A Collaborative Joint Venture between
Preschool and Total Communication Therapy
WHY IT MATTERS TO START INTERVENTION EARLY
Decades of rigorous research show that the critical period of child brain development happens in the earliest years. The Center on Developing the Child at Harvard University 2008; 2010) summarized most research in this area as follows:
• Neural circuits, which are the foundations of learning, behavior and health, are most malleable during the first three years of life
• Early social and emotional development and physical health provide the foundation upon which cognitive and language skills can develop
• High quality early intervention services can alter a child’s developmental trajectory and improve outcomes for children, families and communities
• Intervention is likely to be more cost-effective when provided earlier rather than later in life.
BENEFITS OF QUALITY SERVICES
Good quality early intervention services serves a multitude of benefits including health (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010), language and communication (American Speech-Language Hearing Association, 2008; McLean & Cripe, 1997), cognitive development (Hebbeler, Spiker, Bailey, Scarborough, Mallik, Simeonsson & Singer, 2007) and social/emotional development (Landa, Holman, O’Neill & Stuart, 2010). Families also benefit significantly from having training on how best to meet their child’s needs and scaffold their development throughout their lives (Bailey, Hebbeler, Spiker, Scarbborough, Mallik & Nelson, 2005).
Here at Total Communication, we are dedicated to providing high quality services. Our Multi-Disciplinary Team bring their sound knowledge and skills in selecting and using evidence based techniques combined with the best therapy tools from all over the world.
IMPORTANCE OF AN INCLUSIVE SETTING
Decades of research has shown that, if given meaningful interactions in inclusive classrooms with typical children, children with special needs can gain positive outcomes across all developmental domains (Holahan & Costenbader, 2000; Odom, 2000; Rafferty, Boettcher, & Griffin, 2001), develop friendships and social networks (Hall & McGregor, 2000) and are more likely to demonstrate positive social behaviors compared to those in special education settings only (Holahan & Costenbader, 2000; Strain, Bovey, Wilson, & Roybal, 2009). Furthermore, one of the most pertinent reasons for intervention to take place in natural or inclusive settings is to take advantage of all the potential learning opportunities to enhance behavior and development (Bruder, 2010). Such learning usually centers around every day routines (e.g. mealtimes, play time, story time), which involve the active participation of the child in learning and they serve to strengthen existing abilities, whilst promoting development of new competencies (Bruder, 2010).
However, the benefits of inclusion are not just restricted to children with special needs. Research shows that typical kids reap the benefits of being more sensitive to the needs of others than peers enrolled in early childhood settings for typically children only (Diamond & Carpenter, 2000). Typical children in inclusive classrooms learned social skills such as initiating interactions, negotiating sharing (Odom et al., 2002). Those who are able to model exemplary behaviors for children with special needs are likely to gain benefits in self-esteem, confidence, autonomy, and leadership skills (Gupta, Henninger, & Vinh, 2014). The benefits of typical siblings studying at the same settings can be remarkable.
COMBINING THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Total Communication brings you the best of both worlds in combining the principles of Early Intervention with Inclusive Practices for a high quality Early Intervention Program. Our multidisciplinary team of qualified and dedicated speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, educational therapists work with an inclusion practitioner and educators in the school to bring individualized, remediation plans to practice.
Our overarching three fold objectives are as follows:
(1) To provide positive, early experiences that serves to change and strengthen neural circuits for real changes to happen;
(2) To help the child reap the social-emotional benefits of a high quality inclusion program in a mainstream setting:
(3) To help provide a holistic program that helps not only the child but his family achieve a greater quality of life.