Early Intervention or Physiotherapy for Children with Special Needs or Cerebral Palsy Disability


Early intervention is a service for babies or toddlers who have developmental delay or disability. Typically, this ranges from birth till age three though some children still require help after age three.

The aim of early intervention focuses on teaching the child basic skills which normally develop in the first three years of life but which the child is struggling with. There are five broad categories:

  • Cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems)
  • Physical (rolling, reaching, transferring, crawling and walking)
  • Communication (listening, talking, understanding)
  • Self-help (eating, dressing)
  • Social/Emotional (playing, happy, integration, security)


If you suspect that your child lags behind when it comes to milestones like lifting the arm, sitting up, interaction with others or rolling it is important to let the paediatrician know. Typically, you will then be referred to see a physiotherapist who heads the early intervention team. Diagnosis is not the end goal in early intervention however, birth asphysxia, cerebral palsy, erbs palsy, trisonomy 21 (down syndrome), autism spectrum disorder, congenital defects are some of the common diagnosis eventually made as a child goes through the process.

The ultimate goal is to support the family members and child to ensure optimal development of the child in order to participate in family and community activities. The attainment of this goal varies with each child.

Services which the child may need may include:

  • Audiology or hearing services.
  • Medical services
  • Nutrition services
  • Occupational therapy
  • Orthotic/Prosthetic devices
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech therapy


Developmental Milestones for Children


Motor Sensory and Thinking Language or Social


3 months Lift head from shoulder and lying

Turn head from side to side

Track moving objects with eyes

Grasp toys

Wiggle and kick arms and legs

Turn head to bright lights and colours

Turn head towards sound of human voice

Recognise bottle or breast

Respond to shaking toys or bells

Making cooing or gurgling sounds

Smile in response to smiles

Facial expressions and crying to show discomfort of hunger or fear

Is soothed by calming voice or when held

6 months Hold head steady

Reach for and grasp objects

Plays with toes

Help with holding feeding bottle

Transfers toys from one hand to the other

Sit with minimal support

Pulls up to a sitting position

Roll over

Bounce in standing position

Opens mouth for spoon

Imitate familiar actions

Babble and sing song sounds

Recognises familiar faces

Laughs in delight

Scream if annoyed

Smile at own image

12 months Drinks from cup with help

Finger feeds using thumb and forefinger

Points with first finger

Takes blocks out of a container

Sits well without support

Crawl on hands and knees

Pulls self to stand

Stand alone momentarily

Walk with one hand held

Copy sounds and actions

Respond to music with body motion

Accomplish goals like crawling to a toy

Look for objects such as block behind a box

Babble which sound like talking

Saying first word

Recognize family member names

Show affection to familiar adults

Raises arm to be picked up

Understands simple commands

Show apprehension about strangers


The PhysioCraft team would work with the family to identify, plan and achieve the goals which are set with the child. The process is usually a lengthy one which requires reinforcement from the family when medical personnel is not with the child. If you have any questions or require more information, you can reach us by calling +2348035670888 0r +234 8171940921 or fill our contact form. We would answer any questions you have for free.

PhysioCraft care centers: Ikoyi, Ikeja, Ajah & Abuja.

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