PowerUp is an intensive elementary therapeutic learning program designed as a supplement or alternative to traditional learning models.  It’s packed with access to a range of therapeutic professionals to give kids access to as much support as possible in one location at one time because we understand how difficult it can be for families to fit in multiple appointments at different locations around work, school, and other activities.

Children aged approximately 9-13 will increase their comfort level with social interactions and their ability to self-regulate while building foundational academic skills around early literacy and numeracy.  We encourage the use of personal management skills throughout the program (self-regulation, self-monitoring) through an organic, fun, and strengths-based approach.  Each session will include outdoor play and nature immersion in every season, music, expressive art-making, fine and gross motor work, literacy, mindfulness, self-monitoring, and social negotiation to encourage clients’ growth and development in these areas.

Who is it for?

  • Kids from approximately 9-13 years old (flexible depending on needs and developmental stage)
  • Kids who would benefit from comprehensive, low ratio support (depending on support needs, 2-4 kids per therapist with support staff available)
  • Children with diagnosed or suspected challenges and/or exceptionalities including Autism, ADHD, social navigation difficulties, behavioural challenges, or developmental delays
  • Families looking for help to assess for lagging skills and create a plan to support their child’s ongoing development, including reintegration into mainstream programs
  • Busy families who would like to access a full range of therapeutic supports for their child in one place and time, rather than juggle multiple appointments during the week, with a ‘big picture wraparound approach

What is involved?

PowerUp+ is a comprehensive, individualized program run by experienced therapists, designed to build a wide range of foundational skills through the lens of social development, emotional regulation, executive function, and distress tolerance.  We aim to meet the specific needs of each participant with a joyful, strengths-based approach to learning and practicing a range of skills including:

  • Fine and gross motor skills including developing handwriting
  • Speech, language & communication skills, social problem-solving
  • Building on existing literacy and numeracy skills to help build mastery and fill in gaps in early learning
  • Understanding and expressing emotions in safe, healthy ways
  • Self-regulation, meeting sensory needs safely
  • Social skills, navigating group dynamics, & expected behaviours
  • Working through distressing and uncomfortable emotions and tasks (eg non-preferred foods)

Your children will be building skills via engaging, age-&-stage appropriate activities including:

  • Basic life skills related to activities that interest the kids, such as cooking or baking, sewing, operating a washing machine, caring for animals, gardening, working on backyard projects to improve their space, writing their own book or screenplay etc
  • Outdoor games, hikes on the local trails, park visits, and physical challenges
  • STEM projects that are of interest to individual participants
  • Thinking about budgeting and money by planning projects and making the purchases required
  • Responsible use of technology for learning new skills and looking up info
  • Making and listening to music, enjoying a range of arts and crafts opportunities
  • Animal interaction and care with our geckos, hamsters, turtles, fish, and clinic dogs
  • Creative and imaginative play
  • Building and maintaining positive relationships with coaches and peers
  • Community projects such as helping with a food drive, working on our Little Library, or placing Affirmation Rocks around downtown Ancaster

Where & when is it happening?

  • 144 Wilson St E, Ancaster
  • Weekdays from September 2023 to June 2024 from 9:00 – 11:30 am
  • Possible weekday evening group with sufficient registration – please register your interest if this time slot interests you!

How much does it cost & how is it billed?

  • $200 per 2.5hr therapeutic session ($1000 for the full week program)
  • Can be fully covered by OAP Core Funding
  • The financial commitment is month to month; families may register for anywhere from one to five mornings per week in advance
  • We require a valid credit card on file; sessions are charged to your card (generally within 48hrs of each appointment) and paid receipts are emailed weekly for you to submit to your insurance company
  • PowerUp+ can be covered by most extended benefit plans (depending on the day, services may be under MSW, SLP, OT, or BCBA)
  • Talk to us if you require alternate financial arrangements

How do I register?

  • Families with children under 16 come through our children’s intake process so we can get to know you and your child’s needs; this generally results in an initial 1:1 appointment for you as parents with our case manager and one for your child with our children’s team, to generate an individual treatment plan before joining an appropriate group
  • Autism families – we have a dedicated OAP Case Manager who can help your family create and administer a plan that includes all wraparound supports (groups, individual therapy, parent support, tech, material, and equipment referral letters)
  • If you’re ready to go ahead, give us a call at 289 678 0581 or send us an email at info@nowwhatsupports.ca

Meet the Team

  • Children’s Programming Director Shannon Osunde (Registered Early Childhood Educator)
  • Children’s Programming Coordinator Hilary Bowerman (Ontario Certified Teacher)
  • Mental Health Occupational Therapist Sarah Darmanin
  • Speech Language Pathologist Asia Laviolette
  • Supervising Social Worker Sarah Milmine, MSW
  • Children’s Team Social Worker Safia Fettah, MSW Cand.
  • Behaviour Therapist John Berry, BCBA
  • Children’s Programming Coach Jillian French
  • Therapeutic Behaviour Coach Taylor Robertson

    Forms & Waivers

  • New clients need to fill out a general clinic Intake Form, Service Agreement, and outdoor waivers which will be emailed to you after you reach out to the front desk
  • We will also ask for an allergy waiver, a photo permission form, and an outdoor/off-site waiver (depending on the needs of the children in the group we often take a walk off-site to our local park, library or trails, and we are ALWAYS outdoors, whatever the weather!)
  • SLP & OT specific consent forms will also be required