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Early Intervention for Developmental Delays

One of the first things recommended after your child is diagnosed with a developmental delay is often early intervention. Depending on where you live where Early Intervention can be in different settings. At a Local or regional center. You will be given resources for Infants and young children for infant stimulation, physical, occupational and speech therapy. Many will also help you to make connections with others who have similar interests and concerns. Such places as parent to parent, mommy and me and Gymboree.

In some areas, these services are offered through local hospitals or your local school district. Many areas also provide families with early intervention in the parents home. Many areas have ECAP or Early Intervention centers that provide different therapies and medical services.  The quality of services and the match of staff and families vary depending on the experience and training of therapists and administrators, funding issues as well as the child's diagnosis and family dynamics.

Depending on your area early intervention specialists may have less experience with your child's diagnosis than you expect. Though it is common they usually will have experience with Cerebral Palsy as a whole if your child has other associated conditions they may need added tools to best serve your child. These tools may come from you, your medical professional or a support network dealing with that particular condition

Finding an advocate for yourself and your child early on is another very important thing for you to seek out. These advocates will act on your behalf to ensure that your child is receiving the least restrictive and best services. Please see our School Dazes section here at CPN to find resources on how to find an advocate as well as advocating for yourself and child.

Connecting with a support network is also an extremely important key to success for families as a whole in regards to early intervention. Most communities have parent to parent organizations as well as Gymboree, Mommie and Me. Siblings groups that will also help each member of your family develop a healthy wellbeing when dealing with special needs.
These programs also help your special needs child develop healthy relationships with their peers and learn appropriate behaviors and developmental milestones. They also help their peers become comfortable with special needs children, treating them equally.

Early intervention is for children of school age or younger who have or indicate a risk of developing  delays or other special needs that may affect their development.  Early intervention consists of the provision of services such for children and their families for the purpose of lessening the effects of the condition. It can be remedial or preventive in nature.

In Early intervention the focus may be on the child or the family as a whole. Services range from hospital or school screening and referral services. They may begin at birth or school age. It has been found that for many reasons it is best to start as early as possible.

The importance to seek Early intervention as soon as possible.

There are 3 primary reasons to intervene early.

1. To enhance the child's development.

2. To provide support and assistance to the family

3. To maximize the child's and families benefit to society.

Research has found that the time that a humans learning and development is most rapid during the preschool years. Early intervention can also have a significant impact on the parents and siblings of a special needs child. Families often feel disappointment, social isolation, added stress, frustration and helplessness. Therefore the importance of a support network for the families is vital. The sooner a family learns about what to expect and that they are not alone the more successful the chances of early intervention for the special needs child will be.

The last point is early intervention is providing the special needs child a chance to increase their developmental and educational opportunities. Allowing them the chance to lead the least restrictive life for them. By giving our special needs children the chance to seek out their potential, we give them the tools they need to succeed in ways that best suit them.

Is Early Intervention Really Effective?

After nearly 50 years of research, there is evidence- from both parents and teachers that early intervention increases the developmental and educational gains for the child, improves the functioning of the family, and reaps long-term benefits for society. Early intervention has been shown to result in the child: Needing fewer special education and other habilitative services later in life;  being retained in grade less often

 Your first power tools in education can be found @ Wrights Law

credit for this article goes to Dena Kirchoff©The Cerebral Palsy Network

 The Cerebral Palsy Network©1997/2014. All graphics are the exclusive property of CPN, unless otherwise indicated. Contact Cerebral Palsy Network   for further information. Last updated 04/23/14