Amar Seva Sangam initiated the Village Based Early Intervention program in the year 2013 to identify and provide therapy for children with delayed development. It was a great success within one year, plans to expand it and scale it began. The Village Based Rehabilitation Initiation of Early Intervention (VBRI-EI) tablet based application was initiated in 2015 the program has been able to reach nearly 700 children with delayed development.
The Early Intervention program addresses the highest risk families, decreases stress within the family, increases stability, facilitates connection to growth-promoting services, and supports the development of healthy, nurturing, protective children and relationships. A child receives visits once in every week by the CRWs and once a month by the specialists with prescribed time scheduled.
The next stage of the Early Intervention program is to extend the service to the other areas of Tamil Nadu. ASSA had numerous discussion with the Government Officials in all levels and explained the utility and benefits of launching a village / home based Early Intervention program. The Tamil Nadu Government showed interest and wanted ASSA’s help in starting a pilot program. Starting in February 2018, as a part of pilot initiatives, the Tamil Nadu Government approved and began funding an Early Intervention program in 3 blocks of Madurai District and 2 blocks pf Namakkal District.
The idea behind EIC is to intervene as early as possible and minimize disability so that the child can reach the highest potential. Research has shown that the period from birth to 6 years are the most critical years for all children, and more so for children with disabilities. Growth and development of a child is at its greatest in the first two to three years. During this phase of cognitive development, foundations of intelligence and behaviour begin to evolve. Additionally, ability of brain to affect structural and functional changes is at its best in this period. If the child misses this opportunity, further learning will be slow and / or inadequate. Early intervention programs work towards quicker inclusion of these children into the mainstream.
Amar Seva Sangam have a cente for EI childern, Birth to 6 years is the most critical years for children growth and development of child is at its greatest in the first three years. Cognitive development, foundations of intelligence and behaviour begin to evolve. Ability of brain to affect structural and functional changes is at its best in this period. If the child misses this opportunity, further learning will be slow and / or inadequate.
EIC’s role transcend over a very wide spectrum of activities ranging from New born screening, early identification of issue, holistic assessment, diagnosis, interventions, prevention and goes into psycho-social interventions.
Its important services include (i) Medical treatment of children suffering from disabilities (ii) Occupational and Physio therapy that relate to self-help skills, adaptive behavior, play, sensory, motor and postural development, sensory integration Oro motor and feeding difficulties (iii) Psychological services including counseling, consultation, parent training and behavior modification intervention to enhance cognitive development, adaptive and learning behaviors (iv) Identifying and providing services for children with hearing loss for congenital as well as acquired deafness (v) Speech – language pathology to improve speech and communication skills or motor skills such as weakness of muscle around mouth (vi) Optometric services to identify visual disorders and provide services and training (vii) Nutrition services to address nutritional needs including feeding skills, feeding problems, food habits and preferences (viii) Social support services (ix) Psycho social services including designing learning environments and activities that promote child’s development and providing families with information and support to enhance child’s development (x) Documenting and maintaining care records for service delivery and research