So what is Early Intervention, really? Children learn a lot of skills in the first three years of their life. From lifting their head to their first smile to their first steps, the progress made in the first few years of your child’s life is amazing! However, when some important skills are developing more slowly than expected, and a child risks missing key milestones, early intervention services can help. Since children’s brains are still forming in their earliest years, interventions can be very successful at this time.
Is Early Intervention Effective?
Early intervention has been shown to do far more than provide immediate or short term benefits and progress. Children who are involved in EI services display increased academic readiness and to better be able to interact with their peers. EI looks forward passed school age as well and even into adulthood. It has been shown to benefit the child’s academic achievement, behavior, and even their employment later on in life.
What Does Early Intervention Look like?
Early intervention looks different for every child and family because services are based on goals that are agreed upon between providers and the child’s parent/caregiver. Early intervention specialists have a great deal of knowledge that can help your children grow however YOU are the expert on your child so all goals are made together. The services provided at OWL Academy and other early intervention agencies work towards developing physical, social, communication, cognitive, and self-help skills. Our EI staff include social workers, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, teachers, administrators, and teacher’s assistants, all coming together to ensure the best possible care for each little OWL. Goals vary child to child but center around core skills like thinking, talking, problem-solving, and engaging with others. Our providers work with each family make goals based on each child’s skills and will work together to achieve the outcomes tailored to each child.
Consistency is KEY
Many aspects of EI such as ABA and other therapies are made stronger through repetition and consistency. Many children who take part in EI programs like routine and have difficulty when it is broken. Ei aims to EI works to change the way your child engages with the world which requires consistent attention in order to be effective. Children learn best when they are most comfortable and they are most comfortable in familiar environments. As a result, Early Intervention activities become part of your daily routine. Your child will progress by repetition and incorporation of strategies into meal time, play time, bed time, etc.
Are services just for the child?
No, Early intervention services also aim support the parent(s) and/or caregivers of the children in its care. This time can also be stressful for families as they grapple with diagnoses, juggle multiple providers, and deal with challenging behaviors. Early intervention aims to help parents, caregivers, and other family members cope during this time which in turn helps to build a nurturing and supportive environment for the child and can further enhance their development.
Early interventions not only give children the best start possible, but also the best chance of developing to their full potential. The sooner a child gets help, the greater the chance for lessening or closing any gaps in development. Together we can ensure that our little OWLs stay on their developmental path and make the most of their abilities!