What is Early Intervention?
Early Intervention works with families with children from birth to age three who have developmental delays or disabilities so that they have the best possible start in life. Early Intervention professionals work with you and your child to identify strengths and needs and address concerns as early as possible with services right where you live, play, and spend your day. These services are mandated by a federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The law requires that states provide early intervention services for all children who qualify, with the goal of enhancing the development of infants and toddlers and helping families understand and meet the needs of their children. The most common early intervention services for babies with Down syndrome are physical therapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.
Speech therapy will focus on your child's oral-motor development and communication skills. Speech-language pathologists (SLP) help children with Down syndrome learn to communicate with others, whether that be through using sign language, speaking, or through alternative communication devices. SLPs can also help children with Down syndrome who may be experiencing feeding or swallowing difficulties.
One struggle children with Down syndrome often face is low muscle tone, which can lead to some delays in the child's gross motor skills, such as walking. Physical therapy is meant to address those gross motor delays and improve movement skills. Physical therapists will often provide families with equipment and exercises to be performed at home to encourage muscle strength and counteract the effects of low muscle tone.
Occupational therapy is designed to help children with Down syndrome learn and practice daily living skills. Occupational therapists will work on exercises and activities that strengthen your child's fine motor skills all while helping adapt the environment or tools so your child can more easily perform daily tasks.
Early Intervention by County
Allen County- Allen County Board of DD
Crawford County - Crawford County Board of DD
Defiance County - Defiance County Board of DD
Fulton County - Fulton County Board of DD
Hancock County - Blanchard Valley Center
Hardin County - Hardin County Board of DD
Henry County - Hope Services
Lucas County - Lucas County Board of DD
Ottawa County - Ottawa County Board of DD
Paulding County - Paulding County Board of DD
Putnam County - Putnam County Board of DD
Sandusky County - Sandusky County Board of DD
Seneca County - Seneca County Opportunity Center
Williams County - Williams County Board of DD
Wood County - Wood County Board of DD
Van Wert County - Van Wert County Board of DD
There are also private providers that can provide early intervention services and therapies.