Is Early Intervention Therapy Enough?

Updated on April 07, 2010
B.P. asks from Schooleys Mountain, NJ
6 answers

Hi Moms,

My just turned 2 year old son was evaluated by EI last week and qualifies for therepy. His major issue is a speech delay and they see a delay with his cognitive perception. He does have some behaviors that are concerning and we are taking him to a nuerologist to address possibly having an ASD. EI said that a diagnosis is not important to them and they will give him therapy based on his needs. We are going to have a goals meeting with them on the 19th and then they will determine how much therapy to give him. My question is, should we be getting therapy beyond this? I want to address the issues he has right away because the younger the child is, the better the results. What were your experiences...advice?

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Detroit on

My son was in EI starting at about 2 1/2 years old and he did qualify for therapy. At first the therapists would come to our home because he was not old enough for a head start program or to attend public school. Around 3 years old it was determined he was ASD. It was about at that time when he started public school and was placed in an ASD classroom at our choice.
His services are Speech therapy, music therapy, OT, and he also was assigned a social worker. He recieves these services at school where he goes 4 days a week in an all day program.
In the beginning I did take my son to an outside Speech therapist but most only had 1/2 hour sessions. It was very difficult being a working mom and most therapies going on early in the day during work hours. Plus, I did not feel that she was helping him. I felt I was doing a better job because I knew him and I was more familiar with how he learned or processed things (if that makes any sense)
I would spend hours on the internet searching for books that would help me to help my son with speech. I also networked with lots of moms who were working with their children. Some of them are just as knowlegeble at a speech therapist when it comes to working with their child.
I learned alot and did a pretty good job in my opinion. Today he is 5 years old and has come along way. I don't see any difference in his behavior than the average 5 year old. He is now extremely verbal.
I really credit lots of this to his school and the fact that his issues were addressed at an early age. I've also met parents whose children were in EI and they are now in a typical "mainstreamed" classroom.
Good Luck, I know your son will be just fine. He is already on the right track.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Things you should consider when meeting with EI to set goals and determine the kind of services your child should receive are:

Speech therapy for speech delay (obviously);

Play or floortime therapy for social and cognitive skills (learning concepts like up/down, colors, numbers, etc., through play);

Occupational therapy for fine and gross motor delays if any (common for kids with ASD) and help learn self-help skills, pointing, coloring, balance and coordination, and all that;

A hearing test to see if possible problems with hearing may be cause for delays.

If you son does ended up being diagnosed on the autism spectrum (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that he won't), ABA therapy would be very beneficial and necessary. I credit it for my son's success but it helps that we had a very good program set up and my son's therapists really care about him and see him as the kid that he is and not just his diagnosis. ABA without a good format and without the right therapists can be a nightmare. It should always be fun and positive.

Not all Early Intervention Services across the country operate the same so don't assume that they will tell you what's available or appropriate or right for your child. It's up to you to educate yourself and speak up for your son if you don't feel that you are being provided access to the services that he needs. Hopefully you won't have this issue.

That's all I can think about right now to tell you. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail.

Wishing all the best for you and your son.


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answers from Los Angeles on

From what I've heard, EI really errs on the side of caution. They rather put more resources in now, when they are more effective then to do the minimal and pile on the resources later. But, make sure you put together a complete list of things you'd like to see worked on so that everything is included when you have your meeting!

Good luck!

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answers from Indianapolis on

I think you need to see what they have in mind, how it works for the first month or so and then make a decision on what you see from your son and the way things are handled.
You might ask the neurologist you are going to see as well, but I think you should wait and see how things go before you decide to step him up. To much to fast might not be good for him either.
Good luck.

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answers from Seattle on

My child was in EI from a year til he turned 3. He got OT and ST services through them. It worked nicely and he did make some progress but in my son's case he is still nonverbal however does use PECS and minimal gestures to communicate(no signing). Every child is different and you never know what could happen. Oh be sure to stress exactly what your son can or cannot do even things that may seem unrelated to speech are definitely important as oral motor skills are one of the primary skills needed for speech. I find it's easier to remember everything by making lists of what your child can do/cannot do and any questions or goals you have or want your child to focus on. Best of luck to you.

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