Early intervention is a vital component of promoting child development in kids who need extra assistance.
When progress is targeted in the early years, it is possible to manage/mitigate concerns early on to pave the way for successful, non specialized, learning environments in the future. Putting in the work now (before your child reaches adolescence) limits potential stress on your child down the road by equipping them with valuable self advocacy and learning to learn skills.
Additionally, by seeking a specialized program early on, you can work collaboratively with the team to reach any long terms goals you may have (for example, integration into a more traditional environment, reduction of 1:1 assistance, and so on).
Though profiles of each student vary widely, the ideal candidate for a specialized placement may have all or some of these needs:
Communication challenges: infrequent attempts to communicate, ineffective attempts to communicate, difficulty with sound production (annunciation, clarity, fluency), limited social communication, or general delays in communication.
Social challenges: infrequent attempts to engage socially with peers or adults, ineffective tactics for engaging others, challenges self regulating in social scenarios, inability to pick up on social nuances/cues, inability to respond to social attempts from others, challenges joining peers in play/inviting peers into play and general delays in social interaction.
Cognitive challenges: challenges in a particular domain of academic skill development, learning styles which require additional support/low ratio learning opportunities, communication/social/ or behavioural concerns which impact academic learning or skill development.
Behavioural challenges: challenges maintaining attention/focus and difficulty staying on task, potential flight from learning environment, safety concerns, strong-will/persistent opposition among other behaviour challenges.
It’s never too late to seek help for your child, but by pursuing specialized learning environment early on you increase the likelihood of bridging the gap between your child and the developmental norms for his/her age. By proactively seeking specialized placement prior to a crisis situation, you limit your child’s exposure to stressful scenarios and reduce the risk of negative association between your child and future learning environment.
It goes without saying that this information is general in nature; for more specific consideration of your needs, feel free to email me. AlleysMagnificentMind@gmail.com