Early Childhood Intervention: Module Two – Special Needs & Conditions

Children Born with Low Apgar Scores

Immediately after birth, infants are measured using the Apgar scale . This measures an infant on 5 areas:

  1. skin color/complexion;
  2. pulse rate;
  3. reflex;
  4. muscle tone;
  5. breathing

The test is generally done at one and five minutes after birth. The tests may be repeated later if the score is and remains low. Scores 3 and below are generally regarded as critically low, scores of 4 to 6 fairly low, and 7 to 10 generally normal. The lower the score, the higher the chance that the child will require additional medical intervention, and probably, some level of early intervention. Low Apgar scores are frequently recorded in children who are born pre-term and with low birth weight, or who are small for gestational age. These are children who are more likely to show other medical complications, including respiratory infections , jaundice, and haemorrhages or (brain bleeds).

Intervention Options

There are a number of possible intervention strategies for children who have had medical complications at birth.  They are:

Infant Development /Aboriginal Infant Development Program

Occupational Therapy


Speech Language Pathologist

Vision Consultant

Hearing Consultant

Sensory Integration

Supported Child Development/Aboriginal Supported Child Development program

To learn about the implications of having a low apgar scores in the middle childhood years, please visit the six to 12 part of this course.


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