Updated: Jun 2, 2021
Early intervention can make a huge difference to a child’s educational and social future. With early screening we can determine if a child is going to need intervention within their early years. Decades of research have shown that children’s earliest experiences play a critical role in brain development. Early learning intervention services can improve a child’s health, language and communication, cognitive development, and social and emotional development.
With early screening we can determine if a child is going to need intervention during their early years. If they do need intervention, the earlier we can begin the more likely it is we can achieve a positive track for a child, and they can then develop into a successful learner who thrives in school. A child who struggles will often earn grades far below their actual capabilities. It has been found that students who get the therapy they need early (often before they start school) will remediate their deficits and learn the necessary skills to succeed. It is possible to bring a young student’s skills up to grade/age level so that they can thrive. Early intervention can produce successful learners.
According to the NECTAC, decades of research have shown that children’s earliest experiences play a critical role in brain development. They share Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child’s research summary, making the case for intervening early:
Neural circuits create the foundation for learning, behavior, and health.
They are most flexible or “plastic” during the first three years of life and then become increasingly difficult to change.
Positive early experiences—especially in the form of stable relationships with caring and responsive adults, safe and supportive environments, and nutrition—strengthen the brain.
Cognitive and language skills develop upon a foundation of early social and emotional development and physical health.
High-quality early intervention services positively alter a child’s developmental trajectory and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities.
Intervention is more likely to be effective and less costly when it is provided earlier in life.
When children with developmental delays or who are at risk for developmental delays receive early learning intervention services, their health, language and communication, cognitive development, and social and emotional development improve. The Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center explains: “In the most basic terms, a child’s brain is programmed to learn fundamental language skills during the first six years of life, the first three years being the most critical. After age six, it is increasingly difficult for the human brain to acquire language and speech skills.” Communication, through reading and speech, is an integral part of successful learning—so the earlier the intervention, the better the outcome.