Early Intervention refers to a collection of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays, specific health problems and disabilities. Some of the medical conditions are: autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, foetal alcohol spectrum disorders and myopathy. There are several factors that may contribute to infants being born with such conditions: low birth weight, extreme prematurity, Hypoxic injury to the brain [inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain] and infections that may occur pre or post gestation.

At the invitation of Dr. Prithiviraj Bahadursingh Consultant, Lead Community Paediatrics, Dr. Lenisa Joseph, Programme Coordinator Researcher for Parents Skills Training Programme, Office of the Prime Minister, delivered a presentation on Early Intervention to paediatricians. The Session was held at the San Fernando Teaching Hospital on September 28th, 2017. It was a sensitisation for paediatricians about the significance of early Intervention and their role in identifying children who are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities.

With the limited availability of Early Intervention Services in Trinidad and Tobago it is imperative that healthcare professionals identify the symptoms early and take a pro-active multi-disciplinary approach to caring for these special needs children. In closing Dr. Joseph encouraged the paediatricians in attendance to take up the mantle to influence the environment and future of these children.  

In photo: Dr. Lenisa N. Joseph from the Office of the Prime Minister, addressing young doctors on how to recognise developmental delays in children.