The term ‘Early Intervention’ is used to refer to a wide range of different approaches and programmes which aim to foster and enhance development in very young children – usually children under the age of five.
At Spectrum Connection CIC, we are talking about developmental interventions which are respectful of each child’s individual needs and use their many strengths to support growth in areas where they have more difficulty.
Much research and both national and international government guidelines and reports over the last 10 years have strongly emphasised the crucial importance of early identification and intervention in general for young children with special educational needs including autism and other communication difficulties.
For example, the Bercow Review of services for Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (2008) reiterated the importance of early identification and intervention in order to avoid poor outcomes for children.
The Government Green Paper on Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (2010) highlights the struggle that families can too often face to get the right support for their child and themselves. It states ‘Through effective early identification and intervention – working with parents and families – we can reduce the impact that SEN or disability may have in the long-run, and enable more young people to lead successful and independent adult lives.’
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism has been established since 2000. They see one of their objectives achievable by 2013 as: Early Intervention – All children receiving a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder will be offered a prompt and appropriate early intervention programme based on best available evidence.
Early intervention for children with autism is widely perceived as the key to reducing some difficulties, and enhancing children’s outcomes. (Fletcher-Campbell, 2003).
Howlin et.al. conclude that interventions which focus on communication and joint social interaction can have a significant and positive impact on children’s functioning. There is much research evidence supporting the use of PACT on children’s longer-term outcomes.
Spectrum Connection CIC strives to review and reflect upon our own practices and to incorporate recent research findings and guidelines of effective practice so that we can offer our children and families the highest quality service that may have the most impact.