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Early Intervention

For infants and toddlers with developmental delays and impairments, our Early Intervention program offers individual and group treatment services focusing on development in five areas: communication skills, fine and gross motor skills, cognition, socialization, and self-help skills.

Experts acknowledge that early intervention minimizes social and academic problems and increases self-esteem as children age.  Our Early Intervention program is for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and impairments.  Therapeutic early intervention services are available in both individual and group settings and feature a parent training component.

Areas Addressed in Early Intervention

Communication: Includes both using words (expressive language) and understanding words (receptive language).

Fine and Gross Motor: Includes using the small muscles of the hands for daily tasks as well as using the large muscles of the arms and legs for walking, kicking, and throwing.

Cognition: Addresses the underlying way children process information, laying a foundation for future academic ability.

Social Interaction: Attends to the peer to peer interactions and the peer to adult interactions of young children.

Self-Help (Adaptive): Looks at skills laying the foundation to independently take care of activities of daily living (i.e. feeding, dressing, toileting).

Types of Services

Early Intervention sessions at CSLOT are available as individual sessions or group sessions.   Based on the child’s assessment results, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is written and appropriate services are determined.  Those services may be provided as individual sessions, group sessions, or a combination of the two services.

Individual Services
Individual Speech Therapy

Children with significant speech and language impairment may qualify for individual speech and language therapy.  In speech therapy, a speech-language pathologist works one-on-one with the child and the child’s family.  Goals are targeted to the specific needs of the child and all activities are shaped toward achieving them.  Parent/caregiver training is a critical component of individual speech therapy sessions.

Individual Occupational Therapy

Children with significant motor impairment may qualify for individual occupational therapy.  In occupational therapy, an occupational therapist works one-on-one with the child and the child’s family.  Goals are targeted to the specific needs of the child and all activities are shaped around achieving them.  Parent/caregiver training is a critical component of individual occupational therapy sessions.

Home-Based Individual Early Intervention Therapy

Children who have significant impairment in two or more developmental areas may qualify to receive home-based individual early intervention therapy, funded by California’s Regional Centers.  In home-based early intervention therapy, an early interventionist works one-on-one with the child and the child’s family in the child’s home or other community-based location, such as a park or a restaurant.  The early interventionist works under the direction of a speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist.  Goals are targeted to the specific needs of the child and all activities are shaped toward achieving them.  Parent/caregiver training is a critical component of services.  Therefore, parents are required to be present at home and encouraged to participate in sessions.

Group Services
Yikes Tikes! Inclusive Preschool

Children who have significant impairment in two or more developmental areas may qualify to receive group early intervention therapy, funded by California’s Regional Centers.  Our group early intervention therapy is housed within Yikes Tikes!, CSLOT’s parent co-operative inclusive preschool, whose primary goal is to increase listening skills and self-expression and to enhance self-confidence by teaching children to think for themselves and make choices.  Children from the community attending Yikes Tikes! provide typical peer models.

Services in this program are provided by a team of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and early childhood educators.  Children receiving group therapy in Yikes Tikes! are typically between 18 months and 36 months of age.  Class sizes range from six to eight children with a 2:1 child to adult ratio.  Parent/caregiver training is a critical component of group services in Yikes Tikes! and parents are encouraged to participate in sessions.

Intensive Services
Behavior Therapy

CSLOT offers ABA and draws from other methodologies, such as Pivotal Response Therapy, the SCERTS Model, and DIR (Developmental Individual-difference Relationship-based model). Treatment occurs in individual and/or group sessions in the clinic and at home. Group therapy services are provided through Yikes Tikes! Inclusive Preschool where children may receive up to 9 hours of group therapy/week alongside typically developing children.

All children receive individual treatment, the intensity and frequency of which is decided by the Board Certified Behavior Analyst, who performs an evaluation and sets recommended goals.  While in group treatment, the child is supported by her individual behavior technician, who also administers individual treatment. Thus, children receive ABA in individual sessions and then practice their newly learned skills and behaviors in a group context as well as in their homes. Families learn the methods used in therapy, and receive the support they need to help their child achieve emotional regulation and communicate effectively.

How Do We Know Our Treatment Works?

Objective measures of progress can be seen from pre- and post-treatment test scores collected for each of the children in our Early Intervention program.  We share each child’s test results with parents so they can be assured of progress.  When we review and analyze the data from all children in our Early Intervention program, we can see the efficacy of the program.  Expressive communication is the area where we have made our greatest gains. On average, children in the program realize 1.8 months of developmental gain in expressive language per month, nearly twice the developmental gain that their typical peers make in a month’s time.

Why is Early Intervention important?

Of children who exhibit use of fewer than 50 words at age 2 years:
  • 83% persist in having a language delay at age 3 years.
Of children who remain delayed at age 3 years:
  • 41% remain delayed in expressive language
  • 55% show receptive deficits (language understanding) as well
  • 73% score below age level in socialization skills
  • 93% fall below the 50th percentile in speech sound production
  • 56% fall below the 10th percentile in speech sound production
These findings suggest the following predictions about toddlers with small expressive vocabularies:
  1. They are at substantial risk for continued delay in language development
  2. They are at high risk for delays in speech sound proficiency
  3. They have a high probability of showing social immaturity
  4. They may have subtle nonverbal cognitive deficits
  5. They may have academic difficulties later in life
These findings have important clinical implications both for assessment and treatment of “late-talking” toddlers:
  1. Children at 24-30 months who produce fewer than 50 words should be seen for further evaluation of language function. Typically, by 24 months, children should have a vocabulary of at least 250 words may have a slightly different pattern of language development.
  2. When parents are advised by their pediatrician to “wait and see,” 75% of children with communication difficulties go undetected until the age of 5, when they enter kindergarten. Because a majority of these children will not resolve these delays on their own, intervention is often justified.
  3. Deficits in socialization very frequently accompany language delay. Therefore, approaches that focus on using language to attain social goals are an extremely important part of intervention.
  4. Because speech sound errors may coexist with language delays in these children, articulation development should be included in the therapeutic plan. Recommended practice is to work with the parents to support them working with their child.

If your child is under the age of 3, and showing delays in his or her development, s/he may be eligible for CSLOT’s services through the Regional Center system.  Early Intervention services may also be provided by your insurance provider.  Contact us today so that we may help you get started in this process.