Monday, March 4, 2013

Early Intervention changes lives

Our hot topic this Monday…

What is it?
Maybe you've heard the term “Early Intervention” but aren't quite sure what it is or when it is necessary. Don’t feel like you’re alone in that boat. Fortunately, we've got some answers for you. Early Intervention involves facilitating cognitive and emotional development as well as attempting to prevent developmental disability or delays through assessment and therapy provided to children, especially those younger than age six.

Why is it important?
Studies have shown that when 'intervention' occurs at a young age, people with disabilities or special needs lead much more independent lives. Increased independence for children reduces the need for costly life-long care at a later stage of life.
New imaging research even indicates intervention not only leads to behavioral changes, but may even lead to “striking” brain changes.  Early Intervention can also prevent abuse or neglect by giving caregivers much needed coping skills and respite.

What are the signs?
Here are some first signs that a child may need Early Intervention. For a list of additional signs, visit
Easter Seals’ Recognizing Early Warning Signs: Common Motor Milestones.

If your child…

·         Is often unable to locate and pick up small objects that have been dropped
·         Frequently rubs his eyes or complains that eyes hurt; or has reddened, watering or encrusted eyelids
·         Holds head in a strained or awkward position (tilts head to either side or thrusts head forward or backward) when trying to focus on someone or something
·         Sometimes or always crosses one or both eyes
·         Fails to notice objects, people or animals around him when other children do
·         Does not turn to face the source of strange sounds or voices by six months, or if he sleeps through most noises
·         Rubs or pulls at his ears repeatedly; has frequent earaches or runny ears
·         Talks in a very loud or soft voice
·         Does not react when you call from another room
·         Turns the same ear toward a sound he wishes to hear
·         Is not kicking legs and grabbing with hands by age 3 months
·         As an infant, arches back when lying on the back or being held
·         Always seems to favor using one hand over the other before age 2 years
·         Drags or favors one side

If you recognize any of these signs in your child, contact your doctor or a public health nurse immediately. Remember Easter Seals is available to help every step of the way.

Feel like you need to further investigate your child’s situation?
Take this FREE “Ages and Stages” questionnaire (funded by CVS Caremark). 

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