Children with Special Needs

Earthplace has a long history of including children with special needs—in nature programs, as volunteers, and in our education programs and summer camp—so it’s time we made it easier for parents  to find more information.

In the last 20 years, it has been well documented that unstructured outdoor play in nature boosts creativity and problem solving, particularly among groups of children.  Whether they are intent on building a fort, rolling a log over, or just exploring the many loose parts that make up a forest floor, children (and adults!) can benefit from a little nature therapy.

At Earthplace, children with special needs are included in all programs.  The key to a successful experience is parent communication.  Please let us know your child’s needs during the registration process so we can provide the right staffing and make recommendations on the best group size and activities, like animal encounters, and canoeing. 


Preschool Education (Ages two through five)

Notes:

  • Support personnel such as Birth to Three therapists and private therapists are welcome to provide services in the classroom and to share strategies for teachers to implement

  • Children who have left our program to attend Stepping Stones are bused to Earthplace in the afternoon for lunch and After School Enrichment

  • We are launching a parent support group for families whose children have had to leave Earthplace to attend a special needs preschool and wish to remain connected to Earthplace   

Before registering, contact:
Amee Borys, Director of Early Childhood Education and Summer Camp; 203-557-4402; a.borys@earthplace.org

 


School Age (K-12)

After-School Enrichment Program (ASEP), Weekly Nature Programs, and Summer Camp

Notes:

      • Children with special needs receive the same education and experiences as typically developing children

      • support personnel are welcome to provide services in the classroom and to share strategies for teachers to implement

      • Accommodations are made for students with special needs:

    • A quiet indoor place to work and play with peers

    • Noise cancelling headphones can be used during homework time

    • Dividing large group into smaller groups as needed to ensure positive interactions among students

    • Inclusive games and large motor play can be adapted for children with physical needs

  • If your child needs a 1:1 aide, we can provide a high school or college student at no extra charge as long as we can plan in advance.  Aides can be exclusively for one child or can be assigned to a group as a whole.

  • All of our programs use the outdoors as much as possible, so please plan accordingly.

Before registering, contact:
Becky Newman, Director of Nature Programs and Summer Camp; 203-557-4563 b.newman@earthplace.org. or, Amee Borys, Director of Early Childhood Education and Summer Camp; 203-557-4402; a.borys@earthplace.org