Program Features

Acceptance into the FIRST STEP™ program is determined by a diagnosis of a developmental disorder and a communication consultation performed by our Speech and Language Pathologists. Children are accepted as early as 16 months through 6 years of age.

The First Step™ Features:

The First Step™ program meets 14 hours per week. Additional hours are available for children of the First Step™ program to continue their program up to 40 hours per week.

The First Step™ program features:

  • An ABA tailored program to meet each child’s needs
  • Daily work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Speech-Language Pathologist Assistants, academic specialists, and trained Technicians
  • One-to-one attention
  • Availability of Occupational Therapy and daily implementation of the child’s sensory diets
  • Daily group time to promote social interaction and play
  • Individualized play therapy
  • Speech therapy when needed
  • Individual academic tutoring when child is ready
  • Haircuts every six weeks (additional fee)
  • Parental assistance in maintaining a program
  • Parent education and training programs
  • Parent support meetings

The First Step™ Components:

The First Step™ program has many components that are included or that parents are able to take advantage of for their child and family.

Some of the services available include:

  • Family Facilitation

    Designed for significant others to develop a better understanding of the child with a pervasive developmental disorder and to learn how to best facilitate interaction and communication.

  • Academic Tutoring

    Provided for children from 3 years and older to assist them in developing those skills necessary to be successful in their academic worlds. A multi-sensory tutoring program is designed and scheduled on a one-to-one basis and individualized to meet your child’s specific needs.

  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

    Designed for children who are not able to use verbal communication at this time. This augmentative communication system allows the child to make requests and communicate their needs and desires with significant others.

  • Pediatric Occupational Therapy

    Pediatric Occupational Therapy is provided for children by an Occupational Therapist. The role of the Occupational Therapist is to assist and guide children to function optimally in their major roles (known as occupations) in life. The child’s “occupation” is directly related to their age.

  • Nutritional Counseling

    Conducted with our licensed Nutritionist, this module provides insights into how diet can play an important part in your child’s communication development process.

  • Sensory Integration Therapy

    Sensation, that is, what we can see, hear, feel, smell, and taste, gives us information about the environment around us and about ourselves. It helps us understand the world and how to act on and within it. Sensory integration is “the organization of sensation for use” according to Dr. A. Jean Ayres (1979).

    In many children sensory integration processing is effective. There are some children that experience problems in effectively processing sensory information. These children’s entire lives are impacted as they cannot pay attention, learn, understand the intentions of another person, and may over or under react to certain situations.

    Our Occupational Therapist’s skill is to determine the child’s needs and develop a sensory plan that, when implemented daily, will assist the child in “making sense” of their worlds.