Early intervention key to help special children

While kindergarten helps children transition from home to school life, early intervention equips at-risk children with long-term and educational assistance. For local special educators, early intervention assists both children and parents in learning and development.
Early intervention key to help special children
Representative Image

Chennai

Early intervention is carried out for children from birth to seven years and acts as a buffer to prepare them developmentally for certain developmental milestones. The children are evaluated across eight criteria – motor, communicative, cognition, social, and more – to understand their current standing.

According to Priya Dinesh, a special educator in the city, early intervention constitutes of instance-based learning through games. Learning through games is implemented in toilet-training in school, teaching eating habits through lunchtime, improving motor skills through games, and social and communicative skills through class discussions.

“For children with disability, the environment plays an important factor. A child with a disability may not be allowed to explore and learn their surroundings as parents are very hesitant and protective of them. They are still going through the denial and doctor-hunting phase. Thus, the child’s learning is curbed,” said Dinesh.

In a study conducted with 2,586 parents in the USA, it was revealed that 82% of parents felt that the intervention was better-off for their family and that they were optimistic about the future. Family influence is key to ensure effective intervention, said Jayanthi Narayan, a special educator with Vidya Sagar.

“Parents are asked to sit through certain sessions and are also taught early intervention techniques. This is to ensure that they are properly equipped to assist their children even at home, where a lot of learning takes place,” she said, adding that early intervention also helps parents in understanding their child’s disability better. In Chennai, many have understood and taken to the benefits of early intervention, said Narayan.

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