UNION, NJ – Parents do everything in their power to protect their children, to provide them the best possible care and to provide access to the opportunities in life. But what happens when parents are confronted with the realization that their child is not developing as expected? The news can be traumatic. But families do not have to struggle through this alone.
Sensory Kids & Social Minds is a pediatric therapy clinic that is set to open a new center on Morris Avenue in Union on November 2nd. An interdisciplinary clinic, Sensory Kids & Social Minds tailors treatments collaboratively across occupational therapy, speech therapy, and ABA therapy (for children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD). Each plan of care caters to a child’s specific needs, so the child will learn to relate, to express love for others, and begin to ascend their developmental ladder. Their focus is on the early detection and treatment of ASD and other developmental disorders, such as ADHD, selective mutism, behavioral issues, articulation concerns, language delays, and emotional dysregulation/challenging behaviors. Its clinicians are trained in the application of school-based, clinical, parent-coaching, and social skills group interventions. The Union location will have a state of the art sensory gym for pediatric sensorimotor development and brain integration.
Founded in 2006 by occupational therapist, Sonia Zayas, and managed with her daughter Vanessa Vega, also an occupational therapist, Sensory Kids & Social Minds' mission is to assist children in being able to participate and enjoy different types of roles they inhabit: to become loving members of their families; be active learners at home, daycare, and in their school; become comfortable, social playmates with their peers; be self-confident in their adaptive self-care, gross and fine motor needs; and be productive in their use of independent playtime.
"We understand that any child's treatment must be individualized and prioritized according to the financial and individual needs of the families," said Zayas. Sensory Kids & Social Minds achieves this by being consultants to parents who participate in their children's ongoing treatment at home, by providing in-clinic therapy sessions, collaborating closely with teachers and other service providers to set children up for success, and the ongoing collaboration amongst staff. "Our therapists are approachable, progressive, and certified in some of the most innovative techniques available," she added.
Sensory Kids & Social Minds is scheduled to open its Union location on Monday, November 2. “We are thrilled to plant roots in Union, NJ because it is township that has meaning for many in our organization,” states Zayas. “It is where our Clinic Director, and my daughter, Vanessa Vega is receiving her doctorate in School and Clinical Psychology at Kean University, and also where our Senior BCBA, Jennifer Leiva owns her home and has started a family.” This will be the second location for the business; the first Sensory Kids & Social Minds began 15 years ago in Jersey City, and supports hundreds of families.
Zayas said she started Sensory Kids & Social Minds because she felt the social-emotional needs of children were not being adequately met within traditional school-based service provisions. She also wanted to fulfill her personal mission to empower children and young adults by helping them integrate social, emotional, and cognitive development mastery. The business opened in 2006 in her Jersey City brownstone, and has grown into its current downtown location with 25 employees. “When my mother first opened Sensory Kids & Social Minds, she was a woman with a vision for integrated care. She wanted to serve children holistically, and create an environment that was a community resource, as well as a bustling clinical practice,” notes Clinic Director, Vanessa Vega. “She has realized that vision and more: our children and families receive OT, SLP, and ABA services from a team of professionals who work collaboratively from a shared framework that places relationships at the core of all we do. She was such an inspiration to me, that after 7 year of practice as an OT myself, I went back to school to become a clinical psychologist so that we could diagnose as well as treat our pediatric clients. I am a now a 4th year doctoral student at Kean University, and I am proud to be growing our family business in the same township where I will be earning these bona fides.”
Though the clinic officially opens (for appointments only) on November 2, 2020, there will be a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Sunday, November 15th, 2020 beginning at 1pm. This will be followed by small group (no touch) tours of the facility between 1:30 and 3pm. Following this, the regular business hours will be Monday-Friday between 9am and 7pm, and
Saturdays between 8am and 4pm. They are currently accepting appointments for evaluation and treatment.
Licensed therapists will offer in-person and telehealth parent coaching, social skills groups, individual OT, SLP, and ABA services, and 3 different sensory gym environments for sensorimotor development and brain integration. There are insurance specialists who can help families understand their policy’s benefits and coverage for services. For more information, email email@example.com, or call (908) 688-0009. Sensory Kids & Social Minds is located at 2037 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ.
Contact Person: Vanessa Vega (Clinic Director)
Address: 2037 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ 07083
Phone: (908) 688-0009