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Tag: speech therapy

Our Indoor ARTS Playscape: Combining Fun & Learning 

The Oxford Center has a very exciting new addition- an approximately 960 square feet indoor playscape for our Brighton location! This playscape has been a long process of picking out the perfect model and features, patiently tracking its shipment process, and then watching excitedly as it was being built! We know this playscape is going to be so much fun for our kiddos! Our playscape features a climbing rock wall, multiple slides, a ball pit, a swing, an obstacle course, and more! With so many great, fun features, we know this playscape is going to be a great addition. But is there any point to it beyond just being fun? Absolutely! The playscape is going to be a huge asset to our ARTS programs. 

What is our ARTS Program?   

Our ARTS program stands for Autism Recovery Thru Synergy. At The Oxford Center, our synergistic approach to autism is unlike any other ABA center. We use every tool in our belt to help our kids grow and develop as much as possible. We know that many kids coming to us for ABA services will also benefit from services like Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. So, we have incorporated all of these therapies into one program so that we can provide each of our kids with the best possible individualized experience.  

How will the playscape be used in ARTS?  

When picking out our playscape and all its features, we made sure to put careful thought into how the playscape would be able to benefit each therapy in our ARTS program. We want our kids to have fun and enjoy their time here- but it is also important to us that they are learning, and that we are doing everything we can to help them as well. Here are the benefits and learning opportunities our playscape will have for our ARTS program:  

-Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy:

ABA offers a huge wealth of opportunities for growth through our playscape. Our kids will be able to practice waiting, requesting preferring locations, shoes and socks on and off, turn taking, peer play, requesting actions, requesting actions from peers, transitions from preferred locations, requesting help, identifying emotions, and more!

-Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy:

Our playscape will help to develop key skills in both physical therapy and occupational therapy. These include practicing skills like vestibular input which will allow kids to practice for changes in their position, movement, or direction of the head. They will also be able to practice motor planning while playing which allows them to remember and perform body movements to fulfill a task, dynamic balance which will allow our kids to practice remaining standing and stable while engaging in play, practicing coordination, kinesthetic awareness which allows practice sensing the position and movement of their own body, strengthening muscles, and lots of practice with sensory processing and visual-spatial awareness skills through each of our playscape features.  

-Speech Therapy:

In speech therapy, our playscape will offer fantastic opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions involving turn-taking and sharing. They will be able to increase functional play skills by sharing and taking turns in things like waiting their turn to go down the slide, use the ball pit, sharing balls, etc. They will also be able to increase their expressive language skills through utterance length and labeling skills to express their wants and needs, whether that be verbally or through an AAC device.  


In conclusion, the addition of our indoor playscape at The Oxford Center’s Brighton location signifies more than just a physical expansion; it symbolizes a commitment to innovative and holistic autism therapy. Through this vibrant playscape, we are exemplifying how learning and development can be intertwined with play and fun. By providing a nurturing environment that sparks curiosity and excitement, we are able to foster an atmosphere where children can flourish and reach their fullest potential. As we look ahead, the playscape represents a bright future for autism therapy, where innovation, compassion, and the power of play combine to create a world of possibilities for the children in our care. 

Check out our timelapse video of the playscape being built!

Speech Guidelines for Children: Addressing Delayed Development  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of everyday life were delayed, including educational and developmental milestones for children. One area that has been particularly affected is speech development. Due to the many challenges that COVID-19 posed, speech guidelines were pushed back to accommodate the limitations of COVID-19. Unfortunately, these guidelines have not been adequately corrected since, so while many children may be at or meeting the current milestones, they are actually delayed according to pre-COVID standards. As parents, it is crucial to be aware of where your child should be in terms of speech milestones and to know when to seek early intervention speech therapy. 

Delayed Development to Look Out For: 

With the guidelines still not up-to-date post COVID-19, it is important that parents know what to look out for so that their child does not fall behind. Here are some things to look out for:  

  • Limited Vocabulary: Children may struggle to acquire an appropriate number of words for their age group. They may have difficulty expressing themselves or understanding others. 
  • Articulation Issues: Pronunciation difficulties or unclear speech may persist longer than expected. 
  • Lack of Sentence Structure: Children may struggle with constructing sentences or have difficulty using correct grammar. 
  • Limited Social Interaction: Delayed speech development can affect a child’s ability to engage in social interactions, leading to social and emotional challenges. 

Why is Speech Development Important?

As parents, you know how important your child’s development, especially their early development, is. If your child starts to fall behind in their speech, it is especially important to work to correct this early so that they do not continue to fall more and more behind.  

  • Communication Skills: Speech and language skills are fundamental for effective communication, which is crucial for academic success, social interactions, and overall well-being. 
  • Cognitive Development: Language development plays a significant role in cognitive growth, including memory, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. 
  • Emotional Expression: The ability to express thoughts, feelings, and needs verbally is essential for emotional development and building healthy relationships. 
  • Academic Performance: Strong speech and language skills are foundational for reading, writing, and academic achievement in general. 

What Can You Do at Home: 

Reading to your child helps prevent delayed development.

When you start to recognize that your child is falling behind, there are a few steps you can take at home to help your child catch up while you seek out professional help/intervention.  

  • Encourage Conversation: Engage in meaningful conversations with your child, providing ample opportunities for them to express themselves and ask questions. 
  • Reading Aloud: Regularly read age-appropriate books to your child, discuss the story with them, ask questions about the story, and point out unfamiliar words to help expand their vocabulary. 
  • Play and Pretend: Encourage imaginative play, which fosters language development, storytelling, and problem-solving skills. 
  • Limit Screen Time: Excessive screen time can hinder speech and language development. Encourage interactive and educational activities instead. 

Professional Intervention for Delayed Development: 

The best way to help your child catch up and get ahead of their development is to seek professional intervention. A professional speech-language pathologist has the knowledge and skillset to address all concerns with your child’s development and will work with your child to correct them.  

  • Consultation with a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP): If you notice significant delays in your child’s speech development, seek guidance from an SLP for a comprehensive evaluation and professional advice. 
  • Early Intervention Programs: SLPs can design individualized therapy plans to target specific speech and language difficulties. Early intervention can lead to better outcomes and minimize the long-term impact of delayed speech development. 
  • Collaborate with Educators: Share concerns with teachers or childcare providers to ensure consistent support and tailored strategies in educational settings. 


As we navigate the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to address the impact on children’s speech development. Understanding the signs of delayed speech and language skills, the importance of early intervention, and the steps parents can take at home are essential for promoting healthy communication and supporting children’s overall development. Parents can help their children overcome speech delays and thrive in their language skills by being proactive and seeking professional guidance. At The Oxford Center, our Speech Therapy program features individualized therapy plans to help your child reach all of their goals and maximize their potential!