Lighthouse Kids was launched by Julia Howard, Occupational Therapist, in January 2016. After working in the UK with children with special needs for many years, Julia returned to South Africa and found that there appeared to be a gap in the services offered with regard to play groups or stimulation groups for babies, toddlers and pre-school children with special needs.
Lighthouse Kids offers babies and toddlers and their parent/caregiver the opportunity to play, learn and develop in a warm and safe group environment. As Julia is an Occupational Therapist the group’s content is developed for the specific children attending the group. Activities aim to develop fine motor, gross motor, social, sensory and self-help skills. With your consent, Julia will contact your child’s other therapists to find out what they are working on in individual therapy so as to provide opportunities for your child to generalise these skills into other contexts and practise what they are learning. Stimulation ideas are given to parents to carry out at home. Lighthouse Kids knows how important it is that the carers of special needs children are supported, parents are provided with the opportunity to have a cup of tea and a chat with others who are in the same boat.
For children who are soon to start Play School or Nursery School, Julia offers a service called Lighthouse Transitions where she will visit potential schools with you and help you make the tricky decision. This service also offers training for the teachers or carers at the new school on how best to support your child within their specific education setting.