Whole Children Philosophy


We are a social/recreation center that welcomes families and students of all abilities, philosophies and cultures. We are not a therapeutic program and we do not adhere to any one system or approach to teaching, running groups or working with students.

While we do have additional supports, visual cues and assistance available in our facility, we are a community-based, inclusive, social program. As such, our environment, our practices and our approach are organic, and as much as possible, mirror settings that are in the general community. We believe that with skilled instructors, patience, time, gentleness, and an understanding community, students can develop the skills and strategies to cope with the small, unexpected, or uncomfortable realities of a natural environment, rather than trying to create a specialized environment that is not replicable in the general community.

We value families, parent engagement and perspective, and we partner with families and children to help each individual learn the skills and strategies that best fit their needs. It is our hope that children will learn to participate in group activities without additional support. However, we recognize that different individuals have different needs, and may have different goals.

It is our policy that a parent or designated adult stay on premises and be available to either participate in the class or supervise breaks as may be required for their child to participate in a program or class. (Please note that an observer who is present to take data collection is not considered a support to the student. The designated adult must be available to assist the child as needed.) The instructor and program manager will provide feedback, dialogue and assistance to the family member. As skills are developed, drop off will be allowed once the parent, student, instructor and program manager have determined that the student can participate safely in the class.

IMG_3913Occasionally, families choose to have an outside therapist, provider or other individual observe and/or participate in our programs. We are open to inviting others into the programs with the following guidelines:

  • The instructor, family, proposed guest and program manager meet prior to the guest participation and agree on the type of guest participation, understanding of the role and limits of the program, and agreement on when and how possible disputes may be resolved. Whole Children reserves the right to stop the guest participation at any time.
  • Any guest observer, therapist, provider or family member acts as a support to the individual participating in the program without causing interference with the other members of the group.
  • Any guest observer, therapist, provider or family member follow Whole Children’s standard of respect for self and others.
  • No guest observer, therapist, provider or family member will interfere with or attempt to impose onto Whole Children, its programs, instructors, or other students, their individual philosophy or approach.