If a child is enrolled in a summer therapeutic preschool program, they are receiving consistent (if not daily) support in key areas of development. Some programs even offer services from speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, ABA therapists, or feeding therapists throughout the day. If your child is enrolled in a similar program throughout the school year, you are likely seeing them make incredible progress in key areas of development. As spring approaches, you may begin to wonder about the next steps for your child during the summer.
Luckily, many therapeutic preschool programs see the significant benefit of providing year-round programs for children. It is great to see child build positive skills throughout the school year, and this progress should not stop when summer approaches. They also recognize that consistency is key when building and reinforcing positive behaviors in early childhood development. This can be especially important for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental delays. While a typical preschool program is designed with children who are typically developing in mind, a therapeutic program provides more support with critical skills, such as speech, language, behavior, social skills, motor skills, and more.
8 ways a summer therapeutic preschool program can help your child:
- Speech and language development: Many therapeutic preschool programs have a speech-language pathologist who works directly with children in the classroom who experience speech and language delays. The program will also likely have a low student-to-teacher ratio, to allow for more individualized comprehensive care.
- Play skills development: There are many opportunities throughout the day for children to develop appropriate play skills with their teachers and classmates during free play.
- Feeding therapy: If a child has autism, sensory issues, or other developmental delays, they may have challenges with feeding. Many therapeutic preschool programs will have a feeding therapist who can work with children on these skills during snack time. Some programs may even incorporate SOS Approach techniques during feeding therapy.
- Motor skill development: Many therapeutic preschool programs have an occupational therapist who can work with children to develop their motor skills. Art is one example of an activity that can help build fine motor skills.
- Receptive language skills: Children can receive additional support with receptive language, the way they process and understand language. This might include storytime, where the therapeutic preschool teacher will engage students in the story while they are reading.
- Expressive language skills: Many activities throughout the day will target expressive language skills, such as music. These skills help children become more effective communicators, which is critical during early childhood development.
- Sensory integration: Many summer therapeutic preschool programs help children with autism and sensory issues to improve their sensory integration skills through activities such as sensory bins, finger painting, or more.
- Social skills: Many children with autism or other developmental delays struggle with social interactions and forming friendships in school. By continuing with a therapeutic preschool program throughout the summer, they receive additional opportunities to build social skills in a group setting.
Do you think your child could benefit from a summer therapeutic preschool program? Contact CST Academy at 773-620-7800 to learn more about our summer therapeutic preschool program that provides ABA therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and feeding therapy services for children in Chicago!