When Should a Parent Consider Early Intervention for Their Child?

Considering Early Intervention

Parents may wish to know whether seeking early intervention services for their child is the right thing to do. According to Child Mind Institute, “Some disorders are so serious—and responsive to early and immediate intervention—that consulting a mental health professional is imperative. When the communication deficits and social problems associated with autism are caught early, children have a better chance of improving and enjoying less restricted lives.”  Intervention is likely to be more effective when it is provided earlier in life rather than later (CDC).

However, developmental milestones can have a lot of variance. While every child is an individual and develops at their own pace, there are known periods or “windows” during which most children achieve certain milestones (TEIS). Seeking out a pediatrician or specialist can provide the parent or caregiver with more information on the child’s development.

The CDC provides a guide on what to say for parents or caregivers who may be unsure about how to approach a professional regarding early intervention. The CDC also provides a checklist for what to do before, during, and after meeting with your child’s pediatrician (available in both English and Spanish).

Local Resources for Early Intervention

Image: An early childhood professional sits on the floor, supervising two toddlers who are playing with several types of colorful toys.

Series Navigation

The Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series highlights several early childhood topics to support parents and caregivers who are caring for young children. Use the list below to navigate through each series topic:

Learn more about the series.

Request free printed materials from our Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series.


Picture: A young baby looks up at the camera.
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