When you can’t come to us to our center, we come to your home to provide online sessions.

Have you ever felt that over the years with therapies, your child has developed good skills and is able to be functional and independent, but he/she faces slight difficulties in specific areas only? If that’s the case, then instead of a full therapy program, don’t you think a tailor-made program to focus on respective areas of difficulties would be more helpful?

Do you feel that you do not stay in a place where good therapy services are available or that you do not have access to experienced therapists to help your child and your family?

Have you felt that going to a therapy center and the travel time involved might be cumbersome and not fit into your schedule?

If any of these questions generated a ‘yes’ from you, then possibly what we at PlayStreet Specially Abled Educare Trust have come up with for our new OPD programs might be helpful to you.

Keeping the current situation and the changing needs in mind, we at PlayStreet have created some new programs using the feedback from our helpful parents.

BE READY FOR SCHOOL (SCHOOL READINESS PROGRAM)

School readiness is a measure of knowledge, skills and behaviors that enable children to participate and succeed in school. School readiness is about the development of the whole child – their social and emotional skills, physical skills, communication skills and cognitive skills. 

This program targets the prerequisites needed for attending a school, which are as follows:

  • Cognitive training 
  • Motor skills
  • Visual-perceptual skills
  • Pre-acedemic skills
  • Communication and social skills
  • Self-help skills

Program Details:

5 sessions per week for 6 months (Monday – Friday)
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 3 children
Age Group: 3-7 years
Charges: ₹8000 per month per child

Services Offered Per Week:

Occupational therapy - 1 session each for Self-help and Cognition
Language therapy - 1 session for Communication
Special education - 1 session for Visual Perception and Pre-academics
Yoga - 1 session for Motor Planning
Social interaction - 1 session for Social Skills

AUTISM FITNESS PROGRAM (POSTURAL STABILITY):

Posture is a fundamental skill for children’s development; it can further impede the development of other perceptual-motor skills in children. Motor impairments in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been frequently observed due to low muscle tone, poor integration of different sensory systems, poor reflex integration etc. Thus abnormal postural control can exacerbate ASD core symptoms by limiting the social interactions.

The Program Targets:

  • Balance and postural training
  • Muscle flexibility and endurance training
  • Integration of the sensory system (SI)
  • Motor planning

Program Details

4 sessions per week
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 3 children
Charges: ₹6000 per month per child

Services Offered Per Week

2 Occupational Therapy sessions - SI and motor planning
2 Yoga Sessions - balance and posture muscle flexibility

FUNCTIONAL ADL PROGRAM (FOR PARTICIPATION IN EVERY DAY CHORES):

ADL is a term used in healthcare that refers to daily living activities that are meaningful to an individual. Think about all of the little things you need to do each day - personal hygiene, feeding, dressing, preparing a meal, going to office, managing expenses etc. – all of these constitute the ADL functions.

Children with autism need systematic, and sometimes intensive teaching in the self-care area due to deficits in language, attention skills, interfering behaviors, sensory impairments or planning issues. People with autism don’t understand the social motivations of others." 

For children with autism, learning life skills is essential to increase their independence at home, at school and in the community. By introducing these skills early and building block by block, children with autism gain the tools that will allow him/her to grow their self-esteem, thus leading to more happiness in all areas of life. 

The Program Targets basic and instrumental ADL training

Program Details:
1 session a week
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 3 children
Charges: ₹1600 per month per child

Services Offered Per Week:
Basic ADL - feeding, toileting, dressing/undressing, grooming etc.
Instrumental ADL includes - money management, phone uses, laundry management, cooking, health skills, safety skills, transportation skills etc.

GET YOUR BREATHING RIGHT

Speech production, speech clarity and speech loudness require abdominal grading, controlled oral airflow, lip rounding, and tongue retraction. All of these components need to be coordinated so that children can use controlled, elongated oral airflow as a component of speech clarity. Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) has many activities like Horn Hierarchy and Straw Hierarchy, which is highly motivational and popular across both clients and speech therapists.

We all know that Yoga in the form of pranayama trains the lungs and improves the capacity of the respiratory system immensely.
Thus, this program unifies the benefits of OPT and Yoga. It is the only program of its kind in existence.

The Program Targets:

  • Abdominal grading
  • Dissociation and muscle endurance
  • Phonation duration
  • Respiration and breath control
  • Loudness

Program Details:
3 sessions a week
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 3 children
Charges: ₹4400 per month per child

Services Offered Per Week:
1 session of OPT
2 sessions of Yoga

THE READING PROGRAM

Learning to read is one of the most important skills children develop. To enjoy reading a book, especially as a way to spend their free time meaningfully, a child would need to develop reading with phonics, reading comprehension and visual perception skills. Hence the reading program has been created to help develop these reading skills.
Home is where so much of your child’s learning takes place. It is where they feel most confident, happy and supported. Studies prove that children who come from homes where reading is prioritised are already way ahead of their peers. The home is the ideal place to lay the building blocks for long term reading and academic success.
PlayStreet’s Reading Program provides your child with an educationally sound and highly enjoyable ‘learn to read’ program that is not only fun and effective, but also easy to integrate into your daily routine as it is online.

