The early years are the most important years in a child’s life. Parents monitor infant milestones like clockwork as they are a great indicator of growth and progress. Sometimes, children show a slight delay in doing things like sitting up, crawling, and even walking. These delays are often an indication of a possible disability that can affect their growth and learning going forward. Early Intervention Services are a great way to get a handle on the situation and give your child the boost he/she might need to overcome certain developmental hurdles.
First things first, having a conversation with your pediatrician about any concerns you may have with your child is always important. Your doctor will monitor what’s going on and help you make some important decisions. Every state has different guidelines as to what Early Intervention Services are covered by insurance so finding out what is available to you in your state is important. Services are still offered however, they have to be paid for out of pocket. Before any services can begin, an evaluation is conducted to see what the needs of the child might be. Speech, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Services, and even Special Instruction are offered to help children develop the skills they might need to be on task before Kindergarten.
If a child is evaluated and diagnosed with a disability, they may need services past the Early Intervention age range. There are services that help parents transition from Early Intervention Services to the Special Education Services within their local Department of Education school system. If needed, the child can enter Pre-K and/or Kindergarten with no lag in services and continue their academic years while receiving the proper services they need.
Special Education is often given a bad rap due to its misuse in certain areas. The negative stigma that comes with these services keep a lot of parents from seeking the help their child may need. A lot of schools often use Special Education as a remedy for children who misbehave. A child who misbehaves may be acting out for a myriad of reasons. A lot of the time, these behaviors are a red flag for a bigger problem, usually connected with developmental issues. Ignoring these behaviors and not seeking the help your child may need is a disservice to him or her. Early Intervention and Special Education services can be the solution to many behavioral problems. When services are implemented properly, children can benefit greatly.
Needing Early Intervention or Special Education services is nothing to be embarrassed about. Some parents are ashamed at the idea of needing these services for their child. With disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder becoming a common diagnosis amongst children, early intervention is a huge help. Not only does it teach the children how to handle certain situations socially but it helps them process information, develop necessary speech skills, and even help them with their gross motor skills and hand/eye coordination. These are important skills that children need to do well in the world. It is our duty as parents to make sure they get the proper boost they need to make the most of their little lives.