COVID accommodations being made.
Children with sensory processing challenges often struggle when the activity itself becomes too hard, their emotional responses interfere with physical or social success and/or group activities feel overwhelming or uninviting.
Our Sensory-Social Intensive (SS Intensive) each summer provides a week of therapy that supports self-reflection along with a heightened awareness of others. Sensory rich activities are tailored to meet all levels of skills and assure your child experiences the excitement and thrills of summer. Our micromanagement of "arousal states" enables opportunities for children to successfully navigate uncomfortable feelings and to share in more complex group activities with their peers.
What Children Are Eligible
Children appropriate for this summer group program may have a diagnosis of a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), or be described as clumsy or slow to learn physical skills, bossy during interactive games, very messy or extremely clean, poor listeners, very disorganized or as having poor peer relationship skills.
All children will need to have enough receptive and expressive language skills to participate in brief group discussions.
Children vary. Some need to work on motor skill development. Others need to learn how to recognize when the physical intensity they are seeking is organizing versus disorganizing. Some need both!
Information about your child’s sensory processing and developmental concerns will be taken over the phone prior to the first day. We will be happy to read any report that you may have or talk with a therapist who is currently working with your child in an effort to support carryover of goals and/or to better understand your child’s specific needs. Children enrolling for SS Intensive may already be receiving therapy services or may simply be struggling at home and or school. The group to which your child is assigned will be determined by his or her compatibility with the strengths and challenges to other children within the group. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a formal evaluation or give a written report at the end of this summer program.
How Children Will Benefit
This active play-group setting offers "controlled complexity" and the opportunity for children to practice how to appropriately and effectively express their feelings. In-the-moment reactions to various sensory stimuli will be used to help children understand what helps them feel comfortable and successful and also what makes them feel irritated or overwhelmed. Behavioral responses (both favorable and unfavorable) will serve as a catalyst to help participants better understand their own feelings and behavior as well as those of others. This in-the-moment support offers the information and tools children need to develop strategies which in turn will increase successful social interaction and boost their feeling of self-worth.
What Parents Can Do
To reinforce at home what is being learned during the child’s sessions, parents are encouraged to participate in a brief parent group review to discuss what activities the children participated in, how they responded and suggest activities that can be done at home to support the learning process. This parent review is scheduled each day just before pick-up at 11:40 a.m. General “homework assignments” will also be given to the parents to help practice what is being taught in the group setting.
To maximize the benefits of this program, parents will need to know how to recognize and support their child’s attempt to practice what they have learned. Familiarity with concepts and terminology will also help parents more fully benefit from the daily discussions that are held. To this end, parents are asked to attend, prior to SS Intensive, our Parents First series. Please see the series schedule for upcoming dates.
Summer Week 1 (Ages 4-6)
June 14 - 18
(Monday - Friday, 9am - 12pm)
Summer Week 2 (Ages 7-9)
June 21 - 25
(Monday - Friday, 9am - 12pm)
Christy first saw the need for supporting children in a socially complex, sensory rich environment in the mid 90’s and so formed her summer program.
Through carefully selected activities, children experience pride and excitement as they push beyond their sensory challenged comfort zones. Common games which offer complexity, speed and even competition are adapted to allow children to feel successful and less overwhelmed. When conflicts do arise, the focus is on understanding the factors that led to the challenge and managing personal feelings, not on what the child did “wrong”.
Annemarie, a clinical social worker, joined Christy’s summer SSIntensive in 2006 and brought with her over 20 years of experience working with children with social anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD, oppositional defiant behaviors, developmental delays and conduct disorders.
Through creative play, Annemarie supports children to celebrate their positive attributes and work cooperatively during shared camp projects. Annemarie is additionally a Basic Level Floortime® practitioner.
Caitlin has worked full-time at Christy Kennedy, OTR/L, Inc since 2019 bringing her wealth of skill and intuition as an occupational therapist to the practice. Caitlin is highly effective in supporting children during physical and social-emotional challenges and is adored by her clients. Caitlin is additionally a Basic Level Floortime® practitioner.
Additional adults who wish to learn our methods, often teachers or related therapists, are invited to join our team. A high adult to child ratio increases our effectiveness to support the individual needs of each child as they navigate social challenges.
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