Early Intervention

Ez - posted on 11/01/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )




Growing evidence has emerged from a wide research base in health, developmental psychology, neuroscience, education and criminology, of the importance of promoting positive family and community experiences for young children during the earliest years of childhood (for example, McCain and Mustard 1999). The importance of early childhood prevention and early intervention programs is based on the premise that the first few years of life of a child's development are crucial in setting the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour and health outcomes (McCain and Mustard 1999; Gauntlett, Hugman, Kenyon and Logan 2000).

Effective early intervention approaches are those that prevent or arrest problems early in a child's life, or at early stages in the development of problem situations. As Oberklaid notes: 'Social ills such as crime, unemployment and illiteracy could be countered by early intervention therapies designed to root out problems before they flourished' (cited in Szego and Nader 2002: 4).


Thoughts? How important do you think EI is? Do you think there are sufficient services to meet demand in your area? Do you think parents take advantage of these services, or are reluctant to reach out for help? What, if any, has been your experience with Early Intervention programs?


Amie - posted on 11/01/2010




Early Intervention is very important. No matter what it's for.

I do think there are sufficient services in our area but kids are put on a waiting list for other kids who need it more. Parents who wait to long to get help, get their kids bumped up because they need the most help. (I will note that not all programs are like this though) That drives me nuts. Most parents I know, are willing to reach out. The ones who are not, wait until school age and let the school deal with it. Other times they wait until a health check and they are referred to get help. Get off your arse and start looking before someone else has to tell you to do it! The milestones and guidelines are there for a reason. Pay attention to them.

I've had a few experiences with Early Intervention. My older two kids were delayed with speech. They were seeing speech pathologists from a very young age, eventually ending with tubes in their ears (3 years and 4 years). The tubes did help, their speech improved dramatically after that but the speech pathologist was still there helping them too.

Our son had a behavioral program he took part in last year (5 years) because he was getting to be really hard to handle. It turned him around within months. They worked with him in group settings, individually and as a family setting. They gave use lessons to help him, as well as the tools to use at home to help remind him of the lessons. They taught all of us how to deal with his behavior issues and how to overcome them. He's doing great this year. He's no longer destructive (to himself, others or property), he uses his words to communicate his frustrations and he only needs reminders once in a blue moon. We still have all the tools here though, so we (and he) have a reference if we ever hit a bump.

Our oldest has ADHD, we've spent her entire life since starting school getting her help. This year, grade 5, she is off the medication, is going to mainstream school full time and is doing great! She no longer struggles outside normal struggles other kids in her class have. She has the skills and capabilities to know how to handle day to day situations. She will probably always be a little more active than most kids her age but she's learned how to 'control' and learn around it. ( I mentioned above about not all programs accepting kids who need the most help, the school our daughter got into was like this. She was going half days there [kids with learning disabilities] and half days in her mainstream school. If we had not done every last thing possible for her, she would not have been accepted when she was. She would have been put on the waiting list.)

I have one nephew who has Apraxia. His mom started looking when he was 18 months to find out what was wrong. The first diagnosis was Autism. So they started working with him. It was when he was 3 that they figured out Autism didn't fit. He was put in a school for kids like him, with disorders and disabilities, he had outside appointments as well that my friend drove him too 3 hours away. This year he's 5 and in mainstream school. He's doing well, he's potty trained, he's starting to talk and all around is catching up to his age. Will he ever be the same as other kids deemed "normal"? Probably not but that's ok too, he's getting the help and support he needs to lead a "normal" life for him.

Nothing pisses me off more than a parent who does nothing or says there is no help. There is always help available. If it's not easily available that is NO reason to sit on your ass. If it is easily available, it's even worse for you to sit on your ass and wait. We are the parents, it is our job to do everything humanly possible for our children. So long as the effort is being made, I have no issue.

