It’s Early Childhood Intervention Awareness week, and we are doing a series of posts to share information about Early Childhood Intervention.  This is our second post in the series.  In this post, we are talking about the two sides of your child receiving an early diagnosis.

The grief of your child receiving a diagnosis…

Many parents can be anxious about the thought of their child receiving a diagnosis of a disability early in their infancy. 

Parents worry that receiving a diagnosis will ‘pidgeon-hole’ their child, and that the health professionals might be wrong with the diagnosis.  Receiving a diagnosis is also understandably upsetting – it raises worries for your child and their future, or it validates the worries that you may have already had about your child’s development.  In an instant, the life you had imagined for your child changes.  No wonder parents can be reluctant for their child to receive an early diagnosis.  And no wonder parents always vividly remember the moment they were first given their child’s diagnosis.

However, due to advancements in pre-natal and post-natal assessment techniques, medical imaging and screening programs, many children are now receiving a diagnosis of a developmental delay or disability earlier than ever before.  For example, many children with cerebral palsy are now receiving a diagnosis within the first 6 months of life.

The silver lining…

Although nothing will change the grief and the fear of hearing your child’s diagnosis – the silver lining of receiving an early diagnosis is the opportunity to receive early childhood intervention.  Receiving a diagnosis early provides you with opportunity to also receive early intervention.  You and your child will have the opportunity to access supports and care that will help them to maximise their development.  Developmental gains and progress, at both a physical and neurological level is highest during your child’s early childhood years.  Early Childhood Intervention harnesses this period of natural developmental progress, when potential developmental gains and developmental progress is most rapid.