The first 3 years of life are a critical time for brain development, especially if a child is delayed or restricted in development. If a child needs support to develop optimally, occupational therapy can help.

Evidence shows that early intervention is vital for children under 5 years old.

Occupational therapy can help improve their motor, cognitive, sensory processing, communication, and play skills. The goal is to enhance development, minimize the potential for developmental delay, and help families to meet the special needs of their infants and toddlers

Occupational therapy is one of several services that may be provided as part of early intervention. It benefits children with many specific conditions (e.g., Down syndrome, autism, motor coordination difficulties and sensory processing), in addition to children with no clear diagnosis.

What occupational therapy practitioners actually do in early intervention?

We work in partnership with teachers, SENDCOs, parents and nursery staff to support participation of the children in nursery activities. We see children in context, so we tend to observe children in play ground, classroom, during the lunch time. We aim to provide evidence based and effective OT input to reinforce a skill and improve sensory processing or enable new learning.

In High Five Children’s OT we are passionate about early intervention for our younger children who might find hitting their milestones a little tricky. This ranges from feeding, potty training and early play skills and getting ready for school.