You may have heard the term Early Intervention thrown around, without ever really knowing what it means. An Early Intervention is quite basically a system of services for babies and young children with developmental delays. The intervention begins by parents recognizing that their child is different from other (typically developing) children – then the intervention takes shape through the help of professionals in the field. Depending on the types of challenges your child is facing, you might benefit from consultations with Behavior Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Physical Therapists and more. This is not to say you will need every one of these specialists, or to assume that you can afford the bills that accompany all of this therapy. You know your child, and you will know which interventions will be most effective.
In situations where a child is receiving more than one service, a ‘team’ is often formed to ensure that each piece of the child’s life-puzzle is working towards the same goals. When done properly, this can really fast-track certain interventions. The team can communicate via group email, and meet up in person when needed. This can seem a little over-the-top for some families, and it is up to the parents as to how the different parties communicate with each other.
At Kahlon Family Services, we believe in relationship-based interventions. As with a lot of professionals in the field, our goal is to work with parents and schools, to create a consistent environment for the child. By having everyone on the same page with behavior plans, incentive systems and consistent use of language, we have seen children’s development come ahead in leaps and bounds. Another way we encourage behavioral Early Intervention is through school support, in the form of shadowing. A shadow’s job is to help a child successfully attend school, meeting the child where they are ‘at’ and aiming towards behavioral modifications that would see the child attend school independently.
If you find yourself wondering if your child is developmentally different, we encourage you to listen to your parental intuition and contact a professional. It takes courage to accept that your child may face unexpected challenges, but remember, you can give them the very best chance at life through Early Intervention.