What are the benefits of an early intervention program for children with developmental delays?
– By Tony Russo, BCBA
“Early Intervention” describes the services that are available to very young children with developmental delays. These supports may include ABA therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy (amongst others), and are based on the specific needs of the child.

Early Intervention is essential for children 5yrs and under who are diagnosed with, or are at risk for, ASD, ADHD, or other developmental delays/disabilities. However, the most impactful outcomes are associated with children starting comprehensive, quality treatment programs at a very young age.

Although progress looks different for every child, parents may see their non-vocal child develop functional language, improve their independent play skills, engage in a more meaningful manner with peers, and experience a reduction in problem behavior during their ABA treatment sessions. While success is based on a variety of factors, parent involvement, individualized strategies, and child-lead programming can exponentially increase the probability of positive outcomes.

Early Intervention can reduce the likelihood that a toddler with developmental delays may eventually be diagnosed with ASD, while also improving the quality of life for a child already living with ASD. In addition, a supportive and compassionate treatment plan empowers families to navigate life more successfully after their child receives a diagnosis of ASD.

Early Intervention can have a significantly positive impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills and overcome challenges at home; it can also greatly increase opportunities for successful interactions at school and/or with peers. The science-backed activities children participate in during ABA sessions are an investment in the child’s life that will continue to compound over time. The earlier a child who shows signs of any delay can start an early intervention program, the greater the benefit that child is likely to enjoy.

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