He looked at me with those big round eyes with half-opened mouth. I could see his glistening saliva ready to drip. His classmates were busy writing while he was very still holding a pencil. He leaned and told me in a whisper, "Teacher, I don't know".
After testing his imitation skill in making different lines and shapes, I understood what he said. He was 4 years old. I believed he was transferred to our school not because of his writing inability. In a month, other traits of delayed motor and developmental learning were apparent. I spoke to the parents to have him evaluated but it took them a year to fully realize that their son needed help. The remark I received was, "Wait and see teacher, he will grow up". I wish he were in my class before.
How early is early intervention for children with learning developmental delay, children with specific learning needs or children with special needs? Experts say, it is very crucial while the child is still of a young age. The purpose of early intervention is to identify children with special needs, in order to provide them the support and services they need. These needs are physical growth, social, emotional, and intellectual development.
The benefits of early intervention are well researched and documented. Addressing the special needs of a child while young (2yrs-6yrs old), the child and the family will greatly benefit meaningful experiences. Evidences show that early intervention increases the developmental, educational and social rewards. Moreover, the medical field greatly supports early intervention too.
Plasticity or the ability of the brain to compensate what's missing or lacking is very high when the brain is still young. Experts on brain plasticity propose that any child with disability has a very good chance to develop strengths and abilities. The brain is rapidly developing this time. Any means of intervention will help the brain create new pathways to augment what failed to develop. Any developmental milestones that are not being met should make the parents, family or teachers concerned.
Early intervention benefits become slow as the child is growing and aging. As a result, children develop secondary problems and most of all; they grow with low self- esteem, unmotivated, and insecure. Thus, it is never too late to address any child's developmental delays. "A stitch in time saves nine, "is a good reminder. Early childhood intervention is central to effective collaboration on efforts by school, teachers, and the child's family.
Meanwhile, he laboriously finished a page with great focus. The glistening saliva on the side of his mouth is ready to drip. He said, "Teacher, I'm finished". I could see, he could write the number word of 1. He could count the objects and circle the correct number of 1-6 independently.
He gave me his book and happily walked away to play. I was still gazing at his awkward gait when he looked back and smiled. I smiled back and I was grateful he was in my class.