What is early intervention?

Early intervention is a range of services and supports designed to meet the early learning needs of children with autism, developmental delay or other diagnosed disability, between the ages of birth and school entry. The services are designed to meet the needs of the child and promote their development and inclusion.

Early intervention is a range of services and supports designed to meet the early learning needs of children with autism, developmental delay or other diagnosed disability, between the ages of birth and school entry. The services are designed to meet the needs of the child and promote their development and inclusion.The aim of these services is to help develop the child’s:

  • Communication
  • Learning skills
  • Self help skills
  • Sensory awareness
  • Social skills
  • Behaviour.

Interventions include:

  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Health services
  • Inclusion support at kinder or childcare
  • Support with communication aides or play equipment

Early intervention can be conducted in the following locations:

  • The family home
  • The child’s kindergarten
  • A childcare centre
  • Family Day Care
  • Other locations requested by the family.

Early intervention is provided by a range of qualified providers, through funded services or privately. Some services have waiting lists and the amount of hours allocated to a child can be limited.
Families can access funding for early intervention through the Helping Children with Autism Package which provides $12,000 between the age of birth and 6 for the child to access early intervention with an authorised provider.

Results
Generally early intervention is more effective the younger the child is when they begin. Results vary depending on the child and the severity of their autism and some therapies are more effective than others. A coordinated program of therapy which is consistently integrated into home and kinder /childcare settings is important to ensure the best results.

To find out more about early intervention providers see
http://raisingchildren.net.au/children_with_autism/children_with_autism_landing.html

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/ecsmanagement/intervention/default.htm