SuperKidz Therapeutic Running Groups Are Back For Fall 2017!

Harness the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain!

Welcome to season 3! Building off the successful two seasons of SuperKidz running group and due to high demand, Milestones is excited to announce the third season of our therapeutic group to assist children and youth with the challenges often associated with ADHD, ADD, anxiety, depression, developmental trauma, high functioning Autism will be returning in September 2017. 

 Why a therapeutic running group? 

Leveraging the exciting new research in neuroscience and my background as a runner and triathlete, these groups are a new and novel way to facilitate positive change in kids dealing with these challenges. Our new knowledge of the brain has allowed us to understand at a deeper level the powerful effects that cardiovascular exercise can have on developing neurological circuity and brain chemistry. 

I have begun to use running as a means of addressing long term neurological change to improve issues such as concentration, learning, attention, self-regulation, behaviour and social competency in children and youth.  I have found this to be an exceptional therapeutic medium that children and youth respond extremely positively to.  

I hear on almost a daily basis from parents who are looking for a positive, wholistic group therapeutic experience based on evidence to assist their children cope with the challenges associated with ADHD, high functioning Autism, Anxiety, Depression, early childhood trauma, etc.  My goal is to use movement as medicine based on the latest research on exercise and neuroplasticity. 

The aim of the running groups will be to mentor and assist children and youth to:

  • become attuned to the link between their bodies (during exercise) and the positive effects physical activity has on how they feel mentally and emotionally. 
  • gain insight into how physical activity can be a positive coping strategy to assist them too self-regulate, concentrate, focus and learn. 
  • develop social competency skills in a supportive, fun, but structured environment led by an experienced Occupational Therapist. 
  • get fit! 

If you are interested in your child joining our group or would just like to chat for further information, drop me a line through the contact/hours/location page above. 

Fall 2017 Groups

Changes for Fall 1017.

  • We have moved from a 6 week to an 8 week block of sessions based on feedback. 
  • We have "tweaked" the age group age range for level 1 and 2. 
  • Added a new group for early teens! 

Level 1 (Tuesdays, 6-8 years old)

Who: 

Kids ages 6-8 years old experiencing challenges with emotional self-regulation, concentration, attention or nuanced social competency challenges. These challenges are often associated with diagnoses such as ADHD, high functioning autism, anxiety, etc. Kids do not require a formal diagnosis to join the group or be a current client of Milestones Occupational Therapy for Children. However, if your child is not a current client, please contact me to discuss your child prior to registering to unsure an optimal fit. Kids older than 7 years will be considered on a case by case basis for participation should level 2 not be suitable. Previous participants in the group do not need to move on to level 2. Please call or email to discuss.

When:

Tuesdays, 5pm-6pm on the following dates:

September 12, 19, 26

October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Where: 

The groups will meet at the greenspace adjacent to the main parking lot of Kinsmen Park, across the street from the former Mendel Art Gallery. 

Cost:

$210 (GST included). 

Maximum 6 participants

How to register:

Registration will be online through online booking (link at top of website) to reserve your child's spot. An invoice will be emailed upon registration and is payable by cash, cheque, or interac email transfer. 

Level 2 (Wednesdays, Ages 9-13)

Kids ages 9-13

Who:

Kids 8-12 years old experiencing challenges with emotional self-regulation, concentration, attention or nuanced social compentency challenges. These challenges are often associated with diagnoses such as ADHD, high functioning autism, anxiety, etc. Kids do not require a formal diagnosis to join the group or be a current client of Milestones Occupational Therapy for Children. However, if your child is not a current client, please contact me to discuss your child's needs prior to registering to unsure an optimal fit.

When: 

Wednesdays, 5pm-6pm on the following dates:

September 13, 20, 27

October 4, 11, 18, 25. 

November 1. 

Where: 

The groups will meet in the greenspace adjacent to the main parking lot of Kinsmen Park, across the street from the former Mendal Art Gallery. 

Cost: $210 (includes GST).

Maximum 6 participants.

How to register: 

Registration will be online through online booking to reserve your child's spot (link at top of page). An invoice will be emailed upon registration and is payable by cash, cheque, or interac email transfer. 

