Providing the nurturing children need to grow
We turn obstacles into opportunities. The Meyer Center gives pre-school children the education, therapy, guidance, and care they need to grow and evolve developmentally. Prior to entering the Early Childhood Education Program, each child undergoes a screening and evaluation conducted by Meyer Center therapists and teachers to determine needs and program eligibility.
Every child is unique. No two learn in exactly the same way, or have the same needs. For Special Needs children this is particularly true.
Depending on a child’s perceived disability or challenge, The Meyer Center has developed an academic program to help each child bridge the gap in the areas in which they struggle. Our interdisciplinary team provides a comprehensive range of services that promote growth in all developmental areas.
- To provide development experiences necessary for learning.
- To teach skills pertinent to his/her developmental age for increased growth.
- To provide an environment which fosters sensitivity and respect for individual differences in others.
- To coordinate and work to achieve the goals developed by the therapist, the teacher, and the parent/guardian.
- A skilled, compassionate multi-disciplinary team
- Certified teachers and trained paraprofessionals
- Speech-Language Pathologists
- Occupational Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Social Workers
Developmental strategies are planned and implemented to help our students reach established goals—in the classroom, during therapy and at home.
This interdisciplinary approach allows the student to be viewed as a “whole child” functioning with separate, distinct developmental skills. Our curriculum incorporates a range of therapies to engage students in a wide variety of experiences: music, dance, pet, yoga/exercise, and field trips.
Preparing them to take the next step
Parents are provided a quarterly report of their child’s progress. We make sure we are meeting the established goals set for the in the Individualized Educational Program (IEP), and we review and update the IEP each year with the family. The Center’s success rate in completing IEP objectives averages 75%. If a child’s progress falls below the standard, the IEP may be revised, or specific strategies developed, in concert with the child’s family, to address the problem areas. Our multidisciplinary team works with parents in securing appropriate public school placement upon their child’s graduation from the Meyer Center program. Coordination with the school district personnel ensures that this transition occurs as smoothly as possible.
Some children come to us with various challenges that inhibit their interaction with others and their environment. Such students require a trained therapist to help them engage in activities that come naturally to most children.
Occupational therapy is concerned with three activities of daily living: Self-Care, Play, and Work. The “work” of a child at The Meyer Center is to develop preschool and play skills. The occupational therapist evaluates a child to determine if there are delays or obstacles that inhibit age-appropriate play and behavior.
Putting play to work
The occupational therapy assessment includes testing in the following four areas:
- Fine Motor Skills (hand skills)
- Visual Motor Skills (eye-hand coordination)
- Self Help Skills
- Sensory Processing
Factors such as strength, muscle tone, and praxis (motor planning) are also assessed because they are the foundation for skills in all of these areas. If necessary, a treatment plan is implemented to address the areas of concern identified in the evaluation. Therapy goals are addressed in both individual and group settings. To ensure maximum carryover in the classroom setting, the occupational therapist consults with teachers and works in conjunction with physical and speech therapists. Ongoing communication with the family and ancillary service providers (ex: outpatient therapies, early interventionists) is maintained in order to ensure the child’s needs are addressed.
Physical therapy addresses the child’s general strength and abilities in the areas of gross motor skills and mobility. Our physical therapy tear focuses on improving mobility and gross motor skills to help each child reach their individual goals.
The evaluation looks at the child’s posture, sensory processing, muscle tone, coordination, developmental skills, skin integrity and adaptive equipment. If problems are identified in these areas, a plan for intervention is developed and physical therapy may be recommended.
Physical therapy and the classroom
Each child is assigned a physical therapist who will work with the Education Staff to ensure proper classroom practices, including: how to properly lift and carry the child, positioning the child at the table for classroom activities, and on the use of special equipment (for sitting, standing or walking). Direct physical therapy goals and activities are individually established based on the evaluation. The Meyer Center Therapist work with the family and local medical equipment providers to identify, order, and maintain adaptive equipment to assist the child’s sitting stability, posture or mobility.
Every child has something wonderful to say, a voice that needs to be heard. We want to make sure each child has that opportunity.
Our Speech & Language Pathologists evaluate a child’s communication abilities and implement a planned treatment program designed to improve communication skills.
- Assessment and Treatment (of receptive and expressive language)
- Auditory Processing and Memory
- Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC), including both low-and high-tech devices/systems.
- Articulation and Fluency (i.e. stuttering)
- Oral-Motor Development
- Feeding/Drinking Skills
After consulting with a physician and the child’s parents, we assign tangible therapy goals achieved through a number of proven modalities and techniques, suited to the child’s unique needs. Therapy sessions may be conducted individually, in small groups, in larger classroom groups, or in conjunction with other therapies. The therapist may also provide speech services in the classroom within the context of the child’s daily routine. Ongoing communication and consultation with the student’s family, Meyer Center staff, and other community professionals is maintained to ensure the child’s needs are adequately met.
Our goal at the Meyer Center is to make a meaningful connection with special needs children so that we can help them grow and evolve holistically.
We address physical, behavioral, social, psychological, cognitive, and communicative needs. Music therapy is an effective means to positively address all of these areas. Our Board Certified Music Therapists support special education classroom teachers by providing effective ways to incorporate music into their curriculum. Music therapy involvement can stimulate attention and increase motivation so that children can integrate more effectively with their environment and their peers.
How does music therapy work?
Music Therapy is considered a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It promotes relatedness, relaxation, learning , and self-expression. Our licensed therapists set realistic goals customized for each child based on their unique needs. The targeted strategies are designed to help the child develop the necessary skills to progress toward a pre-determined level of achievement resulting in long-term growth. Best of all, the children really enjoy it, which is a key component to optimal learning.
Benefits of Music Therapy:
- Stimulates and motivates positive behavior and learning
- Triggers multi-sensory experience
- Positively affects both hemispheres of the brain
- Resonates at a deeper level than verbal communication
- Creates bonds with teachers, therapists, other children, and the environment
In the right environment, any child can thrive
At the Meyer Center, we encourage children to grow and develop. Our teachers give each child the personal attention he or she needs, encouraging active participation in the learning process. Children are encouraged to experiment, explore and interact with their environment as they develop their imagination and creativity.