Easterseals runs a variety of groups over the summer for children with special needs that have both a therapeutic component and a social, recreational side. Summer groups can be a great way to supplement traditional, school year therapies while providing your child with a fun summer experience!
The Alert Program: How Does Your Engine Run?
The Alert Program is a fun way to help children to identify, label, monitor, and maintain their levels of alertness for self regulation. Interactive lessons will incorporate language, sensory processing, and cognitive approaches. Co-therapy led by an Occupational Therapist and a Speech/Language Pathologist. For children ages 7 to 10 years old.
All Kid's Yoga
This group combines physical therapy with traditional yoga poses, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques. The group focuses on playful poses, turn taking, and peer interaction. Through yoga, we can calm our bodies or become more alert!
Animal Action Summer Group
Run by an Occupational Therapist and Speech Language Pathologist, the Animal Action group focuses on building social skills while completing fine motor and sensory motor activities. The incorporation of animal assisted interventions through the presence of therapy animals and animal themes ensure all participants will have a howlin’ good time!
Aquatic therapy has many benefits for children of all ages and diagnoses! In order to participate in aquatic therapy your child must have a current prescription for occupational and/or physical therapy. A screen may be required in order to determine the appropriateness of your child for aquatic therapy. Please contact Easterseals Joliet Region, Inc. for additional information.
Summer group is run by two credentialed developmental therapist. The focus is to help children socialize, interact and develop peer relationships all while having FUN! Summer activities include: scavenger hunts, weekly art/craft projects, ice cream social, fine motor/gross motor play, music and more! Snack is provided.
CORE GROUP will work on centering, opening and organizing muscles of the body, improving respiration, and engaging the mind in fun exercises. Through strengthening CORE muscles, children will develop increased strength, control, endurance, respiration, and attention that will help them be more independent and successful in activities of daily living.
Our feeding program uses the SOS Approach to Feeding, emphasizing sensory and oral preparation to increase food repertoire. Our snack time includes 8-10 foods of a variety of tastes, textures, and temperatures.
Fun, Fit & Fabulous
Get fit with other girls under the guidance of physical therapists! Sessions will include fun fitness activities that target strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. Find out how to make physical fitness part of every day! Learn about what foods are healthy, and even make some delicious and nutritious snacks! Participants must be able to follow at least 1-step directions and enjoy new experiences.
Fun, Fit, and FIERCE!
A social and wellness program for pre-teen and teenage BOYS between the ages of 11 and 16.
A new summer program to help boys learn healthy lifestyle habits and make friends! Led by a social worker and an occupational therapist, the group will focus on developing social skills while also learning about fitness, healthy food and hygiene. Sessions will include fun fitness activities that target teamwork, endurance, strength, and socialization., making healthy snacks and discus-sions about being a boy! Let’s make fitness, friendship, and fun part of your every day!
Golf for Kids with Special Needs
Our golf group works on motor planning, endurance, strength, coordination, balance and recreational skills. It is instructed by a PGA Golf Professional, with therapy services provided by a Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist. For children of all ability levels ages 4 years old and up.
Kids will have the opportunity to learn all about growing a garden from farmers on a working farm with the support of an occupational and speech therapist. They will have the hands-on opportunity to manage their own plot of land and plant vegetables. At the end of the group, the kids get to keep what they have grown!
Handwriting Without Tears
Handwriting Without Tears is a multi-sensory program led by occupational therapists at Easterseals Joliet Regional Pediatric Center over the summer to assist children in learning how to write with correct formation, sequencing, sizing, placement, starting point, orientation, spacing, and control. By utilizing hands-on teaching strategies, occupational therapists will work to meet the needs of individual learning styles to improve handwriting in a fun and friendly environment.
For teens that are interested in learning basic skills for finding a job, this group will focus on how to look for job openings, how to fill out applications and interview skills. Led by a social worker and speech pathologist, this is a group for 15 to 20 year olds who are ready to start looking for their first job!
Preschool Alert Group
The Alert Program is a fun way to help children to identify, label, monitor, and maintain their levels of alertness for self regulation. Interactive lessons will incorporate pragmatic or social language, sensory processing, and cognitive approaches. Co-therapy is provided by an Occupational Therapist and a Speech Language Pathologist. For children ages 4 to 6 years old.
Preschool Language Group
This group will be run by Speech/Language Pathologists and targets 3 to 5 year old children with language delays or children who are at risk and need a boost in their vocabulary skills. Children must be able to follow simple directions, separate from caregivers and remain with peers in a group setting.
When a child has a special need, the entire family is affected. Sibshops provide support and guidance to siblings of children with special medical, developmental or learning needs. Sibshops are lively, action packed workshops that celebrate the many contributions made by brothers and sisters of kids with special needs. We acknowledge that being a sib is for some a good thing, for others a not-so-good thing and for many, something in between. Siblings are encouraged to share the challenges and celebrate the joys with other brothers and sisters who are in similar situations. The Sibshop model mixes wacky games, unique crafts and fun discussion activities to let every child know: Sibs R Special 2!
If you would like to have your child take a break from traditional therapies, or want to add on, consider Soccer Shots with Easterseals. Soccer Shots is the national leader in youth soccer development for children. Soccer Shots has been created under the guidance of childhood education specialists, MLS® and USL® professional soccer players, and experienced and licensed soccer coaches. Using these creative and age-appropriate curricula and infusing each lesson plan with enthusiasm and structured activity, Soccer Shots aims to leave a lasting, positive impact on every child.
The Zones of Regulation is a framework and curriculum designed to foster skills in self-regulation, including emotional control, sensory regulation, and executive functions. It is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach that uses four colors to help students visually and verbally self-identify how they are functioning in the moment given their emotions and state of alertness. The model incorporates Social Thinking concepts to help students use perspective taking, to identify how they are thinking and feeling, and understand how their thoughts and behavior impact those around them. Through using the curriculum, individuals become more self-aware and learn tools they can use to regulate to a more expected state.