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The Children's Guild Takes a Closer Look at Early Intervention for Students with Special Needs

There are many services available to support families that have young children with developmental delays and disabilities.

WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / April 18, 2024 / There are many services available to support families that have young children with developmental delays and disabilities. These include diagnosis, speech and physical therapy, and other services based on needs. Early intervention has a significant impact on learning skills and overcoming challenges and offers a child more success in school and beyond. As leaders in special education, The Children's Guild (TCG), recognizes the importance of early intervention as well as the continual support of students with special needs in communities.

What Early Intervention Means - Early intervention is the term for the various services that support kids from birth to three years with developmental delays or disabilities. In addition to what a pediatrician or a specialist can provide, early intervention programs are available in every state for families who meet their state's criteria for developmental delay. However, programs can be hard to find and difficult to navigate for the average family.

Changing a Child's Developmental Path - Neural circuits in a child's brain are the foundation for learning, behavior, and health, and are most adaptable in a child's first three years. Early intervention is designed to prevent more significant behavioral challenges among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Diagnosing and Supporting Special Needs at an Early Age - If there are developmental concerns with a child, starting with therapies as quickly as possible can make a difference. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends acting as soon as possible, telling their doctor concerns, speaking with school teachers and counselors, asking for a referral to a specialist, and contacting the state's early intervention program. Publicly funded programs that are free of charge or offered at a reduced cost are available around the country.

It can be hard to start this conversation with a doctor. It's best to be specific and use detailed written notes of symptoms and communication. Follow along with these recommendations to share development concerns with the child's pediatrician and other specialists. It is common to have to wait for an evaluation so make the most of the waiting time by reading, singing, playing, and making crafts with the child. The CDC recommends "talking to the child, labeling household items, pointing out interesting things, telling stories, commenting about feeling, and explaining how things work and why things happen. A child may not always seem to be listening, but he or she may be hearing more than you think."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a free Milestone Tracker App for parents. From birth to 5 years, a child will typically reach certain milestones in play, learning, speaking, acting, and moving. The app helps track a child's development and act early if there's a concern. Support networks offering advice and guidance are available. Check organizations like Family Voices, or call 1-888-835-5669.

Screening For a Child - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental and behavioral screening for all children during regular well-child visits at nine months, 18 months and 30 months. They also recommend that all children be screened specifically for ASD during regular well-child visits at 18 and 24 months. If a child is at higher risk due to preterm birth, low birthweight, or environmental risks like lead exposure, there is additional screening.

Learn The Signs. Act Early - If concerned about a child's development, don't wait. Talk to someone. Every child is different, but parents know their child best. Acting early can make a real difference. Once a child is school age, ask if they are eligible for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and if they can access wrap-around services during the school day. The Children's Guild offers these services in all of their preschools, charter schools, and non-public schools. Behavior therapists, social workers, speech language pathologists, mental health counseling, and other specialists can help educate the whole child with a focus on social and emotional learning. Every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, and these services can help identify goals unique to a young learner. Reference this useful Fact Sheet on Developmental Monitoring and Screening from the CDC, in English and Spanish.

Remember that early intervention isn't just about addressing challenges. It's about unlocking potential, fostering growth, and nurturing every child's unique ability. By embracing early intervention, parents can feel empowered and view every milestone achieved as a testament to the incredible resilience within their child. Together, let's continue to advocate for and invest in early intervention programs. With a commitment to inclusion, educators can create a world where every child, regardless of their abilities, can achieve their dreams.

The Children's Guild (TCG), founded in 1953, is a leading Mid-Atlantic nonprofit organization focused on helping students and families find success socially, emotionally, educationally, and developmentally through special education, school-based mental health services, treatment foster care, autism services, family mental and behavioral health services, and workforce development programs.

Affiliates of The Children's Guild include The Children's Guild School of Baltimore, The Children's Guild DC Public Charter School, The Children's Guild School of Prince George's County, Monarch Academy Glen Burnie, Monarch Global Academy Laurel, Monarch Academy Annapolis, Monarch Preschool College Park, The Children's Guild- Transformation Academy, The Outpatient Mental Health Clinic (OMHC), Treatment Foster Care, and TranZed Apprenticeships. For more information, visit https://childrensguild.org/.

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For further information, contact:
Amy Riemer, Media Relations
978-502-4895 (mobile)
[email protected]

SOURCE: The Children's Guild

View the original press release on accesswire.com

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