Level 3 (Thursdays, ages 14+)

Youth Ages 14+  

Who: New this season is a running group for teens!

Youth 14 years and older experiencing challenges with emotional self-regulation, concentration, attention or nuanced social compentency challenges. These challenges are often associated with diagnoses such as ADHD, high functioning autism, anxiety, etc. Kids do not require a formal diagnosis to join the group or be a current client of Milestones Occupational Therapy for Children. However, if your child is not a current client, please contact me to discuss your child's needs prior to registering to unsure an optimal fit.

Cost: $210 (includes GST).

Maximum 6 participants.

How to register: 

Registration will be online through online booking to reserve your child's spot (link at top of page). An invoice will be emailed upon registration and is payable by cash, cheque, or interac email transfer. 

Policies and Guidelines:

Milestones reserves the right to cancel classes should there be insufficient registration to offer the class. 

I really hope we don't have to use this!! But I'll keep it here anyways...

As noted, this is an outdoor group. Winter is coming. However, lets be reasonable. The following is used by the Saskatoon Nordic Ski club for all child and youth programs during winter months. We will follow these guidelines: 

The running group will be cancelled if at 1 hour before the start of the session (i.e. 3:30 pm) conditions as listed on the Environment Canada Weather office (http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/sk-40_metric_e.html) indicate:

  1. Temperature is -20°C or below, OR
  2. Wind chill is -25°C or colder

For example:

  • A temperature of -18°C with a wind chill of 22 below - group is on.
  • A temperature of -18°C with a wind chill of 25 below - group is cancelled
  • I will post on my social media channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) at 3:30pm to confirm whether the group is on or cancelled. 
  • Hopefully we won't need to use these guidelines, but should a session(s) be cancelled, make up sessions will be scheduled at future dates. 

Clothing: 

  • Please have your child dressed for the weather. This would include running shoes with thick/wool socks on feet, mitts, neck/face buff or neck warmer and touque. We have heard it a million times, but its nonetheless true, "dress in layers".  A base layer (long underwear/tights) coupled with a wind resistant shell pant and jacket works the best. Two layers are usually good for the legs, and up to three layers for the upper body. This would include a thinner base layer, a thicker mid-layer (fleece or sweater) and a shell with some wind resistance. 

Have questions? Wondering if you child is right for the groups?:

Send me an email through the contact page (http://www.milestonesot.ca/contact-1/) to discuss your child joing the SuperKidz Running Group! 

Check out the coverage the SuperKidz have received in local media: 

http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/running-group-aims-to-help-kids-living-with-autism-and-adhd

or, my interview on Global Saskatoon:

http://globalnews.ca/video/2966391/helping-children-dealing-with-add-and-adhd?sf37092053=1

or a feature about the group from the Brainsport Times:

http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4e18a159318acf3ba3fed9ac1&id=ace86e8047&e=6dba46ae1d

 

SuperKidz Therapeutic Yoga Groups!

The SuperKidz will be out running till winter this year. Stay tuned for January 2018 Groups!

 

Why a Therapeutic Yoga group?

Some time ago, I started practicing Yoga with both physical and mental wellness motivations. I was immediately impressed with the positive impact yoga practice made on my daily life. It has improved by physical health- I am a better runner, skier and cyclist. Mentally, Yoga has made me a better Dad, Husband and therapist. 

Early on in my Yoga practice, I often found myself breaking down the elements of a yoga session and quickly realized that these same components were the very aspects I routinely target in my individual sessions with children and youth in the clinic- balance, dynamic core stability, coordination, breath control, focus, concentration, attention.   It became absolutely clear to me that I needed to find a way to share this experience with children and youth.

Is Yoga for children a new thing? No, of course not. Yoga teacher training for kids, Yoga classes and studios for children are not uncommon. What is less common are training programs for Yoga teachers with specific focus on Autism, ADHD, trauma, and special needs. I searched high and low and discovered a training pathway specific to Yoga for children with these specific challenges.  The training also extends to adaptive Yoga for other developmental diagnoses such as Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.

So what makes Milestone's new Therapeutic Yoga program unique?

