Early Childhood Intervention is the process of providing evidence-based interventions to support a child’s learning during the early stages of life. The simplest way to explain what Early Childhood Intervention aim to do is to identify very early on, any deficits in milestones (both cognitive and behavioural) which share the same trajectory as some neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Brain development is prevalent in early childhood and is a period of a child’s life that sees a rapid rate of learning and development. Future development is the result of the foundation based on the child’s learning during the early years of life and is therefore crucial that any interventions take place as early as possible in a child’s development.
Not all children referred for Early Childhood Intervention have, or will end up with a diagnosis of ASD. Very often the diagnosis of developmental disorders are delayed to allow time for the child to ‘catch up’, but the monitoring of progress needs to be done closely. Skills are constantly being developed throughout a child’s life and early intervention provides an opportunity to foster and improve these skills, potentially reducing supports that may be required later in their life. If the child requires additional support during this time, it is important to be able to access this early. Early intervention can influence the trajectory of the child’s development though specialised a discipline-specific therapies.