Brecksville therapeutic day school for kids with special needs IEP

Brecksville Therapeutic Day School: A Lifeline for Kids Who Learn Differently

Kids aren’t carbon copies of each other. All have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as unique ways of thinking and learning. So why would we teach them all the same way and expect them all to thrive equally as well? The Brecksville therapeutic day school at Therapy & Wellness Connection has proven a lifeline for kids who learn differently and have struggled to excel in a traditional public school setting – even with an IEP.

The students in our homeschooling and therapeutic day school program are primarily those who were not adequately supported in their local public school district. Many tried Ohio public schools with accommodations provided through their IEP or 504 plan, but still struggled with the structure, pace, and expectations of the curriculum and/or the school itself.

Through programs like the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program and The Autism Scholarship Program, parents can obtain funding to have the cost of specialized therapeutic day school covered. Our teachers are highly-skilled, and curriculum is designed and overseen by intervention specialists.

Classes are held weekdays at our Brecksville therapy clinic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with flexibility for some students to start as early as 7:30 a.m. and end as late as 5 p.m.), with modified courses that meet state standards but are still achievable by students of varying abilities.

A therapeutic day school differs from a private school in that we also offer a multidisciplinary therapy services (speech therapy, occupational therapy, ABA therapy, physical therapy). There’s a heavy emphasis on generalizing the skills we’re learning in these therapies in academics. We also incorporate therapeutic music, equine, and art opportunities where possible.

The constant collaboration among therapists, educators, staffers, and parents is part of our holistic approach with kids. It also makes helps simplify families lives when there’s a one-stop-shop for all their child’s needs.

A therapeutic day school also has greater flexibility to tailor each day – sometimes each hour – to what each student needs most in that moment. We also recognize that while some same-age kids may be working at grade-level in certain subjects, others may be ahead or behind. Public schools and even some private schools are sometimes limited in their ability to accommodate those differences while still keeping each student engaged and progressing. Our low teacher-to-student ratios allowing us to more easily make those adjustments on short notice.

While the primary focus of our education programs at Therapy & Wellness Connection is academic success (and students with special needs must meet academic requirements just like their neurotypical peers), we also work on empowering them with essential life skills with which they may need more practice.

These skills often include:

  • Reliable and functional communication.
  • Self-managed behavior and emotional regulation.
  • Safe and functional participation in group activities.
  • Independent completion of personal care routines and bodily functions (toileting, handwashing, nose-blowing, covering a cough, etc.).
  • Following both spoken and visual directions (simple at first, then multi-step).
  • Demonstrating good problem-solving skills.
  • Using learned strategies to appropriately meet sensory needs and manage big emotions.
  • Successfully navigating transitions.
  • Turn-taking.
  • Playing and socializing with peers and adults.
  • Reading and writing.
  • Advocating for themselves.

As a therapeutic day school program, we can work on these skills all day, throughout the day, while also incorporating the academic lessons they also need to be working on.

Parents looking for more information on our day school program, homeschooling, and tutoring services can reach out to us directly at [email protected].

Additional Resources:

Current Practice and Perceptions of Group Work in Occupational Therapy, Winter 2014, Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society

More Blog Entries:

Could Your Kid Benefit From Occupational Therapy Groups? Jan. 5, 2024, Brecksville Therapeutic Day School Blog