What does early intervention actually mean?

We often hear the terms “early intervention” when professionals refer to children’s development delays and in particular, when considering therapies such as speech pathology, occupational therapy and physio therapy. Early intervention ties into various principles such as theories of neural plasticity, which means patterns such as motor speech pathways are often more responsive to treatment when therapy is delivered to younger children. During the first few years of a child’s life, incredible growth occurs in all areas of a child’s development and it is the perfect time to support communication development.

Early intervention refers to getting the ball rolling as soon as possible to support a child’s development and health needs. Early intervention usually occurs from birth to school entry. Starting therapy early can help with school readiness, social development and improved self-esteem.

The best way to identify whether a child requires therapy is to undergo a comprehensive assessment with a health professional who will then provide parents with objective information regarding their child’s development. For speech, language, literacy or fluency concerns, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified speech pathologist.

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