All Kinds of News for October 05, 2016
In September, Heritage unveiled a brand new, state-of-the art sensory center for students in the Peers Academy. George Ballew, LCSW, Clinical Director of the Peers Academy worked hand-in-hand with Heritage’s occupational therapist to design the center.
“The Peers Academy includes four components – PEERS social skills training, the Zones of Regulation, executive functioning training and sensory regulation,” Ballew explained. “This addition to the sensory component strengthens the robust Peers Academy and will benefit students from all over the United States who enroll at Heritage.”
An advanced sensory center has been in the planning stages for some time. Heritage, a non-profit 501(c)(3) residential treatment center serving families from around the country, sought out local businesses as partners. Keller Williams and Vivint Smart Home contributed financially and provided input and labor for the design and construction. Heritage students in the Peers Academy, many of whom are on the Austim Spectrum, now have access to an advanced, state-of-the-art therapeutic environment.
“Heritage launched a strategic effort a few years ago to be a nationally recognized leader in treating autism in a residential setting,” said Keven Downs, Executive Director. “We know that children on the autistic spectrum are challenged with sensory issues. This advanced sensory center will enable us to offer comprehensive therapy treatment to help autistic teens regulate their moods through sensory stimulation. Our desire is to help students gain the skills they need to manage their sensory challenges. This training will help them manage their sensory needs in the school setting and to live a more productive life when they return home.”
The sensory center includes items like balance boards and therapy balls; sand trays, kinetic sand and Legos; a lower stimulus area with areas to read or do art; a light room with fiber optic lights and projectors with visual stimulation; and a media room where computers and iPads donated from Vivint allow students to use specialized computer applications.
Heritage is a non-profit residential treatment center in Provo, Utah. Founded in 1984,Heritage specializes in the treatment of mood disorders and students diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Founder Jerry Spanos pioneered the relationship model Heritage uses with students. Our direct-care residential staff, who average 10 years of experience at Heritage, develop relationships of trust with students, guiding them to healthy, productive lifestyles. Our teachers, all special education certified, help students catch up on school credits and prepare for their continued education.