What is Early Intervention?
"Early Intervention (EI) is a family focused program that partners with parents/guardians of children under the age of three, to help support development of children who have a developmental delay or are at risk of developing a delay,” says Diana Sullivan, Senior Director of Early Intervention and Childhood Programs. “Initially, we spend time getting to know family routines and together identify outcomes and manageable strategies for the family to help progress their child’s development. Early Intervention services are individualized to support the unique needs of each child and family.”
The story of Everett.
Everett came to Jay and Rebecca after a two-month stay in the hospital for treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Immediately, the then foster parents and now parents, reached out to UCP of Western Massachusetts for help. “We had been involved with EI already with our first child,” says Rebecca, “and we had a lot of success learning different techniques for tightness. We saw some of the same things in Everett, as in our first child, and we worked with the same team.”
Now at 19 months, Everett is a force of nature! Because of his parent’s commitment to his services and their amazing carryover, he has learned to walk and motors around the house following his big brother around like a shadow. Routine is everything for Early Intervention to be a success. Rebecca says, “he knows what to expect every day as we follow a schedule. He goes to daycare; we get home and have dinner and a bath. In the evenings, we work on his walking and playing.”
This summer Everett got to enjoy a pool in the backyard and he learned to splash! Because that was such a positive experience, Jay and Rebecca continued the splashing over to bath time. Jay says, “he loves water!” Long-time employee Sullivan of UCP says, “In EI, you build on skills that the child has learned during times that go well. For instance, if bath time goes well, you can also include strategies to work on language development by incorporating signs or words like “more” or “all done” into this routine. A positive routine might transition into an area where the child struggles, like dressing or eating and these words can be powerful tools for the child to express their needs or feelings.”
At UCP of Western Massachusetts, we are dedicated to helping children meet their goals by providing care through therapeutic developmental, speech, occupational, physical, or behavioral therapy. It is our mission to have them live a life without limits. Please donate to our Children’s Programing and help support our mission.