Tampa, FL (November 30, 2023) – Embracing the season’s festive spirit, Easterseals Florida is delighted to invite Hillsborough County families with neurodiverse children ages 12 and under to a special holiday event in Valrico, FL. Taking place on Saturday, December 9th, 2023, from 10 AM to 12 PM, “Connect and Play with Easterseals” offers a holiday-themed experience filled with sensory activities, games, story time, arts and crafts, music, and more. The free event will be held at the site of the future School for Limitless Learning in the Bloomingdale BayCare Health Hub, 2460 Bloomingdale Avenue. Families are encouraged to RSVP to LimitlessLearning@fl.easterseals.com.
The Connect and Play event is specifically designed for young children with autism, ADHD, ADD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and other neurodiverse conditions, offering them a first-hand opportunity to experience the benefits of therapeutic play. At the same time, parents and caregivers get the chance to learn more about the resources available through Easterseals Florida’s play-based programs and the sensory-friendly toys recommended by Easterseals staff, just in time for holiday gift-giving.
Jenn Siffermann, Vice President of Programs for Easterseals Florida, said, “Play-based learning offers many advantages for both the child and parents/caregivers. Play provides a natural outlet for children to express emotions, increase communication & problem-solving skills, social skill development, self-exploration, and flexibility to learn based on individual needs. Play offers opportunities and experiences for children to build trust through shared experiences and allows parents/caregivers to have an active role in their child’s development.”
December’s Connect and Play event is just one example of the play-based therapies that are at the heart of many of Easterseals’ Tampa Bay programs, including The PLAY Project (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) and the new Easterseals School for Limitless Learning, opening in mid-2024.
The PLAY Project is an evidence-based, in-home, intensive play-based early intervention program for children ages 2 to 6 who are on or suspected to be on the autism spectrum. Through parent training, this 10-month program empowers families to work on intervention skills, improving language, development, and social skills through PLAY. This program was developed by Dr. Rick Solomon, based on the DIR (Developmental Individualized Relationship-based) theory of Dr. Stanley Greenspan.
Expanding upon play-based therapies even further, the Easterseals School for Limitless Learning will be uniquely focused on the educational needs of infants, toddlers, and children up to second grade who are neurodiverse or have related disabilities. The new private school will utilize the DIRFloortime® model as a basis for curriculum and will offer two specialized programs, a 10-month lower elementary program (preschool to second grade) and a year-round early childhood program (6 weeks of age to three years), along with before and after-school care, care during school breaks, and STEAM summer camps.
With play as a major focus, the private school’s secure campus will also feature a boundless playground and a state-of-the-art indoor sensory room. The goal of the Easterseals School for Limitless Learning is to provide an inclusive and supportive learning environment, designed to help special needs students reach developmental milestones through hands-on activities and build a healthy foundation for future growth.
For more information about the Connect and Play events or the School for Limitless Learning, please contact Easterseals at LimitlessLearning@fl.easterseals.com or call 813-236-5589. For more information about The PLAY Project, email PLAY@fl.easterseals.com or call 813-988-7633, ext. 11606.