The Program Targets:

  • Phonemic awareness - The ability to hear and manipulate the different sounds in words.
  • Phonics - Recognizing the connection between letters and the sounds they make.
  • Vocabulary - Understanding the meaning of words, their definitions, and their context.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understand the meaning of text – both in story books and information books.
  • Fluency - The ability to read aloud with speed, understanding and accuracy.

Program Details:
2 sessions a week
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 3 children
Charges: ₹3200 per month per child

Services Offered Per Week:
Each session includes 30 minutes of reading and 15 minutes of Visual Perceptual activities

THE WRITING PROGRAM (USING THE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED HANDWRITING WITHOUT TEARS™ PROGRAM)

With the advent of texting, typing and swiping, students are becoming digital natives. So, is handwriting still important?

Handwriting remains a critical skill in the classroom. In order for children to be successful readers, writers, and ultimately, communicators, they need to have a strong foundation. 
“Handwriting Without Tears” is an award-winning curriculum that offers multisensory strategies and materials to teach pencil grip, letter formation, and the literacy skills that are needed for print and cursive handwriting.

PlayStreet’s Writing Program provides your child with the guidance needed to develop handwriting skills using multisensory strategies. At the same time, typing will also be taught in parallel.

The Program Targets:

  • Pencil grasp
  • Letter Formation
  • Word Formation
  • Spacing between words,
  • Copying from the board

Program Details:
2 sessions a week
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 3 children
Charges: ₹3200 per month per child

Services Offered Per Week:
In each session, 15 minutes of writing, 15 minutes of typing and 15 minutes of Visual Perceptual activities would be done

ACADEMICS

Focusing on academics is the best way to engage a learner in acquiring knowledge and applying this knowledge in context. Thus, a few children who are not able to cope with academics in conventional setups are supported through this program.

This program can be taken if learners have reading and writing skills already.

The Program Targets:

  • Maths
  • Science
  • English (Grammar and Creative writing)

Program Details:
5 sessions a week (Mon-Fri)
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 3 children
Charges: ₹8000 per session

Services Offered Per Week:
15 minutes Maths, 15 minutes Science and 15 minutes of English everyday

GET READY FOR WORK! – OUR PREVOCATIONAL PROGRAM

This program is for 6 years and above, and has been designed to improve three main elements: - work personality, work competence and work goals. This program promotes self-esteem, self-discovery, decision making and work role experimentation.

The Program Targets:
Developing critical thinking and application of thought for functional skills

Program Details:
Once a week
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 3 children
Charges: ₹1600 per session

Services Offered Per Week:
A variety of play and household activities that improve skills like
Basic Handcrafting (E.g. cutting/folding, pasting paper for beginners, etc.)
Computer skills - orientation
Assembly work
Attending and waiting,
Personal hygiene,
Money management skills,
Following directions etc.

“HAVE YOU TALKED TODAY?” – A SELF-HELP PROGRAM FOR PARENTS

This program is especially designed for the parents of special need kids. Parents who are primary care givers of a child affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are often found to experience higher levels of stress, depression, anxiety and poor physical health. Parents need to be empowered, get educated about Autism, get supported, get a break, be given help, and have someone to talk to.

This program will be run by psychologists to support families in the above areas.

The Program Targets:
Mental wellbeing of Caregivers

Program Details:
Once a week
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Group Session involving 5 Parents
Charges: ₹1000 per month

Services Offered Per Week:
Fun activities - chosen by parents
Tips to facilitate kids at home
Being able to talk about life/challenges/achievements
Being able to talk about happy moments of life
Make-up day/Talent day
Group outing (local) – once in 3 months (without kids)

A NOTE ABOUT “THERAPIES WITH A CUP OF COFFEE @HOME”

During online sessions parents may have questions with respect to the therapists' involvement, as parents are working with their children. The therapists' involvement goes far beyond the session hours

Online sessions are completely planned by the therapists
The activities for the sessions are created by therapists
The therapists actively monitor the whole session and guide through the sessions

Parents are facilitators to make sure that the children are involved and participative in a therapist led online session. Parents should be mentally relaxed and let the therapist coach the child and themselves.

Additionally, In ONLINE sessions, parent coaching is also about watching and waiting for the teachable moment! It is about affirming the parent’s competence.

If parents feel like that therapists are doing less because they are outside of the parent child dyad, then it is important that parents understand that therapists are actively waiting and watching to see what parents are doing and how to adjust and add strategies. They are always alert to give right guidance, advice and strategy.

Also, when therapists don’t have just their own agenda, and they also give freedom to parents to take some decisions, parents really open up about what they do need help with!

The following section is to highlight a few important points about “Therapies with a cup of coffee @home” in order to bring ease to sessions.

