Early Intervention

St Catherine’s Centre for Early Intervention provides a multidisciplinary team input for children from birth to six years.

We specialise in the field of autistic spectrum, development delay disorders and intellectual disability.Young children learn and develop differently. One baby may walk earlier than another, while another baby might talk first. Often, these differences will even out.

But some children will need extra help. Look for signs that your infant or toddler might need extra help, and voice your concerns with your local primary care team or GP.  Early help makes a difference! If your child does have a problem, the earlier you get help for them, the better.

What is Early Intervention ?

The Early Intervention Team provide early intervention, which is defined internationally as an intervention undertaken to influence the development and learning of young children (0-6 years of age) with, or at risk of, developing intellectual disabilities or other developmental delay.

Referral

Parents can refer babies and children to the Early Intervention Team if there is a concern about their child’s development in more than 2 areas of development (see below) or if their child is at risk of developmental delay due to a specific diagnosis or early birth history.   Professionals such as public health nurses, GP’s etc must first send referrals to the HSE Early Intervention Team.  You can contact the HSE Early Intervention Team for Wicklow by emailing Ms. Brenda Kenny(brenda.kenny@hse.ie). Parent queries should be sent to Collette Connolly, Family Services Co-Ordinator, St. Catherines, Wicklow Primary Healthcare Centre, Drumkay Road, Co. Wicklow (colletteconnolly@st.catherines.ie).

A developmental delay means that a child is behind in some areas of development including:

  • Physical – gross, fine motor.
  • Cognitive – play skill, attention, memory, problem solving, sorting skills and visual perception.
  • Communication – how the child understands what is said and how the child uses sounds, words or gestures to let others know what he/she wants.
  • Social/Emotional – how the child uses sounds, words or gestures to let others know what he/she wants.
  • Adaptive Development – self help, including feeding and dressing skills.

Referrals and Assessment

It is hoped that this section will explain to you what happens from the time your child is referred to the St Catherine’s Early Services, and the accompanying assessment process.

Referral Process

a) Children 0-6 are referred to us, in writing, to St Catherine’s Early Services by the following persons: Doctors or Social Workers in Maternity hospitals, Paediatric hospitals or the HSE Early Intervention Team for Wicklow. We also accept referrals from parents directly.

Children must be aged no more than 5 years 11 months on the 31st March BEFORE the school year starts in September of that year. This will apply from the school year 2014-2015. Children enrolled in school will not be eligible.

b) If the service suits your child’s needs we will make contact within two weeks. You and your child will be met by the Family  Services Coordinator who explains the service, the assessment/screening process and will try to answer your questions/concerns. The coordinator forwards a referral to the rest of the Team.

c) A letter will be sent offering you an appointment with further members of the multi-disciplinary team members. It is aimed that all referrals will be seen for initial contact within 4 weeks of receipt of referral. Where waitlists are in place this may take longer.

How therapy is delivered

Therapy is delivered in both group and individual format. All children from 0 – 6 years receive therapies from the Early Intervention multi-disciplinary team. This is regardless of whether your child is at home with you, in the local crèche, or local pre-school/Montessori

During your child’s time in Early Intervention your child may receive a combination of:

  • Individual work with your child from therapists relevant to him/her
  • Group work
  • Home visits from relevant therapists or staff
  • Pre-school visits
  • Developmental Screening and Assessment

The team will give you guidance on how you can continue to help your child in between sessions.

Services Provided Include

  • Individualised Developmental Programmes
  • Speech/Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Family Support & Training

For further details please contact Collette Connolly Family Services Coordinatorerine (colletteconnolly@stcatherines.ie)