The economy today is becoming more of a growing pain for parents and families. With the effects of Covid-19, it has left us in a desolated state with retrenchments, businesses falling apart and the loss of income. This scenario has worsened the situation for parents especially those with children with special education needs such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), down syndrome and others. These groups of parents need to spend even more of their hard-earned wage to finance their special needs children with therapies, consultation and possibly medications to help resolve the major issues that impact their child both psychologically and emotionally. Therefore, they had to plan early and effectively as their child ages to ensure that their disability does not become a hindrance for their development and for the parents. So in today's blog post, which would be a series we will explore and provide some pointers on how parents can effectively help their child with special education needs effectively to grow better. We will start off with the early learners within the age groups of 2 to 6.
Who are within the early learning groups?
Financial planning for children with special education needs can be divided into several stages of the child’s life as each has their own unique and distinct strategies for financial planning. For this blog post we will be touching the first group, which are children within the ages of 2 to 6 years old. These groups of children are just entering nursery or kindergarten where they are taught the basics such as alphabet, numbers and basic motor skills like walking. For these children they may struggle with the developmental milestones for their age.
There are five developmental milestones for children in these group which they need to achieve which are:
Cognitive development - skills regarding learning and thinking, such as asking questions.
Physical Development - skills like muscle control, balance and coordination
Social / Emotional Development - skills on regulation of behaviour and emotion including making friends
Language Development - skills on communicating ideas and feelings
Self-Help / Adaptive Developmental Skills - skills needed for daily living such as going to the potty.
Source: (Stay at Home Educator, n.d.)
For children with special education needs to develop these five skills are the greatest challenge for parents as they may be slower or struggling in some areas. The way to teach them may differ from other children and may prove to be the greatest challenge especially for a working parent as they’re unable to fully dedicate their time to teach their children while they’re trying to make a living to fund the family. So here is where the EIP steps in or as it’s called an Early Intervention Program to help children with special needs within these five developmental domains of their age group.
What is EIP?
EIP or early intervention programme is a type of education to help children with special education needs to cope with the developmental milestones of their age. The age group of children that could join in an EIP programme is limited to 2 to 6 years of age as subsequent age of 7 and above they should be able to enroll in a normal school or an inclusive school which we will discuss in our subsequent blog post. This program is a necessity for children with special education needs as it can be tailored to help children cope with their developmental needs which they struggle in. Thus for parents, it’s of utmost importance to consider enrolling their child with special needs for EIP to help them. There are several elements to consider when budgeting for an EIP program, such as the therapist, the content of the program, the fees, how the system works and how it would improve the child’s behavior, motor skills and speech aspects. So let’s take an example from our centre, GrowIn Sprouts.
Here at GrowIn Sprouts we offer our services of an Early Intervention Program specially tailored for your child with special education needs. We provide the most experienced EIP therapist to help your child and tailor the program to their needs to help them cope with the difficulties they are facing. In addition, we have bundled together two sessions of speech and occupational therapy per month respectively by our experienced therapist we have in our centre. Furthermore we have included parental counselling and parental training as part of our EIP program bundle. Our EIP sessions are divided into two types of sessions, the half-day session which comprises the morning (9 am to 12 pm) and afternoon (2 pm to 5 pm) and the full day session of (9 am to 5 pm). In terms of cost for the whole program we have to offer, it can be considered to be within the affordable zone and it’s worth every cent spent as our professional EIP therapists will provide the highest quality of services for your child by providing the most balanced and advanced method of interventions to help with the child’s development. Comparatively other centres only offer EIP programmes without the inclusion of extra services such as occupational therapy and speech therapy.
In conclusion, the present times are very tough due to the pandemic. Therefore, proper financial planning is necessary to balance out the necessities to help children with special education needs, especially getting them therapies and intervention programs to help them cope with the future. For these children aged between 2 to 6 years old, proper brain or cognitive development, motor skills, mathematical skills, alphabets and reading are key for their development. Therefore, if you as a parent ever need a proper intervention for your child with special needs, then we at GrowIn Sprouts will be there for you every step of the way.
Stay at Home Educator. (n.d.). Preschool Developmental Skills and Support Activities. Retrieved May 21, 2021, from https://stayathomeeducator.com/developmental-skills-for-preschoolers/