Please assist with what research says about the cost effectiveness of early intervention programs.
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This website discusses the long-term costs of early intervention, and states that the costs of early intervention are offset by the savings of starting treatment later in life. http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content/early.intervention.html
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Early intervention applies to children of school age or younger who are discovered to have or be at risk of developing a handicapping condition or other special need that may affect their development. Early intervention consists in the provision of services such children and their families for the purpose of lessening the effects of the condition. Early intervention can be remedial or preventive in nature--remediating existing developmental problems or preventing their occurrence.
Early intervention may focus on the child alone or on the child and the family together. Early intervention programs may be center-based, home-based, hospital-based, or a combination. Services range from identification--that is, hospital or school screening and referral services--to diagnostic and direct intervention programs. Early intervention may begin at any time between birth and school age; however, there are many reasons for it to begin as early as possible.
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Why Intervene Early?
There are three primary reasons for intervening early with an exceptional child: to enhance the child's development, to provide support and assistance to the family, and to maximize the child's and family's benefit to society.
Child development research has established that the rate of human learning and development is most rapid in the preschool years. Timing of intervention becomes particularly important when a child runs the risk of missing an opportunity to learn during a state of maximum readiness. If the most teachable moments or stages of greatest readiness are not taken advantage of, a child may have difficulty learning a particular skill at a later time. Karnes and Lee (1978) have noted that "only through early identification and appropriate programming can children develop their potential" (p. 1).
Early intervention services also have a significant impact on the parents and siblings of an exceptional infant or young child. The family of a young exceptional child often feels disappointment, social isolation, added stress, frustration, and helplessness. The compounded stress of the presence of an exceptional child may affect the family's well-being and interfere with the child's development. Families of handicapped children are found to experience ...
Brief discussion of the cost effectiveness of early intervention programs, with relevant portions from two Web-based resources (URLs included) for necessary quotes or paraphrases for an eventual paper. Both resources note the cost savings over time of early intervention programs, and some discussion isincluded regarding the difficulty of accurately assessingt the cost effectiveness of long-term programs.