Family Support Services

February 5, 2018

If you’re on the parents' list for receiving emails from us here at High Hopes, you may have heard rumblings of week-long inclusive camps, sensory-friendly community activities and services, seminars for parents, and other exciting events!  Well, folks, we’re here to tell you it’s all true.

It’s all part of our goal to provide Family Support Services to the community we serve.  We have a front row seat to so many of the challenges that can come with raising a child, and these services are one way that we can step up to help families address those challenges.

Here are some of the things our Family Support Services program is offering now!

Free Sensory-Friendly Haircuts
 

 

Surely we’ve all felt what it is to be nervous before a haircut.  Those jitters of half-excitement / half-terror, the wondering what we’ll look like when it’s done, the anticipation of change, and the awareness of the semi-permanence of what we’re about to do…


Now take those feelings and put them inside the small body of a little friend with sensory-processing issues, or a young one who needs a rigid and predictable routine.  Yikes!

 

This service is for children of all ability levels, who maybe don’t enjoy the experience of getting a haircut like some of us do.  This sensory-friendly haircut environment means no one bats an eye if there are tears, maybe some yelling, a need to take a break, to play with toys, or to move around occasionally.  It’s a safe place for any child to get their hair cut in a way that works for them.

 

And if they feel the need to express just how they feel about the whole institution of haircutting, that’s perfectly all right by us.  Hopefully, the sensory-friendly environment can reduce stress for the entire family, making something that could be traumatic into something a little more routine.

With 18 years of combined experience, stylists Shelby Weakley and Christine Milner are here to give kids the best haircut experience possible, at no charge to you!  The first three months of these haircuts have been completely full, so when you see it, be sure to get your booking early!

Drama Therapy Club
 

Does your child love to perform concerts for you?  Do they tell you stories with animated gestures and facial expressions?  Do they know what it means to be absolutely fabulous?  This 10-week drama club program might be just the place for them!

Drama Therapy Club puts children of all ability levels together for weekly journeys through magical adventures full of excitement, motivation, and laughter!  Plus, it’s just plain fun.

One little friend who attended the most recent Drama Club sessions has a lot to say about the experience, even a couple of months after it’s over!  “We got to play games!  And we sang two songs: the Welcome Song and the Theater Song.  That was my favorite thing!”

 


The goal of Drama Club is to use theater skills and improvisation to build self-confidence, develop social interaction skills, strengthen body awareness and purposeful movement, and improve speech and listening skills.  This club is available to any child age 3 and up, regardless of whether they are affiliated with High Hopes.  And siblings could have a lot of fun together in this program!

 

Beginning February 9, the club will be run by Sarah Edwards, a therapeutic arts specialist with Friends Life, with a Masters in Drama Therapy.  For just $150, your child can enjoy 10 weeks of learning and fun.  Registration is still open, so reserve your spot today!

Inclusive Dance Camp


Shall we dance?
 

Pretty much from the time they’re old enough to move, kids just love music and dancing.  They’ve got rhythm!  We have frequent dance parties in the preschool where these little dancers can showcase their signature moves.  And now, High Hopes therapists Sarah Hall and Lauren Haley are throwing a big dance party of their own!


A 10-week program starting March 1st invites children kindergarten age and up, of any and all ability levels, to join in the dance!

Dancing has many therapeutic benefits, including helping to build body awareness, improving range of motion and coordination, as well as strength and balance, and stretching endurance.  Meanwhile, the inclusive environment fosters empathy, social interaction, and cooperation in all children.  These are all skills these children can use and build upon throughout their lives!

Don’t let the dance pass you by!  A one-time fee of $150 pays for 10 weeks of movement and fun.  Registration is still open, so reserve your spot today!

Practical Tips To Help Parents: Free Parenting Seminars

Parenting is hard.  In fact, that might be the understatement of the millennium.  At High Hopes, we know how challenging it can be to try and tackle every aspect of caring for and raising a small human, and we believe the old adage—it really does take a village.

That’s why we are seeking guides to be a part of our village: people who can bring helpful perspectives and skillsets into the wonderful, miraculous, amazing, yet sometimes stressful world of being a parent. 

Taking on issues such as stressful mealtimes and psychological wellness, seminars in the past have focused on practical tips to help make a parent’s life perhaps just a tiny bit easier.  Continuing that journey, we are now hosting free seminars on February 21st and March 8th, addressing Behavioral Concerns and Financial Planning, respectively.


Caitlin Rissler (RN, MSN, among other distinctions) will be here for the event about Behavioral Concerns on February 21st.  Caitlin is part of Music City Peds: Developmental and Behavioral Medicine.  Under her guidance, we will discuss parenting approaches and discipline techniques.  It is the goal of the seminar to understand the possible reasons behind certain behaviors, identify the triggers that might set behaviors off, and to develop strategies and interventions that appropriately address the behavior as a whole.
 

 

March 8th’s event about Financial Planning will be hosted by Tony Youssefi and Cindy Gardner of Capital Wealth Advisors.  The financial impact of raising children is gigantic on its own, and more so when there are medical bills, equipment invoices, etc.  Our guests will offer a presentation about the “Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Financial Planning,” geared specifically towards those families that include children with special needs.

Please consider joining us for one or both of these FREE helpful events!

Moving Forward…

We want to hear from you!  If what we’re offering is a blessing to you, let us know!  If there are specific things you’d like see us offer in the future, let us know about that, too.  This is a partnership, and your family is our priority, so your input is essential.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas on how the High Hopes Family Support Services can be of assistance, please feel free to email Bonnie St. Martin (bmartin@highhopesforkids.org)!

We have more exciting things lined up for you in the future, so watch your inbox for those opportunities!  We can’t wait to see you!

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