A Pediatrician Call to Action
*We know you are busy. If pressed for time, the bold text will provide a quick overview for you.
As a pediatrician, you are a trusted resource – the one parents first turn to with concerns – and you must dig deeper, act quickly and offer solutions. It’s a challenging role, yet critically important.
Through The Childhood League Center’s new initiative, Intervening Early, many efforts are underway to help families and professionals understand the importance of intervening as early as possible with the suspicion of a delay. Additionally, a new outreach effort, specifically focused on pediatricians, will concentrate on giving you useful information to help even more families earlier. We ask you to be an active voice and component in spreading this important message to both families and colleagues.
The first five years of life are critical to a child’s brain development, and intervening early can significantly change their future trajectory. Unfortunately, there can be a significant lag time between a suspicion and beginning intervention for a variety of reasons, whether a family is hesitant to address concerns or long wait times to begin services. For this reason, we are urging all pediatricians to avoid the “wait and see” approach.
Early interventions that are developmental and relationship-based, parent-implemented and evidence-based do no harm.
The Childhood League Center supports such techniques and grounds their approaches on best practices for young children’s development. All children benefit, including those with special needs and those at risk. Central to this are families and empowering them to participate in this key role.
One such intervention is targeted for children with autism (ASD). The PLAY Project is a developmental, relationship-based intervention that is intensive, evidence-based and peer-reviewed. This parent-implemented model focuses on confidence and recognizing the capacity of parents and caregivers to deliver interventions throughout daily play and routines within their own familiar surroundings. Playful engagement between child and parent promotes positive social-emotional learning, and families benefit by maximizing the joy of engaging with their child as well as demonstrated developmental benefits.
Richard Solomon, MD – a Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrician and founder of the PLAY Project–received one of the highest grants available from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a three-year, randomized control trial. In one year, 128 children from five different sites across the nation participated in the effectiveness study, making it one of the largest of its kind. The results showed that the PLAY Project works and families can learn to deliver the intervention themselves.
Each child’s development is individually assessed in order to tailor a customized approach that dynamically changes with them over time. The certified PLAY Project Consultants who partner with families are highly trained and deployed by The Childhood League Center, the first licensed PLAY Project Center in the nation.
“I was excited to hear that The Childhood League Center has joined hands with The PLAY Project to create an autism center in Columbus. The State of Ohio has become a model for early intervention, using early diagnosis, intensive intervention and empowering parents to give the youngest children with autism the best start possible. Congratulations!” – Dr. John Duby*
*John Duby MD, FAAP is the chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and Dayton Children’s Hospital. He is also the past president of the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
By working together, we can make it easier for families so that more children get access to the services they need sooner. We ask you to encourage families to trust their instincts, address their concerns and begin intervening right away. Visit www.interveningearly.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional resources.