Inclusive Playgroups - Autism
Our unique playgroups provide an exciting opportunity for children of all abilities to come together to learn, play, and grow. The groups will be led by experienced play facilitators, who will plan creative and engaging activities.
The play will give the children a chance to interact with each other, practice social skills and communication, pretend, and explore a variety of different toys and materials. The Recess Collective play space features toys and equipment for gross motor play, manipulation and sensory play, cooperative games, and pretend play. The space will be sensory friendly and the routines will be predictable and safe for children of all ability levels.
Who can join?
Children between the ages of 0-4. We will group children together based on their age as much as possible.
What if my child has behavior problems?
The play facilitators are trained behaviorists and special educators, who have experience helping children with challenging behaviors. They will work with the family to develop a plan to prevent and respond appropriately to challenging behaviors as they come up.
What if my child is nonverbal?
We would love to have children who communicate differently join our group. We look forward to teaching their peers about sign language, gestures, and AAC devices. If your child is nonverbal because they are just not developmentally ready to speak, that is also great! We will be learning about social cues and communication for infants and toddlers.
Who will facilitate?
The lead facilitator will be Janelle Dowling, MA. She is the owner of Our Autism Specialist, LLC. She provides support for inclusive practices in preschools, elementary schools, and middle schools all over the Bay Area. She also organizes and leads several play groups for children ranging in age from 0-18. She has a masters and credential as an Education Specialist with a focus in Extensive Support Needs. She also has an endorsement from the California DeafBlind program, where she learned about working with children with multiple sensory challenges. Although Janelle’s business focuses primarily on providing consultation and direct support to families with children and teens with autism, she has taught and supported children who experience a variety of disabilities, including Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Angelman’s Syndrome, ADHD, and children who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Please do not hesitate to contact us and see if the group and the staff’s experience feel like a good fit for your child. Janelle will also be partnering with volunteers to support the groups and will be recruiting to find adults who are the best match for our participants.
When do the groups meet?
Every Wednesday except the last one of each month. There will be two groups. The first will meet from 10-10:45am and from 11:15-12pm.
What will happen there?
The agenda might vary slightly each week and depending on the group’s needs, but we will include greetings, music, snack, an organized group activity, and some free play before clean up.
How much will it cost?
The cost is $18 per session and we prefer that families pay for 3 sessions at a time in a $45 package.