Each child processes information differently and it is important for us to understand each child’s processing profile to support learning and emotional development.
Therefore, our approach focuses on learning each child’s strengths and challenges so that we can support the child’s development in the Monarch 4 core goals: self regulation/awareness, relationship development, executive functioning and academic competence.
We do this by building emotional connections with the child through interactions that include the exchange of emotions. Emotions mobilize us and lead the way to all learning.
Studies have shown that the mind and the brain grow most rapidly as an outgrowth of these types of interactions.
• DIR Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based
Therapy, also known as DIR/Floortime™, is a model of assessment and
intervention that addresses a child’s developmental challenges by identifying
his/her unique processing differences, level of functional emotional, social
and intellectual capacities, and typical and necessary interaction patterns.
It utilizes intensive interaction experiences to enable the child to master
new capacities through relationships and the use of affect. It focuses on
engaging the child at his/her current level of functioning while working with
the child’s unique processing differences to help him/her to climb up the
Functional Emotional Developmental Levels; e.g., Shared Attention &
Regulation, Engagement, Two-Way Communication, Interactive Problem
Solving, Meaningful Use of Ideas, Connecting Ideas Logically.
• Speech/Language Therapy helps individuals to improve receptive and
expressive language processing; improve articulation skills and speech
fluency. It also helps individuals develop functional communication skills
using a variety of augmentative communication techniques. Monarch
Therapy services provides speech/language and communication intervention
to individuals of all ages with various types of speech/language and
communication disorders. Therapy plans are developed based on the
individual’s interests to make learning and therapeutic interactions
• Occupational Therapy helps children gain independence through the
development of fine motor skills, sensory motor skills, and visual motor skills
that are necessary to function and socialize in their daily environments.
Intervention is play-based incorporating activities such as suspended
equipment and games to target the desired skills and to encourage a positive
• Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions
to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a
credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy
program. (AMTA, 2005) Music Therapy services support Monarch’s Four Core
Goals by providing activities that are motivating, success-oriented, and
present concrete, multi-sensory stimulation in a systematic way that is
capable of addressing multiple goal areas simultaneously, regardless of age
or musical ability. Music is processed in the frontal, parietal, and temporal
lobes of the brain, as well as the cerebellum, creating and connecting neural
pathways in both hemispheres of the brain. Research suggests music’s ability
to enhance spatial-temporal skills (mathematical reasoning), auditory
recognition and discrimination (language processing), pattern recognition,
and abstract reasoning skills. Music Therapy calls a person to identify and
express emotional states in new and challenging ways that promote self-
regulation, reflection, and creativity. The therapeutic relationship and
inherent structure of music provide a safe and predictable, yet flexible,
context for students to take risks and perspectives they may not feel
confident attempting in other environments. This creates opportunities for
learners to take greater ownership of their skills and achievements.
Participation in music therapy sessions includes playing instruments, singing,
listening, improvising, and composition, each of which are adapted to support
objectives in communication and positive social awareness and behaviors.
Additionally, music-making and appreciation is a lifelong leisure skill that
may transfer to other real-world contexts. Music Therapy activities are
continuously adapted to individual needs to promote executive functioning
skills such as reflection, creative problem solving, strategizing, and task
Our team provides high quality diagnostic assessments to identify strengths and challenges and use therapeutic techniques to help individuals reach their optimal level of in all areas of functioning. Our experienced clinicians collaboratively assess and treat a broad range of functional domains, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, AD/HD, Tourette Syndrome, OCD, learning disorders, traumatic brain injury and recovery, and mood disorders.
The Therapy Services Faculty consists of:
• Sharon Duval, M.A., CCC-SLP, DIR® Certified, Director
• Catherine Taylor, MT-BC, Music Therapist
• Sarah Posey, MT-BC, Music Therapist
• Debbie Kerner, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist
• Ann Schmitz, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
• Jamie MacDonald, MOT, OTR, Occupational Therapist
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