Amy Jeanneret is an innovator and has a piece of the ‘movement’ movement in her clinic that looks more like a gym. Kids on the Move is located in Windsor Colorado and is home to Occupational Therapist (OT) Amy’s passion for getting kids moving.
Amy has a strong 15 year background in pediatric therapy starting in Kansas and time in California at Pediatric Therapy Services where she gained her specialized training in SIPT (Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing) working with over 1,200 children. When Amy got the opportunity to move to Colorado it did not take her long to open her own clinic and put forward her vision of incorporating therapy with fun for a large number of kids.
Kids on the Move was started to reach kids of varying ages and their families get sensory needs through enrichment classes and social skills, and giving a mom or two an outlet for support came along with it. The clinic is a big open space that consisting of equipment to be climbed on, swung on and even a 70 feet zip line for sensory feedback. There are balls to play in, seats to spin on and beans to dig through all under knowledgeable supervision of a well trained OT. She is there to encourage play that enhances childrens’ sensory needs, helping them organize their bodies and overcome fears and frustrations. She is looking not only for safety, but also to help a child increase their brain and body connection- motor planning, these will be vitally important for when these kids go off to school.
Play remains in lives, and should remain in children lives to be a very power thing. It creates generating ideas and creativity.
Children come to Kids on the Move because parents sense that something is not going well for their child, even before school starts. Some things that lead kids to Amy are:
- The social part- failing in school, no friends and bad behavior.
- Clumsy, a child might trip and fall a lot
- Fearful of playground equipment at the park
- Afraid to walk up and down curbs or stairs
- Won’t stop moving, always on the move
- Can’t sit still, can go to a restaurant for a meal
- If they have tactile issues:
- Won’t wear certain types of clothing
- Won’t sleep with sheets on their bed
- Cuts up their socks
- Only wear specific shoes
- Everything is too hard or too rough
- These kids could appear to be a bully when they just don’t have anybody awareness
- No sense of how much force they are actually using
- Don’t have enough strength or enough muscle feedback:
- Can’t push a pencil
- Can’t open a door by themselves
- Can’t throw a ball with enough force
The great thing is that with some education and some therapy they can feel much more successful.
She is a big advocate for parents to understand Sensory Integration (SI) so they can become an advocate for their children. She takes time to explain things to parents, work with the children and help with the therapy that will benefit their children. Her patients come to her from friends of current patients who enjoy the classes, or from parents who have concerns about their child in school and have discovered Sensory Integration or Sensory Processing.
Many times Amy sees kids who are already failing in school. She has great suggestions for teachers to get kids moving in the classroom to increase the whole class attention and raise the potentials of all students. The taking away of recess is on Amy’s what not to do list for kids. Many kids are needing that energy release they get at recess and when that is removed and the mental and physical demands are to sit still and concentrate, they are just not going to be able to do this. Amy’s tips for Teachers are:
- -Jumping jacks
- -Chair push-ups
- -Bean bag chairs in the classroom
- -Deep pressure strategies
- -Reduce classroom decorations
- *And empower yourself to help guide attention levels in the classroom
I am a big proponent of adding sensory activities into the classroom.
Once kids are already attending school they can still come to a group class for large motor, or fine motor when their pencil grip is keeping them from expressing themselves. Amy holds fine motor classes that strengthen younger kids potential for future writing success.
The Kids on the Move classes start with a parent involved class “little Learners” for 18mo to 3.5 years old, Children will ‘learn’ through play and movement, become more confident and secure with motor coordination”. Preschool ages have a choice of 2 classes, Playful pals and Super Heroes, “children will be using their minds as they develop improved coordination, imagination and social skills”. From 5.5 years to 8 year olds can Rock and Roll by using, “creativity, thinking skills and social dynamics” all while having fun.
One of the most important tools your child will use in school, aside from their minds, is a pencil. Fine motor skills and handwriting classes are also offered at Kids on the Move. There are classes for preschoolers to build strength and for school aged to master pencil grip and letter formation which leads to better self confidence in the learning environment.
If a child is needing more one on one therapy, sessions can be scheduled with Amy. She has an opportunity to asses kids in the group setting and if she or a parent feels they could benefit from more, that is available. Her background gives her a strong advantage for any issue that comes through the doors and expect to walk out with a lot of knowledge, understanding and the ability to advocate for your child.
Since Amy has not only a gift for her career but a passion, hundreds of children will benefit from spending some time at Kids on the Move. Want a clinic near you too? Kids on the Move is a growing trend of the ‘Movement’ movement and I am sure she can help lead you to find and OT willing to give your child the same successes that Amy gets here.
Click here for more information about Kids on the Move. Or to contact Amy about classes or private therapy sessions.
To learn more about Sensory Integration click here (coming soon)