Early Intervention

Skills 4 Life Offers Early Intervention Services

Skills 4 Life offers early intervention services with therapists who specialize in neurodevelopmental intervention strategies for children from birth to 4 years old.

  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Early Gross Motor Skills
  • Feeding Therapy/Picky Eating
  • Tummy Time
  • Play Skills & Attention
  • Sensory Integration
  • Self-Help Skills (Dressing, Self-Feeding, Grooming Skills)

Skills 4 Life specializes in working with children who have developmental delays, as well as Down Syndrome and Autism.

Start with a Complimentary Developmental Screening

Do you have concerns or questions about your infant or toddler’s development? 

Skills 4 Life is now offering complimentary, 15-minute screenings to review developmental milestones and answer any questions you may have about your child’s development.

Email our office at karina@skills4lifeot.com or call 303.351.1828 to schedule your complimentary screening today!

Developmental Milestones – Parent Checklist

*The following is referenced from www.cdc.gov/ActEarly

If you have any questions about your child’s development milestones, browse our parent checklist or contact us to set up a complimentary developmental screening today!

0-4 months

By 4 Months:

  • Holds head steady, unsupported
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface
  • May be able to roll over from tummy to back
  • Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • When lying on stomach, lifts head a little and pushes up on elbows
  • Uses hands and eyes together (sees a toy and reaches for it)
  • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
  • Smiles spontaneously, especially at people
  • Likes to look at faces closely, play with people, and might cry when playing stops
  • Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning
  • Begins to babble; Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired
  • Responds to affection
4-6 months

By 6 months:

  • Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front)
  • Sits using hands for support and starting to sit independently
  • When on the stomach, pushing up through hands and turning around in a circle
  • When on back, brings feet to mouth
  • When standing, child supports weight on legs and might bounce
  • Brings things and hands to mouth
  • Holds hands open, rather than fisted, at least 50% of time
  • Holds a small object in each hand
  • Places both hands on bottle
  • Might be trying some thin baby purees
  • Likes to look at self in a mirror
  • Responds to sounds by making sounds
  • Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”) and likes taking turns with parents while making sounds.
  • Beginning to babble with “m” and “b” sounds
  • Responds to own name
  • Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
6-9 Months

By 9 months:

  • Stands while holding on to a surface
  • Can get into and out of sitting position with control
  • Sits without support
  • Pulls themself into a standing position
  • Beginning to crawl forward on hands & knees
  • Feeds self finger foods; tolerating thicker purees, mashed table food, or meltable solids
  • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other
  • Picks up things like cereal o’s between thumb and index finger
  • Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”
  • Copies sounds and gestures of others
  • Uses fingers to point at things
  • Looks for things he sees you hide
  • Plays peek-a-boo
9-12 Months

By 12 months:

  • Walks while holding onto furniture or with both hands held
  • Takes 1-3 steps independently
  • Bangs two things together
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
  • Pokes with index (pointer) finger
  • Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing
  • Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
  • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”
  • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing
  • Copies gestures
  • Safely eating soft table foods (overcooked pasta, scrambled eggs, muffins) – no choking or gagging
12-15 Months

By 15 months:

  • Walks across a room independently
  • Crawls upstairs
  • Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
  • Points to show someone what they want
  • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon 
  • Scribbles on paper
  • Places one block on top of another
15-18 Months

By 18 months (1.5 years):

  • Walk up & down 3-4 steps while holding onto rail
  • Runs (hurried walk)
  • Pulls toys while walking; can pick up toy from floor and stand back up
  • Stacks 3 blocks 
  • Placing round and square puzzle pieces into puzzle board
  • Can help pull some clothing off
  • Drinks from an open cup with some spilling
  • Eats with a spoon with some spilling
  • Safely eating most table foods (no choking or gagging)
  • Points to one body part
  • Uses several single words to label everyday items
  • Says and shakes head “no” 
18-24 Months

By 24 months (2 years):

