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EARLY INTERVENTION

WHAT IS EARLY INTERVENTION?

Abhilasha Special School and Rehabilitation Centre runs a specialized program called the Early Intervention services. It refers to services given to very young children with special needs from birth to 5. The first three years of life are the most crucial period for a child’s growth and development. Congenital, genetic, medical or environmental conditions may prevent young children from learning to move, explore, communicate and develop a sense of their own identity. Early intervention is a system of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities to learn the basic and brand-new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life, such as:

physical (reaching, rolling, crawling, and walking);

cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems);

communication (talking, listening, understanding);

social/emotional (playing, feeling secure and happy); and

self-help (eating, dressing)..

The primary focus of early intervention is family education, training and support. One of the child’s primary caregivers is involved in the intervention program. Services include speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy, provided early, will address any delays in development so that the child will not need services later on. Parents who accompany their children are taught the activities to follow at home. More importantly they benefit from the social support from other parents.

Services are tailored to meet the individual needs of the child and focused on supporting the child in their natural environments and in their everyday experiences and activities. The play way method is used to help the child learn the necessary skills in the following developmental areas:

1.Cognitive development(perception, concept formation, sequencing, problem solving, memory, attention and motor planning).

2.Physical development with particular emphasis to developing purposeful hand function, perceptual-motor abilities and general levels of motor function to aid in daily life skills. (Gross motor skills: Involves large muscle movement such as rolling, walking, crawling, etc. Fine motor skills: Involve small muscle movements and manipulation such as opening a container, stringing beads, etc.): PHYSIOTHERAPISTS (work on physical aspects of the body such as muscle tone, improving strength etc); OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS (work on functional aspect such as using body and limbs to perform tasks).

3.Speech-Language development helps in associating meanings to words and sounds. (production of fluent, coherent speech, developing language and communicating one's needs, ideas, and emotions).

4.Social-emotional development : These are learnt by observing our environment (inter-personal relationships, exploration, and encouragement of play and practice of social skills in everyday situations).

5.Adaptive development (dressing/undressing, eating, drinking, bathing, toileting, etc. - both in relation to access to, and for, independence skills).

6.Vision: It helps the children who have low vision to use what useable vision they have to the best of their ability.

7.Activities for daily living/Self-help: These are skills children learn through observation such as brushing, dressing etc.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES?

Eligible children include those between birth and three years of age who were born with a disability or health condition that affects their development. Children who were born prematurely; have feeding, vision or hearing issues; are slow to crawl, sit, walk, talk or do things for themselves; have behaviour or attention difficulties or have been identified as having environmental risk factors may also be eligible. Parents are encouraged to call the EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM if they have any concerns related to their child’s development.

THE EARLY INTERVENTION TEAM:

Therapeutic-

Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist And Psychologist

Medical-

Pediatrician, Develomental paediatrician, Neurologist, Orthopedics, Neuro-surgeon, Optholmologist, ENT and Dentist.

EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM COMPONENTS:

Early Intervention Services support children with a disability or developmental delay from birth to school entry and their families. It provides counseling, service planning, therapy, special education, assistance and support to access services such as kindergarten and child care. The Early Intervention Program offers:

Screening

Developmental Assessment

Parent Groups

Resource and Referral Information

Consultation to Community Early Childhood Programs

Opportunities for Parent Involvement

Professional Development Opportunities.

The overall aim of these services is to provide parents and families with the knowledge, skills and support to meet the needs of their child and to ensure that the children reach their developmental milestones.

At Abhilasha all services are provided using a family-centered approach, recognizing the importance of working in partnership with the family. They will stimulate all-round development and help prepare the young children into special or regular schools. The play way method is used to help the child learn the skills necessary in the Gross motor, fine motor, Social, Auditory, Visual and language skills and grows according to his/her own abilities. Many of special children were unable to access entry into regular playschools. The earlier problems are identified, the greater the chance of eliminating them and/or decreasing the need for costly special programs later. In addition to serving special children, Abhilasha centre also want to be a model Early intervention program centre for children with special needs.

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