How important is Early Intervention in kids’ development?
The critical age in a child’s development is between birth and age 48 months according to research. During these stage, their minds are like sponges and the window of opportunity is widely open. We should be aware of the things our child is expected to do in these times. If you have observed that your child is delayed in some areas, then be responsible enough to bring him/her to a developmental pediatrician.
The Developmental Pediatrician will guide you on what you can do to improve your child’s skills. I know that going to a developmental pedia scares most parents since we are afraid to know that there is something wrong with our child, but doing nothing is even scarier. You should know who to listen to, especially when your child’s condition is at stake, and for me, I only trust the expert. The Developmental Pedia will recommend you to a therapist if your child need an early intervention.
Early intervention programs lessen and in some cases prevent delays in development of infants and toddlers with learning delay or disabilities. Early intervention can decrease the need for special education and related services when a child enters school, and it can increase independence and productivity. Children whose needs are identified and addressed during these crucial early years have a greater chance of reaching their full potential.
Programs are designed to provide support for the child’s ability and therapy to improve the child’s weaknesses. In some areas, services are offered at your home, while most require going to a center.
A thorough early intervention program addresses five areas of development, with specific services customized to meet each child’s particular needs:
Occupational Therapist for 1. Cognitive development 2. Social-emotional development 3.and adaptive/self-help skills development
Physical Therapist for 4. Physical development which includes vision and hearing
Speech Therapist for 5.Language, speech, and communication
My son is undergoing once a week occupational therapy, once a week speech therapy and a play therapy to improve his social awareness. We started his therapy 2 years ago when I have noticed that he doesn’t speak much compared to other kids his age. Some relatives told me to relax since he is a boy and that boys mature slower than girls, but I don’t want to wait any longer, so I brought him immediately to a developmental pediatrician. There are few developmental pediatrician in the country so it took us a month or two to have a slot. A session to a Dev Ped cost around P2,500-P3,500. If you go to a public hospital like PGH, I heard that it cost around only P800. After my son was diagnosed, we were referred to see an Occupational Therapist twice a week. Getting a slot to a therapy center also took us another month. A session at Occupational Therapy cost around P600-P500. At PGH, I heard that they also offer therapy at a minimal amount of P50.00.
It is quite expensive, especially for middle class families like ours, but I can tell you that it’s all worth it. I saw a lot of improvement in my son. When he first started at OT, he can only say is his ABC’s and 123’s, now he can already speak 3-5 words per sentence, and he can now tell us what he wants. He managed and was able to cope up with a regular class and even got some awards. His therapist are all supportive of him and I believe that he will be productive as time goes by.
|egg sandwich making at school|
|Art work from Global Art|
If you think financial aspect is a problem, worry not because there are some public hospitals like PGH that ask for a minimal amount.