Where special needs find a home

Services from A Step Ahead

Home Based Services

The Philosophy Behind Home Visiting

Research indicates that children learn best in the context of secure and loving relationships. When interventions are provided at home, children have multiple opportunities to practice functional skills such as walking around furniture at home; requesting food at mealtimes; or sharing toys with friends at childcare. Our teachers and therapists work closely with caregivers to find fun and meaningful activities which capitalize on natural learning opportunities throughout the day. “I believe the work (our therapist) did in our home one-on-one got the ball rolling for increased communication…”

Special Instruction

Specially designed teaching strategies to assist children in developing across all areas of development (cognition, communication, social, self-care, gross and fine motor skills).

Speech/Language Pathology

Helps with communication skills to include simple sign language; vocabulary development; speech production; and augmentative communication devices. Also assists in feeding skills.

Occupational Therapy

Assists children in developing daily living skills, including feeding, dressing, gross and fine motor development. Also evaluates and treats sensory processing disorders.

Physical Therapy

Provides exercises, positioning strategies, and equipment to help children improve their gross motor skills.

Infant Mental Health

Infant Mental Health Specialists are available to provide short-term relationship-based services for caregivers and their infant or toddler who is exhibiting social/emotional challenges.

Vision Services

Consultations with Teachers of the Visually Impaired are available to children who have low vision or blindness.

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Community Based Services

Childcare

With your provider’s permission, we may provide services in your child’s childcare.

Play Groups

Our classroom in Spanaway is available for a variety of play group experiences. Children may also be eligible to join one of our Inclusive Play to Learn classes in collaboration with the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. As times and availability change frequently, please visit our website or call the office for the latest information.

Field Trips

Field trips are offered throughout the year in order to introduce families to our community’s wealth of fun learning activities. We will support you and your child to make this a successful experience. Scholarships for entrance fees are available if needed. Some of our more popular field trips include Point Defiance Zoo, Mel Korum YMCA, The Children’s Museum of Tacoma, and area parks.

Family Parties

A Step Ahead offers occasional parties for a fun change of pace! Look for invitations in the mail for these family events.

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Boost

BOOST is a program to help infants and toddlers in foster or kinship care gain access to early learning opportunities and early childhood mental health services. This program is funded through grants and donations and is available to any child ages birth to five who has been removed from his or her home due to abuse or neglect. A Step Ahead provides home visiting services with one of our Infant Mental Health Specialists or we refer out to community partners able to address identified developmental concerns.

In addition to family based services, we also provide trainings to a variety of community partners (DSHS, CASA, Juvenile Court officers, Foster Placement Services) on the social emotional development and the impact of relationship disturbances or trauma on young children. In the past, we have presented to the Annual Domestic Violence conference, the Infant and Early Childhood Conference, and the Washington State Behavioral Healthcare conference. For further information about family services or training opportunities, please contact Melissa at 253-363-0570 or .

Additional Information

Eligibility

Eligible children must be under the age of three and live in Pierce County. A Step Ahead welcomes the enrollment of all eligible children regardless of race, religion, or nationality.

If you suspect that your child has a developmental delay, please first contact Pierce County's single point of entry for assistance at (253) 798 - 3790.

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Costs

Many of our services are funded through federal, state, and local dollars, and are provided at no cost. Medical insurance is billed to cover the cost of therapy services and families may be responsible for co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance. These costs will be reviewed with you prior to starting services. Please contact your insurance company or Family Resources Coordinator for information specific to your child.