Early Intervention DOES Matter

January 15, 2008 Kyron No Comments

Katherine’s stroke was diagnosed at about 1.5 days old (ok with a good ole kick in the A** to the doctors from her father and me and a sign from God called a seizure) but none the less it made a HUGE difference in terms of where we are today. Had we listened to the doctors, we would have kept on believing all the signs we were seeing were “in-utero positioning” and that she’d be fine once she got used to being out of the confines of the womb. Uh, yea, RIGHT! The stroke robbed her of ½ a brain and me of dreams I’ve long since forgotten.

If we had stopped there it would have robbed Katherine of even more. It would have robbed her of a chance! The first doctor told us that we should just put her in an institution because she’d never walk, talk, or participate in society. For all intensive purposes he said she’d be all but vegetative. He was shown the door (and yes, it was a scene complete with very LOUD expletives!). The next Doctor was the head of Neurology at the hospital.

She was an amazing woman that got Katherine set up with therapy services – earlyblocks Early Intervention DOES Matter and often. Katherine started probably when she was 3 months old, but intensively from then on. For the record, she talks (too much for her own good sometimes) walks (even though she needs a brace and has a gait) goes to school, has friends, horseback rides, plays basketball, sings songs from every musical she can get her hands on and brings a whole lot of people a whole lot of joy.

Not everyone has a child that has such significant deficits and thank God for that. It does not diminish what early intervention and the intuition of parents can mean to a child.

Is your child not progressing and reaching milestones as they should be? Can you just “feel” something isn’t right? Has your child started to avoid eye contact? Are they not speaking yet? Are they withdrawn or unemotional? Do they respond to their name? Are they not walking even at a year and a half? Trust your instincts. Talk to your pediatrician. If they don’t listen and you just know something isn’t right, ask them for a referral to your state’s early intervention program. Have your child evaluated by them. Federal law requires that all states have an early intervention program for children 0-3.

According to the US Department of Education, early intervention programs are established by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which guarantees all eligible children, regardless of their disability, access to services that will enhance their development.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B. State by state who to contact for early intervention can be found by clicking here.

Maybe your child is just a “late bloomer”. If by chance that gut instinct we parents have is right….it will be the best gift you ever give your child. Early intervention can mean quick resolution to numerous delays, and can mean huge differences in outcome for more significant ones. At worst you’ll get some peace of mind about the late bloomer in your life. No time like the present to make that call.

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