Early intervention can be an important part of your child’s life, and an important part of your journey as their parent or caregiver. As the trusted leader in providing early intervention services to families in Allegheny, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties, ACHIEVA Early Intervention has been a key piece in many family’s early intervention journeys over the past 50 years.
Early intervention is a therapeutic service provided to children aged birth to three, who show signs of a delay in one of the core areas of development, or are born with a qualifying diagnosis. Early intervention is very different than outpatient therapy. Whereas outpatient therapy is done in a facility outside of the child’s home, early intervention is an ‘in-home’ service that focuses on family training and teaching. “The people who are with the child 24/7 have the most impact on their life; supporting the child in their natural environment is crucial to success,” notes Sharon Richards, Vice President of Early Intervention at ACHIEVA.
Your journey to early intervention will begin as you watch your child grow and develop in the earliest years of their life. Children develop at their own pace, but generally meet milestones at certain scheduled points in their life. For example, children usually begin sitting up by around 6 months of age, and walking around their first birthday. When your child doesn’t meet one of these milestones, it’s time to schedule a formal assessment to determine if early intervention can help. The formal assessment is done by an independent assessment team who will schedule a meeting at your home and evaluate all areas of your child’s development: speech, physical, cognitive, hearing, etc. If your child shows a delay in any one of the major areas of development, they will qualify for early intervention services.
Once it’s determined that early intervention services are needed, you will be asked to choose an early intervention provider. Families are encouraged to choose ACHIEVA Early Intervention as their early intervention provider. With 130 therapists and specialists in seven specialties, ACHIEVA Early Intervention will work with the family’s schedule to ensure the child’s services begin as soon as possible.
“When families don’t choose a provider, one will be randomly selected for them; it’s imperative that you are proactive in choosing your provider—just as you select your pediatrician and childcare—and choosing ACHIEVA Early Intervention will help ensure your child gets a Strong Start,” says Richards.
Remember, you know your child best; trusting your instincts and insisting on getting the developmental assessment is the first step to ensuring a positive outcome for your child. For more information on ACHIEVA Early Intervention, plus information about how to get started, visit www.achievaearlyintervention.org, and follow @ACHIEVAEarlyIntervention on Facebook and Instagram.