Early intervention program is a systematic approach to Down Syndrome. It addresses the problems faced by Down Syndrome babies. EIP programmes can be divided into physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy.
This therapy focuses on building physical motor development. Through physiotherapy, physical difficulties like hypotonia may be cured to a certain extent. Besides babies are even able to move their heads, learn to crawl, and see the world beside them. This therapy also prevents compensatory movement patterns that individuals with Down syndrome are prone to having.
Speech and language therapy
Down syndrome patients are unable to develop speech until a very late age, but still, pre speech skills like imitating or echoing sounds are developed. These help in the development of speech. Besides speech skills, visual skills, auditory skills, tactile skills, oral motor skills, cognitive skills(thinking) are developed through interactive activities.
Occupational therapy helps with fine motor skills, like picking up an object, stacking, building, playing with toys, manipulating knobs and buttons, etc. OT helps the child grow more independent and do things for himself.
Every one knows Chris Burke as an actor,but not many know that he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Born on August 26, 1965, that time Down syndrome was known as 'mongolism' and patients were called 'a Down' and not considered human. Even immediate euthanasia was suggested for these people. People came to love Chris as 'Corky' in television, and when revealed that he had a genetic disorder, people had their doubts.
Maria is a girl living in Honduras, suffering from the problems of Down Syndrome. Maria's father is a farmer, who cultivates corn and beans. Before enrolled in to CCF, an authorised organization for EIP, at the age of 3, Maria could not sit up or walk. Her inability to absorb vital nutrients made her body too weak to each these milestones. Thanks to EIP, Maria took her first steps. She is still developing skills, and her parent's consider this as a miracle. Chris is someone who gained respect and the stature of Helen Keller, when he was told by Pat Mulholland, "Chris, I want you to be my Helen Keller."
Justin is a 5 1/2 year old boy who thanks to EIP, has integrated into a mainstream kindergarten school and scores the average of a four year old child. Besides, Justin has learnt to swim, and was also involved in the special olympics.