Scope of Early intervention: Addressing the “At-Risk” Children

Early intervention
Aug 20, 2022

At-risk children are born with a congenital condition or a special need that can affect their development and growth. Sometimes, the condition or special need may not be apparent at birth and parents and doctors may wonder if their child is developing within the norms. 

At-risk children can show early delays in developmental milestones in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. These delays may lead to issues such as: 

  • Feeding problems
  • Speech delay 
  • Sensory issues 
  • Limited attention and concentration
  • Inability to cope in school 
  • Early signs of dyslexia 
  • Delay in handwriting

A developmental assessment will be needed to diagnose the condition or special needs. And once a diagnosis is made, an intervention plan can be made for the child to receive the therapy or other types of early interventions and for the family to receive the support and education they need.

Early interventions for at-risk children can help address their developmental delays and mitigate both the disability and its handicap.  The aim of early interventions is to help at-risk children become as functional or independent as possible. If interventions are introduced early, some at-risk children may still reach their developmental milestones on target or close to the target. 

Early intervention strategies that can be used with at-Risk children are:


Accommodation is to find and use the best learning modality suited for the at-risk child during the learning process. Accommodation can be provided in the form of: 

  • Use of tape recorders 
  • Preferential seating 
  • Taking tests in a quiet environment with allowance for an extended time frame


Compensatory strategies aim to strengthen and build skills to acquire learning. For at-risk children, compensatory strategies to improve study skills and languages acquisition include: 

  • Memorizing vocabulary using mnemonics devices 
  • Color coding to match subject pronouns with their appropriate verb endings 
  • Creating semantic maps and organizing ideas in the writing process 
  • Taking dictation to reinforce pronunciation, spelling, and syllabic rules 


Remediation is frequently employed for at-risk children to develop phonemic awareness. Some remediation strategies are: 

  • Learning the alphabet 
  • Developing [phonological and phonemic awareness of every sound, blend, and diphthong 
  • Learning the spelling rules 
  • Learning to sound out words 
  • Learning the relationships between sounds and letters (sound symbol association) 


Shruti Sethi

Hi! I am Shruti Sethi, a gold medalist in B.ed (Learning Disability). I am working as a special educator with one of the leading schools in Delhi. I firmly believe that every child has some unique ability; we just have to harness it to make them reach their truest potential.