Why is Early Intervention important?
The first five years of a child’s life are critical for brain and nervous system development. During this time, children learn and develop rapidly. This is the time when their minds are the most receptive to learning new things.
A child’s daily experiences have long-lasting impact that affects their ability to learn, regulate their emotions, connect socially, and sequentially develop for optimal neurological function. If some appropriate experiences and learning opportunities in their environment are absent during this period, the brain’s development can be stunted.
However, if ample learning opportunities are given, the development of the brain can be enhanced. If you suspect your child has developmental delay, it is wise to address these concerns as soon as they are discovered. The earlier the better. That is what early intervention is all about.
Here are Three Ways Early Intervention Services Can Help
- Improves and enhances the neurological development of a child with developmental delays and special needs. Early therapeutic interventions are beneficial even beyond a child’s developmental years and helps keep them on a path to making the most of their abilities to develop skills they will need to function to their fullest potential.
- Helps build a nurturing and supportive environment for the entire family. If done by a professional, early intervention service provide assistance and support for parents and siblings of children with special needs, decreasing frustration, stress, disappointment, helplessness, and caregiver burnout.
- Sets a firm foundation for key developmental progression that will set the pace for later skills, offer greater opportunities for the child, and aid in later successes in life. It is like a stepping-stone for children that can help develop cognitive, social, physical, adaptive, and communication skills.
How Can Happy Dots Help?
We offer a variety of different services at Happy Dots, from individual sessions to group therapy programs, to home visits, school visits, and more.
- Comprehensive Initial Assessments - following referral an appointment will be made for an assessment. An assessment takes about 1 hour and a series of specifically chosen standardised and non-standardised tests are carried out on your child. In discussion with you, your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and how occupational therapy may help your child will be outlined.
- Meet & Greet Session - are designed for those families who may not be sure on whether or not OT will be best suited to them. You will be invited to our clinic space for a 45 minute consultation with one of our therapists in which your needs & goals will be discussed. This is a great alternative to getting therapy started without the cost of an initial assessment. Please note that this type of appointment is not suited to all clients.
- Review Assessment - As part of the high standard of service that is offered at Happy Dots, we feel that it is important to conduct review assessments for children who have participated in therapy on an ongoing basis. This assists in gauging progress, determining needs for future therapy sessions as well as to provide further support in regards to future directions and alternate pathways (e.g. need for other health professionals, school support).
- Individual Therapy - Following an assessment, individual therapy sessions may be recommended for your child (45 minute sessions). Individual therapy involves working directly with your child on activities that promote their skill level, build their confidence, and are fun. During this block of treatment, home activity suggestions will be provided for you to incorporate into your daily routine. Liaison with your child’s teacher and/or other health professionals may occur at this point to ensure all parties involved are working towards a common goal.
- Screenings (preschool & school-aged) - can be conducted at various schools and preschools upon request. An Occupational Therapist will come to you on-site, and screen each child across a range of developmental areas (Sensory, Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Visual Perceptual skills, etc). A report is then written which is sent to the parents with recommendations & suggestions. Post-screening offers include group therapy, resource recommendations, parent education & teacher professional developmental workshops.
- Group therapy - We run our popular group programs every school holidays and during the school term. These include school readiness programs, music, and movement groups, Motor Skills groups, fussy eating groups, and social skills, groups. For the list of our groups click here.
- School Visits - School-based therapy is beneficial for the child as it allows for a direct relationship between the therapist and the teacher. It also allows the therapist to see whether what the child is learning during their therapy sessions is carrying over to the classroom. Our Occupational Therapists love working in schools that promote the team approach towards a child’s learning and value the contribution made by all those involved with the child.
- Professional Development (parent & teacher workshops) - Parent & Teacher workshops can be tailored to meet your needs and can be held on-site or at our Happy Dots clinics. Topics may include Sensory Based Strategies for the classroom, School Readiness, or general education on how Occupational Therapy may benefit children. Enquire for more information.
- Home visits - At Happy Dots, we understand that getting to a clinic setting for therapy may not be the best option. Therefore, we are happy to come to you! We are able to offer home visits on a regular basis, or as a one-off consultancy based visit to help set up strategies for your home environment.
- Occupational Therapy Resources - we offer a variety of resources from sensory toys to books that a child might need to reinforce therapy.
Happy Dots has purpose-built therapy clinics offering a welcoming, well-equipped, and safe environment in which children have the opportunity to work one-on-one with the therapist to achieve their goals. We also offer home & school visits as a part of our professional service.
Contact us today if you think we may be able to help your child thrive.