EARLY INTERVENTION

Early intervention encompasses all the services and benefits available for infants and toddlers (up to 3 years old) with developmental delays and disorders (motor, cognitive, perceptual, communication, etc.) and their families. Depending on the difficulties presented, this may include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and other services. The importance of early intervention is stressed in international literature as it can bring significant benefits to the child and improve their ability to learn new skills. It helps them to be properly equipped to join in at school and in society.

At young ages such as this, there are many skills that children master during normal development which can also be taught, including:

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Kinetic (rolling, crawling, walking)

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Cognitive (thinking, learning, problem solving)

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Communicative (speaking, listening, understanding)

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Social / emotional (play, feeling safe, interaction)

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Autonomy skills (dressing, eating)

The family plays a particularly important role in this and guides the course of early intervention, recognising any difficulties, habits and routines in the child’s daily life. It’s not unusual for parents and family members to become concerned when their baby or toddler doesn’t seem to be developing according to the typical “baby” milestones.

 

Parents often have concerns such as:

“He’s not turned on his side yet.”

“The little girl next door is already sitting up by herself!”

“He should have said a few words by now.”

 

Sound familiar? While it’s true that children develop differently, each at their own pace, and there is a wide range of “normal” development, it’s hard not to worry and have questions about development.

If you think your child is not developing at the same rate or in the same way as most children their age, it is often a good idea to speak to your child’s paediatrician first. Explain your concerns to them and discuss whether there is a need for early intervention.

Motivation & Movement