Written by Bond University Student OT, Sruthi Vamaraju.
What Is Early Intervention?
Early Intervention is a specialised program which aims to reduce the impact of a child’s disability or impairment at the earliest possible stage, using therapy and support services. Occupational Therapy tends to be one of the many therapy services who can assist with many conditions for children such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Developmental Delay etc. or for children with no identified diagnosis.
Occupational Therapists can help develop or improve the childs’ motor, cognitive, sensory processing, communication, and play skills. By doing this the aim is to provide those with or without disabilities, or who are at risk for developing them, with the skills they need to increase their engagement in everyday activities such as participating in school, self-care tasks and playing.
How OT's can help?
Occupational Therapists can work on seven key early intervention areas to support a child’s development, these include:
● Motor Skills; fine and gross motor
● Communication and language
● Social skills
● Emotional regulation
● Sensory processing difficulties
However, the interventions are based on what the family wants for the child. These areas are closely monitored with the child’s developmental milestones, to ensure that all the required skills are taught and developed. When addressing these key areas the aim is to increase the children's independence, engagement and participation in everyday activities and play.