Sometimes I worry too much about my kids development but having gone through it(and watching people I love go through it) nothing replaces early intervention. As I said up top, the guidelines and milestones are there for a reason. No one is saying follow them to the letter, most give a wide berth for ages that a child should be able to do something. If there is anything that gives a red flag, get them checked. There is nothing wrong with this. It is better to have them checked and know, then to wait and go oh shit. The most important part of this is - It is NOT a reflection of your parenting OR of you as a person. The only time that comes into play, is when you would rather wait (therefore putting your child even farther behind) because your head is stuck in the sand or you're afraid.

Good grief this is long.. sorry. haha

Lyndsay - posted on 11/01/2010




I'm taking child development and psychology, so I've read all about this. They say that the first 5 years of a child's life are the most important in terms of learning, because they set the foundation for the rest of life. I worked briefly in a grade 3 class (7 and 8 year olds) and it was really quite clear which children had parents who were involved with their education and which children weren't.


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Julie - posted on 11/01/2010




My son (born @ 26.5 weeks, NICU 124 days) had PT, OT and ST. They were all great. My son is doing so well now with everything:). I have no complaints about our system in WNY. Though, I did run into a mom I knew from the NICU who lived closer to the city and she had problems with bad/low therapist issues. Maybe it is good to live in the boonies ... less kids to "share" the resources with! I don't know if that really has anything to do with it or if we just got lucky.

Anyhow, I firmly believe the earlier the better. No harm, no foul. I feel so sad for children who are denied an early opportunity b/c of adults in their life who don't want to accept the help for whatever reason.

I do understand it, though. When I was first teaching my son baby signs, my husband would just make fun of it ... it took a while to convince him that it helps(increases vocabulary, mentally), not hurts (delays speech). Ultimately, my husband got on board with the signs and is really good about speaking deliberately to my son and helping guide my son's speech.

La - posted on 11/01/2010




When my daughter didn't reach any language, cognitive, or social milestones by her firsth birthday we brought this to the attention of her doctor and he immediately referred us to early intervention for an evaluation. Two months later she began occupational therapy twice a week and has been receiving it ever since. She has progressed so much from it. Still has significant communication delays (almost 2 and doesn't talk at all and makes only one or two gestures) and has some cognitive delays still but overall I have nothing but good things to say about the EI services. I don't know about other states but here in NJ the therapy is all home based so I am able to participate in and learn all the exercises and tasks that my daughter is working on so that I can continue to do these with her throughout each day.

Caitlin - posted on 11/01/2010




Yup, going to bring up the language thing with our doc in 3 weeks at her 2 year appointment because I feel she's always been slow on language and i'm worried about ear issues because I had them as a child, though I also feel that she hears me quite well. We'll see, i'm no thrilled about the idea of her having tubesw or anything, but since I had them as a child too, it may very well be the problem seeing as she's inherited all my other health issues too.. sigh.. I'm going to ask for a referral to get her speech evaluated by a professional, and possibly her hearing tested as well, because I want to make sure there's nothing really wrong physically. I can accept she's a late talker but I'd hate myself if I just kept saying that to myself and she acctually had an issue I was ignoring.

Cassie - posted on 11/01/2010




I agree that early intervention is key. I honestly believe my daughter would benefit from some help with her speech and language development. I've pushed for it since she turned 1 (she turned 2 on Oct 22) but everyone including doctors say she is where she should be for a child who is not in daycare around other children.... I wish it would be offered to us...

[deleted account]

I agree with what the others have said.

I have a friend who's son is 2 on the 11th of this month. He has only just started to walk maybe 1 week ago and he is only doing that because he has a broken arm .( fell out of his cot after one of their other friends put him to bed and didn't put the side up) He also doesn't talk very much at all. I think he has some issues that she should be getting seen to. I have tried to bring this up with her and all i get is " He is walking now" She doesn't think that at almost 2 he is delayed. "Oh but he does talk" I can tell you now that no body hears this boy talk. He also wont look at a camera very often and things like that. I personally think he has some delays but i'm not sure what they are. She is taking him to a pediatrician soon but all i can think is will she tell him the truth?
She told me months ago that her son was walking then we went for a visit and he still wasn't so i know she fibs about his progress.
If my children were not walking and talking by 2 i would have them seen to to try and get help.

