Waves believes that parents and primary caregivers are naturally a child’s first and most important teachers. We also recognize that very young children often learn best in the environment in which they are most comfortable. We know that learning occurs through play-based activities and within daily routines. We understand that each child, no matter how young, has his/her own learning differences and that it is important for parents, caregivers, and other professionals to understand those differences and use them to maximize development and learning.

That is why our Early Learning Program provides a variety of play-based learning opportunities for babies, toddlers, and preschool aged children of all abilities in the child’s home or daycare/preschool. We also provide support for families and caregivers so that they are equipped to meet their child’s unique needs as they continue to grow and develop.

Children diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability can receive development therapy at no cost to the family on a regular basis through Waves Early Learning Program. Our Early Learning Services are provided through referrals through Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) and serves children below the age of three unless they have opted into the extended services which serves children up to their fifth birthday.

Over 500

Number of families supported annually


Number of counties Developmental Therapy is provided in


Number of therapy sessions conducted in 1 year with Early Interventionist Team

Home & Community Services

Waves’ Early Learning Program provides services to young children who have been diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability. Highly qualified and experienced Early Interventionists travel to their homes or other sites in the community to work with families and other care providers.

Our Early Interventionists help families and caregivers integrate learning strategies into everyday routines such as mealtimes, playtime, bath time, diaper changing, and bedtime that encourage growth in all areas of development. They will help plan the home program and provide information and support that will facilitate your child’s development.

Consultations & Training

Waves also supports early childhood educators and other child-care providers through consultation and in-service training on topics including:

  • Challenging behaviors
  • Communication delays
  • Developmental expectations
  • Inclusion in the classroom

Do you think your child might be behind in his/her development? Below we have listed some developmental milestones defined by the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics. You can talk to your pediatrician or self-refer to the Tennessee Early Intervention System.

To qualify for free services through Waves Early Learning Program, a referral must be completed with TEIS first. For more information, contact Gina Wilson, Early Learning Services Director, at rwilson@wavesinc.com.

Developmental Milestones

2 months

At 2 months:

  • Watches you as you move
  • Looks at a toy for several seconds
  • Holds head up when on tummy
  • Moves both arms and both legs
  • Opens hands briefly
4 months

At 4 months:

  • If hungry, opens mouth when she sees breast or bottle
  • Looks at his hands with interest
  • Holds head steady without support when you are holding her
  • Holds a toy when you put it in his hand
  • Uses her arms to swing at toys
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • Pushes up onto elbows/forearms when on tummy
6 months

At 6 months:

  • Puts things in her mouth to explore them
  • Reaches to grab a toy he wants
  • Closes lips to show she doesn’t want more food
  • Rolls from tummy to back
  • Pushes up with straight arms when on tummy
  • Leans on hands to support himself when sitting
9 months

At 9 months:

It’s time for a general developmental screening, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask the doctor about your baby’s developmental screening.

  • Looks for objects when dropped out of sight (like his spoon or toy)
  • Bangs two things together
  • Gets to a sitting position by herself
  • Moves things from hand to her other hand
  • Uses fingers to “rake” food towards himself
  • Sits without support
12 months

At 12 months:

  • Puts something in a container, like a block in a cup
  • Looks for things he sees you hide, like a toy under a blanket
  • Pulls up to stand
  • Walks, holding on to furniture
  • Drinks from a cup without a lid, as you hold it
  • Picks things up between thumb and pointer finger, like small bits of food
15 months

At 15 months:

  • Tries to use things the right way, like a phone, cup, or book
  • Stacks at least two small objects, like blocks
  • Takes a few steps on his own
  • Uses fingers to feed herself some food
18 months

At 18 months:

It’s time for a general developmental screening and autism screening, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask the doctor about your baby’s developmental screening.

  • Copies you doing chores, like sweeping with a broom
  • Plays with toys in a simple way, like pushing a toy car
  • Walks without holding on to anyone or anything
  • Scribbles
  • Drinks from a cup without a lid and may spill sometimes
  • Feeds herself with her fingers
  • Tries to use a spoon
  • Climbs on and off a couch without help
2 years

At 2 years:

It’s time for your child’s autism screening, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask the doctor about your child’s developmental screening.

  • Holds something in one hand while using the other hand, like holding a container and taking the lid off
  • Tries to use switches, knobs, or buttons on a toy
  • Plays with more than one toy at the same time, like putting toy food on a toy plate
  • Kicks a ball
  • Runs
  • Walks (not climbs) up a few stairs with or without help
  • Eats with a spoon

For more developmental milestones, review this checklist provided by the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics.

Our services, including an evaluation, are FREE to those who qualify. If you have questions or concerns, contact Gina Wilson at rwilson@wavesinc.com or (615) 794-0633.

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