Natural Explorer Group
Weekly 90 minutes per session. Maximum 4 children. Individual session available.
This is an opportunity for neurodiverse children to build relationships with nature through creativity, play, imagination and innate curiosity. Children will be guided as well as followed; as their own interests and ideas of play will shape the session and experience. We will explore, create, ask questions and engage with the natural world we live with!
How it Works:
Children will have the opportunity to make art and find play and connection with the natural world. We will spend time outside, rain or shine, every time we meet. These are Child-led, child-based experiences (kids' curiosity, ideas, interests shape how the time comes together). Exploring gardens, trails, parks (plants, trees, rocks, etc.) through play and imagination; with the support of a compassionate, sensitive adult and trauma-informed expressive arts therapist, who will meet your child where they are at.
Enhance and foster children’s natural curiosity and connection to nature and creativity
Nurturing creativity, autonomy, collaboration (befriending nature, each other, ourselves)
Experience connection with nature by interacting with plants, animals and support person.
Express through imaginative play, storytelling, art-making and being outside.
Will be guided and witnessed by a compassionate and caring adult. A chance to lead and work through difficult experiences, emotions and feelings.
Encounter and learn about plants and trees growing and living in and around the city. Fostering a greater connection to self and planet.
Anti-Social Open House
Sundays, March 19th, April 2st, April 23nd, May 7th, May 21nd, 2023
1 hour per reservation. $40/hour. Maximum 4 families in a clinic at any given time.
The idea for this offering is given to us by a parent and a member of the neurodivergent community. Many children had aversive therapeutic experiences at the hands of non-affirming therapists or the difficulty with initiating new relationships may be a deterrent to accessing therapy. An open house allows the children to explore the space without the added pressure of having to interact with a stranger and to experience safe spaces outside of their homes.
How it Works:
First, parents can make a “reservation” for a specific time slot and then complete an intake form about their child’s preferred interests and restrictions. Please reserve it and consent for each child who will be attending. The reservations are staggered 15 minutes apart to prevent crowding and reduce transitional stress. A maximum of 4 families will be in the space at any given time.
The therapists will lay out different “offerings” according to the child’s preferred interests (if the items are available). They will play the role of “human therapeutic plants.” The therapists will be actively averting eye gaze and we will not speak to the child unless the child initiates and consent to the interaction. The therapists will engage in preferred interests or quiet activities as a way to invite parallel play. There are no expectations for the children to join.
There is a trampoline in the backyard and children can use it as long as supervised by their adults. Trampoline can be helpful in terms of transitioning before or after the session.
Sara Anderson is an autistic counsellor and a gestalt language speaker who will facilitate this program. She may have an assistant or a practicum student. Neurotypical communication is difficult and exhausting for her. Sara's presence is so neutral it feels like a figurative human plant. She prefers to work with imaginations, animals and plants. To read more about her here.
Camp GAIA (Gender Affirming, Inclusive, Artistic)
Sunday July 10, 17, 24, 31
Time: 10:45am - 12:15pm
Sunday August 7, 14, 21, 28
10:45am - 12:15pm
Maximum 5 children between youth page 9-12
All-inclusive rate covering a variety of art materials for each session, sensory space and supplies, clinic and administrative fees.
GAIA is a gender-affirming and arts-based therapy group for non-binary, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth aged 9-12. Over the course of 4 weekly sessions, participants are invited to explore themes of self and identity, gender in the body, gender expression & presentation through art therapy and sensory-friendly co-creation.
Early adolescence is a formative and transitional life stage. GAIA is a creative, inclusive space to get curious, imaginative, and compassionate with what it means to be authentically yourself, on your terms. The program is facilitated by a non-binary, pre-licensed art therapist and each group experience is customized. Participants are matched based on similar access needs and sensory profiles. Up to 5 places are available per camp group.
Weekly or Bi-Weekly 90 minutes per session. Maximum 5 children.
This program is specifically designed for hypersensitive and hyper-imaginative little creatures who like to role play with cute stuffies and puppets. If your child has the out-of-the-ordinary, off-the-rail, and intense imaginative capacity with morbid curiosity and fascination, this is their place of belonging.
How it Works:
Paradoxically, hypersensitive or anxious children tend to have a fascination with morbid ideas and experiences. Although morbid thoughts can be a source of concern for parents and shame for the child, they can be a source of personal strength and resilience with a proper framework and approach. With competent therapeutic guiding, this fascination can help children safely process thoughts and feelings that are otherwise too overwhelming.
These are Child-led, child-based expressive arts experiences (kids' curiosity, ideas, interests shape how the time comes together), in-door social play and imagination; with the support of a compassionate, sensitive adult and trauma-informed expressive arts therapist, who will meet your child where they are at.
Dungeons and Dragons Experience
July 19, 20, 22, 26, 27 & 29
Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
90mins $150/group (3-5 people)
Calling all Adventurers! Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is a table-top role playing game which is experiencing a strong cultural resurgence. In D&D, players use imagination and collaboration to navigate a fantasy world while role playing as a powerful hero.
Each decision affects how the world reacts and ultimately impacts the outcome of the party's journey. It is easily tailored to ability level and can be played with kids as young as 5. Chasing down unruly goblins and vanquishing dragons is fun enough, however, when applied intentionally as a therapeutic and educational tool, D&D makes for a wildly enjoyable, low-risk group experience with plenty of natural opportunities to support social and emotional regulation needs. All you need is some dice, paper and a pencil - no screens needed!
Includes 15min check-in, 60min of playtime and 15min check-out.
Neurodiversity Professional and Caregiver Workshop
$600 per person
Goals: Differently sensitive and differently skilled.
You will NOT learn specific strategies or essentialized information about neurodiversity or autism
BI: the experience she had cannot be un-experienced. It planted a seed that sprouted a couple days later in the session. She looked at the same client but from a completely different space of consciousness and she was unable able to deliver same the behavioural intervention activities she felt were useful and meaningful just a week ago, so she is quitting her job.
Parent: "I was stuck on the bargaining stage of grief but didn't realize it. I thought if I work really hard at understanding neurodiversity and doing it right, I can help them be some of these things that neurotypical kids can. Now I have no illusion and the understanding hurts"
Autistic participant: (listening to other people's experiences) You mean neurotypical people don't feel this way in every social situation?
Participate at your own risk as the experience may result in fundamental lens shifts.
Billable as family counselling with AFU and covered by most extended healthcare that covers counselling.
Expressive Arts Caregiver Group Session
Please contact for more detail
This is a 90 minute session for adults caring for children with additional needs. Not only do we spend so much time focusing and exerting energy for other people, we often can be socially isolated. This is a gentle, mindful, and relaxing way to nourish your body and mind within a safe social container amongst other caregivers walking a similar path.
Date and Time: Thursday April 4th 1-2:30pm at Luminous Elephant . RSVP necessary.
Childcare is not provided.