(312) 458-9865 | 3048 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60618

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Pyramid differ from other centers in the area?

Pyramid Early Learning Center offers a unique approach that blends various therapeutic approaches (e.g., ABA, DIR/Floortime, PLAY Therapy, MultiSensory Approach) depending on individual child’s personality, strengths, and needs. The focus is on stability—motor, speech, social, sensory, and regulatory—to help children transition to and succeed in a classroom setting.

Our curriculum is based on international programs and will incorporate themes and principles of The British Curriculum and Aistear with learning goals in Communicating, Well-being, Identity and Belonging and Exploring and Thinking. We develop our weekly planning based on the seven main subjects of Mathematics, Literacy, Communication, Expressive Art and Design (EAD), Understanding the World (UW), Physical Development (PD), and Personal, Social and Emotional development (PSED).

Other programs including High Scope are used within our school program with theories incorporated from the ‘Whole Child’ approach. We focus on the concept of learning through play while concentrating on the individual interests of the child and extending their natural play to incorporate learning in a manner which is enjoyable for them.

This provides our little learners with a wider spectrum of education which will prepare them for entering the traditional school environment.

Who might benefit from this program?

Pyramid’s program is intended for children ages 3-5 years old that need extra support navigating their sensory world, engaging in meaningful peer interactions, and succeeding in a classroom setting. The goal is to transition these children to a typical elementary school classroom.

In addition, an intensive ABA classroom is available for children who would benefit from half-day or full-day of Applied Behavioral Analysis with added opportunity to interact with peers in a more typical setting and with the goal of transitioning them to the main classroom.

What professionals are available to help?

Classes are taught by a certified early childhood teacher and licensed speech language pathologist as well as teaching assistants. Our program provides a minimum of a 3:1 student: teacher ratio. Daily therapy available as needed include speech therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy, behavioral therapy, physical therapy, and intensive ABA therapy. Students have access to intensive socialization dyads and social groups, therapeutic modalities such as Interactive Metronome and Therapeutic Listening, and a well-equipped Sensory Gym. Case managers are assigned to each family as we strive to build partnerships with our parents and encourage them to have an active role in their child’s education. Families are always welcome and can participate in classroom activities.

Why are low teacher/child ratios important?

Low ratios of children to teachers are associated with more intensive and productive teacher/child interactions as students receive more individual attention, more extensive and complex language, and more complex play.

What is the daily schedule? (early drop off, late pick up, lunch?)

Pyramid does offer early drop-off and late pick-up—see schedule below. We do have space available for lunch but ask that parents provide lunch for their children. We will have daily snacks (organic, gluten-free available) in both the morning and afternoon group.
If your child is a picky eater you can take advantage of our experienced feeding specialists (SLPs) who are certified in Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) and Beckman Oral Approach to Pediatric Feeding. Home-based collaboration with the SLPs is encouraged to ensure carryover of feeding skills and positive feeding behaviors.

Schedule
Early Drop off 8:00am—9:00am
(choose between Sensory Diet with PT/OT or Open Play (supervised by classroom aide)
Morning Academic Session 9:00am—11:30am (w/snack break)
Lunch 11:30am—12:30am
(choose between Picky Eaters class or Open Lunch (supervised by classroom aide)
Sensory Break / Rest Time 12:30pm—1:00pm
Afternoon Academic Session 1:00pm-3:30pm (w/snack break)
After School Program 3:30pm—6:00pm
(choose between extracurricular Activities (Art, Music, Gardening, Yoga, Dance, etc.) or individual therapy (ST/OT/PT/BT/ABA)

What are your rates?

Our rates vary by student therapeutic needs as well as schedule. We discuss rates at the initial consultation prior to enrollment. If you’d like to schedule an initial consultation, please call us at 312-458-9865.

Where are you located?

Pyramid is located at 3048 North Milwaukee Avenue in the Avondale neighborhood. Parking is available on Milwaukee. There is also public transportation readily available.

How do I know which services are needed to help my child?

Our clinic offers an initial consultation at no charge to parents to discuss your concerns for your child and your goals for his/her academic and developmental progress. A formal evaluation is required for enrollment and will determine your child’s strengths and needs and provide therapeutic recommendations.
The clinician will discuss typical developmental milestones in cognition, language, social skills, fine and gross motor skills, typical sensory integration and regulatory status. You will get a clear understanding of how children learn through play, observation, and exploration– and how atypical development can impact a child’s ability to learn and acquire skills.

What is your payment policy?

Our therapists are in network with several insurance providers including: Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO, Aetna, Humana, Cigna (Mental Health in-network), UHC/United, Coventry. 


You will be responsible for any co-pays or deductible expenses. If you are covered by any other insurance provider, fees must be paid at time of service. Several insurance companies require pre-approval and we are happy to work with families to get your fees covered and reimbursed by your insurance provider.

What is Interactive Metronome?

Interactive Metronome (IM) is a neuro-motor therapy leader that has changed clinical expectations by assisting patients in reaching greater functional gains in a shorter period of time. Over 15,000 Medical Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Education Professionals are Interactive Metronome Certified (IMC).

