Summer 2024

PowerUp+ kids are generally eligible to participate in the Therapeutic Summer SkillBuilders camp for summer programming.


What is PowerUp+ ?

PowerUp+ is a highly specialized, individualized therapeutic alternative or supplementary program to regular education programs, with a targeted focus on applying skills and working towards practical goals for pre-teens in a home-like setting. For example, clients might spend the morning working as a team to come up with a recipe, going to the grocery store to find and purchase the ingredients, then making the recipe and eating the results of their efforts together for lunch!  

Who is involved in the program delivery?

PowerUp+ is run by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists, overseen by Kaley Pepin (Behaviour Analyst), in collaboration with an Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Social Workers (MSW), Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT), Executive Function Coaches, and Behaviour Therapists.

Who is PowerUp+ for?

PowerUp+ is an ideal program for pre-teens with special needs, notably autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, or other behavioural or developmental challenges. Each participant receives individualized therapeutic programming with low-ratio support for their particular needs. Kids can ‘graduate’ from PowerUp to PowerUp+ when they are ready to move into the activation phase of their skill development. The focus moves from foundational skill building to application of functional daily living skills in real-life situations.

What happens at PowerUp+ ?

PowerUp!+ is an extension of the PowerUp! program, and incorporates targeted skills and goals that are specific to the pre-teen age group. In PowerUp+ pre-teens are equipped with strategic tools to prepare them for life. We take full advantage of the home-like setting of our clinic. Life skills and academic supports provided by our OCT include activities such as: 

  • Understanding money and making a budget
  • Making a grocery list & going shopping
  • Measuring ingredients & following recipes to cook lunch or bake snacks
  • Gathering information for group projects (eg polling staff and working with the data)
  • Working on culminating tasks that contribute to the life of the clinic
  • Learning to run a washing machine and dryer
  • Caring for and interacting with our therapeutic pets (lizards, hamsters, turtles, fish, dogs)
  • Leadership opportunities and working with choices
  • Independent work and learning strategies

These skills are applied in real-time with OT support, and the program includes off-site outings and opportunities to ‘road test’ skills in the wider world in a safe, supported manner. Pre-teens are coached to develop distress tolerance and emotion regulation skills, where they learn how to cope with the stress, change and social problem-solving that come with being a human operating inside a family, a school, and the wider community.

Where and When does PowerUp+ happen?

From our Ancaster location in a spacious, natural setting, PowerUp+ currently offers programming on Thursdays from 9am to 3pm during the school year for pre-teens from across Hamilton, Halton, Brant, Halton, and Niagara. It is designed as a long-term developmental support program. Families commit to a minimum of sixteen weeks at a time, to give their child the consistency required to see support plans through to meaningful fruition.

Contact Us to begin the clinic intake process and together we will determine if PowerUp+ is the best fit for your family’s needs.