Importance Of Early Intervention In Developmental Delay
An Interview with Dr. VibhaKrishnamurthy,Developmental Paediatrician by Dr. Sonal R. Hattangdi-Haridas
It is a situation that most parents prefer not to think about .Happy proud new parents elated at the birth of their little baby a few months before begin to notice lapses in the child’s development. Their baby does not seem to keep up with other children the same age in their physical development or in speech and language development or both. The first thing they usually do is talk about their worries to a trusted relative or friend. The most common answer from this well- meaning person is, “Just wait and he’ll catch up with the others – you worry too much!” Though there is a nagging doubt in the parents mind that the child may require help, the first few lay assurances postpone any affirmative action by the parents by 6 months to a few years. This is precious time lost. Dr. Vibha Krishnamurthy is a Paediatrician who works with children with developmental disorders. She has done a Fellowship following her paediatric training in developmental paediatrics from Boston Children’s Hospital, USA and is currently a consultant Paediatrician at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai. Here she provides powerful insight about the correct and most efficient course of action:
Q. What are the first steps that we need to take to identify children with developmental delay?
A. The first step is to Identify ‘High Risk Infants’ for hearing impairment and developmental delay. These High Risk Infants i.e. those children that are more likely to develop hearing loss or developmental delay should be routinely monitored and early intervention begun. The child can then be initiated into an appropriate early intervention program, including help such as physiotherapy, speech therapy will help the child cope with and overcome the difficulty he/she faces.
Q. What is the importance of Early Intervention Programs? Can’t we wait for the child to grow older , what’s the hurry?
A. It is never too early. When a problem is identified and the children are put into an early intervention program the faster the child’s improvement. In a study in the U.S.A babies with hearing impairment that were identified before 6 months of age fitted with a hearing aid and given speech therapy showed more significant improvement and were closer to their peer group in terms of development and skills much earlier than the babies with hearing loss that were given help after the age of 6 months .
. Q. When should the parents worry about the child’s development?
A. Parents and primary care givers are always the first persons to notice that something is wrong. Act on this doubt . Go to the concerned well-informed professional . Get your doubts clarified by the appropriate professional with substantial informative answers. Have the child evaluated.
Q. Would you like to give a message to parents who are worried about the development of their child.
A. Get your doubts about the child’s development clarified. At the most a little time and a little money are lost . You will be reassured that the child does not have developmental difficulties or hearing impairment and that there is no cause for concern. If the child does need help he/she will benefit tremendously due to your timely measures.
Dr Vibha Krishnamoorthy is Founder and Director of Ummeed, in Mumbai
In Hong Kong, I would recommend the Early Development Centres below
The Child Development Centre at Matilda Hospital
Kahlil Gibran On Children
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
If you have the slightest doubt that there is something amiss in your child’s development please seek timely appropriate help.
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