The term early intervention means taking action, initiation of therapies in a child with developmental delay as soon as the delay is recognised. If a delay is identified, early intervention may be initiated even before a formal diagnosis is established or while awaiting results from any tests. The delay may be in any aspect of development such as
▪ physical (rolling, sitting, reaching, using hands, crawling, and walking)
▪ cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems, memory, concentration)
▪ communication (talking, listening, understanding, responding, following directions and words)
▪ social/emotional (playing, interacting, feeling secure and happy)
▪ self-help (eating, dressing, toilet training)
Early intervention can help a child to reduce the degree of delay, achieve milestones, teach functional skills and reduce difficult behaviors.
It will improve the overall development of the child, help child to adapt and cope better. A developmental pediatrician will identify the areas of delay and develop a program for early intervention.
Home program and family involvement are integral to early intervention. Active involvement of the family helps the child improve faster. Always ask for a home program which means what you can do to help your child to overcome the delay as part of the daily routine at home.