Types of Treatment – How to help your child with developmental delays

Each infant or young child’s treatment plan will be different depending upon his/her diagnosis and needs. The following are some of the types of treatment available for infants and young children with developmental delays or behavioral problems.

Early Intervention: Early intervention services are for children ages birth to three who have a disability or developmental delay (IDEA, Part C). Depending on your child’s needs, his or her early intervention services may include:

family training, counseling, and home visits;
special instruction;
speech-language pathology services (sometimes referred to as speech therapy);
audiology services (hearing impairment services);
occupational therapy;
physical therapy;
psychological services; medical services (only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes);
health services needed to enable your child to benefit from the other services;
social work services;
assistive technology devices and services;
nutrition services; and
service coordination services.

Psychosocial therapies: Infant Mental Health Specialists can help parents try and understand what their babies and toddlers might be thinking or trying to communicate. There are limited therapies available for young children.

Parent-Child Dyadic Therapies:

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP): CPP is an intervention for children aged birth through age 5 who have experienced at least one traumatic and, as a result, are experiencing behavior, attachment, and/or mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The main goal of CPP is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her parent (or caregiver) as a way to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment, and improve the child’s cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning.

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT): PCIT is a parent-child treatment program that helps parents of children aged 2-7 years old with behavioral problems (aggression, non-compliance, defiance, and temper tantrums). PCIT focuses on promoting positive parent-child relationships and interactions while teaching parents effective child management skills. PCIT has been adapted as an intervention for many different types of families (child welfare population, at-risk families, adoptive families, foster families, and other languages including Spanish and Chinese).

Child FIRST (Child and Family Interagency Resource, Support and Training): This home-based program focuses on prevention and early identification of at risk children and their families. Child FIRST was developed by Dr. Darcy Lowell, a developmental pediatrician, and is an innovative evidence-based model which effectively decreases emotional and behavioral problems, developmental and learning problems, and abuse and neglect among very vulnerable young children (prenatal through age six years) and families.

Birth to Three: The Birth to Three System helps families to meet the developmental and health-related needs of infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities.

Minding the Baby: MTB is an intensive home visiting program for first-time young mothers and their families living in New Haven, Connecticut. This program brings together a home visiting team including a pediatric nurse practitioner and a licensed clinical social worker to promote positive health, mental health, life course, and attachment outcomes in babies, mothers, and their families by helping mothers understand or wonder about what their baby is thinking.

Nurturing Families Network: This program is a no-cost, voluntary program that provides information, guidance and assistance to first-time parents. Available through some 33 community agencies and birthing hospitals throughout Connecticut, the network offers home visiting services, access to parents support groups and community assistance.

Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS): Services for children and adolescents that gives immediate, mobile assessment and intervention to individuals in an active state of crisis and can occur in a variety of settings including the member’s home, school, local emergency department, or community setting. Because this service is mobile and available to all Connecticut residents, it can be a helpful alternative to bringing your child to an Emergency Department in a time of crisis. To access EMPS services across Connecticut, call 2-1-1.