An Early Intervention Programme (EIP) is an individualised intervention plan which provides various types of early intervention services to children from birth to age three who have been diagnosed with specific/general developmental delays, disabilities or other conditions that affect their development. As for the developmental delay, it may range from minor delays in speech development to more major delays in children with autism.
In general, children start school at a designated chronological age. However, due to the young children learn and develop differently, they show differ greatly in their intellectual development and experience base. For example, one may able to read earlier than another, while another may able to write earlier than another. Usually, these differences will even out, yet some of the children will need extra help to foster their development and growth. One of the objectives of EIP is to provide additional instructional resources to help students who are performing below grade level obtain the necessary academic skills to reach grade level performance in the shortest possible time. Thus, the EIP can be used to help children that are at risk of not reaching or maintaining academic grade level.
On the other hand, EIP can make a difference for children with special needs as well. It provides important and appropriate intervention to support the children’s developmental needs and assist their parents in taking care of them. Besides that, not only education part, EIP involves therapeutic approaches to promote the development of autistic children towards the independence and functional daily activities as well as preparation for community-based programmes. In 2012, a research even found that EIP helps to alter brain activity in children with autism. Before placing a child under EIP, a multidisciplinary assessment or evaluation must be carried out to determine the developmental status and functioning level of child, in order to provide an appropriate diagnosis.