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Early Intervention Services Help Children to Reach Their Full Potential

As a parent, naturally you wonder what you can do to give your child the best start. Research tells us that early education is highly beneficial, that we need to pay extra attention to those critical formative years ages 0-3.

If you have concerns about your child's speech, socialization or cognition, don't dismiss your observations. Healthy children develop at different paces, but if you believe something is "not quite right," find out more.

The first step is your pediatrician, who may recommend an evaluation. The evaluation is free, and a federal program covers early intervention services up to age three if children meet eligibility requirements. If not, there are still options, including outpatient services, which may be covered by your family's health insurance.

Why early intervention? Up to age five, kids' brains are growing at their fastest rate, learning all the time. If developmental delays or other conditions impair that learning ability, children can't capitalize on this rich learning experience. Working with trained therapists helps kids progress to their full potential.

Jennifer's first child Ryan wasn't making typical baby noises. At 15 months she and her pediatrician agreed that Ryan should be evaluated. He qualified for speech therapy, and came to The Early Learning Institute (teli), a leader in the field of early intervention services. There he met therapist Diane Wolfe, who is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist with over 30 years of experience.

As Jennifer tells it, the entire experience was wonderful. Ryan waited eagerly at the window when "Miss Dee" visited; sessions can be scheduled at home or other community-based locations. She brought games and toys, always something new and engaging. When Ryan struggled with "B" sounds, all the toys that day began with the letter B. At three, Ryan graduated, talking normally. Two years later, Jennifer can still call Diane if she has questions or worries.

If you are the parent of a developmentally delayed child, seek early intervention to help your child to achieve her full potential. Navigating the early intervention service world can be confusing, but you are not alone. Contact teli for information with no obligation. Don't give up. When you look at your child and wonder what kind of person she will become, know that the steps you take now can make all the difference.

For information about speech therapy and other resources, visit teli's website at www.telipa.org/speech-therapy-children/.

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