Early childhood intervention is a support system for children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families. The mission of Early Childhood Intervention is to assure that families who have children ages birth to three, with diagnosed disabilities, developmental delays or substantial risk of significant delays receive the resources and supports that assist them in maximizing their child's development while respecting the diversity of families and communities.
Early intervention is beneficial for children of school age or younger who are discovered to have or be at risk of developing a handicapping condition or other special need that may affect their development. Early intervention includes provision of services for such children and their families for the purpose of lessening the effects of the condition. Early intervention can be remedial or preventive in nature-remediation of existing developmental problems or preventing their occurrence. Early intervention may focus on the child alone or on the child and the family together. Services range from identification, diagnosis and direct intervention programs. Early intervention may begin at any time between birth and school age; however, there are many reasons for it to begin as early as possible.Who needs early intervention?
All the NICU graduates require early intervention. This includes babies with low birth weight, premature babies, infants with no neck control, tightness in muscles, microcephaly, hydrocephaly, hypoxia meningitis, down's syndrome, fragile X condition; children with brain damage due to various reasons such as antenatal and natal problems in mothers and asphyxia at birth, illnesses during infancy and early childhood years.Why Intervene Early?
There are three primary reasons for intervening early: to enhance the child's development, to provide support and assistance to the family, and to maximize the benefit from the society for the child and the family.
Child development research has established that the rate of human learning and development is most rapid in the preschool years. Timing of intervention becomes particularly important when a child runs the risk of missing an opportunity to learn during a state of maximum readiness. If the most teachable moments or stages of greatest readiness are not taken advantage of, a child may have difficulty learning a particular skill at a later time. It has been noted in various studies that "only through early identification and appropriate programming can children develop their potential"
Early intervention can result in parents having improved attitudes about themselves and their child, improved information and skills for teaching their child, and more time for leisure and employment.