The aim of early intervention is to support maximum development of infants and toddlers within their families and communities. The first years of life are a critical time in a child's development. During these early years, they achieve the basic physical, cognitive, language, social and self-help skills that lay the foundation for future progress, and these abilities are attained according to predictable developmental patterns. Children born with Down syndrome; however, typically face delays in some, if not all of these areas of development. Research has suggested that early intervention for infants and toddlers with Down syndrome is critical in achieving developmental milestones. Intensive early intervention may even enhance brain development. The Individuals Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) a federal law mandates all states provide early intervention services for all children who qualify, with the goal of enhancing the development of infants and toddlers and helping families understand and meet the needs of their children. The most common early intervention services for babies with Down syndrome are physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy. The goal of early intervention is twofold: 1) to increase a babies learning abilities every chance you get, and 2) to support families. Introduction
This paper will explore why early intervention is critical for babies born with Down syndrome
and their families.
All babies develop--they grow, change, progress and learn from the first days of life. Babies with Down syndrome develop much like other children but at a slower rate and with some differences. Researchers have learned a great deal about how babies with Down syndrome develop, some of the reasons for their slower pace of development, and some of the factors that influence their progress. The knowledge is helping parents, therapists and educators provide more effective environments and...