If you’ve become a parent within the last few years, you know how Facebook and Instagram posts can promote the comparison game. You may have caught yourself thinking, Wow, that baby was born three weeks after mine and is already crawling?! Or My child has zero teeth and theirs has six?! As parents we want our children to grow and develop along with their peers. However, the age old saying “Every child develops at their own speed” may be sugar coating a real developmental need. Early Intervention Therapy, though it seems to have a negative connotation, is a fantastic service for children with delayed development.
What is Early Intervention Therapy?
Is it a stigma? Is it a lifetime label? No. Early Intervention Therapy is a free nationwide program for children who have shown developmental delays or disabilities starting from birth ranging to three years old. Delays in babies may present themselves immediately or when they are not reaching developmental milestones in the recommended amount of time. In this program, doctors or parents can request a referral. In the referral process, therapists evaluate your child to see if their situation warrants an intervention. These interventions include assistive technology (devices a child might need), audiology or hearing services, speech and language services, counseling and training for a family, medical services, nursing services, nutrition services, occupational therapy, physical therapy or psychological services. Once your child has been recommended for services, most will be done by visiting therapists within your home.
Why is Early Intervention Therapy important?
We’ve all been there: my child is perfect. Yet there may be a nagging feeling that they are not progressing at the rate they should be. We never want to think something may not be developing “on time” with our little angels. However, turning a blind eye to developmental delays or disabilities will ultimately hurt your child. By intervening early, you will equip your child with the skills they need to meet their milestones and grow. Early intervention’s goal is to “catch kids up” and to avoid further delays. You are doing the best thing for your child by providing them (as well as equipping yourself) with the exercises, activities and routines that will assist them in growing.
How do I know if Early Intervention Therapy is necessary?
Do not take your friend’s child’s abilities on social media as a developmental guideline. When you go to your child’s doctor appointments, they will ask you if your child is doing milestones x, y, and z. If you are answering “no” to most or all of these questions, then discuss early intervention with your doctor. If they brush it off but you feel strongly about your child’s need for help, you may contact an outside doctor for a referral. Each state has different service providers, so ask your doctor for your local referral organization. Be sure to review SmartMom’s development stages before before you speak to the doctor.
I believe in early intervention.
I am personally going through this process for my ten month old son. As a mom, I began to get discouraged when he was delayed on milestones. Then, I began answering “no” to all developmental milestone questions at his doctor’s appointment. I knew that I needed help to understand how to help him. When I tell people that my son will be receiving physical therapy, people often say, “I’m so sorry, it will be okay.” This is not a sad thing! Although I want my son to develop, I am happy to provide him with the services he needs to get him there. As a teacher, I have struggled with parents who are in denial about their child’s needs and have been determined to never be that way with my own. If you are nervous about the idea of early intervention, contact your doctor. I am glad I did. I am excited to see my son succeed with a little help from our therapist friends!
I officially have a meeting on Thurs to set up an appt for my son to be evaluated by an early intervention specialist. He is only 16 months and he has met every other milestone on time, but he is not talking yet. I’m only doing this at the doctors discretion. Any moms have to do this?
My son is almost 2.5. He is a very smart kid but doesn’t talk. He is being serviced by Early Intervention (which seems to be helping a very little) and I try repeatedly every trick/game/strategy under the book. Has anyone had this problem with their tots? What did you do that worked pretty quickly and your LO enjoyed?
My LO had his 15 month check up appt today and has hit every milestone, except he doesn’t really say any words yet. The doctor suggested having an early intervention specialist come to the house to see if it will be needed. Is this too early for this or do you think its a good idea to do? My husband suggested waiting another month to see if he progresses. Any thoughts?
My son is 2 years old (26months) and hardly speaks full, clear words. He babbles all day and points to what he wants; he’s great at communicating in other ways…he just doesn’t have any vocabulary yet. I know all about early intervention services and he will be receiving services starting next week..however: mom to mom, can anyone relate and let me know if this is normal?