Early Intervention

What is Early Intervention?

Early intervention for Speech and Language therapy is the term used to describe the services provided to babies and young children under 3 years of age.

Why Should My Child Receive Early Intervention Services?

Research has shown that when a child with developmental delays or disabilities is provided with therapy and techniques at a young age, it increases the child’s ability to learn new skills, meet milestones and overcome challenges. At Granite Bay Speech, we believe in helping the child by meeting them at their level. We also strongly encourage the families to be involved in therapy to help with the carryover of skills at home.

Does My Child Need Early Intervention? 

Granite Bay Speech has created free, no-cost developmental milestone checklists to help you identify potential concerns early. Nancy Barcal, M.A. CCC-SLP developed the age milestone checklists at the request of a group of pediatricians in the bay area. The pediatricians noticed that they were not identifying developmental concerns early. Parents brought their child in to see the pediatrician when their child was not talkative and these parents were unsure what was typical development. They didn’t know what questions to ask their child’s pediatrician and when they did as, the answers typically sounded like “he’ll grow out of it” or “it’s because he/she is a boy/girl” or “it’s your firstborn/middle child/ youngest child”. These answers were not helpful and children missed their prime opportunities for learning. Additionally, when parents later discovered their child had learning disabilities, this resulted in increased guilt. The solution to all this has been the use of age developmental milestone checklists.

Listed below is a quick, confidential, and convenient test you may administer to your child at home. If, after completing the checklists you feel your child might not be on track to meet the milestones, please give us a call! Sometimes, all you need is guidance through a free phone call and other times you may need an office appointment so we can assess your child’s skills. After an assessment with Granite Bay Speech, you will know whether your child is meeting developmental milestones or can benefit from Speech-Language services we provide.

Resources

Download A Developmental Milestone Checklist

Related Blog Posts

What is Neural Plasticity and How Does it Relate to Early Intervention?

The development of the brain is a fascinating and essential aspect of child development. The science behind the brain provides parents and speech pathologists with valuable insight into why early intervention is so important for individuals with language and learning developmental delays. 

When a child is born, their brain isn’t fully developed. Neural plasticity is the process of developing and pruning connections, allowing the brain to adapt itself to its’ environment as it learns new things through a multitude of experiences.

As infants experience the world through seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling their environment, their brains are also being developed. During infancy and the first years of childhood, a child’s neural pathways begin to mature and advance as they learn. The earlier in a child’s development that we create that first correct learning experience, the stronger those behaviors and skills are secured in the brain and unused pathways are pruned away.

Intervention is best during early childhood when there are 50 percent more connections between neurons than exist in the adult brain. For children with all types of speech, language, and learning difficulties, this understanding of the brain’s plasticity is particularly relevant because it emphasizes why the correct type and intensity of early intervention is so critical. When we understand a child’s skill deficits and design a program that appropriately stimulates the neurons in the targeted weakened areas of the brain, we can exercise and strengthen those areas of the brain to develop speech, language, social skills etc.

It is essential not to wait if you think your child may have developmental delays. There are optimal times the brain is primed to learn a skill. These windows of time open and close during a child’s development and when windows close, this increases intensity needed to achieve results due to decreased brain plasticity.

Our daughter Elizabeth has been seen at Granite Bay Speech once a week for 7 months. At our first appointment I had no idea what to expect I just knew my almost 3 year old, was barely talking and words our daughter seemed to know one day disappeared from her speech after a few weeks. That first appointment I learned its words, words, words. Her therapist not only made talking exciting for Elizabeth but she gave me the tools I needed in order to help my daughter when we left our appointment each week. When you are new to all of this having another advocate for your child is like a lifeline. Elizabeth's therapist not only empowered Elizabeth, she empowered me to help my daughter find her voice. We still have a ways to go, but Elizabeth loves to talk now and although we don't understand everything she says, going from a silent child to one that wants to sing along to the radio is heaven to my ears and I have no doubt we owe our huge progress to Granite Bay Speech.

Becky and Casey

I am writing to let you know how grateful we are to Granite Bay Speech for the amazing services you provide! My son Owen has been a client for just over a year and the growth he’s made has been absolutely incredible! Owen began seeing a Granite Bay Speech therapist after being diagnosed with a speech/language delay, just prior to turning 3 years old. He could barely speak 20 words and refused to mimic or engage in age-appropriate conversation. Life was hard in so many ways because of the large communication gap he experienced. Now, a year after working weekly with his therapist, Owen has grown leaps and bounds in not just his speech/language but in his social skills as well. Granite Bay Speech has created a safe, fun and loving environment where Owen is challenged to make progress towards his speech goals each week. His therapist is encouraging, patient and an expert at tailoring each session to Owen’s specific needs and abilities. It is obvious that she is not only extremely knowledgeable but enjoys working with children as well. Owen can’t wait for his speech therapy session each week and in fact, I do believe he considers his therapist to be a part of our family! 😉 In addition to working with Owen, she has also provided my husband and I with countless tools and strategies to use at home in between sessions. I appreciate that together, client, parents and therapist, we have been able to work as a team towards the successes of my son. I couldn’t be happier with the services provided to us through Granite Bay Speech; they truly have been life-changing. I’d highly recommend anyone of the fabulous therapists at Granite Bay Speech. We are so thankful to be a client here!

Michelle Leatherman

My son has autism and we needed him to receive additional Speech Therapy services beyond what we could receive through the county and the school district. He started seeing Granite Bay Speech (age 2) with no expressive speech at all, but 12 months later he is now speaking. He is still 6-9 months behind his normal peer group, but he is continuing to make progress weekly. He is still reluctant to speak at times, but his receptive language skills have increased greatly. Granite Bay Speech also helped increase his comprehension skills.

We are very grateful to Granite Bay Speech for helping our son.

Bryan and Jennifer