Early Childhood Intervention – An Introduction
In Central Asia and Eastern Europe, around 40,000 children under the age of 3 live in institutions. A child with a disability is most likely to be institutionalized. If parents keep their child with a disability, they’re afraid they will not get any support and life will be terrible for them and the child. When a child is born with difficulties or delays, it’s vital that parents know how to help their child develop efficiently. They need to focus on their child’s strengths, not just the diagnosis.
Early Childhood Intervention
Early childhood intervention helps the children with disabilities or developmental delays stay with their families. Around the world, professionals are recognizing the power that family can have in shaping a child’s life. Early childhood intervention should be a natural process. It is an intervention that looks at child’s context, mainly the family which is very near to the child. It should not be a package; it should be individualized and happen anytime, anywhere, and at any place. It involves turning everyday activities into opportunites to learn and develop.
Effective Early Childhood Intervention is to make sure that the family and child get the services that they need to become as functional, competent and happy as possible. It can totally change a child’s life and the family’s life. There is a real concern about identifying children with delays as early as possible, without scaring parents and even the child. The first three years are critical since 90 % of the brain’s development happens in these years. Any deviation from normal we see in children who are not nurtured, provided with standard simulation especially if they have disabilities is very much profound. There is lots of plasticity in development that is the ability to change. It is not like there isn’t the capacity to change later on, but there is much more in the first three years. By beginning early on, we have the opportunity to improve the real outcomes for these children for a long term.
Early Childhood Intervention and Importance of Family
An Early Childhood Intervention program starts with home visiting. It is vital to see the child within the context of where the child lives and to know the family and other people involved. Since the most important source of child’s development is inside the family. It is about incorporating the intervention into what children do all day and every day and are expected to do will increase the ability to learn the tasks. It supports and works in partnership with the families. Early intervention prevents child abandonment and improves child-parent relationships. Early Childhood Intervention helps children with disabilities get what other normal children gets. They will have the opportunity to play, communicate and to be outside.
A good Early Childhood Education Program is economically more viable to the society to keep its physically challenged children with their families than to place them in an institution.