Importance of Early Intervention

What is early intervention?

Early Intervention are services and supports to help infants and toddlers (birth – 3 years old), and their families with developmental delays or disabilities.

Services may include occupational therapyspeech therapy, physical therapy, feeding therapy, or infant education. The goal of these services is to assist children in learning new skills and overcome challenges secondary to premature birth, developmental delays, or a variety of diagnoses.

These services can be provided by Regional Center at no cost to the families, upon qualification.

Goal of early intervention

The goal of early intervention is to minimize potential delays for children while their brains are still in early developmental and critical stages, in order to give them their greatest chance of reaching their full potential.

Why is early intervention important?

Based on research from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child findings include:

Neural circuits, which create the foundation for learning, behavior and health, are most flexible or “plastic” during the first three years of life. Over time, they become increasingly difficult to change.

Persistent “toxic” stress, such as extreme poverty, abuse and neglect, or severe maternal depression can damage the developing brain, leading to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and physical and mental health.

The brain is strengthened by positive early experiences, especially stable relationships with caring and responsive adults, safe and supportive environments, and appropriate nutrition.

Early social/emotional development and physical health provide the foundation upon which cognitive and language skills develop.

High quality early intervention services can change a child’s developmental trajectory and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities.

Intervention is likely to be more effective and less costly when it is provided earlier in life rather than later.