First Steps Toward Inclusion
From the day we are born we are a member of a community. As our development progresses and we learn to convey our wants and needs, our involvement and inclusion in family and community life increases. In some instances, infants and young children require early intervention therapy to augment their social, emotional and physical development so that they become actively engaged in their community.
Our pediatric therapists at Jewish Child & Family Services understand how important it is for a child to develop social, physical and emotional skills, and work with families and children with special needs to grow a child’s independence to help achieve his or her greatest potential.
Two year-old D. is one example. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and unable to communicate wants or needs, D. started attending Occupational Therapy sessions at JCFS in August 2017. At that time, he demonstrated little awareness of, or interest in, other people or materials around him. He exhibited poor eye contact and motor skills; no change in emotion; and an inability to focus on a task for more than a minute.
Since beginning therapy services, D. is becoming more engaged in his surroundings, providing regular eye contact and actively seeking out joint attention. He smiles and giggles during social and musical games and has developed his verbal skills to indicate his wants and needs. As result of the therapeutic interventions, D. can also participate in family activities and be out in the community doing everyday things like managing trips to the store with his parents.