Kids with autism, down syndrome, dyslexia, hearing, language and speech disorders, all qualify as kids with special needs. And special needs deserve special treatment! In this edition of our special needs series, we are throwing light on Early Intervention for kids with speech, hearing and language disorders.
Read on as we tell you how you can flood your special kid with some special love :)
This special treatment however, starts with Early Intervention a.k.a early detection. Just like you have a vaccine schedule in place for your kid, you also need to get your child screened for any kind of communication delay. If a child gets diagnosed with any kind of communication disorder, then early intervention helps inform the parents and the would-be education institute about the child’s special needs! After all, like the great Benjamin Franklin once said - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Early Intervention (EI) can begin as early as, at the time of conception. It is however the lack of information and awareness that keeps parents from taking necessary measures in time. It’s time to change that! Here is how…
Let’s deconstruct early Intervention
- Early Intervention is providing early and effective collaborated services to infants and toddlers (i.e. 0 to 3 years of age), who are at risk of developing any communication delay or disorder.
- It helps develop a child’s abilities to their maximum potential, to be able to survive in their natural environment.
- EI builds positive parenting and behavior from one generation to another.
Why is early intervention important
- A collaborative approach with a set centralised system can help detect children’s communication issues at a very young age. This way, when a child is detected at the right time, the parents can successfully decrease the severity of the impairment or disorder. Early detection also helps families benefit from cost- effective services.
- When EI fails, it not only delays timely intervention but also leads to underdevelopment in areas of hearing, language, communication, cognition, reading-writing and socio-emotions.
- EI is not just looking at verbal expression of language but at accentuating any mode of communication. It could be sign language, a simple communication board, gestures or technologically assisted devices. It is to learn to communicate with others comfortably in any given medium of communication.
- EI helps the child participate actively in their natural environment. It’s purpose is to help a child become a successful future communicator.
To provide Early Intervention to your kid
EI can be provided by participating at various levels such as
- Evaluation and assessment
- Planning, implementing, and monitoring intervention
- Consultation with education of team members, including families and other professionals
- Service coordination
- Transition planning
- Awareness and advancement of the knowledge about early intervention (Asha.org,2017)
EI is based on evidence based practices, synthesized from multiple perspectives and experiences of research.
In my experience, children's overt behaviour, verbal/nonverbal, and parent's / family's response to it are two biggest mirror reflectors to point at the possible underlying problems of hearing/ speech/ communication. So why wait for children to fail academically or socially and then give them the help they need? Opt for EI instead.
For any queries on Early Intervention get in touch with our experts or book an appointment here
Asha.org. (2017). Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists in Early Intervention: Guidelines. [online] Available at: http://www.asha.org/policy/GL2008-00293/ [Accessed 30 Mar. 2017].