Special Summer Programs For Children With Special Needs
Day camp, overnight camp, play groups, sport teams…the choices are endless. For children who have a speech/language, physical, sensory, or emotional challenge, attending the “typical” summer activities may be stressful for them, and for you as a parent. The Beaumont Health System offers specialized summer groups for children who need additional support from a speech, physical, or occupational therapist, as well as a social worker.
These groups are offered through the pediatric Speech and Language Pathology Department within Beaumont at three different locations; West Bloomfield’s Center for Children’s Rehabilitation, Royal Oak Beaumont Health Center, and Grosse Pointe’s Neighborhood Club (not all groups are offered at each location. Please call the location nearest to you for specific details about the group schedule).
- Lil’ Sprouts is a program that includes parents along with their toddlers ages 18 months to 2 ½ years. Parents learn how to encourage age-appropriate speech and language skills with their toddlers. This program is designed for both typically developing children and children with developmental concerns. The session is broken down into a group discussion, snack time, and circle time. Handouts are given during each session, as well as ‘homework’ topics for parents to try techniques at home based on their child’s communicative level.
- Toddler Language Stimulation Program is an early intervention program specifically designed for language-delayed toddlers. Play-based treatment sessions focus upon establishing imitation skills, building auditory comprehension, and expressive language vocabulary within a group setting.
- Children with poor speech intelligibility often show signs of frustration and shy away from interaction with peers. The Apraxia and Phonological Process Program with Language Experience (APPLE) provides children with group treatment that includes verbal modeling of appropriate interaction with peers and focuses on language skills while practicing their clear speech.
- Chatty Chefs is an expressive language group designed to help children formulate sentences, improve grammar and articulation, and verbally sequence sentences into longer utterances. Because cooking is so fun and is a great way to interact with friends, our group activities revolve around cooking. Each week children make a new recipe and are encouraged to verbally describe each step of our picture recipes. Throughout the session, the clinician helps with grammar and articulation skills. Expressive language and socialization skills are further targeted while the kids enjoy their treats.
- PALS for PALS (Pediatric Autism Learning System for Pragmatic and Language Stimulation) is an intervention model that fully incorporates the National Academy of Sciences recommended best practices for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Visual systems to enhance communication including Picture Exchange Communication Systems are used in individual and small group treatment sessions. This program can improve social communication, regulating emotion, increasing eye contact, turn taking, transitioning, joint attention, requesting skills.
- PEP (Pragmatic Enrichment Program) is specially designed to teach and encourage social interactive skills within a group environment while providing exciting, language enhancing activities. A variety of techniques are utilized to strengthen each child’s specific target skill areas. The goal is to help the child have more positive relationships and more success interacting in the classroom setting.
- The Literacy and Language Program provides individual and group treatment for children who are at risk for reading failure between the ages of 4 years, 8 months to 10 years of age. The program includes instruction and practice with phonemic awareness skills such as letter-sound association and blending sounds into words. The facilitators hold Orton-Gillingham Multi-Sensory Training Certification. Parents are given a home program to reinforce new learning.
- Summer SPOT is a two hour program designed for children in preschool to mid-elementary school. Each two hour session will have a theme that focuses on language, fine motor, gross motor, and social skill development. SPOT is designed for children who demonstrate difficulties with eye-contact, difficulty tolerating new activities, difficulty transitioning from one task to another, reduced peer interactions, limited play skills, sensory issues and/or delays in age appropriate fine motor and/or gross motor tasks. It is a highly structured group that is led by a social worker. Specific activities are be led by speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social workers that provide skill development in the areas of social language as well as gross and fine motor development.
- Additional physical and occupational therapy groups are also available throughout the year. These include martial arts, dance, swimming, and more.
If you think your child may benefit from a pediatric rehabilitation group at Beaumont, please call one of our departments to set up an evaluation/screening session to determine if he/she may be appropriate.
No matter what your child has planned, summer groups in general offer a wonderful opportunity to build language skills, improve socialization skills, and most importantly, have fun!
Hope you and your family have a wonderful summer!
— Sara Lipson, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist
Royal Oak Beaumont: 248-655-5975
West Bloomfield Beaumont: 248-855-4480
Grosse Pointe Beaumont: 313-473-4730