Interactive Metronome was developed in the early 1990s and immediately proved of great benefit to children diagnosed with learning and developmental disorders. Backed by years of clinical research and supported by prominent medical leaders in the industry, IM soon gained national attention as a breakthrough intervention to help those patients increase attention & concentration, motor control & coordination, language processing and control of impulsivity.

Interactive Metronome’s application is so broad because it measures and improves motor planning and sequencing, a critical part of the central nervous system.

Overview

IM is an assessment and treatment tool used in therapy to improve the neurological processes of motor planning, sequencing and processing.

The IM program provides a structured, goal-oriented process that challenges the patient to synchronize a range of hand and foot exercises to a precise computer-generated reference tone heard through headphones. The patient attempts to match the rhythmic beat with repetitive motor actions. A patented auditory-visual guidance system provides immediate feedback measured in milliseconds, and a score is provided.

Over the course of the treatment, patients learn to:

Focus and attend for longer periods of time
Increase physical endurance and stamina
Filter out internal and external distractions
Improve ability to monitor mental and physical actions as they are occurring
Progressively improve coordinated performance.

The IM program provides a structured, goal-oriented process that challenges the patient to synchronize a range of hand and foot exercises to a precise computer-generated reference tone heard through headphones. The patient attempts to match the rhythmic beat with repetitive motor actions.

A patented audio or audio and visual guidance system provides immediate feedback measured in milliseconds, and a score is provided.

Today, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists, Educators, Athletic Trainers, Licensed Rehabilitation Medical and Mental Health Professionals Neurologists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Chiropractic Care Professionals are enhancing traditional therapy approaches with IM and achieving measurably improved outcomes. IM has been shown to improve:

Attention & Concentration
Motor Planning & Sequencing
Language Processing
Behavior (Aggression &; Impulsivity)
Balance and Gait
Endurance
Strength
Motor Skills
Coordination

Today, there are more than 15,000 certified IM providers in over 5,000 clinics, hospitals and universities throughout the United States and Canada. Each day our community of providers continues to grow.

IM has received an abundance of media recognition including the CBS Early Show, CNN News, US News and World Report, as well as various segments that have aired on hundreds of TV affiliates, radio stations and national publications.

Interactive Metronome CEU credits are now offered throughout the United States. It is our goal to educate therapists and contribute to the functional rehabilitation of their patients.

What is Therapeutic Listening®?

Developed by Vital Links, Therapeutic Listening is research based tool for treating people of all ages who have difficulty processing sensory information, listening, attention, and communication.

Used by thousands of therapists around the world, Therapeutic Listening is a highly individualized, music based tool that activates listening to help people tune-in to and respond to their world.

Therapists and caregivers frequently report a broad array of changes in the clinic, home, and community environments. Commonly reported changes include:

Home/School Changes

Improved social interactions
Improved communication skills
Enhanced ability to focus
Ability to make transitions or changes in routine easier
Increased engagement in the world
Improvements in sleeping
Regulation of hunger and thirst cycle regularity
Toilet training/cessation of bed wetting
Regulation of mood and energy level (overall a happier child, less irritable, less hyperactivity or low arousal)
Improved ability to respond to sounds and verbal directions
Increased participation in and exploration of playground equipment (swings, slides, climbing structures)

Clinic Changes

Praxis and motor planning (coming up with an idea, planning and then completing the task)
Decreased fear of movement and fear of heights
Improved bilateral motor coordination (coordination between the left and right, the top and bottom, and the front and back side of the body)
Improvement in fine motor skills including handwriting
Better timing and sequencing of motor skills
Improved ability to perceive and navigate space
Ability to move on stable and dynamic surfaces

Reduction in sensory defensive behaviors (abnormal responses to sensory stimuli like sounds, touch, taste, pain)
Practitioners and caregivers commonly report seeing improvements in:

sensory modulation
posture and movement
attention
improved social interactions
increased engagement in the world
…all leading to gains in day to day function and communication.

Therapeutic Listening is an evidence-based auditory intervention intended to support individuals who experience challenges with sensory processing dysfunction, listening, attention, and communication.

Since the auditory system has connections to many parts of the brain, sound is a powerful way to access the nervous system and affect changes at all levels. The music in Therapeutic Listening albums gives the listener unique and precisely controlled sensory information. The music is electronically modified to highlight the parts of the sound spectrum that naturally trigger attention and activate body movement. In addition to the electronic modifications, Therapeutic Listening capitalizes on the organized rhythmical sound patterns inherent in music to trigger the self-organizing capacities of the nervous system.

To gain a more complete understanding of Therapeutic Listening in a treatment context, please refer to our case studies at http://www.vitallinks.net. Here you will find reports of positive change and gain, chronologies of treatment, and therapists’ accounts of their own clinical reasoning during the creation of Therapeutic Listening protocols and sensory diets for their clients.

What are Dyads?

