The Need for Early Intervention
Early Intervention programs offered by V-Excel are focused on children between 0 - 7 years of age and aim to understand their developmental challenges and provide appropriate intervention. The intent of this timely intervention is to enable mainstreaming early in life.
Significant changes take place in the early years - development of the child’s perceptual skills, sensory skills, motor skills, conceptual skills and cognitive skills. In the first seven years, the four lower human senses like touch, movement, balance, and physical well-being, are particularly important for the development of every child. These bodily senses are their primary means for a child to understand themselves and in most children with disabilities, these senses are impaired.
In our experience, late referral of children to intervention has been a key challenge to addressing these issues.
At our EI center, we design therapeutic programs for early intervention to prevent disorders that may arise from genetic condition, adverse circumstances and developmental delays. Evaluation of the child’s sensory and developmental needs, along with inputs from the doctor’s report, consultation with parents and observations from house visits forms the basis of the child’s sensory integration and diet program. The process followed for each child is includes a Comprehensive Sensory Assessment, Designing the development plan, Implementation of the customized plan and ongoing monitoring (re-designing of the program if needed) of the child's progress.
Our uniqueness lies in the fact that we have an excellent multi-disciplinary approach that includes a panel of experts such as sensory integration therapists, occupational therapists, speech and communication facilitators, counselors, special educators, etc. and this team create a unique program based the individual child's needs.
Step-wise Program Plan
We design therapeutic programs for early intervention to prevent disorders that may arise from genetic condition, adverse circumstances and developmental delays. Evaluation of the child’s sensory and developmental needs, along with inputs from the doctor’s report, consultation with parents and observations from house visits forms the basis of the child’s sensory integration and diet program. The process followed for each child is presented below:
Comprehensive Sensory Assessment:
This crucial first step permits professionals to appreciate the underlying problem and judge whether the child has special needs with regards to sensory integration. Formal assessment techniques are deployed to understand the child’s developmental lags. Family dynamics play an important role in supporting such a child and hence consultation, which is a one-time intake, is done to gain significant insights.
Designing the development plan:
It is important that the plan is time-bound and very specific. The biggest challenge lies in the fact that every child has unique problems and needs; hence the goals have to be set clearly. Emphasis is laid on looking at holistic development and ensuring appropriate treatment at the Center and at home. Counseling of parents therefore forms a critical component of the treatment.
The therapists and teachers strictly follow the essential steps to meet these goals and track outcomes. Sensory integration monitoring is done by checking eye-hand coordination, pincer grip, visual discrimination, auditory discrimination, auditory-visual figure ground perception, kinesthetics, proprioceptive and vestibular development etc. An all-round training helps enhance these skills, besides boosting their confidence.
Concerted team efforts:
Without a multi-disciplinary team approach, no effort with special children can be fruitful. If parents, sensory integration therapists and occupational therapists, speech and communication facilitators, counselors, special educators, etc. work independently in their own way, the child will not show an effective improvement if parents, Sensory Integration and Occupational Therapists, Speech and communication facilitators, counselors, special educators etc. work independently. Team work is very essential. So educating parents plays an important role in our work process.
We have a periodic review meeting with parents in-built into our Early Intervention Program as we acknowledge its role in understanding the extent of improvement. This provides direction for further planning.
Early intervention has been shown to result in the child:
- needing fewer special education and other rehabilitative services later in life
- being retained in grade less often and
- in some cases being indistinguishable from other classmates, years after intervention.
What Makes Our Program Unique :
Our Early Intervention service is unique in many way
- Sensory Integration is only a part of the development process. Sensory Diet makes it comprehensive with the inclusion of motor, cognitive, social skills.
- We do not confine ourselves to Center-based work. Parental support and home programs ensure consistency.
- Child-focus coupled with parent counseling advocates a child’s progress.
- With many school related pressures and increased emphasis on writing in early years, we have introduced special education in writing skills and have school readiness program.
- We work with regular teachers and play schools closely for inclusion.
- Understanding the need for Systematic and scientifically done Early Intervention services, we have invested huge capital for these equipments and materials.
- We are also considering more information dissemination work with neonatologists, pediatricians and neurologists as their ignorance is a high price paid by the children and their parents. Awareness generation workshops for teachers and parents are also a natural and necessary extension of our work for the Early Intervention Program.
Our aim is to provide timely intervention to young children (0-7 years) so that they mainstream early in life, and do not face challenging situations later, due to their initial developmental lags.
Our primary focus areas include neuro-sensory development, functional independence, school readiness and social skills, which are extremely important for a child’s holistic growth.
Our mantra is holistic development towards independence and inclusion. We recognize that underdeveloped senses result in a weak foundation for growth and acts as an hindrance to physical, mental, emotional, academic and social progress. V-Excel Educational Trust has a discrete Unit dedicated to Early Intervention. Our services range from early identification and screening, referral and diagnostic services, and even prevention of their occurrences where ever possible.
The beneficiaries of this project are children who have already developed, or at risk of developing, either a handicapping condition or some other special need that may affect their overall development. This includes children with Autism, Mental Retardation, Attention Deficit Disorders, Delayed Milestones, Learning Disabilities like Dyslexia etc.
We essentially work on time bound programs, geared towards early social inclusion of children. We deeply appreciate the importance of timely action as a means to cure developmental delays and disabilities. We can attempt this through one-on-one remedial intervention, sensory integration therapy* and a well-planned sensory diet**. We have had reasonable success with cases of-.
- Behavioral Regulatory Problems – Arousal, Attention, Affect, Attachment, Mood, Regulation of Sleep and Eating, Consolability
- Musculo Skeletal Impairments – Deformities, Strength, Endurance
- Neuro Muscular Impairments – Tone, Coordination, Gross and Fine Control, Motor Planning, Balance
- Sensory Processing Difficulties – Tactile, Proprioception, Vestibular, Visual, Auditory, Olfactory Gustatory – Hyper and Hypo Reactivity
- Functional Impairments – Feeding, Mobility, Self Care, Occupational
- Cognitive Impairments – Attachment, Interaction, Communication, Visual Perception, Memory, Sequencing, Safety Awareness, Executing Functions
- Self-help skills: Eating, dressing, grooming, writing, social skills and areas of daily living