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Early Intervention: How the Right Services, at the Right Time, Can Change a Child’s Life

From getting around on their own to saying their first words, babies and young children have a lot to learn. Countless studies have emphasized the importance of a child’s first few years, and parents may become concerned when their development seems slower than expected.

An article from Health Research Funding showed that one in six children between the ages of 3-17 have at least one developmental disability in 2019. Developmental disabilities can delay important physical, learning, language, and behavioral milestones, like taking a first step, smiling for the first time, or waving “bye-bye.” Children develop at their own pace, but if milestones are not being met within the suggested time frame, an early intervention may be essential to diagnosing or managing the effects of a child’s disability before they start school.

LifeROOTS’ early intervention program allows parents to fully evaluate their child’s physical and cognitive abilities from birth to age three. If it is determined that a child is in need of therapeutic or developmental services, they will receive these services free of charge.  And, in an important new development, LifeROOTS is now excited to now be able to offer families the opportunity to extend physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services through Medicaid- Centennial Care.  To see if your family qualifies, call us at 505-255-5501 for more information.

Early intervention services cannot replace your child’s doctor or health care team. A pediatrician may recommend different or additional therapeutic or physical services to help your child meet the necessary developmental milestones. However, if your child has a medical condition, your child’s LifeROOTS early intervention team will contact their doctor to ensure that all screenings and activities are being performed in a safe, effective manner.

Your child is unique, and so is his/her service plan. You and your child’s early intervention service coordinator will develop a plan for services, called the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This plan will include your child’s current level of development, developmental goals for your child, what services your family will receive, and how frequently your child will receive each service.

  • Patience is key. Your early intervention team understands that this may be an emotional time for you and your family. There may be times where you’re not seeing results as quickly as you like, but the learning process simply cannot be rushed.
  • No skipping class. A specialist may recommend a specific number of hours of therapy per week for your child. In order for your child to receive the full benefits of an early intervention, it is essential that they are present for the duration of the program.
  • Prioritize quality over quantity. The number of therapy sessions is not nearly as important as the learning that happens in between those sessions. It is the number of activities that you and other caregivers do with your child that makes progress possible. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a team of dedicated, consistent adults to keep that child on track for success.

Early intervention minimizes the risk of your child missing critical opportunities during a period of rapid growth and development. Studies show that children with developmental disabilities who receive early interventions are more likely to succeed in school with fewer accommodations, and will become more self-reliant faster. It is a way to maximize a child’s quality of life. Schedule a consultation today with a LifeROOTS early intervention expert and give your child the tools they need to achieve their fullest potential.

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