Early Childhood Intervention
This website is a place for families who are facing
challenges pertaining to their child's development and
It is a place to find answers and practical
suggestions. That's what Early Intervention Support is all
Whether a family has a child with a challenging behavior,
a disability or developmental issue, childhood is short - it
should be savored and enjoyed.
Ask a Therapist
We understand developmental milestones and the challenges
of Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time
with families understanding the inner workings of childhood
routines and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
Ask a Therapist
Techniques for Engaging Children in Play
We all know that children learn through play, but sometimes,
despite the back flips and cartwheels we try, kids just don't seem
terribly interested in our attempts at engaging them in play.
Before stepping up your efforts to even more outrageous antics, make sure
that all of your child's basic needs are met. As adults, if we are hungry or
tired, we're not usually in the mood to play either. Once your child seems
to be well rested, well fed, and has a clean diaper, here are some
strategies to attempt:
- Children at play like to try different things. Change the type of
play. If you'd been trying to engage in rough and tumble play, switch to
quiet activities like books, puzzles, or blocks. If quiet activities
aren't doing the trick, try motor games like airplane flying, climbing
on sofa cushions, or jumping jacks.
- When children play, it is good to engage in reciprocal interaction,
like rolling a ball back and forth or building a tower of blocks for
your child to then knock over.
- Deliberately establish eye contact and wait for reciprocation before
- Model the appropriate way to play with a particular toy while
commenting on your actions. ("I put the circle in the hole. In. Your
- Use hand-over-hand assistance to help your child use a toy
- Follow your child's lead and then build on what it shows interest
in. For example, if your child's only interested is in lining his/her
cars up, line them up with him/her, and then model pushing a car along a
- Eliminate distractions from the environment. Some children become
over-stimulated very easily. If there is a lot of noise or overly
stimulating activity happening in the environment, your child may not be
able to focus on the activity being presented.
- Start with just one or two simple items, and as your child is able
to tolerate those, gradually add more.
Your child's temperament plays a large role in how he or she responds to
Some kids will always prefer to sit back and watch rather than be in the
middle of the excitement. If you feel that your child is excessively passive
in his or her interactions, or doesn't seem to be motivated to interact with
you or presented toys, talk to your pediatrician about your concerns.
Participating with children at play can be one of the greatest joys of
Case-Smith, J., Allen, A.S., and Pratt, P. (1996).
Occupational Therapy for Children. St. Louis: Mosby-Year Book, Inc.
Furuno, S. (1994). Hawaii Early Learning Profile.
USA: VORT Corp.
Fine Motor Skills by Age Group
'Fine motor' refers to the development of small muscle movements of the
hands. Fine motor skills develop as your child's whole body gains mobility,
stability, cognitive, and emotional/social development. Fine motor skills
that come to mind are shoe tying, writing, and cutting paper with scissors.
Find Early Intervention
Support contacts in your State. If you have a question or comment for
us, please visit our Contact page.
Early Intervention Helps with Developmental Delay
For children with Special Needs, intervention in early childhood
development means finding specific ways to help a child become as functional
Learn more on our Parenting
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