The formative years of a child’s life lie between the ages of 0 to 8. This is when they are learning so fast in terms of the social, emotional, cognitive and physical aspects of their lives. To be more specific, the very first 5 years are most crucial. Parents do everything they can to provide the best love and care from birth onwards. Any external factor induced during these years greatly impacts the health and overall well-being of a child when he matures into a mature adult.
As children are born, everything they feel, hear and see all play into how they are able to interact with the outside world. Children are like a sponge, absorbing everything and learning. That is why having a positive environment is important and helps them see the world from a positive perspective. In turn, it enhances their interaction with other people.
Child Development Milestones Are Important
From birth, there are significant milestones that each child achieves and as every child is unique, there is no need to compare one child from the other. Developmental milestones are set to identify if each child is developing at a normal pace or not. This mainly involves physical, cognitive development and learning. Nurturing children at these very important years of their lives will help them grow into healthy and sound adolescents in the future.
If a child is neglected or a parent fails to meet all the needs of a child, mental problems are bound to occur when a child matures. Deep-rooted issues will stay within a child as he further grows through time. Oftentimes, these children are more likely to develop depression or have behavioural issues when they get old. A child lacking emotional attention during the formative years will most probably have low-esteem or develop insecurities. Lacking a good support system at home during the early years will make it difficult for a child to live through his/her teenage life.
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Child Development Therapy for Children with Special Needs
To be able to keep track of a child’s developmental stages, there is a special therapy that focuses on how a child is developing from birth to 5 years of age. All of the areas are checked by the therapists and not just one aspect. This usually involves self-help skills, cognitive abilities, socio-economic, behaviour and communication skills.
Here are the reasons why parents need to consult for therapy:
- Speech delay
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- ADHD/ ADD and other learning disabilities
- Cognitive development delay
- Behavioural issues
- Premature children
- Impairment in the hearing and visual senses
Developmental therapists are highly trained to assess the global development of the child and then identify key areas of concern. Since development therapy focuses on young children, play activities are provided. These may be tummy time, texture testing, water play and facial recognition games for the babies. Toddler play activities may range from stacking, measuring or sorting games. All of these help children develop and reach their expected milestones which are age-appropriate.
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Cost of Child Development Therapy in Toronto
Brain development during the formative years is very important, and that’s why parents who have children with mental conditions need help. Seeking the help of an experienced child development therapist is the best way to understand the problem and determining the appropriate treatment. These therapists provide initial consultations to better understand the background of a particular child. After the consultation, a therapist creates a plan to follow for the parents and caregivers so as everybody is on the same boat. Interventions and interactions are then provided so that the child will be able to learn and gain confidence in reaching his developmental milestones.
In Toronto, Ontario, the cost of a development therapist averages CAD 31 per one-hour session. Every child has different needs so the therapist and parents need to work together to create a schedule on a weekly basis. A child may also need more activities than others with the therapist to further enhance the development stages. Some families spend an average of CAD 1200-2000 in child development therapy classes so as to bridge the gaps. The government offers programs in these areas but because of the long waiting list, most parents opt to avail the services of private groups which are more expensive.
Being Resourceful Amidst Crisis
At this time of the pandemic, parents are scrambling on how to keep up with the expenses of sending their child to the best therapist in town. But it is best to be resourceful and take advantage of the programs provided by the OHIP or the Ontario Autism Program. These are cost-effective and the therapists are highly trained to help out any child facing delays or difficulties in development. There are kind-hearted employers who set aside a budget for families who may need child development therapy and talking it out with the human resource department is just a breeze.
Parents have the front seats on watching how a tiny baby unfolds and grows into a feisty toddler. Every bit of love, nurture and attention are important in the development of a child. Together with therapists and trained caregivers, the child is formed and honed to be a better individual. Making them make sense of the world around them is something that takes time and effort.
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Child development therapy is just one of the interventions that deal with children facing issues in the early stages of their lives. But it creates a huge impact as to what they become in the future. Toronto offers several groups and organizations that offer child development therapy services. It is up to you to decide which therapist to take in and trust. All therapists have a solid education and foundation about child development. That’s why it is best to trust their invaluable services. As parents, supporting and addressing the needs of the child during therapy is very crucial to his growth and development.