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Importance of Early Intervention

Early intervention can have lasting positive benefits for children and families. EI service providers see these benefits every day in their work. Families who have partnered with their service providers and seen their children grow and learn often have much to share about how EI benefitted them. Here you will find a variety of resources including videos of families and service providers sharing their views on the importance and benefits of early intervention.

Articles & Handouts

Guralnick, M. J. (2011). Why early intervention works: A systems perspective. Infants & Young Children, 24(1), 6-28.

This article describes early intervention from a systems perspective that accounts for reciprocal patterns of influence, such as child social and cognitive competence, family interactions, and family resources.

The Importance of Early Intervention with Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and their Families (external website)

This two-page document summarizes the research in early intervention to answer the following questions:

  • Why intervene early?
  • Why are services essential?
  • What are the unmet needs?

The document concludes with a “take home message” describing the urgent need to identify infants and toddlers with special needs early; how high quality intervention can reduce the incidence of future problems; and how intervention is likely to be more effective and less expensive when provided earlier in life.



Liam's StoryLiam's Story, A Mother's Voice

Jamie, Liam's mother, reads a letter she wrote to the VA General Assembly about how important early intervention has been in her family's life. In the video, you will meet Jamie and Liam and see how, through collaboration between his family and his early intervention providers, Liam is able to communicate, use a computer, and move about at home, on trips to a museum and out to get ice cream with his family.

Video - The Benefits of Early Intervention - Erin and ArloThe Benefits of Early Intervention – Erin & Arlo | Related Resource Page

Erin describes how early intervention has helped her son, Arlo, thrive.

Video - The Benefits of Early Intervention - Erin and ArloThe Benefits of Early Intervention – Kurt Kondrick | Related Resource Page

Kurt describes how well his daughter Chloe has adjusted with a solid foundation from early intervention.

Video Charlie HouseThe Importance of Service Coordination – Charlie House | Related Resource Page

Hear how one father describes the support his family received from their service coordinator and the importance of this support to his family.

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Video Early Intervention Saved His LifeEarly Intervention Saved His Life | Related Resource Page

Carol describes how she believes that early intervention saved her son’s social-emotional life.

Video: 2-year-old Walks with Intervention Services2-year-old walks with disabilities: wavy.com | Related Resource Page

A Navy sailor received the surprise of his life when he returned home from Iraq. See the impact early intervention had on one Navy dad and his family in Virginia Beach!

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