Special Needs Programs

Based on prolonged research about learning styles, language, and personalities, we have developed customized programs.

*All programs offered are delivered by qualified staff with appropriate certifications and formal licensure wherever relevant and/or applicable. Each of our programs and offerings are grounded in cutting-edge scientific research and medical findings in relevant spheres of knowledge. 

 

We believe that every individual is born with his/her own unique set of “special needs” as well as natural gifts and abilities to share. Since we operate with this universal truth as our foundational principle, we do not assign any labels to people—particularly to anyone societally characterized as having special needs—and we actively refrain from treating anyone as disabled or ill, since we do not believe in hampering the uniqueness of individuals by categorizing them in any way. We are eager to help individuals with special needs to open up to the outside world even though they might be hurt and feel fearful to open up.

During all of our programs, We teach them how to open up and express themselves in creative ways. We want to encourage them to become their true selves instead of hiding behind masks of pain and special life or health circumstances. We remind our students that there is nothing wrong with being different from others, and that such “difference” is worthy of affirmation and celebration. What matters the most is purity of heart, inner beauty, and self-expression. Our founders and teachers truly believe that each individual is special, unique, and carries a distinctive potential deep within. It is our purpose and our passion to help each of our participants to discover his/her own path of exceptional possibilities.

Based on prolonged research about learning styles, language, and personalities, we have developed customized programs for individuals with special needs, including programs for mobility and physical impairments, brain and spinal cord disability, psychological disorders, autism, dyslexia, learning and cognitive disability, ADHD, vision impairment, blindness and any other vision disorders, and hearing impairment. We constantly conduct research and incorporate new alternative therapies into our program offerings.

Pre-assessment: Portrait Learning Assessment (PLA)

An assessment method designed to identify the individual’s uniqueness, learning style, character, interests, talents, abilities, and gifts along with detailed suggestions for working with the various dispositions. This pre-assessment enables our team of teachers and staff to design and deliver a finely customized set of instructional modules and related content, tailored to the needs and abilities of each individual student/participant.

 

Shine Up Dance And Movement

An integrative intervention program focused on social engagement, sharing, relationship formation, communication of emotions and behaviors, as well as enhancement of motor ability. It is set in a fun and inviting environment that facilitates the expression of deep emotions through dance and movement. At the therapy, children have shown measurable progress in areas of self-awareness, engagement with others, coping skills, and developing pathways from nonverbal movement to verbal dialogue. There are numerous benefits to engaging in dance including improved memory, concentration, visualization skills, self-esteem, and and encouraging the imagination.

Adapted Sunshine Yoga And Mindfulness

Sessions include a sequence of yoga poses, breathing techniques, color therapy, self-massage, positive self-talk therapy, and mindful relaxation techniques designed to inspire mind and body alignment and increase stamina and balance. The program delivers in-depth guidance and offers modifications for all poses with the goal of giving every individual the venue to experience the deeper meaning of yoga practices while empowering students to love themselves unconditionally for who they really are.

Your Passion

Designed to ignite each participant’s motivation to add his/her unique value to the world, this is a time for participants to discover their passion through play, imagination, and social interactions with peers in a safe, non-judgmental, and nurturing environment. The discovery of passion stems from such external inquiry as well as from self-inquiry about what makes each student naturally curious, intrinsically happy, and more wholly engaged in pursuits that match their particular perspectives and inner drives. Students have the freedom to connect the hand, eye and brain in a very special way using verbal and non-verbal language. Support and assistance are provided if/when necessary; however, all students are encouraged to discover their passion through non-traditional gateways and self-expression in their own unique way.

Joyful Hour

Monthly meetings for children, youth, and adults with special needs are offered at the first day of every month. It is a time to get together, reconnect with alumni, meet new friends, share your life story, as well as enjoy organic hot chocolate, herbal tea party, and other healthy refreshments. Every month we offer different activities including hiking, going to the movies, ice-skating, celebrating birthdays and holidays, ice-cream social time, free-style dance, visits to museums and galleries, attending performances, visits to organic farms, kayaking, pedal-boating, exploration of the local zoo, as well as opportunities to learn new skills such as cooking, bowling, and swimming.

Believe In Yourself Social Skills Group

Based on elements of behavioral therapy to help children and youth who have faced challenges due to lapses in their social behavior or social skills. Participants are guided to develop positive social skills, including eye contact, listening skills, communication skills, sharing, joining in, recognizing feelings in self and others, solving problems, dealing with feeling anger and other demanding emotions, good sportsmanship, and body space issues. The skills are learned through playing psycho-educational exercises, verbal mediation, modeling, peer feedback, as well as through creative and expressive therapies.

Thrive Group For Conquering Anxiety And Building Resilience

In this empowering and comforting environment, participants learn proven strategies and exercises to vanquish fears and restore stability at home and at school. Using a cognitive behavioral approach (CBT), participants are taught mindfulness methods, relaxation skills, tools to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and steps to override unhealthy patterns and programs. They are shown how to access the immense and untapped power of the subconscious mind by developing inner strength, faith, and confidence, thereby enabling them to permanently and healthily overcome their often debilitating fears.

Reach Beyond Limits Camp

This camp caters to children and young adults with disabilities ages 11-21. Participants enhance social skills, discover unique skills, explore new experiences, and meet new friends. The camp meets every Saturday and activities include earth-play, nature-inspired discovery, sensory rich activities, exploration of gardening, biodiversity, drawing, expressive arts, crafts, jewelry making, journaling, yoga and mindfulness, dance and movement therapy, community building activities, discussion groups, life skills, language skills, social skills, vocational training, indoor games, movie nights, and healthy snacks. All participants have the choice either to participate in the social time or to have individual time for reflection and relaxation.

For questions, more information, or to sign up, please email us at: info@yoursunshine.org