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Early intervention programmes for infants at high risk of atypical neurodevelopmental outcome

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Anna BasuORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a review that has been published in its final definitive form by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019 Mac Keith Press The purpose of this review is to present a new framework, EI SMART (early intervention: sensorimotor development, attention and regulation, relationships, and therapist support) for identifying key components that could contribute to more effective interventions for infants at high risk of atypical neurodevelopmental outcome. We present a clinical consensus of current challenges and themes in early intervention, based on multidisciplinary group discussions, including parents of high-risk infants, supported by a literature review. Components to include in early intervention programmes are: (1) promotion of self-initiated, developmentally appropriate motor activity; (2) supporting infant self-regulation and the development of positive parent-infant relationships; and (3) promotion of early communication skills, parent coaching, responsive parenting, and supporting parental mental well-being. Such multimodal programmes may need to be evaluated as a package. What this paper adds: Early intervention programmes should address sensorimotor development, attention, self-regulation, and early communication skills. Therapist input to the programme should include parent coaching and support for parental mental well-being.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hutchon B, Gibbs D, Harniess P, Jary S, Crossley S-L, Moffat JV, Basu N, Basu AP

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Year: 2019

Pages: Epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 04/03/2019

Acceptance date: 04/01/2019

ISSN (print): 0012-1622

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8749

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.14187