New: SuperParentz Group Series
Welcome to SuperParentz!
Every SuperKid needs SuperParents. As Occupational Therapists who specialize in child development and function, we value our role in enabling children to use their strengths to tackle their challenges. Our job however, pales in comparison to the most important job….that of being a Parent.
We are witnesses everyday to the struggles that Parents of children with diverse abilities and challenges face. And in our efforts working with the child so intensely, it can be difficult to find sufficient time to optimally connect with and educate Parents in a deeper, more meaningful way about topics and issues pertinent to developing their skill as parents.
We have heard from parents that they want and need a relaxed forum to learn, be coached, and problem solve about the unique challenges they face as a parents of children with different or diverse abilities. Thus, the SuperParentz Group Series is born!
The SuperParentz Groups will be a series of topic-based, Parent education and support groups that will run throughout the year.
Our first SuperParentz group starts April 11, 2018!
SuperParentz: The A.C.E. Parent Group
Starts May 23, 2018!
The science of the neurobiological effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) has exploded in recent years. Our new understanding of the profound changes that can occur to the developing brain in response has re-written the textbook on how to best support our children who come from early childhood experiences of trauma or adversity.
This new knowledge has created a paradigm shift from a mindset of "she just needs to make better choices" to "she can't make better choices". The question that now needs to be answered is not "what's wrong with him?', it's "what happened to him?".
What are ACE's?
ACE's come in many forms. Yes, it can include severe neglect or abuse, but we often don't appreciate the psychological impact that childhood experiences such as suffering a significant traumatic injury; serious or repeated medical events; or surviving a cancer diagnosis and treatment can have on the developing brain.
These factors can also present themselves with children who have been adopted domestically or internationally where the child was separated from biological parents; spent time in overseas orphanages; was subject to suboptimal nutrition or health status etc.
This 6-session parent education and support group will lead parents and caregivers on a deep dive into how the brain changes in response to trauma; how this can effect the attachment process; parental relationship development; sensory processing; self-regulation and social-emotional functioning.
Parents and caregivers will leverage their new knowledge to understand why traditional parenting skills and techniques have difficulty meeting the needs children with a trauma background and build a new toolbox of strategies to foster improved self-regulation skills and social-emotional functioning in their children.
Stephan Bourassa has a special interest, training and experience assisting children, youth and their families living with the neurological fallout from a history of adverse experiences or trauma.
Who: Parents and/or caregivers of children who have a history of trauma, ACEs including medical-based trauma, adoption, neglect, etc.
When: Wednesdays 6pm-7:15pm on the following dates:
May 23, 30. June 6, 13, 20, 27, 2018.
Where: Milestones Clinic at 1016 King Cres, Saskatoon.
Led by: Stephan Bourassa BMR(OT), OT Reg. (Sask)
Cost: $180/person or $240 per couple.
Limit of 8 participants.
Milestones reserves the right to cancel the class should insufficient enrolment occur.
SuperParentz: The Executive Parent Group- Help Your Child stay in control, get organized, and done on time!
Does your child?
- frequently lose or forget work,
- have a messy desk/room/backpack,
- have difficulty managing time and often requires extra time to complete tasks,
- frequently misplaces clothes or other items,
- have distractible and chaotic morning routines,
- drags homework out much longer than it needs to be,
- need constant reminders and "nagging" to start and complete chores,
- have emotional outbursts with changes in routine or if something does go their way.
If you nodded "yes" to any of these questions, or if your child has been diagnosed with or you suspect a diagnosis of ADHD, anxiety, or high functioning Autism, he/she likely has difficulties with "Executive Skills".
Executive Skills are brain-based skills that we use every day to manage our behaviour, organize, plan, prioritize, and set/achieve goals. These are skills related to controlling impulses, initiating tasks, organization, time management, paying attention, using memory, persistence.
This skill building group will enable parents of children experiencing difficulties in these areas understand the science of why our children struggle to complete what may seem to be "simple" everyday tasks and/or lose emotional control of small problems or challenges. You will gain insight into how you can help your child improve their executive skills and increase their independence in daily routines, organization, staying in control, and completing school work.
The individualized plan you will develop for your child will include easy to use, quick to implement strategies for home and school, as well as how these strategies can be embedded within our already busy lives. We will discuss setting realistic goals, working with the school, implementing the strategies, and tricks to help motivate each child to buy in!
Lead by Pediatric Occupational Therapist: Rikia Trischuk, BScKin, MScOT, OT Reg. (Sask)
When: Wednesdays 6pm-7pm. April 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16. (6 sessions).
Where: Milestones Occupational Therapy for Children Clinic (1016 King Cres, Saskatoon).
Cost: $120 + GST (per spot)
How to Register: You can register online through our scheduling portal (see "Book Online" at top of page). An invoice will be sent to you upon registration.
*Groups size will be limited to 6 parents/caregivers.
*Milestones reserves the right to cancel the group should insufficient registration not allow for an effective group experience.
SuperKidz Therapeutic Running Groups Are Back For Spring 2018!
Harness the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain!
Welcome to season 4! Building off the successful three seasons of SuperKidz running group and due to high demand, Milestones is excited to announce the fourth 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 April 2018.
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.
Level 1 (Mondays, 6-8 years old)
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.
Group co-lead by Stephan Bourassa & Rikia Trischuk.
Mondays, 5pm-6pm on the following dates:
April 10, 17, 24.
May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.
*Note: No session May 21 (long weekend).
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.
$240 + GST.
Maximum 10 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 (Tuesdays, 9-11 years)
Kids ages 9-11 years
Kids 9-11 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.
Group co-lead by Stephan Bourassa & Rikia Trischuk.
Tuesdays, 5pm-6pm on the following dates:
April 10, 17, 24.
May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.
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: $240 + GST.
Maximum 10 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.
SuperKidz Therapeutic Yoga Groups Are Back for Winter 2018!
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 and youth 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.
Participants will be introduced to the concepts of "The Zones of Regulation" and Social Thinking at age appropriate levels specific to each group. Care will be taken to tailor the content from session to session based on the unique characteristics of each group. 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 specific to anxiety and learn concrete tools to manage their thoughts and reactions to foster positive responses and coping with the daily demands of life.
Group size will be limited to a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 6 children.
Group offerings for winter 2018 include three age groups.
1. SuperKidz 5-7 years (8 weeks).
When: Mondays, 4:45pm-5:45 pm on the following days:
January 15, 22, 29.
February 12, 26.
March 5, 12, 19
2. SuperKidz 8-10 years (8 weeks)
When: Tuesdays, 4:45-5:45 pm on the following days:
Jan 16, 23, 30.
February 13, 27.
March 6, 13, 20.
3. SuperKidz 11-13 (8 weeks)
When: Thursdays, 4:45-5:45pm on the following days:
January 18, 25.
February 1, 15.
March 1, 8, 15, 22.
$240 + GST.
How to Register:
Register online by clicking on the the following link (make sure to choose the correct group once inside the booking platform):
Once registration is received, you will receive 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.
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:
- Temperature is -20°C or below, OR
- Wind chill is -25°C or colder
- 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.
- 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:
or, my interview on Global Saskatoon:
or a feature about the group from the Brainsport Times: