Early intervention services can help infants and toddlers with special needs to develop key skills and meet development milestones. All states have an early intervention program that families can apply for. These services provide extra help for children that have been diagnosed with certain disabilities or that are at increased risk for developmental delays due to injuries or illness that occurred during the birthing process or shortly after. Parents can make requests to have children evaluated for early intervention services or parents can be referred to the program by hospitals and medical facilities.
Individualized Family Service Plan
After an initial assessment, early intervention providers devise an individualized plan for the child’s care based on state guidelines and personal characteristics. The IFSP may include information about where the services will be provided, how frequently the child will meet with teachers, who will pay for the services, and what the next steps will be when the program is completed. Services are often provided to families using a “sliding scale” that bases the fees on what the family earns.
Early Intervention Practices
Parents are given practice guides by early intervention offices that can be helpful. Parents are given suggestions about toys and learning games that can help with development and are shown ways to help children begin to learn skills that will be fundamental later on, such as reading and writing. Early intervention providers go through the same sorts of exercises during sessions.
Addressing Behavioral Challenges
Early intervention services help with teaching children the relationships between behavior and consequences. Social emotional intervention is often used to assist teachers that are having issues with young children that are exhibiting challenging behaviors. Parents are also educated on ways to help children exhibit good behaviors. Early intervention services can help special needs children to be better prepared for school and life after the age of three.