  • Stands on tiptoes to reach something high
  • Kicks a ball; uses a more coordinated run 
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
  • Throws ball overhand 
  • Makes or copies straight lines and circular strokes
  • Builds towers of 4 or more blocks 
  • Has given up bottle; can drink from straw or open cups
  • Copies others, especially adults and older children 
  • Gets excited when with other children 
  • Plays individually, will play alongside other children and may begin to include other children, such as in chase games
  • Points to things or pictures when they are named; names 3 items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog; can turn pages of book independently
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts 
  • Follows simple instructions and some 2-part commands
  • Using 2-4 word phrases
2-3 Years

By 3 years old:

  • Climbs well on jungle gym equipment
  • Pedals a tricycle (3-wheel bike) 
  • Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step
  • Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces
  • Copies a circle with pencil or crayon 
  • Grasps pencil with thumb and fingers instead of fist
  • Builds towers of 6-8+ blocks 
  • Screws and unscrews jar lids or turns door handle 
  • Takes turns in games
  • Dresses and undresses self with help for fasteners
  • Uses spoon/fork with little spillage
  • Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps 
  • Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts 
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people 
  • Matching objects by color
3-4 Years

By 4 years old:

  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds 
  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time 
  • Pours, cuts with supervision and mashes own food
  • Buttons and unbuttons large – quarter in buttons
  • Puts shoes on completely, on correct feet
  • Cuts on a straight line
  • Traces and stays on (most of the time) a 3-inch, pencil-thick, horizontal line
  • Begins to copy some vertical/horizontal letters
  • Makes a flat, round cake by pressing and patting dough on table with fingers
  • Puts 3 things in order, such as hard to soft, full to empty
  • Would rather play with other children than by themselves
  • Names some colors and some numbers 
  • Understands the idea of counting
  • Starts to understand time
  • Understands the idea of “same” and “different” 
  • Draws a person with 2 to 4 body parts
  • Plays board or card games

Early Intervention Services Enhance Brain Development

An infant’s experiences have long-lasting effects on their ability to learn, regulate their emotions, connect socially, and sequentially develop for optimal neurological function. When there is an absence of appropriate experiences and learning opportunities in a child’s environment, the brain’s development can be stunted.

However, if ample learning opportunities are provided, brain development is facilitated and enhanced. Once born, a child’s brain develops through safe attachment, rich sensory experiences and the formation of implicit memories. The earlier and the more often “correct” learning experiences occur, the stronger those behaviors and skills are secured in a child’s brain.

The Earlier The Intervention, The Better

Studies in early childhood development have shown that young brains have incredible potential for change. Children with developmental delays often experience the wiring of neurons together in a manner that is “unhelpful,” causing them to struggle with communication, social skills, and other activities essential for daily life. These “unhelpful” connections need to be corrected and changed.

Amazingly, with intensive stimulation, the brain has the capacity to forge new pathways and build circuits that are more helpful and functional, but timing is crucial. The earlier the brain is exposed to “helpful” experiences, the better those connections will be, and the stronger and more available those behaviors will be to the child. Research indicates that helping children with special needs in early developmental stages improves their outcomes and future life skills yielding a tremendous amount of progress in children by the time they enter kindergarten.  This often reduces the need for intensive supports and decreases healthcare expenses later in life.

Three Ways Early Intervention Can Help

Early Intervention services improve and enhance the neurological development of a child with delays, special needs, or developmental concerns.  Early therapeutic interventions have shown to be beneficial well beyond their developmental years and help keep these children on a path to making the most of their abilities to develop skills they will need to function to their fullest potential.

Early Intervention helps build a nurturing and supportive environment for the entire family. It provides professional assistance and support for parents and siblings of children with special needs, decreasing frustration, stress, disappointment, helplessness, and caregiver burnout.

Early Intervention also helps to set a firm foundation for key developmental progression that will set the pace for later skills, offer greater opportunities for the child, and aid in later academic success. If we correctly understand a child’s skill deficits and design a program that appropriately stimulates neural circuits and targeted areas of their development, we can exercise and strengthen key areas of the brain to develop language, social skills, etc.

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