Children’s early years are full of excitement and change, as they start developing and learning from the very moment they are born. This is just as true for children with developmental delays and disabilities as it is for their more typically developing peers.
Research shows that children’s early childhood experiences can profoundly influence how their brain will develop and how they will interact with the world around them. Early intervention and education builds on the natural learning occurring during the first few years of life. The supports and services provided through early intervention and preschool special education can help children make the powerful connections to improve their ability to learn and play. With the right system of support services during this time, children with disabilities enjoy an important head start for gaining critical school readiness skills needed to succeed in kindergarten and throughout their lives.
The ultimate goals of early intervention and preschool special education are to:
- Enable young children to be active and successful participants during the early childhood years and in the future in a variety of settings- in their homes with their families, in child care, preschool or school programs, and in the community; and
- Enable families to provide care for their child and have the resources they need to participate in their own desired family and community activities.