Sal - posted on 11/01/2010




i do agree with early intervention, and when it is needed the sooner the better and as much as is needed to help that family and i think it should be paid for through a public system as it does help in the long run freeing up our hospitals, mental health units and gaols, but i think you have to be really careful that there are problems though, (and i'm not refering to disabilities or serious medical issues that some have mentioned above) but mostly behaviour problems, telling a child that it isn't their falut they have "behavioural problems" doens't really help the kid, just makes the parent feel better because they aren't to blame. I have had the experience where my brothers step son has been over treated (i can't really think of a better word) or at least his mum has tried to get him diognosed for everything from adhd to food allergies because his mum was looking for a problem, he was just a busy avctive child and her parenting was compromised, (again can't really think of the right word) as she was pretty young when his dad died of cancer, so she was trying to deal with her MIL who was grieving and trying to hold on to her son through the grandson, having a young child, and grieving her self, when dr would tell her there was nothing wrong with her son and that maybe she needed councelling and and some parenting courses she was crushed and just went looking for more "real" problems, there were none, before anyone gets on my case of how he can have his dad die and not have problems, i acknowlegde that it has affected him, but he doesn't have adhd or food allergies, he is just very active, smart and needs a set boundary, his mum was a helicopter mum and he had no boundaries or freedom...that is she let him do what he liked but never stopped watching him...ever! she now works and has less time for his shit and he is thriving...again this is my story as an example not a refection on all children

JuLeah - posted on 11/01/2010




I think, well duh. There is not enough early intervention, as seen by the overflow in our jails and the ever rising crime rate.
Parent's don't know to take advantage of programs, even though Head Start does an amazing job at out reach.
EI saves lives - we see DV, we see addiction, we see hunger, homelessness, illness ... we see it soon enough to take action

Kimberly - posted on 11/01/2010




My daughter was 2 months premature and has had ECI services since she was 3 months old. PT, OT, Speech and a Dietitian follow her progress. She has low tone and they have all been a great help.

Our hospital put us in touch with them before she was discharged at 3 months old. Sadly, I have read other posts, on COM, and other sites where parents were never given the information and had no clue these services even existed. On the other hand I have read very depressing posts from mothers not wanting to get these services for their child because they were in denial about their delays. Some were reaching out for help within the group because they, as the parent, knew their child needed help but the grandparents or husband was against getting them-- out of shame. I just cannot understand that train of thought. I wanted to snatch up anything and everything available to my daughter to make sure she has the best chance at catching up.

Sidebar: My daughter spent 11 days in the PICU for respiratory distress in July and her ECI contract expired because we weren't home to sign paperwork for the 6 month evaluation. She was without services for 2 months while they got everything updated. During that time I learned of a wonderful alternative treatment- Anat Baniel Method- I started getting her lessons in my area and she is a different child. if anyone is interested or want to pass it on- check out this website...


Amie - posted on 11/01/2010




"Unfortunately if a child is difficult as a result of bad parenting, do you actually think that bad parents are going to be bothered getting involved or taking on board any information they are given?"

I agree with Cathy on the this. It's why I didn't answer it in my post. If it's just bad parenting, good luck but I don't see the parents (or very few anyway) having an epiphany that they need to change.

Louise - posted on 11/01/2010




I agree with early intervention as I have worked in schools and nurseries and the children that are causing problems in playgroups are the same kids that are still getting into trouble at school. By the age of three you can tell the character of your child whether they are intellectual or aggressive or bubbly. The children that were unruley at play group were not disciplined by there parents correctly and were allowed to get away with too much, over the years bad parenting resulted in rude, unruley mouthy teenagers. I think respect is something that you learn at home and if there is no respect there then things just get worse over the years. The children I taught at playgroup are now older teenagers and the ones that gave me grief have all turned out how I expected, the ones that had a bubbly personality have made something of themselves and excelled into friendly, likable young adults and the ones that were studious have gone onto uni and are very bright indeed. So do I think early intervention is important absolutely. Do I think there are enough services in place to help those parents that are struggling to raise there children, absolutely not. There is nowhere to take a 5 year old for help it is up to the parent, and if there really lucky the school will help.

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