Let's call it a "therapeutic mash-up".  It's leveraging the physiological and neuroplastic benefits of Yoga, combined with targeted cognitive-behavioural techniques to address emotional self-regulation and social competencies.

SuperKidz Therapeutic Yoga groups are not your average Yoga classes for kids! 

These are skilled, professionally led  therapeutic group experiences offered by Stephan Bourassa, a uniquely trained paediatric Occupational Therapist with extensive post-graduate training specific to assesseing and treating functional difficulties associated with high functioning Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorders, self-regulation difficulties, social learning challenges, and childhood trauma. 

Our initial group offerings include two groups. Please note the specific targeted therapeutic goals and age ranges:

1. SuperKidz Yoga: Ages 5-7 years. 

Focus:

The primary cognitive behavioural focus will be on self-regulation in this group. Children will be introduced to the concepts of "The Zones of Regulation" at age appropriate levels. The Zones of Regulation is a cognitive-behavioural framework designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control. In addition to the benefits of Yoga practice, the children will gain insight into the specific characteristics of their emotional self-regulation challenges and to learn concrete tools to manage their thoughts and reactions so they can positively respond and cope with the daily demands of life. 

Group size will be limited to a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 6 children. 

Who:

Children between the ages of 5-7 years, experiencing functional challenges with emotional self-regulation, concentration, attention. These challenges are often associated with diagnoses such as ADHD, high functioning Autism, Anxiety, etc. Children do not require a formal diagnosis to join the group. The child does not need to be a current client of Milestones Occupational Therapy for Children.  However, we should talk to ensure an optimal fit. 

When:

Tuesdays, 4:30pm-5:30pm on the following days: 

February 7, 14, 28 (*No class February 21). 

March 7, 14, 21. 

Where:

Milestones clinic space at 1016 King Cres, Saskatoon. 

All materials and equipment provided. 

Cost:

$150 + GST per child. 

How to Register:

Registration will be through my online booking platform. Click on the the following link (make sure to choose the correct group): 

http://www.milestonesot.ca/book-online-1/

Once I get your registration, I will send an invoice which can be paid via interac email transfer or cheque. 

Not sure if your child is right of the group or have other questions?

Feel free to drop me a line by phone or email through my contact page. 

http://www.milestonesot.ca/contact-1/

2. SuperKidz Yoga: Ages 8-10

Focus:

The primary cognitive-behavioural focus of this group will be to increase insight and skill with children demonstrating nuanced social competency difficulties. These are social behaviours that are small, but can cause big problems. These are social behaviours that we often find hard to put our finger on. These are difficulties with social-emotional development that pertain to aspects of being competent in social situations. These can include:

  • Reading non-verbal social cues.
  • Taking perspective (seeing situations from other's view). 
  • Thinking of others, not just me. 
  • Expected behaviour vs. unexpected behaviour. 
  • Size of problem vs. size of reaction. 

In addition to the positive benefits of Yoga practice, cognitive-behavioural frameworks and techniques will be utilized with the targeted goal of improving social competency. Aspects of self-regulation awareness will also be incorporated into the group processes. 

Group size will be limited to a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 6 children. 

Who:

Children between the ages of 8-10 years, with nuanced social competency challenges. These challenges are often associated with diagnoses such as ADHD, high functioning Autism, Anxiety, etc. Children do not require a formal diagnosis to join the group. The child does not need to be a current client of Milestones Occupational Therapy for Children. 

When:

Mondays, 4:30-5:30 on the following dates:

February 6, 13, 27 (* No class February 20). 

March 6, 13, 20. 

Where:

Milestones clinic space at 1016 King Cres, Saskatoon. 

All materials and equipment provided. 

Cost:

$150 + GST per child. 

How to Register:

Registration will be through my online booking platform. Click on the the following link (make sure to choose the correct group): 

http://www.milestonesot.ca/book-online-1/

Once I get your registration, I will send an invoice which can be paid via interac email transfer or cheque. 

Not sure if your child is right of the group or have other questions?

Feel free to drop me a line by phone or email through my contact page. 

http://www.milestonesot.ca/contact-1/

 

 

                                                    The SuperKidz!

                                                    The SuperKidz!

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