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Early Childhood Intervention

Mission Statement

 
The Early Intervention Service aims to provide a family centred and comprehensive support system for children with developmental disabilities or delays in the first five years (0-5) of life. The principle is to minimize the delays and maximize the chances of reaching typical milestones in development. It also supports and implements screening procedures to increase the early identification of difficulties and provide the family support as early as possible to families.
Service Objectives 
  • To enhance the development of children at risk of Individual Educational Needs including early literacy, language development and communication, motor skills development, self awareness, social and emotional development.
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  • To ensure early identification and multi disciplinary assessment procedures
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  • To plan family centred intervention through Individual Educational Plans (IEPs), Individual Family support plans (IFSPs) and support in transitions between home, preschool, and primary education.
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  • To promote social inclusion of the child together with the family and their engagement in community based systems as part of the commitment in supporting their children. This involves increasing awareness and building trust between families and service providers. Families will be guided through provision of material on how to navigate existing services and systems as well as supporting them to provide a safe environment for the children.
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  • To facilitate collaborative communities of families supporting each other. This will include facilitating play groups, training workshops, support helpline, as well as link families to the resources in the community.
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  • To advance Professional Development. This especially applies to practitioners to develop skills, knowledge and credentials to support early care and education.
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  • To enhance learning environments for children by providing on site support for early childhood settings e.g. kindergartens in order to create inclusive learning environments especially with children who have developmental needs. This can include effective space use to meet needs related to mobility, development of play and inclusive teaching.
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  • To deliver and co-ordinate integrated services that meet the holistic needs of children and family.
​Eligibility to service

Open referral system i.e. parents, carers, educators and professionals can refer to Early Intervention Service.

Children aged 0-5 years who are in homes, child care centres, nurseries, kindergarten 1 and 2 and may show/ have:
    1. Developmental delay in one or more areas of development e.g. cognitive, motor, communication, social emotional and self help skills.
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    3. A typical development who demonstrate patterns of development which are different from their peers e.g. Autism, Specific Language Impairment.
    4.  
    5. ​Medically diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay e.g. spina bifida.

Services offered 

  • Assessment and Intervention in the child’s natural environment e.g. home or school. The programme, ‘Early Beginnings’ focuses on four main areas of development including Physical development – Gross and Fine motor; Communication, Language and Literacy; Personal, Social and Emotional; Cognitive and Numeracy.
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  • The Early Intervention team helps parents and educators in the planning and application of an educational programme tailored to the child’s needs.
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  • Support groups and workshops for parents supporting children with various needs
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  • Group therapy in different areas involving both children and parents/carers
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  • Support of Early Intervention Team in IEPs and transitions
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  • Whole school approach targeting a school inclusion programme
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  • Support and training provision to early years educators as continuous professional development
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  • Screening assessment
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  • Attendance in case conferences of children undergoing assessment at the CDAU and providing an educational report

Procedures

A referral form needs to be filled in to apply for the Early Intervention Service. Children undergoing assessment at the CDAU are also assigned an Early Intervention team member on parent approval.
 
Once a referral form has been filled in, a family Interview is carried out to establish rapport with the family, provide information on early intervention services available, gather developmental information through assessments, obtain consent from parents as well as inform parents on the conditions of the service.

A member of the early intervention team will contact the family by telephone or in person to plan the meeting time and place which is convenient for the family. This applies for both home visits and school visits. In case of school visits the first meeting needs to take place with the parent/s or carer/s to establish the initial contact with family members.

CONTACT INFORMATION​
Spec. Education/Resource Centres
Triq Fra Gaetano Pace Forno
Il-Ħamrun 
HMR 1100
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