Recommendations For Online Sessions
1. During online sessions, the parent’s role is to embed therapeutic strategies and goals into daily routines, everyday interactions and a few structured activities.
This is what every therapist should help you with.
2. Collaboration between the therapist and the parent via phone or video is key to online sessions. The parent should be guided on just 1-2 specific goals and related strategies for a day or for the week, depending on the frequency of the online sessions.
3. If your child doesn’t cooperate in the online sessions with the therapist, then use those sessions to talk to the therapist and understand how the activities can be done at home. No child should go on for too long without engagement.
4. Don’t say “NO” to online sessions. Problem solve with your therapist on how you can make it work for the benefit of your child.
5. Record down your successes and challenges – which activity or routine was successful today? Why was it successful? Which routine or activity was challenging today? Why did your child struggle through it? What guidance do you need from the therapist? How can you build yours and you child’s confidence through this collaborative approach with the therapist?
6. Mix and balance your therapy sessions between online and face to face sessions, as online sessions empower parents to work with their child, which is the most beneficial in the long run. Parents also start to understand their child and their child’s program better.
Tips for Parents:
1. For emergent speech in minimally verbal young children, use comments instead of questions. E.g. “What is this?” should be replaced with “Wow, you have a ball.”
Life is not a quiz!
2. Focus on communication more than speech. Use AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) if the child’s speech hasn’t developed yet. In this way, a parent can develop the child’s cognition and language instead of waiting for speech to develop the same.
3. Teach basic wants needs and feelings through interaction. Teach letters, numbers, shapes and colours though play. Don’t make learning boring!
4. When talking to the child, use less language and fewer words.
Say Less. Stress. Go Slow. Show.
5. Interact face to face with your child. Maintain eye contact with your child at all times. Give cues only when the child looks at you. If working on speech, your child needs to see how you move your lips, tongue and jaw when you talk. Talk naturally.
6. When you child does not verbally respond as hoped, then become his/her voice and the say the desired word. A better way is to use AAC with a speech generating device so that the child discovers their own ‘voice’.
7. Using the words “talk’, “do”, “say” or “speak” should be considered taboo in the beginning of the journey as this will increase the pressure the child feels to use verbal words. Increased pressure to speak can actually decrease verbal attempts.
8. Prompting is a good tool to teach skills to children, but it should be faded immediately as it makes children dependent on prompting, thus impeding independence.
9. Slow down and wait for the children to think and come with solutions themselves. And if they are not able to solve the problem, then facilitate and simplify, but don’t jump in to help too quickly.
10. Give the child as many opportunities as possible to think and problem solve different situations. Although you as a parent might be tempted, don’t try to solve or find solutions to the problems your children face. The more thinking there is from the child, the better the overall development. Otherwise your child will become very robotic and know only how to ‘follow’ you.
11. Follow our blog to learn about various prompts: https://www.playstreet.in/…/03/15/prompts-special-education/
12. Restrict usage of screens (Phones/iPads/Tablets) as it does not lead to interaction between parents/ caregivers and children. Instead it might increase visual stimming.
13. Work on therapy goals for your child for 2 to 3 hours only. Otherwise it will be stressful for caregivers as well as children, thus affecting their relationship. Instead, find time to have fun together like listening to music together, dancing together playing simple board games together, cooking something together, watching TV together, playing musical instruments together, etc.
14. Involve you child in small household chores.
15. Start playing games yourself and then invite them to join in. Play should not be made work.
16. Have a structure through the day. Build a routine for you and your child.
ONLINE SESSIONS vs. DIRECT SESSIONS
A report by our team at PlayStreet after 2 months of online sessions:
1) When parents worked with their kids on the same program as therapists under their guidance, they discovered that their kids knew much more than they expected. Hence, parents started giving their children more opportunities to work independently.
2) Parents get more empowered and confident about working with their child, which of course is the best, in the long run.
3) For those who normally don’t get to meet their therapists frequently, online sessions gave them a more frequent platform to speak to their therapists, understand their child’s program better and how to go about it at home in more natural settings.
4) Therapists had to brainstorm on how to use household materials for therapy.
5) A structure continued to be provided to the child when life became unstructured for the child.
6) Parents got feedback everyday on how they are doing and which area they have to put more effort.
7) Familiarity and comfort of home reduced the children’s anxieties and they were observed to be more cooperative.
8) Children were happier to engage with their parents, and hence, more cooperative.
9) Parents got a fair understanding of how to engage their child, thus, realigning their expectations.
10) The best part was including siblings in the program, thus starting inclusion right from home.

Innovation and challenges go hand in hand, and these are some of the challenges we faced:

a) Children might not be cooperative in front of the camera. Hence parents get worried that the session is wasted.
b) Poor internet connection sometimes.
Solution - Instead of videos are taken beforehand of parents working with the child and sent to the therapists, then the sessions can be used to guide the parents on what next to be done or what needs to be changed or what could be improved in the parents interaction with the child.
A structured tool like Goal Track for assigning, monitoring and tracking the goals and progress makes the online sessions remarkable.