Therapeutic Early Childhood Education
Our Phoenix Classroom is for children ages 3 to 6 who need intentional, structured behavioral goals to be met on a daily basis in order to further their success.
There are many kids in our community who we see struggling with challenging behaviors in our mainstream classrooms, but who we believe can be successful with some intensive support and skill building. Our model utilizes the scaffolding provided by a fully engaged behavioral Occupational Therapist combined with a fully credentialed Early Childhood Teacher in a lower- ratio classroom for several hours a day with a goal of preparing children for mainstream classroom demands.
Our goal is that children are able to enter mainstream classrooms for some part of the day after 3 – 6 months in the Phoenix Classroom and for all children to be able to move into a fully mainstreamed classroom after 6 12 months. This classroom is meant for children requiring a 1-3 staff to child ratio in order to meet their unique goals. Each session will be limited to 4 to 6 children.
Maxine Haller OTR/L
(970) 818 8768
We have two class sessions:
1: 9:30 am to 12:00 pm daily Monday through Friday
Morning session will open at 9:00 am for parent check in and occasional coaching before class time starts.
2: 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm daily Monday through Friday.
Afternoon session will close at 6:00 pm for parent check-in and occasional coaching after class.
Approaches we use
- Play and Fun
- Social Skills and Relationship Training
- Trauma Informed Strategies
- Sensory Motor Training
- Neuro Developmental Techniques
- Muscular Re-education Techniques
- Movement Based Approaches
- Sensory Integration
- Primitive Reflex Integration
- ADL Training Strategies
- Gross and Fine Motor Development
- Sound modalities such as iLs / Forebrain
- Cognitive Development Scaffolding
- Connection and Whole Brain Function
- Haller Method
The Phoenix Classroom is a partnership between
Kids Brain Tree FoCo
& Young Peoples Learning Center
- Provide care during classroom time, staffed with a qualified OT and credentialed ECT for the entire time.
- Complete initial assessment at least 1 week prior to enrolling child and host a goal setting meeting with parents for a completed individualized treatment plan to be completed at least 3 days prior to child enrollment.
- Complete additional assessments every 3 months and update treatment plan.
- Provide lunch and evening snack for children.
- Provide wrap around classroom time in mainstream classrooms when appropriate to treatment goals.
$1,400 per month per child.
If a student’s first day of attendance is after the 10th of the month or a student will miss more than 10 days within a month, prorated rates may be available.
If a family wishes to disenroll, the family will be responsible for tuition through the month following a written notice. The child is welcome to attend through this entire time. This policy will go into effect after the first month of care.
During the first month, a 2 weeks’ notice is required. Prorated tuition will be available if this is the case.
The Occupational Therapy Approach to Early Childhood Edcuation:
For children struggling with challenging behaviors, the most typical therapeutic approach is to use operant and behavioral conditioning with goals of compliance with social norms. A common therapy using this approach is ABA, though it is not the only one. They use the reinforcement of positive behaviors and the extinction of negative behaviors through rewards and sometimes punishments. The results from these therapies can be comforting to adults in their production of more “normal” children. Though they do produce results around compliance, these approaches do not encourage children to use their unique personalities, talents, and skills to be themselves. We prefer that children be themselves AND be successful at the same time, which requires a very different tactic. Occupational Therapy (OT) interventions look at each child as a developing individual who will behave in ways that communicate their needs. Our OTs are trained to interpret and understand child behavioral communication and to meet the child at their level, allowing for age appropriate interactions and then the scaffolding of the next steps in learning until we have built the child's skill level to where they are competent. We believe there is more than one correct behavioral response to any situation. We believe that our job as developers of humans, is to give children the means to make a choice from a whole range of possible responses, and we know they are successful when they can make one of several positive decisions for themselves. Models which use operant conditioning, including ABA, prescribe a scripted response to a stimulus. These techniques do not just impact life in the classroom, but is also how children learn to handle life’s challenges in general. It produces compliant, institutionalized children with canned interactions that have no room for their unique contribution to the community. The alternative we are offering uses Occupational Therapy approaches that facilitate and build the neural networks in children that enable choice. Through teaching children how to make choices, children become mature, adaptable and beautifully unique, capable individuals. We have found that there are very particular milestones that contribute to the development of these decision- making abilities and when met or missed in the development of gross and fine motor skills, contribute to the development or dysfunction of decision-making skills. Specific movement skill sets, when present, will allow behavioral skill sets to grow and mature. When these movement skill sets are missing, behavioral skill sets are inhibited. When we identify the gaps and facilitate the acquisition of the missing physical pieces, the behavioral pieces follow.