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
Preventing Delays in a Newborn
Most parents have the best intentions when they bring home a
new baby and obviously every family has a unique home situation.
First time parents may hold their baby all the time. Some
families are on the go, so the baby has frequent rides in the
car seat. Some parents may keep their baby in a bouncy
seat, a hammock seat or a car seat to keep them safe from being
trampled on by siblings. Possibly, this is the only way the baby
will sleep due to reflux or colic. It is important to remember
that these practices, although sometimes necessary, need to be
monitored closely. Typically developing babies may develop
delays due to too much time in any of these positions. I
personally know as a mother of 2 young children it can be an
easy cycle to get wrapped up in. Babies are missing out on the
opportunity to move at very critical times in their development.
In my opinion there are two critical mistakes that even the most
well intentioned and loving families can make in the early weeks
of their new baby's life:
Lack of tummy time: Even in the first days of life, lack of time on
baby's tummy may effect overall development. A lot of first time parents are
afraid of this position for a few reasons. First, according to the "Back to
Sleep Campaign." you are told to place your baby to sleep on his back to
reduce the incidence of SIDS. This should not be ignored, however, during
the day you can certainly supervise your baby for increasing periods of time
on his belly. You can lie on your back or reclined with your baby on your
chest facing you, or place a small towel roll under the baby's chest to help
him lift his head off the ground. Typically developing babies have the
ability to turn their head side to side to ensure breathing in this
position. This helps them to develop neck strength against gravity in order
to lift and turn their heads. It also provides the opportunity to develop
upper body strength for rolling and crawling. Missing those first few weeks
of tummy time may leave you with a baby that is very uncomfortable and fussy
on his belly. New recommendations suggest that parents place their
baby on his belly for at least 15 minutes two times a day while supervised.
Holding or Restricting an Infant
Holding baby too much or keeping them restricted in an infant seat or
bouncer: Especially second time moms know that it may be necessary to place
your baby in a car seat for errands with the other kids, or even for their
protection. Placing a baby in a restricted position for long periods
of time can cause a number of developmental delays. Torticollis, which is a
shortening of one side of the neck muscles can occur as a baby sits in a
restricted position. The baby does not get the opportunity to move and
turn his head therefore, tightness and weakness of neck muscles can develop.
Also, one sided visual and motor neglect can occur when the baby's head
stays toward one side for long periods in a car seat, or bouncer.
Eventually, flattening of the baby's head in specific areas can occur in
which some cases the use of a pressure helmet is needed to even out the
baby's head shape.
Safety and Development
All in all babies need to be safe. Parents sometimes need to do what they
need to do to get sleep, however, it is important to make sure that babies
get bouts of supervised floor time on their stomachs throughout the day. If
you have concerns that your baby is uncomfortable on his belly, or is not
paying attention to both sides equally, either visually or not turning his
head from side to side, talk to your pediatrician right away. The
doctor should be able to assist you in finding an Early Intervention
Physical Therapist from ACHIEVA . The earlier you intervene the better the
outcome. A PT can give you positional instructions and activity suggestions
to use while playing with your baby at home.
By Tara Reighard, PT
Techniques for Building Positive Habits
Parenting Tips in Other Areas Include
Learn More About Early Intervention
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with childhood developmental
delays and behaviors. These include in-home services, outpatient (you take
your child to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy Options
area to learn more.
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