Child Climbing Tree
Defining, and Redefining, “Special Needs”…

Every child is unique… in many ways, on many levels. To say that one child has “special needs” suggests that another does not. Every child has needs that are unique to them, and they thrive in relationships that recognize, appreciate and respond to those needs. For this reason, we do not restrict our services to any particular “labeled” group.  All children benefit from these services, whether they have a specific diagnosis or not. Any child at one time or another just needs someone to be there, someone friendly, helpful, and capable.

Before Special Needs, there are Basic Needs…

For many children, especially those with communication, attention, emotional, or motor difficulties, it can be difficult to know what those unique needs are. It may not be possible for them to tell us, but if we are patient, non-threatening, and carefully observant, they are showing us all the time. If we start with the basics, they will lead us to the specifics. Every child wants to be loved, to be understood, and to be challenged (in that order!) In the process of meeting these needs we discover the gifts, talents, difficulties, and fears that are unique to them.

It Starts with Fun and Grows with Fun…

All children – on the autism spectrum, with attention difficulties, requiring physical accommodations, gifted and talented students, and “regular kids” – want and deserve to have fun. Our job as parents and professional caregivers is to provide a safe environment and activities that maximize the fun they can have. Fun – and the trust relationship it builds – is based on shared experience and mutual respect. The relationship naturally evolves over time, and grows into something stable from which the child is able to be challenged, to take risks, and to experience the joy of going beyond previous limitations.

Bringing out the Best in One Brings Out the Best in Everyone…

We specialize in actively engaging children in ways that promote their self-esteem, and strengthen their ability to trust and connect with others. This helps them to communicate authentically, and to be understood and appreciated for what they need and who they are as individuals. This process encourages development on many levels. They not only make gains in relationship skills and awareness of their environment, they also have the opportunity to develop physically – in muscle tone, balance, cardiovascular health, nutrition, and mental focus.

Recreation, Relationship, and Engagement as a Pathway to Self:
Self-Discovery, Self-Expression, Self-Reliance, and Self-Realization


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