About KIDS FIRST
The Infant Health and Development Project is well described in the literature of early intervention. Arkansas was one of eight states around the U.S.where a specific model of early intervention was carried out with low birth weight pre-term infants. At UAMS, Dr. Patrick Casey, as primary investigator, directed the research that followed an intervention and a control group of children.
The project began with recruitment of infants, continued with services at home and then at a center where very specific early intervention services were provided until the intervention children transitioned to other settings at age 3. Both medical follow ups, developmental testing and parental report were used to describe the outcomes of the study. The Arkansas site demonstrated outstanding differences in I.Q. scores between the intervention and control children as well as lessened behavioral issues based on parental report.
The findings of the study were reported first in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June, 1990. Subsequent follow up studies have monitored the progress of the involved children through age 18.
As the research ended, state government stepped forward to fund the continuation of the model with special needs children. Since then the growth of the program in terms of sites and children served as been significant. From an initial 50 children at the Little Rock site to over 700 in 11 clinics around the state, KIDS FIRST has grown and evolved into the program of excellence operated today.