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.


An 8-week program for children age 3-6 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 therapists Mackenzie Baldock (2:30 group) OR Meghan Day (8:30 group) and developmental therapist/PLAY Project Consultant Brenna Thompson, all 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 MEETS for 8 weeks:  Caregivers must stay on the premises to support their child and learn helpful strategies. Children will separate from caregivers for the session; caregivers can socialize in the lobby (we will also provide a few toys for siblings to play). Caregiver education is a key component of this program. 


OPTIONAL Summary Report available at close of session. This 2 page report will summarize your child’s participation in the class and provide helpful sensory strategies to increase their participation in activities. This report could be given to teachers in classrooms & daycares or utilized to help educate other caregivers about ways to help your child participate. This option includes a 30 minute Zoom meeting with Brenna and MacKenzie/Brenna and Meghan to review the report and discuss your child’s progress in Sensory Explorers. COST: $100 due at sign up