Is Early Intervention Still Viable or Child's Development Already Delayed?

Manila Bulletin, November 14, 2010 | Go to article overview

Is Early Intervention Still Viable or Child's Development Already Delayed?


MANILA, Philippines - QUESTION: Good day! I have read the article entitled "Therapy Overload'' published last May. I have some queries about my son, who just turned one year and nine months old.

He is my third child and is a Down syndrome baby. He cannot straighten up his neck and back when seated. He cannot even stand nor hold an object. In other words, his joints are very weak. But he can lie on his stomach with his head up. He can roll. He is very attentive when somebody's talking. He laughs when playing and can say "bebe," "mama," "papa," "baba" and "mimi" unconsciously.

Is early intervention still appropriate to be called at this stage or it's already causing delay in his development? Seeking for therapists' help is very costly. We have consulted one in the province for almost two months, but the therapy stopped because we our baby has to stay with us in Manila. We love our baby so much and we don't want him to be left out in our society. Are there therapists available for home service? How much do they cost? Thanks and best regards. - MaCel

Teacher says: Down syndrome is named after John Langdon Down, the first physician to identify the syndrome, Down syndrome is the most frequent genetic cause of mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities and associated medical problems and occurs in one out of 800 live births, in all races and economic groups. Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by an error in cell division that results in the presence of an additional third chromosome 21 or "Trisomy 21." (National Down Syndrome Society).

Children with Down syndrome grow in all areas of development in the same way as regular children do, but progress is at a slower pace. Some areas of their development are usually more delayed than others.

Research shows that children with Down syndrome benefit from early intervention services and this is proven by the early intervention provided to my students with DS. Most of them have pursued a college degree and they become fully participative and empowered members of the family and the community.

Yes! With the characteristics you mentioned, your child shows developmental delay, hence, early intervention is necessary.

Early intervention you the chance to learn about the special needs of your child, and the early intervention team will show you different ways to help your child to develop and learn. Early intervention means finding specific ways to help a child become as functional as possible. It is in this program where you will have an access to the following specialists:

* Developmental teachers* Occupational therapists* Physical therapists* Speech and language pathologists/audiologists* Vision consultants

Early intervention in the areas of motor development, social understanding, self-help skills and behavior, and speech and language skills, will have a better outcome for your child. When a child is in early intervention program, parents can practice the techniques taught in the intervention activities at home:

LEARNING IS ENHANCED

Encourage non-verbal social communication skills including smiling, visual tracking, eye-contact, turn-taking, and babbling; encourage visual and motor exploration and play with sensory stimulation and cause-and-effect toys, initially those which give a reaction for minimal effort.

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Is Early Intervention Still Viable or Child's Development Already Delayed?
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