Early Intervention for Communication Development

Updated on June 24, 2011
T.D. asks from Woodland, CA
12 answers

I just learned that my 2 yo DS is behind in communication development - does anyone have any experience with early intervention services? I feel like I'm in a whole new realm of the unknown.
Any guidance/direction would be MOST helpful.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

In California - ALTA Regional Center of CA is the place to start. I've been down the rabbit hole that is Early Intervention information on Google and all signs point here. We are taking the first steps and we are in VERY good hands according to the people I've talked to, including Joan H from below. It's good to know at least some of my tax dollars are being well used for my fellow moms and their precious children and they may even come back to serve my family well.
THANK YOU!

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J.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Funny to see this question today as we had dinner tonight with the speech therapist my son started with age 2, he is almost 10 now. He had 2 years of Early Intervention then continued speech therapy both privately and through his school until last year. The whole process was very helpful and highly educational. For him and for me. Get involved, ask questions. It can only do you all good!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

My son,via that program in our State, had speech therapy. Because he was delayed in speech. It is free. They come to your home. They do an initial overall developmental assessment on the child.
Per that assessment, they then see what areas, if any, need to be worked on.
It is voluntary. You can or do not have to, participate.

My son was just speech delayed. Nothing else. He was also found to be advanced in many areas, for his age.

He had speech therapy from 19 months old until almost 3 years old. The program is only up until 3 years old.

It was a great service. My son, LOVED it and his Speech Therapist. I loved it too. They are very good.
My son KNEW it was to help his speech. He was proud of every progress he made. It was very positive for him and I.

I simply called them myself. I did not have to be referred by a Pediatrician.

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B.C.

answers from Joplin on

We had Early Intervention for our youngest, it started when the Parents As Teachers noticed some "delays" they brought in First Steps...it ended up being totally free for us, because it was income based. My son ended up having a years worth of therapy, they came to the house, we had multiple therapists because each therapist addressed different areas. We only ever had one bad incident and we made a simple phone call and that therapist never was back to our home and was replaced by someone we fell in love with. Some of the therapy was hard work for both my son and for myself but other parts were more like fun one on one preschool for our son. I never felt like it was an imposition, I was so happy and thankful for the input and guidance I was given.
I see early intervention as being so so important, and there is no stigma attached at all, many children go on to not need any further services after the early intervention. In our case we do but our case is a bit different, due to the fact that our youngest is on the Autism Spectrum.
Best advice I can give anyone going through this, is ask questions, follow through when they make suggestions, if something feels wrong speak up...good luck!!!

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L.P.

answers from Pittsfield on

Only good experiences! My DD stopped her speech therapy in Dec. because she would soon be turning 3. She still asks sometimes if Rhonda can come to play.
She also had PT for a couple of months to work on her core muscles- she was great too.

2 moms found this helpful

K.M.

answers from Chicago on

Loved ECI, be prepared to answer TONS of questions each time they visit and try everything they suggest and give honest feedback. If it is something you KNOW you will not do for whatever reason thell them at that moment, do not leave them hanging thinking you will try it. Ask if they have any play groups that they support and meet those moms, and find out if you can have access to a family therepist/social worker to talk some of this stuff out with it really helps. My son had a developmental, speech, occupational and I got the family therepist for 6 months and it was GREATNESS!!! Take notes during the week about your son, write down moments (good or bad) to discuss and be honest with yourself, your son and them.

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K.S.

answers from Mansfield on

Best thing I ever did for my son when he was 2 yrs old was get him involved with Early Intervention through The Help Me Grow program in my state. They sent him to a class room with other little kids his age that had speech problems and gave him one on one speech therapy once a week. After the age of three Help Me Grow even helped me find a preschool in my town that would help even more with his speech delays.

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J.H.

answers from Sacramento on

We live in Northern California just east of Sacramento, and my son received early intervention services for speech and motor development. He was quickly exited from the motor development program, but continued with speech until just recently (5 1/2 yo). This is what we did--1) an assessment through Alta Services qualified him. 2) he first received private speech and in home motor development assistance, 3) then the local office of education directed us to a group therapy program, 4) when he turned 3 he became the local school district's responsibility, wherein they promptly exited him from their speech program as he was not delayed enough in their opinion, so a rep from the local office of education referred me to the California/Hawaii Elks program (I can get you the exact name of the program if you don't qualify through another program), and a private speech therapist came to our home once a week from the time he was exited until last month when he "graduated" from her program. The speech therapist from the Elks was #1 FREE and #2 by far the best therapist he had received assistance from. Good luck, and be your child's advocate.

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K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Our 6 yr old son started speech at 2 & is now 6. He still receives speech thereapy & will continue on in K for articulation, specifically of blended consonants. But outside of that, people cannot tell he has a speech delay. One thing that helped him tremendously is we started him in preschool earlier than planned so that he spent 4 hours a day around other kids who were talking. Influenced him a lot & his speech improved greatly. So, my suggestion is to go w/the early intervention but also enroll him in some classes or a play program around other talking kids. Good luck!

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V.C.

answers from Dallas on

I used to be an early intervention specialist and highly recommend the services. You should be able to find a program that offers either center-based or home-based services. You will get lots of support, not just speech therapy.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.P.

answers from San Francisco on

My son had speech & language delay. We took him to his ped. and she told us to go to our local school district. I contacted them and basically what you need to do is request to have him evaluated in writing and then its a process from there. They'll start speech therapy from there and may lead to a prek program for children whom have speech issues. My son did 2 yrs in the prek program thru the school district & he did remarkably well. contact your school district right away so you can get it started. It's no cost to you thru the school but you can also check out hiring a private speech therapist. I hired one til I was able to get into the program. If youre interested her email is [email protected]____.com , her name is kristen. Good luck and dont worry, it'll all work out.

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T.H.

answers from Chico on

A great deal depends on where you live. In Northern California we have the Far Northern Regional Center which provides early intervention services. The type of service I am familiar with involves a trained person coming to your home one or two times per week for about an hour and playing games with your child. Not just any game, but games which target specific communication behaviors. There are many precursors to speech and language development, such as cause-effect comprehension that can be supported by play. For your area, what I recommend is looking up a local Speech Therapist-one in private practice perhaps, and see if he or she can point you in the right direction. They should be aware of agencies in your area. Early intervention lasts until three, and then at age three it is a good idea to look at a preschool that specializes in developmental practices. Good luck!

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E.P.

answers from San Francisco on

My younger son was diagnosed with speech and gross motor delays at 12 months. We had him evaluated at two places just to be sure -- the local state organization (Golden Gate Regional Center in San Mateo) and through our medical group (Lucille Packard Childrens Hospital in Palo Alto). They both confirmed the same thing. I'm sure there are similar services in your area. The great thing about the state org is that you can qualify for free services until the child is 3, and then the school district should cover it. For us, getting an appt for an evaluation took about 2 months and then another month to secure an Early Interventionist. We chose that route as they are more of a generalist and could cover both motor and speech since our son's challenges were not severe. The state agency will cover the Early Interventionist but will see if your insurance will cover speech therapy.
Now our son is almost 2 and thriving with his language. It's been a great partnership between the teachers at his day care/school, the early interventionist and us to collaborate to support his development. He still has plenty we are working on but the words are starting to come and he's so excited to be understood.
Good luck!

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