Siblings & Early Intervention ~ by Nicolle, Shine DT

Siblings can feel like they are being left out when their brother or sister is having therapist(s) come to see them and play. They want to join and play as well.  The best way to include them is to have them help with the therapy. As a therapist, I love including siblings. They help model and encourage their brother or sister in EI (Early Intervention) to learn new skills. Siblings are more helpful than parents realize.  

If the siblings are around during therapy, let them help! As parents, we sometimes try to make sure the siblings are not in the way of the therapy. However, EI therapists are there to help not only the kiddo but the family. We love having the whole family involved in these sessions! If the sibling is older let them help model what you want. We all know that little siblings look up to and have to do everything their older sister or brother is doing. This will help encourage them to try. It also helps teach both kids how to take turns and engage with other kids. With younger siblings we can encourage our EI kiddos to teach their younger brother or sister how to do the skills we are working on. 

As a therapist, I love having siblings help me during therapy. We are there for the whole family and the strategies we use are meant to be implemented by any family member, which is great! Having siblings involved in their sibling’s EI experience helps them feel included and needed. Siblings are an important part of Early Intervention and can be a huge help in encouraging and modeling new skills.

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An 8-week program for children age 3-5 with sensory processing differences

Children with sensory processing differences have difficulty with regulation, which sometimes makes it difficult for them to interact with the world around them. Our Sensory Explorers group targets regulation in order to build engagement! This group is led by pediatric occupational therapist Mackenzie Baldock and developmental therapist/PLAY Project Consultant Brenna Thompson, both of whom specialize in using developmentally appropriate strategies to support children so they can learn new skills. Group meets once/week for 60 minutes.

Wondering if this class is appropriate for your child? Some characteristics of kids who benefit: easily frustrated with play, repetitive play, difficulty sitting/keeping still to engage in play, refuses to allow others to engage in play, unable to be messy, overly busy, quickly overwhelmed in a busy environment, picky eater, difficulty tolerating grooming/dressing/diapering routines, struggles with transitions/following a group plan/routine. 

Goals of the group include:

  • Child participating in a variety of sensory play activities
  • Engaging socially with others in the group
  • Providing a non threatening environment where children can experience new sensations with the support of a pediatric Occupational Therapist and PLAY Project consultant
  • Providing personalized resources to caregivers, so they better understand the sensory system and learn strategies to assist their child with regulation outside of group
  • Opportunity to meet with other local families
 
 

Group begins with a 30 minute Open House on Tuesday October 4 for your child & caregiver/family to attend. This provides an opportunity to meet the therapists, acclimate your child to the space and provide some initial information about your child’s responses to a variety of sensory activities. 30 minute sessions will be offered from 12:30-4:30 on 10/4 with sign up sent with registration.

 

GROUP MEETS for 6 weeks October 11-November 15: Tuesdays 2:00-3:00 OR Tuesdays 3:30-4:30. ***We ask that families who are able remain flexible on the time slot so we can effectively pair your child with others that they will gain the maximum benefit from for social interactions!** Caregivers are encouraged to stay to support their child and learn helpful strategies, however other options will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Caregiver education is a key component of this program. Make-up date in case of class cancellation: 11/22/22

 

Group ends with a 15-30 minute Zoom wrap up session with caregiver(s) on November 29th. Every participant will receive a short, personalized Session Summary report complete with suggestions/recommendations for helpful sensory supports in the child’s home/classroom/community.