Pediatric Therapies offers various group opportunities throughout the year in a fun, interactive environment, where each individual child’s needs are still served. Playing and learning with other children in a supportive and fun environment can strengthen needed social skills, group play and stretch them to try new things that are being modeled by their peers.
We carefully screen each child when building our groups to be certain group members are compatible and to better understand each family’s goals. It is important to us that each child enrolled realizes success from their group experience, and our screening process helps to ensure that.
A key component of our groups includes parent observation. So that you know how to follow through at home and elsewhere, we strongly encourage our families to observe each group session. Additionally, a lead therapist from your child’s group will meet with all parents following each session to review key elements of that session, discuss how you can reinforce concepts at home, and provide you with take home materials to use throughout the week.
Take a look below at some of our more popular groups.
Groups we offer include:
Social Skills & Play Groups – These groups focus on the skills needed for social success, play and relationship-building with peers. While it seems simple for most of us to get along with others, social skills do not always come easily for every child. Key concepts focused on in these groups include monitoring personal space, staying with the group, self-regulating body and voice, exercising flexible thinking, working with distractions, sharing, compromising, working as a team, and more. Groups are available for all age ranges.
Zones of Regulation Groups – Every activity we engage in requires a certain level of regulation. Sometimes it’s ok to be silly or frustrated and less regulated. Sometimes it’s necessary to be very well-regulated as when sitting in school or at church. In our regulation groups, children learn about the many zones of regulation (from The Zones of Regulation by Leah M. Kuypers, MA, Ed, OTR/L)…and that every zone is ok…sometimes. It’s when, where and how you express your emotions that can become problematic. Children learn that there is a time to be in the red zone (hurt myself, broke an irreplaceable toy, etc.), a time to be in the yellow zone (playing at the park, horsing around with Dad after dinner, etc.), a time to be in the green zone (sitting at your desk in school, riding in the car, etc.) and a time to be in the blue zone (when you’re sick or tired, etc.). Children become familiar with the emotions connected to each zone and when and where those zones are most appropriate. They learn the difference between tiny and earthquake problems, the difference between expected and unexpected behavior, and the tools they can use to help them get back to or stay in the green zone if needed. These concepts are presented through age appropriate, fun and interactive activities that support their understanding and use of these strategies. Parents are strongly encouraged to observe each session so as to build confidence in guiding their children in applying these strategies in everyday life.
Feeding Groups – Eating is such a social activity, bringing joy to most of us. However, some children are extremely picky, or worse, problem feeders. Mealtime can be a genuine source of anxiety for them, and frustration and concern for you. When eating is a problem for your child, we understand it’s the entire family that suffers. Our feeding groups are built on the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding. We build skills on a hierarchy that is doable by your child. We bust myths about feeding such as it’s not ok to play with your food, or every child will eat if they’re hungry. Through exposure, exploration, play and modeling, at a pace that’s comfortable for your child, we rebuild your child’s joy of food and eating. This is a group where we require parental observation. It is critical that you learn the techniques and strategies through observation and education by the leading therapists for carryover outside of the group sessions.
Handwriting Groups – Despite the pervasiveness of technology, our children still need to learn to write legibly. There are many reasons why children have difficulty with handwriting and we understand the lifelong struggle it can be when they develop bad habits early on. Our handwriting groups focus on both printing as well as on cursive using a variety of strategies depending on the need of the group.
Yoga Groups – Yoga can be beneficial to a wide variety of children for a wide variety of reasons including to build motor ability, improve balance, endurance and strength, improve spatial and body awareness, increase flexibility, improve postural alignment, increase circulation and respiration, reduce anxiety, and improve self-confidence, self-esteem and concentration. Our specially trained therapist in Yoga for the Special Child designs each yoga group specifically for the children enrolled in each group based on their specific needs.
Custom Groups – All of our groups are individually designed from multiple curriculums and carefully modified to meet the needs of each particular group based on our screening results. Because we strive to meet the needs of each participant, we sometimes build a custom group around the specific needs of one or more children. If you have a particular need for your child which you believe would be best met in a group setting, please talk to us. It is likely your child is not alone and that there are other children who would benefit from a similar group, which we can uniquely design.