An enriched environment providing appropriate stimulation to a child from birth to six years (especially the first thousand days) is crucial for the child’s holistic development. It lays the foundation for nurturing a child’s abilities and skills in cognitive, speech language, physical/motor, social and emotional/behaviour and self-help domains.

Keeping this in mind, the Early Enrichment and Intervention Program at Holy Family Hospital was set up in 2018. The aim was to provide intensive early stimulation and intervention to all children from birth to six years who are “At Risk” of delays in development or have been diagnosed with certain conditions leading to disabilities.

When quality services are provided under one roof parents are not pulled from all sides trying to seek various therapies from different service providers.

The EEI team of Holy Family Hospital includes the following specialists:
  • Early Interventionist specializing in
    • Neonate OroMotor Assessment of babies in the Neonate Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Vision Therapist working for children with Multiple Disabilities and visual impairment.
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech and Language Pathologist
  • Communication and Behaviour Therapist
  • Social and mental health worker
  • Special Educator

Our team works with children from across disabilities and their families.

The work of the EEI team is twofold.

  • In the NICU
  • Services at the centre where children come in for individual or group therapies.

Our team working in the NICU ensures that preterm, sick, low birth babies are provided with an environment which is structured and organised so that it supports, encourages, and guides appropriate growth and development.

The team creates a healing environment where the babies are protected from unnecessary exposure to light, sound, smell, touch, pain. Correct techniques of feeding positioning and exercising the babies are taught to mothers and other caregivers visiting the NICU.

Children are referred to the services at the centre from the NICU during discharge as well as medical professionals from within the hospital as well as outside. Our therapists deploy play based early intervention strategies during their sessions with the children. Our team believes in active participation by the child and not passive exercises.

Individual and group sessions are designed for each child separately to maximise their potential. Sessions are taken indoor and outdoor to generalize concepts learnt, Music therapy is a big hit with our children and has helped calm down several of them.

EEI centre of Holy Family Hospital is a Parent Training Program. Parents and caregivers are an integral part of the centre. All sessions are conducted in the presence of parents and caregivers. The materials used are inexpensive and can be easily procured at home. Parents are encouraged to actively engage in the sessions and their queries and suggestions are welcomed.

Home visits are an intrinsic part of our work. The visits enable us to observe and understand our children in their natural environment. It also gives us an opportunity to meet the extended family, build a rapport with them and answer their questions. School visits too are made whenever the need arises.

Recently the EEI program has collaborated with the Apollo Tyres to provide an Inclusive Sensory playground for all the children with and without disabilities visiting Holy Family Hospital. This is indeed a feather in our cap since this kind of facility in a hospital is the first of its kind in Delhi if not India. It is just wonderful to see children playing together without inhibitions and the fear of being labelled.

We thank everyone who believes in our work.