Why Early Intervention?

February 4, 2023

Whether you are a new or seasoned parent, here’s what you need to know about early intervention.

Early Intervention is a wonderful tool in the toolbox of parents whose children may be at risk for developmental delays, as well as those with a diagnosed disability. Generally speaking, Early Intervention consists of a variety of healthcare services available to pre-school-aged children to assist them in their growth and development in areas such as fine and gross motor skills, cognitive skills, speech and language skills, as well as to address specific activities like feeding, toileting, and dressing.

The Early Intervention model uses a team approach, employing Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Physiotherapists, Child Development Specialists, and other practitioners to assess and assist with the full spectrum of developmental challenges that a child may encounter. 

Is Early Intervention effective? 

Over the last few decades, there has been extensive research conducted confirming the efficacy of Early Intervention. Even across a diverse spectrum of children, a variety of diagnoses, and a range of different home and social environments, Early Intervention is shown to be beneficial.  Simply put, this type of intervention capitalizes on the greater flexibility that each individual possesses at an early age. And research shows that the success of early intervention lies in several main factors: 

Using a family-centered approach: In order to promote successful intervention, it is vital that each provider work closely with the family to ensure that the approaches used in therapy can be easily carried over into everyday family life and activities. As Early Intervention researcher Guralnick states, “it is important to emphasize that, even with relatively intensive one-to-one professional-child involvement, meaningful and long-term intervention outcomes will depend on ensuring optimal family patterns of interaction, including parent-child transactions.”

Providing individualized intervention: Each provider will complete an in-depth assessment of the child that focuses on their unique strengths and challenges, and will tailor therapy to help meet these individual needs. No two children are exactly alike, so there is no one-size-fits-all in Early Intervention. 

Ensuring an approach grounded in developmental research: Early Intervention providers require a high level of education, and the majority are Master’s degree-level healthcare professionals. They are trained to rely heavily on approaches that are evidence-based and to remain up-to-date with the most current research available. 

Developmental milestone screening with Sprout

Given what we know about the benefits of early intervention, we decided to create an in-depth developmental milestone screening program for Sprout families. We offer screening for your little ones at every six-month age bracket, from 12 months until 5 ½ years of age. A team of professionals with a specialty in child development meets with you and your child to discuss and evaluate cognitive, gross and fine motor, communication, play, and socioemotional milestones. In each session, age-tailored home activities are provided to help your child flourish in their next developmental chapter. If any concerns or questions arise, our team will make a referral for further investigation or support and be there to guide you every step of the way. This unique service is designed to empower families, share knowledge, and ensure that no child is missing out on the power of early intervention. 

Already a Sprout member? Contact us to book your next developmental milestone screening.

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References

  1. Guralnick MJ. Why Early Intervention Works: A Systems Perspective. Infants Young Child. 2011 Jan 1;24(1):6-28. doi: 10.1097/IYC.0b013e3182002cfe. PMID: 21532932; PMCID: PMC3083071.

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