Online programs for kids with special needs during COVID-19

The pandemic has changed everything for everyone and children with special needs are no different. As we navigate this unprecedented time, dozens of therapists and programs for children with special needs have transitioned to online sessions, online learning, and teletherapy. Many parents are wondering if online therapy will work and rest assured, while nothing could ever take the place of a HUG (don't you miss them? We sure do!) many kids with special needs are thriving with the new online formats. 

We've combed the state for the best programs and here (in no particular order) are a few of our top picks for online therapy during COVID 19 in New Jersey.

STEP RIGHT UP STUDIO, MADISON, NJ

Before Jaime Conroy was a mom, she worked in theater as both a lighting designer and a stage manager. Jaime met her husband, Jim, an actor, when they were both studying theater in college. Knowing how little was out there in the world for kids who struggle with social skills and learning disabilities, both extra-curricular activities and the arts, Jaime came up with the idea for Step Right Up Studio

Children with ADD, ADHD, High-functioning Autism, Asperger’s, Sensory Processing Disorder, Executive Functioning Disorder, as well as other social disorders can feel right at home at Step Right Up. During COVID-19 Step Right Up is offering the following virtual camps and classes:

GRADES 4 - 8

Join us (virtually) for our signature improv & acting class!

Specifically for kids in grades 4-8, this class will work on the foundations of acting & improv. The class will cooperatively work to create their own work, from creating characters to writing a script that the kids can perform “together” at the end of the week.

Check out https://www.steprightupstudio.com/ for dates, times and more information.

GRADES 8 AND ABOVE

Specifically for kids in grades 8 and above, this class will work on the foundations of acting & improv. The class will cooperatively work to create their own work, from creating characters to writing a script that the kids can perform “together” at the end of the week.

Check out https://www.steprightupstudio.com/ for dates, times and more information.

JAMMIN' JENN MUSIC THERAPY, WATCHUNG, NJ

Jammin' Jenn Music Therapy during typical times sees kids after school, on the weekends, at events, on the street, basically anywhere she sees a kid in need she's there with her guitar. She's magical, like the Mary Poppins of music therapy.  We simply can't make a list  of programs online or not without recommending Jennifer Pacht-Goodman for music therapy. Yeah, she's that good.

It's no surprise that Jammin’ Jenn Music Therapy is knocking it out of the park during COVID-19. With a practice expanding into Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, Jenn utilizes the power of music as a medium, specializing in helping special needs children and adults, especially those on the autism spectrum.

Her music therapy mission? Capture the power of music and help special needs individuals rise to their potential. Deliver music to special needs individuals with passion, skill, and experience. Conduct not good, not great, but outstanding music therapy. Show every individual and their family that she works with, her sincere interest in their well-being and best interest.

Does she have a waiting list? Yep. Should you get on it? Yes and yes. Some things are worth waiting for and Jenn is one of them. Here is what Jenn is doing virtually:

Jammin' Jenn is now offering "Tele-Jam" music therapy sessions conducted remotely via online platforms like Zoom or Facetime.

Please contact Ed Goodman for a complimentary trial, you'll be so happy you called them!
Ed Goodman - Managing Partner
edgoodman1@mac.com
917.859.6364

GAME U - LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT NJ

We've been trying to get Game U to join NeedQuest for about, um...two years now with no luck. But you know what? We're gonna recommend them here because we think what they are doing is just. that. great. for kids with special needs. Plus we know eventually they'll feel the love and eventually join our community - "ONE OF US, ONE OF US..."

GAME-U is a unique program designed by game industry professionals that teaches students of all abilities how to design and build their own video games. Students learn game design, coding and robotics with their STEM-based curriculum.

Their curriculum is taught using project-based learning techniques, which ensures that students are learning the skills necessary for a career path. As part of their game development training, students learn the fundamentals of coding, using different languages such as C#, Javascript and C++.

During Covid-19, Game U has been conducting all of their programs online, because why not? They are all coding geniuses anyway:)

GOOD TALKING PEOPLE, TENAFLY, NJ

Arlene Rubin of Good Talking People LLC has been a speech therapist for a long time. She knows that children and adults with special needs need much more than just speech therapy, they need a SOCIAL THINKING CURRICULUM which is why Good Talking People incorporates this science-based research into every program they offer.

Good Talking People provides comprehensive diagnositic and therapuetic services for children through adults presenting with speech, language, communication, literacy, social skills, emotional regulation, executive functioning and socially based transition programs.  They also provide therapeutic recreational programs, including A Social Gathering for Kids, Teens, and Adults 18+.

One of the things we love about Arlene is that while she's not a tech person - she's a therapist - she and her team have figured out the tech piece during COVID-19 because there's simply NO WAY she's not gonna serve her kids. She's that dedicated. They are offering teletherapy sessions and much, much more during this time. Check out http://www.goodtalkingpeople.com/ for more info about evalutions, speech therapy and social skills during COVID-19.

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