Early Intervention - Introduction
Raising children in this day and age can be a daunting task. When a child has a disability or special needs it can be even more so. Children with disabilities and their families have unique challenges that are often totally foreign to the general population.
Infants, toddlers and small children develop physically, mentally and emotionally at a very fast pace. When a disability is present it can adversely affect normal development in all three of these areas, creating more problems. Early Intervention programs are designed to decrease the affects any condition may have on all aspects of a child's early development. It is important to take advantage of the child's rapid rate of learning and natural developmental growth when it would naturally occur. Early Intervention programs provide services that allow maximum development for each individual child. Every state in the United States has an Early Intervention Program.
It is important for the parent to know they are not alone and there ARE avenues for support and help within the community. The key is in finding them. Parents of a newborn or toddler newly diagnosed with a medical condition or disability are often overwhelmed by new and unfamiliar responsibilities accompanied by a sense of inadequacy and isolation. Some feel denial, guilt or anger over circumstances over which they have no control. It is important to know that even if your infant or toddler has a disability it is not the end of the world. It is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work!