Early intervention programs provide special services to children from birth through age five who are at-risk or have special needs. The scope of these programs may also include the child's family. Early intervention services and programs focus on the areas of cognition (thinking skills), speech/language, motor skills, self-help skills, and social-emotional development. It is not uncommon to find programs that also include services such as nursing, social work, nutrition, and counseling. For example, the Head Start early intervention program offers two meals a day to children as part of its nutritional services.
Professionals, including early intervention teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists, usually provide these services. A governing agency generally oversees the running of these programs, their services, and the service providers.
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