Seeing your children grow and develop is one of the most beautiful things a parent can witness. Some key milestones a neurotypical child is expected to reach includes crawling, saying their first words, and taking their first steps into the world. For children with developmental delay, special needs, or other concerns, milestones will look very different. Early intervention is the key to unlocking your child’s potential.
As a parent, you have to learn to see the world through their eyes and measure their achievements accordingly. Early intervention can help you do just that. It is a beautiful thing when you have a child who reaches any milestone at any age. Even if those milestones are being able to feed themselves or simply being able to smile.
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Five areas of development
The most important part of early intervention is that it recognises the needs of the child at an early age. It can also help support the development of the child in these crucial years. There are five main areas of development in which kids can have delays, and not all children follow the typical timetable of development. For example, many babies will be walking at nine months, while other babies will not start to walk until fifteen months. Both cases fall within the normal range of development.
The five key areas of development include cognitive, social and emotional skills, speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, and everyday tasks. Being behind in just one area isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. Still, when babies and young children are behind in several areas this may point to a developmental delay. There typically isn’t one cause for developmental delay. Quite often there are several factors that include complications at birth, environmental issues, and other medical conditions.
Ways to support
Working with early intervention to develop skills is crucial. As a parent playing with your child can help build their gross motor skills as well as teach them social skills. In school environments, children also develop important social skills such as learning to follow the rules, take turns and share. Many children with developmental delays fit right into the school system. Schools must offer Individualized Education Plans for special needs students to attend successfully. Parents who are looking for private schools will be happy to note that most private schools also offer supports for special needs children.
While all children develop at different rates, some children with developmental delays struggle to reach key learning and developmental milestones in their early years which can lead many families to feel frustration and worry – even disappointment. It is important to know that early intervention is crucial for children with developmental delay and other special needs. Early intervention refers to the early support and educational intervention for children who require additional support.
In the case of children with global delay, this may take the form of focusing on developing their gross and fine motor skills- which are often significantly underdeveloped. Of course, as there is a broad spectrum of global delay and special needs, the early intervention and support will be tailored to the individual needs of the child. Early intervention services also support the parents of children with special needs, often by educating and reassuring them as well as building a supportive environment.
Where to Go For Help
The first place to seek help is your child’s pediatrician. However, you can also seek out your local school district. Most school districts offer screenings for preschool age children to help families identify delays and locate the appropriate interventions. Programs like Birth-to-Three will actually come into your home and work with your child to help bridge any gaps before entering Kindergarten. For our family, Birth-to-Three worked with us to be able to more fully support our son.