Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers at Risk for Developmental Delays
What is Early Intervention?
Early Intervention programs are designed to enhance the development of at-risk infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years of age) who are delayed in acquiring developmental milestones, or who are at-risk for delay due to the presence of conditions known to cause delays. These programs provide opportunities for playful interactions which promote cognitive, speech and language, motor, social and self-help skills.
The program assists parents and other primary-care providers by offering the knowledge and skills necessary to more effectively facilitate the child's language, motor, cognitive and personal-social development. Early Intervention programs also provide information, support and assistance, and ideas and activities that can be integrated into the home routine to further aid in the child's development.
What are the benefits of an Early Intervention Program?
A child learns more in the first three years of life than will be learned in the rest of her or his lifetime. Early learning forms the basis for more complex levels of performance. Simple learning skills such as sitting, holding an object, exploring and communicating are important foundations for the future acquisition of skills and competencies needed for school and adulthood.
What Early Intervention can do:
Early Intervention can provide the opportunity to maximize a child's developmental capabilities. While it isn't a cure for a disabling condition, a child's potential for development can be enhanced by an Early Intervention program that provides meaningful environmental experiences that address the child's particular needs. Children can attain critical learning strategies to positively influence future growth potential.
An Early Intervention program can provide support, instruction and information for caregivers and their families. Early intervention programs can help parents deal constructively with the grief and stress of having a child with disabilities or developmental delays.
Caregivers get practical instruction and learn ways to manage their child's life while maximizing communication and making the most of learning situations.
Early Intervention programs provide information to help families find assistance such as counseling, medical, social or other needed services.
Early Intervention programs can also prevent or minimize the development of secondary disabilities. Without proper handling and instruction, children with disabilities or who are at-risk for developmental delays may tend to develop a variety of undesirable behaviors which may be disruptive or secondarily disabling as well.
Through Early Intervention programs, parents can find support and assistance to help their child become a more social and independent person.
Who is eligible for an Early Intervention Program?
At present, early intervention efforts are directed toward three target populations:
- children who are biologically impaired
- children who are at-risk of impairment because of medical reasons
- children who are at-risk because of environmental causes.
- Local definitions of who may qualify for services under these headings very. Contact us for clarification if you think your child may be eligible for the Early Intervention program at CSUN.
Why are Early Intervention Programs Available?
A federal law was passed in 1986 mandating the provision of Early Intervention services to young children with special needs. Currently known as Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the law reflects a deep national concern for what happens to infants and toddlers with special needs - and their families.
Under the law, very young children and their families are entitled to an appropriate developmental assessment and a plan for comprehensive services which meet the needs of the child and family.
What is special about the CSUN Early Intervention Center?
The academic environment at CSUN utilizes an interdisciplinary program and years of experience in the field. The Early Intervention program at CSUN opened its doors in 1983, and is administered by the department of Communication Disorders and Sciences' Language, Speech and Hearing Center.
The program's interdisciplinary team consists of a licensed speech pathologist, an early childhood educator and a motor development specialist. In addition, the program has advanced students from the departments Communication Disorders and Sciences, Child Development, Physical Therapy, Adaptive Physical Education and Family Environmental Sciences. Students participate as aides for academic credit and practical experience.