Is Early Intervention Necessary for Your Child?

You should not be frightened if your child appears to be growing slowly. Is there anything that you can do to assist?

Early personality traits such as staring at things for small periods of time, conveying her need to be carried, and fussing when she needs to be fed emerge shortly after birth. Even while each child’s development is unique, several milestones, such as crawling, walking, and speaking their first words, are typically reached at roughly the same time. If a kid does not meet expected developmental milestones or has substantial delays, parents may be concerned. Even if you suspect a “delay,” it’s possible that there’s nothing wrong with it.

Early intervention (EI) services can assist a kid who is having difficulty meeting developmental milestones. For optimal child development, a kid’s ability to connect with others and the environment must be enhanced through early intervention therapy programs. An Early Intervention Program (EIP) was mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1986 to improve children’s development, with funding for all 50 states. Children under the age of 3 who are suspected of having developmental (physical, cognitive, language) delays, impairments, or special needs are eligible for free EIP services. An evaluation is typically recommended by a pediatrician.

Please tell me whether or not my child needs early intervention services.

Other warning flags include sensory sensitivity, refusal to be held, fear of mobility, or feeding difficulties. Many families obtain EI treatments after birth when a genetic or chromosomal condition (such as Down syndrome) is detected. A wide variety of meals may usually be effectively bitten, chewed, and swallowed by the time a kid reaches the age of three. Visit the First Signs website, which provides the average ages at which children generally hit specific milestones, if you observe that your child is not gaining significant abilities at the same time as her peers or older siblings.

If your child isn’t feeling well, you should definitely see a doctor:

  • Crawling by 10 months
  • Imitating gestures by the age of 12 months
  • Walking for 18 months
  • By the age of eighteen months, manipulating ring stacks, form boards, and nested cups
  • At least 50 words can be spoken and understood in 24 months.

Types of Preventative Measures

A child’s requirements are first identified by a multidisciplinary team during an early intervention evaluation. Early intervention services can significantly reduce the negative effects of developmental delays, according to research. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy may be required to help children develop their motor abilities, speech, and language. Counseling, social work, occupational, physical, and speech therapies, psychological services, audiology, and vision treatments are all examples of early intervention services. As easy as prescribing hearing aids for an autistic infant or glasses for a youngster who won’t look at pictures, these services can be as complex as assembling a team of medical experts and working with an infant with cerebral palsy to assist her feed herself in her chair.

In order to assist a kid thrive in preschool, on the playground, and at mealtimes, a team of professionals will work together to improve coordination, strength, and stability while also fulfilling a child’s sensory needs. An EI center or in-home visits can provide EI services, and the sooner these services are employed, the better.

Occupational Therapy

Work-related activities such as grasping and manipulating things are made easier with the help of occupational therapy. Occupation therapy can help children learn ideas such as size and shape discrimination (so they can fit smaller objects into larger ones), hand-eye coordination to use a spoon, and sensory abilities to write on a shaving cream-covered tray.

Speech and Language Therapy

When it comes to improving oral motor skills and receptive and expressive communication, speech and language therapy, also known as speech-language pathology (SLP), is a valuable resource. Using visuals, gestures, and electronic gadgets in conjunction with speech therapy may be an option.

Physical Therapy

Restoring balance and mobility while sitting or standing is an important goal of physical therapy. The use of walkers and wheelchairs, as well as other assistive devices, can be addressed through physical therapy.

Early Childhood Special Education

In order to enhance cognitive and social development, early childhood educators assist in providing suitable learning environments and activities, such as singing finger-play songs and asking for more bubbles to pop.

Social Work Services

Counseling and parent education are two of the many services provided by social work services to assist families in meeting their children’s social and emotional needs.

In order to receive early intervention, how can I go about doing so?

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act provides free early intervention programs through age 3 and free special education from the ages of 3 to 21 for all children with developmental disabilities in the United States. An evaluation from your state’s education department is the first step. Request a referral from your child’s doctor or perform a Google search for “early intervention” and your state’s contact information to set up an appointment.

The Individualized Family Service Plan for infants and toddlers and the Individualized Education Program for preschoolers will be given to families who qualify. Here, you’ll find information about which services are appropriate for your child and how to get started. An EI therapist is able to come to your home, or even to your child’s daycare or preschool, where they can work with the teachers to arrange a suitable location and time for the sessions.

In every state, there are specific criteria that must be met before a child can get services for a variety of concerns, such as cognitive disabilities, vision or hearing problems, gross motor delays; feeding difficulties; speech delays, and more.