Early Intervention For The Young

Early Intervention For The Young
Many parents become concerned when they notice signs that their child is not keeping up with his/her peers. If your child is delayed in mastering his/her early developmental milestones, what can you do to help?

When we talk about normal development, we are talking about developing skills in five different areas:

  • Gross motor: using large groups of muscles to sit, stand, walk, run, etc., keeping balance, and changing positions.
  • Fine motor: using hands to be able to eat, draw, dress, play, write, and do many other things.
  • Language: speaking, using body language and gestures, communicating, and understanding what others say.
  • Cognitive: Thinking skills: including learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning, and remembering.
  • Social: Interacting with others, having relationships with family, friends, and teachers, cooperating, and responding to the feelings of others.

When we talk about developmental milestones, we are using a set of functional skills that most children can do at a certain age range. Your pediatrician uses milestones to help check how your child is developing. Although each milestone has an age level, the actual age when a normally developing child reaches that milestone can vary quite a bit. Every child is unique.

The language milestones for a developing child

Birth Cries
2-3 months Cries differently in different circumstances; coos in response to you
3-4 months Babbles randomly
5-6 months Babbles rhythmically
6-11 months Babbles in imitation of real speech, with expression
12 months Says 1-2 words; recognizes name; imitates familiar sounds; understands simple instructions
18 months Uses 5-20 words, including names
Between 1 and 2 years Says 2-word sentences; vocabulary is growing; waves goodbye; makes “sounds” of familiar animals; uses words (like “more”) to make wants known; understands “no”
Between 2 and 3 years Identifies body parts; calls self “me” instead of name; combines nouns and verbs; has a 450 word vocabulary; uses short sentences; matches 3-4 colors; knows big and little; likes to hear same story repeated; forms some plurals
Between 3 and 4 years Can tell a story; sentence length of 4-5 words; vocabulary of about 1000 words; knows last name, name of street, several nursery rhymes
Between 4 and 5 years Sentence length of 4-5 words; uses past tense; vocabulary of about 1500 words; identifies colors, shapes; asks many questions like “why?” and “who?”
Between 5 and 6 years Sentence length of 5-6 words; vocabulary of about 2000 words; can tell you what objects are made of; knows spatial relations (like “on top” and “far”); knows address; understands same and different; identifies a penny, nickel and dime; counts ten things; knows right and left hand; uses all types of sentences

The speech milestones for a developing child (according to Sander) are listed below:

Early Intervention For The Young

Figure 1. Average age estimates and upper age limits of customary consonant production. The solid bar corresponding to each sound starts at the median age of customary articulation; it stops at an age level at which 90 percent of all children are customarily producing the sound. (Based on Sander, 1972.)

Early Intervention For The Young
A child’s educational success is based on his/her communication skills, yet most schools assume that children have good listening and speaking skills. On these two skills, teachers intend to build reading, writing and arithmetic. Most children acquire all the skills necessary for communication during the first few years of life, naturally. However, one out of ten children struggle in the development of these basic skills.

Early Intervention For The Young
Numerous studies have shown that children who have speech, language, and learning disabilities have difficulty making a reliable distinction in auditory, visual and/or motor processing skills. Research shows that these children take a longer duration of the stimulus (100 to 500 milliseconds rather than 10’s of milliseconds) to discriminate the difference.

Is your child struggling with speech, language and/or learning skills?

Early Intervention For The Young
My Early Intervention Program is a combination of approaches that addresses the timing issues involved in the three primary gates for learning. It uses the eye gates, the ear gates and the motor gates of the child between the ages of three to six years of age. During this therapy, the child will be wearing headphones and receiving excellent stimulation of the ear gates. He/She will be listening to an auditory signal that is being presented at 54 beats per minute and listening to a guide signal that sounds like “a sweet sound.” The child will also be presented with language processing tasks that cover a wide variety of subjects.
Early Intervention For The Young
The child’s eye gates will be stimulated through bright attractive pictures that correspond with the language tasks being reviewed. The child’s motor gate will be stimulated as the child will be moved through five basic exercises that stimulate upper extremities, lower extremities and coming to midline within the ideal window of time preset by the Interactive Metronome program. The child’s motor gates will also be stimulated by having the child respond to various verbal exercises that stimulate improved auditory discrimination tasks and phonological processing tasks. Finally, with regards to the motor gate, the parent will receive specific guidelines about the proper motor patterning for writing letters and numbers using gross motor skills.

Ideally, my goal is for children to be successful at these various tasks by the time they are ready for kindergarten.
• group object and pictures into categories
• print own name
• recognize and name letters
• speak in complete sentences
• verbalize experiences, needs, and wants
• ask questions
• describe context of pictures
• retell a story
• enjoy rhymes and rhythms
• identify colors
• name common objects
• determine larger/smaller; longer/shorter; tall/short
• demonstrate positions: above, under, on, in, etc.
• know penny and nickel, dime, quarter, dollar
• recognize weather
• recognize animals and babies
• recognize a map, lake, mountain, river, ocean
• recognize different forms of transportation
• recognize roles of family members
• repeat clichés
• speak clearly

A child’s social success is also based on his/her communication skills. Most parents expect their child to have good listening and speaking skills. It is on these two skills that relationships grow. Most children acquire these skills naturally during the first few years of life. But, if your child is struggling in the development of these basic skills my Early Intervention Program might be helpful.

Please feel free to read two published case studies below, printed in Advance showing the effectiveness of my Early Intervention Program.

Case Study: “Early Intervention Program Utilizing Interactive Metronome”
Case Study: “Interactive Metronome: A Look Into An SLP’s Tool Box”