What is an Early Interventionist?


Early Interventionists (or E.I.), also known as Infant Specialists, have degrees in child development. They often come from a teaching or child care background and are utilized for general developmental concerns or to supplement other licensed therapies.

An Early Interventionist is an integral part of the therapy team as they often address cognitive, pragmatic, play, and early language skills. An Early Interventionist is NEVER to be a replacement for a licensed therapist when there are clinical and/or medical concerns.

These professionals address cognitive skills, early preschool skills, play and pragmatic skills necessary for interaction with peers. Self-esteem and self-identification skills, and pre-language skills are also provided, as well as support to the primary therapist

What are early play skills, and why are they important?

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional skills. Play is important to healthy brain development, and through play a child at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Is it through play as early as infancy that a child is able to feel safe in exploring their environment, gaining sensory experiences, socially engaging, vocally engaging, and learning how to move their bodies. It is through play that most people learn best.

The Six Stages of Play Skill Development:

1. Unoccupied Play – Random movements and activities that infants engage in that give them delight, or socially engage others.
2. Solitary Play – A stage when a child does not require the engagement of others to exercise imagination while still having fun.
3. Onlooker Play – When a child notices other’s playing and may ask questions or study what the other children are doing.
4. Parallel Play – When children sit side by side playing. They may copy each other, but they are still not playing directly with each other.
5. Associative Play – When children start playing together and may have similar goals, but there are no set rules or goals to the play.
6. Social Play – When children start to play with each other, share ideas, play by a set of rules and have a common end goal to the play.


What are cognitive skills? How can an Early Interventionist help?  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION:
 What are Social Emotional skills? How can an Early Interventionist help? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION:
What is sensory processing? How can an Early Interventionist help? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION:

social emotional and cognitive skills checklist

If you’re concerned that your child is not meeting their milestones give us a call.

0 - 3 months

•         Turns their head to look for sounds
•         Puts their hands to and in their mouth.
•         Relaxes their body when held by a familiar adult.
•         Makes eye contact for a few seconds
•         Smiles reflexively
•         Stops unexplainable crying when picked up.
•         Plays with a rattle

3 - 6 months

•         Looks at an object for at least 3 seconds
•         Watches an object move slowly across midline
•         Interacts by cooing and smiling
•         Visually engages and looks at a familiar adult for several seconds.
•         Vocalizes when they are in distress.
•         Bangs objects on the table
•         Plays with a single toy for 2-3 minutes

6 - 9 months

•         Looks back and forth from two objects.
•         Inspects and studies their own hands.
•         Holds a toy placed in their hands for 10-15 seconds
•         Mouths toys
•         Vocalizes a variety of moods.
•         Laughs when socially engaged.
•         Looks at their self in the mirror
•         Plays with paper (more interested in the paper and box then the toy that came in it)
•         Combines two related objects (Brush a doll’s hair, stick on a xylophone, spoon in a bowl)
•         Imitate familiar gestures (such as clapping hands)

9 - 12 months

•         Look at a named object or named color
•         Holds toys in both left and right hand simultaneously.
•         Glance a third object offered to them when their hands are full.
•         Will gaze where an object was after it was hidden.
•         Smiles at their reflection in the mirror.
•         Reaches out for others to be picked up.
•         Knows the difference between familiar adults and strangers.

12 - 18 months

•         Explores objects handed to them (turning them over, feeling, banging, shaking, mouthing)
•         Visually follows a fast-moving object past midline.
•         Pulls a cloth off their face when cloth is placed over their face.
•         Intentionally drops objects (play the drop game with adult)
•         Imitate simple new gestures, such as rubbing their tummy or hands in the air.
•         Finds a partially hidden object
•         Expresses affection with hugs and kisses.
•         Repeats activities that elicit laughter.
•         Looks when their own name is called. 
•         Able to engage in solitary play.
•         Play Peek-a-boo

18 - 24 months

•         Imitate facial expressions
•         Finds a hidden object under only one screen.
•         Transfer objects from one hand to the other.
•         Place 3 objects in a container without removing them
•         Shows pride in their accomplishments
•         Greet others by waving “Hi” or “Bye”
•         Engage in onlooker play
•         Find a hidden object that has been displaced (it’s not where they think it is)

24 - 30 months

•         Touches an adult to repeat an enjoyable activity
•         Looks at books
•         Rolls a wheel toy on a surface.
•         Imitates scribbling
•         Imitates use of everyday objects (phone, brush, cup)
•         Seeks approval from familiar adult
•         Recognition to routines and rules.
•         Understanding of common dangers.
•         Engage in parallel play

30 - 36 months

•         Points to pictures in a book when asked “where is …”?
•         Able to imitate a vertical and horizontal stroke with Crayon and Paper.
•         Knows their own age.
•         Know the difference between a boy and a girl.
•         Can identify 6 body parts
•         Take turns
•         Beginning stages of cooperative or associative play.
•         Complex imaginative play (such as playing house)