In some cases, a child’s developmental problems may be evident from birth. In other instances, it may take several months to realize that developmental milestones are not being met. Early intervention is the term used to describe services that reach a child early in his or her development, usually from birth through age three. Intervention is vital during this very early time because there a child learns and develops at the fastest rate during the first few years. It's important not to miss out on this crucial part of your child's development, as it may be more difficult to teach skills to your child as he or she gets older. At three, children generally become eligible for other educational services.
Examples of early intervention services include health, educational and therapeutic services. A service can be as simple as prescribing glasses for a two-year-old or as complex as developing a complete physical therapy program for an infant with cerebral palsy. The goal is always to help the child achieve the highest possible functioning and interaction at home and in the community. An early intervention program can also provide support and guidance to your family.
Early identification of speech, language and communication delay is extremely important as the chance of improving these skills is increased. If these delays are not identified the delay will continue and the child may suffer from lack of confidence and will more than likely experience emotional problems. Other aspects of development will also be affected, e.g. cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural.
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