Therapies & Programs

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“First we learn language, then we use language to learn”

At Bornhava, we follow a multidisciplinary approach in which we attend team meetings as well as work closely with the classroom team (teachers, assistants, OT, PT, social work, nursing, etc.) for collaboration and carry over of all of our services.

We provide a variety of services including:

  • Speech/language evaluations
  • Home & community based services
  • Combination of “push-in” and “pull-out” services at our center based and integrated settings, as well as in the Early Intervention classroom

We use a total communication approach to provide and encourage our children any mode to communicate with others.

This includes:

  • Oral communication
  • Use of manual signs
  • Facial expressions & body language
  • Use of the iPad, mobile technology
  • Augmentative communication
  • Natural gestures

We follow the principles of DIR and incorporate play-based therapy in all of our sessions.

We also address the following in our sessions:

  • Improving speech production skills
  • Increasing the number of words combined in a phrase
  • Following directions skills
  • Answering simple to more complex questions
  • Increasing ability to label and identify vocabulary words and concepts
  • Communicating with adults and peers
  • Attention, participation and engagement

We attend parent conferences and provide family training outside of our regular therapy sessions

Occupational therapy is a health profession concerned with a person’s occupational performance. In a pediatric setting, an occupational therapist works with children whose main “occupation” is playing and learning.  Typically, an occupational therapist evaluates a child’s performance in relation to what is developmentally expected for that age group. The occupational therapist will evaluate the child’s skills for playing, school performance and the child’s ability to perform daily activities at home and within the classroom setting. Those children who qualify, may receive occupational therapy services through the early intervention program (birth-3 years) or as a preschooler (3-4 years of age).

At Bornhava is it our goal to pave the road to success in the areas of play, fine motor, visual motor, self-help and sensory integration.

In occupational therapy it is our goal to help children engage in purposeful play. We focus on improving fine motor skills so that children can successfully reach, grasp and release toys and experience positive and successful play interactions.  We also focus on the development of hand manipulation skills and use creative activities that help children improve hand and arm strength. We teach children how to properly hold and use tools such as crayons, markers,  paintbrushes and scissors so they can develop pre-academic skills and learn by painting, coloring, drawing  and writing.

Occupational therapy also helps children develop visual motor and visual perceptual skills. These skills are important so that children can successfully complete puzzles, string beads; build with blocks and Lego toys.  Visual perceptual skills are also important for learning how to cut with scissors and copy shapes. For children getting ready for kindergarten, this may include learning how to print letters and write their name.

In occupational therapy, we also help children develop the strength and coordination needed to carry out self- help tasks such getting dressed, brushing their teeth and feeding themselves. This may include teaching children how to manipulate buttons, snaps and zippers, and how to successfully use a spoon or fork and drink from an open cup.


Occupational therapy also works with children who have sensory and attention issues. Our main goal is to help children learn through all their senses, so they can freely and confidently explore their world and experience positive interactions with their peers. We focus are providing children with fun and creative ways to learn through movement and tactile play. We provide them with opportunities to problem solve and aim to help them develop good body awareness and motor planning skills.

At Bornhava, our main goal as an occupational therapist is to collaborate and work closely as a team with teachers, physical and speech therapists and families. It is important to us that we provide appropriate sensory strategies and carry over suggestions for the home and the classroom setting, in order to help children overcome challenging sensory issues and improve their focus and attention for learning. Ultimately, we strive to help children become independent and successful in their occupation of being a toddler/preschooler.  

Kids love to move- from the very first day of life and that makes Physical Therapy with children one of the most rewarding occupations  in the world. Our philosophy is to follow your child’s lead, join into their play, and give them the environment to enhance and increase their available skills.

In Physical Therapy, we keep challenging children in the areas of balance, coordination, and endurance to promote independence. We want to see children leave Bornhava able to PLAY- with family, friends, and even by themselves in a variety of settings- home, school and on the playground. The more they play, the stronger they become. We begin with the small things; sitting balance, standing balance, walking, and stairs. We then try to take the challenge to the next level- moving surfaces, uneven surfaces, climbing, jumping and running. All the while, we are playing- with balls, bikes, scooters, swings, and a variety of toys which kids need to move with to enjoy. It might just look like playing- but to us and children- playing is serious business!

We are also focused on lifelong fitness which is the basis of our “Happy Feet Walking Program”. Our entire school, makes walking (for long community distances- up to a mile!!) a priority every day. Families are focused on having their child being able to walk by themselves and we want to promote independent walking as an activity that the entire family can enjoy together for life. It also helps to develop healthy lungs, hearts, bones and muscles for optimal overall health.  In the end, we want a child’s gross motor skills to be the area which needs the least amount of assistance when they leave Bornhava.

We all want our kids to be happy & healthy. Often being healthy is viewed as physical health.  Another important aspect of health that tends to be overlooked includes social-emotional and behavioral health. Part of a child’s growth is learning to understand the feelings of others, controlling his or her own feelings and behaviors, managing his or her strong emotions and expressing them in a constructive way, developing empathy for others, getting along with other children, and building positive relationships. This is social, emotional, and behavioral development, which can be a main factor in happiness and success.  A positive relationship with a caregiving or trusting adult is the KEY to successful social, emotional and behavioral development.

Social Work and Psychology through the Bornhava program view social/emotional development through this lens.  The Licensed Psychologist and/or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at Bornhava meet with classroom teams to support this aspect of development in the classroom settings.

Theraplay is an educational program that helps children to engage with others, develop self esteem and promote the joy in the sense of belonging to a group. There are fun activities with balloons and parachutes, lotion to take care of “boo boos”, feed shares with favorite snacks, and favorite music and games. Activites are chosen based on group and individual needs: structure, challenge, nurture and engagement.

We are lucky to have one of the area’s only Theraplay certified instructors as a full time staff member. She rotates through all of our classrooms each month.

Once a week our center-based classes walk to the Snyder Library to hear 2-3 books read by a librarian along with songs and games. Rain, snow or shine!

Every day (except for very cold or inclement weather) we walk different routes around the surrounding neighborhoods We keep track of our distance each day. On our walks we learn about the community and increase our endurance and independence.

Each week we move and dance on big exercise balls with music, bean bags, and bubbles. This helps develop core strength in a fun way!

The nursing staff at Bornhava provide nursing care to our students who have a wide range of complex health needs. These students are dependent on medical technology and nursing care.  Our nursing staff consists of a full-time LPN and part-time RN.

Our school nurse focuses on assessing a student’s daily health upon arriving at school as student’s health is directly related to their ability to learn and participate in school activities.

In addition, individualized health care plans are formulated; medication is administered, gastronomy tube feds, respiratory care, monitor of seizures and skin integrity are seen to. Also, immunization and current physicals are checked.

The nurse communicates openly with our student’s family, their medical provider and staff to ensure the well-being of our student.