As a leading provider of early intervention services, Growing Early Minds offers family-centred, evidence-based assessment and therapy to help your child reach their potential.
What is early intervention?
Early intervention is about providing individualised and evidence-based support for children with disability or developmental delay and their families. It involves the skills of qualified service providers, such as doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals.
Early intervention is also known as early childhood intervention, or ECI.
A good early intervention program takes a family-centred approach, which involves educating and upskilling parents and caregivers so they can best support a child in their daily routine and everyday life. The program should focus on both the child’s and family’s needs and priorities.
All children deserve the same opportunities for healthy growth, development and participation in their family and community. A growing body of evidence shows how important the early years are for giving children the best chance of living healthy, happy and productive lives.
How does early intervention work?
Childhood is a time of rapid growth and change, when the body, brain and nervous system are very responsive to their environment. Early intervention taps into this responsiveness (sometimes called ‘plasticity’) to encourage healthy growth and the formation of good pathways for learning, behaviour, and emotional and social development.
Many things shape how your child’s body and brain grow. Some, like genetics, can’t be altered. Others can be used to help optimise healthy maturation, including:
- sensory inputs, such as reading, singing, speaking and/or signing to your child
- activities that help develop postural control and fine and gross motor skills
- opportunities for social and emotional connection
- time to play and explore the environment
- their diet and feeding routines.
Establishing good patterns in childhood sets your child up for the best chance of good long-term outcomes.
Early intervention services usually focus on four areas of your child’s development:
physical – their brains and bodies
Occupational therapy, for example, can help your child develop fine and gross motor skills. Occupational therapists also support children’s ability to perform practical everyday tasks, such as dressing, toileting and feeding. Dietetics can help with issues such as food allergies, gastrointestinal disorders and weight management.
social and emotional – their ability to regulate emotions and form healthy relationships
For example, speech language pathology can support your child’s ability to communicate effectively. Psychology can help children learn ways to manage their emotions and cope with stress and anxiety.
cognitive – their capacity to think and learn
Speech language pathology can help your child with reading and language skills, for example.
behavioural – how they manage their behaviour
Psychology and behaviour support therapy, for example, can support your child to develop positive ways of expressing themselves and interacting with others.
Many children need a combination of therapies to achieve optimal developmental outcomes. This is known as a multi-disciplinary approach. Your child’s early intervention program may also change as the get older, to reflect their changing needs.
The benefits of early intervention
Evidence suggests that intervention is most likely to be effective when it starts early, because pathways in the nervous system are most adaptable then.
Some benefits of early childhood intervention include:
- optimising the chances of healthy physical development
- improved social and emotional outcomes
- increased confidence, self-esteem and resilience
- optimising learning and academic achievement
- improved ability to participate in family and community life
- fostering positive behaviour.
Our early intervention services
At Growing Early Minds, our team of experienced, qualified professionals provide early intervention to support children in achieving optimal developmental outcomes. Our therapists will tailor a family-centred, evidence-based plan to suit your child’s needs. We also work with a child’s family and caregivers, so they can best support the child too.
We also offer a range of services to help promote your child’s wellbeing – physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.