.