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Before a child turns 3, his or her brain forms more than 1 million new neural connections every second! That is a lot of brain development. And that’s why it is the best time to positively influence development if there is concern of a delay.
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Intervening early connects regular, everyday experiences—playing indoors and out, interacting with other family members, accomplishing daily tasks, and the like —to help children meet milestones when there is a delay, or even a concern about a delay.
Early intervention strategies use these experiences to help in development. An intervention looks different for every child and family because it is based on your family and child’s unique interests and strengths.
But you’re not on your own trying to figure out what to do. An early childhood specialist makes regular visits to support and coach you on how to help your child.
For children under age 3, the program is called Early Intervention, and every state has its own system. Ohio has Early Intervention Service Coordinators in every county.
These coordinators help guide families through developmental screenings and assessments, and then help them find services in their community that match their child’s needs and what they value as priority.
No matter what, look for programs that are: family-centered, inclusive (children both with and without delays together), play-based, and emphasize social-emotional learning.
For children age 3 and older, your local school district provides these services through preschool programming.