At Kick Start we strive to offer a variety of specialty groups and programs in order to provide a comprehensive approach to every child’s treatment plan.
We use a team approach for our therapeutic groups. They are led by a combination of therapists (occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and/or developmental therapists) and therapy aides to provide a low adult to child ratio. Children are matched according to age, individual goals, and developmental abilities. Sessions are typically 60 to 90 minutes. Groups are offered at a variety of times to accommodate varying schedules (AM, PM, and after school times).
At Kick Start our pediatric therapists will help guide each family and child to determine which specialties and programs are right for you.
Social Groups (pre-school to school age)
Our social groups are designed to promote social pragmatic skills through participation in a variety of sensory-motor based activities. Specific fine and gross motor activities as well as sensory opportunities are chosen according to the individualized needs of the children in the group. Cooperative and joint problem solving activities are also incorporated. Our groups are theme based, with themes lasting typically between four to six weeks. This allows for repetition and generalization of concepts, an overlying framework to tie activities together, and helps to motivate children to engage in activities that might be more challenging for them.
Social groups provide the opportunity for children to work on foundational skills that may be more challenging when interacting with other children such as:
- flexibility with play ideas
- the ability to follow other’s ideas
- the ability to initiate ideas
- the ability to assert oneself, e.g. to be able to ask for a turn or tell a peer “no”
- the ability to express oneself around play ideas/expansion.
Peers are often wonderful at motivating each other to attempt novel activities or participate in activities otherwise avoided.
Pre-Academic Social Group (pre-school)
Our pre-academic social groups are similar to our social groups for older children though pre-academic skills are also incorporated in order to facilitate kindergarten readiness skills. Our pre-academic groups are typically run by an occupational therapist and a speech and language pathologist in order to fully address the language and motor components needed to acquire social and educational based skills. These groups are also theme based which allows for language vocabulary and concepts to be addressed for several weeks in a row, leading to better retention and generalization. Readiness skills emphasized are developmentally appropriate for each individual group and adapted for each individual child as well.
Fine Motor Groups (pre-school to school age)
Our fine motor groups address a variety of fine motor skills including manipulation, scissor skills, pre-writing, handwriting, and drawing skills, sequencing multi-step fine motor projects, and visual spatial awareness. The foundational skills of fine motor development are also emphasized including hand strength and coordination, grasp patterns, shoulder girdle and core strength/stability, bilateral coordination, and eye-hand coordination. Activities that are chosen address several areas simultaneously and are designed to be motivating and fun in order to encourage participation and positive feelings. Children who are having difficulty in the area of fine motor development may avoid certain fine motor activities, think they’re “boring” or just not tend to enjoy them. Our therapists are experienced in providing a supportive and encouraging environment to help your child improve their functional skills and gain confidence.
Messy Art Groups (pre-school)
Our messy art groups focus on providing enhanced tactile input through a variety of art and fine motor activities. This group is geared towards children who tend to avoid tactile input, seek enhanced tactile input, or could benefit from a multi-sensory approach to improve fine motor skills within a supportive social context. Activities presented are specifically chosen to target fine motor skill acquisition, sequencing and visual spatial skills in addition to sensory processing. Self-regulation is facilitated as children learn to tolerate a variety of input and work through fine motor challenges. Children will be able to explore different art media in a motivating and fun environment.
Sports Groups (pre-school)
Our sports groups are designed to provide exposure to a variety of sports activities such a soccer, hockey, volleyball, basketball, bowling, baseball, and kickball. Beginner level skills are emphasized such as catching, throwing, and kicking balls, use of sports equipment such as a baseball bats, racquets, and hockey sticks. Social skills are also addressed including taking turns, cooperative play, and maintaining self-regulation. Activities often will be introduced in an adaptive manner to facilitate success, incorporate novelty, and to make the experience fun and motivating. Underlying skills needed to successfully participate in a variety of sports will also be addressed including: balance, endurance, strength, eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, trunk rotation, and bilateral coordination.
Handwriting Groups (school age)
Our handwriting groups address the underlying foundational skills required for good handwriting including: core and upper body strength, stability, coordination, fine motor strength and coordination, as well as visual spatial awareness. Specific handwriting skills addressed include: pencil grip, letter formation, letter size, spacing, line usage, legibility, letter memory, sequencing, and story formation. A fun multi-sensory approach is utilized to take the stress out of handwriting!