The Dyad model pairs two children together to encourage social awareness in a setting that is deliberately set up for success. This model is intended for children with significant sensory or regulatory challenges or those who have difficulty with transitions or changes in their routine. It is also excellent for children who are having difficulty separating from their parents and simply do not do well in noisy, large, or dynamic classroom environments. It is a one or two hour session that introduces the child to the typical classroom cues and introduces adult-directed transitions slowly and gently.

This model reduces the stress for the child of entering a novel environment in which social challenges confront them immediately. A dyad interaction supports the child to express social interest in their peers and encourages social interactions in a non-threatening and safe way. Motivating play activities are introduced by the therapist running the dyad using a child-directed floor-time approach. Parents are usually present for these sessions, at least initially, and it promotes a form of gentle separation initiated by the child.
The Three Stages of the Dyad Model

Stage 1 : Dyad Introduction
Stage 2 : Socialization w/ Peer
Stage 3 : Integration to Group

What is a DIR therapy approach?

The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR® / Floortime™ Model) Model is a framework that helps clinicians, parents and educators conduct a comprehensive assessment and develop an intervention program tailored to the unique challenges and strengths of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental challenges. The objectives of the DIR® / Floortime™ Model are to build healthy foundations for social, emotional, and intellectual capacities rather than focusing on skills and isolated behaviors.

Developmental

The D (Developmental) part of the Model describes the building blocks of this foundation. Understanding where the child is developmentally is critical to planning a treatment program. This describes the developmental milestones that every child must master for healthy emotional and intellectual growth.

The Six Developmental Milestones

Stage One: Discovering your Child’s Sensory and Motor Profile
Stage Two: Intimacy, engagement, & falling in love
Stage Three: Opening and closing circles of communication
Stage Four: Expanding the Circles of communications to Solve Problems
Stage Five: Creating Emotional Ideas; the child’s ability to form ideas develops first in play.
Stage Six: Emotional Ideas & Logical Thinking

Individual differences

The I (Individual differences) part of the Model describes the unique biologically-based ways each child takes in, regulates, responds to, and comprehends sensations such as sound, touch, and the planning and sequencing of actions and ideas.

For example, some children are very hyper responsive to touch and sound while others are under-reactive, and still others seek out these sensations. Biological challenges describes the various processing issues that make up a child’s individual differences and that may be interfering with his ability to grow and learn.

Relationship-based

The R (Relationship-based) part of the Model describes the learning relationships with caregivers, educators, therapists, peers, and others who tailor their affect based interactions to the child’s individual differences and developmental capacities to enable progress in mastering the essential foundations.

What is the difference between DIR® / Floortime™ and how are they related?

Central to the DIR® / Floortime™ Model is the role of the child’s natural emotions and interests which has been shown to be essential for learning interactions that enable the different parts of the mind and brain to work together and to build successively higher levels of social, emotional, and intellectual capacities. Floortime™ is a specific technique to both follow the child’s natural emotional interests (lead) and at the same time challenge the child towards greater and greater mastery of the social, emotional and intellectual capacities. The DIR® / Floortime™ Model, however, is a comprehensive framework which enables clinicians, parents and educators to construct a program tailored to the child’s unique challenges and strengths.

The DIR® / Floortime™ Model emphasizes the critical role of parents and other family members because of the importance of their emotional relationships with the child.

What is ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) approach?

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based approach to teaching socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree. ABA is derived from the principles of learning and is used to teach any set of skills or behaviors that are in need of change. ABA uses objective and reliable data collection systems to monitor behavior change and individualized to each child based off his/her specific needs. Some children do not learn the same as other children their age and may need alternative teaching methods in order to learn. ABA is a teaching method that focuses on the principles of learning and motivation to teach the child to want to learn and to “Learn how to Learn”. In an ABA program, motivation and positive reinforcement are key factors in teaching the child socially significant behaviors.

How ABA works:

A professional, trained and experienced in Applied Behavior Analysis, will complete an evaluation on the individual. This evaluation is often a skills assessment or functional behavioral assessment to determine the child’s current skill level and function of any maladaptive behaviors (tantrums, physical aggression, self injurious behavior, etc). From there the function of specific behaviors can be determined and goals for teaching can be established. Positive reinforcement is used to increase the duration and frequency of appropriate behaviors, while reduction procedures and replacement behaviors are put in place to decrease/eliminate maladaptive behaviors. Data collection procedures are put into place for each targeted behavior and analyzed by the ABA team. Trained therapists will implement the ABA therapy and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will act as the consultant and oversee the program in order to make appropriate data based decisions on the programs. The parents, therapists and consultant will work together as a team to discuss the data, current targets, and future goals.

Services:

An intense ABA program can be implemented in the home and/or a clinic setting. Many families will choose to implement a full in-home program, where the consultant and therapists will come into the child’s home to work with the child. This allows for teaching in the child’s natural environment and allows for the consultant to train the parents on how to work with the child outside of therapy. Other parents will bring their child to a clinic for ABA therapy by trained professionals. Some parents will incorporate both environments into the child’s therapy program. The location of therapy is determined by the parent’s goals for their child.

Why choose PYRAMID?

Read about our unique approach to teaching your child in an individualized manner.

Get to know our staff

Meet the group of talented individuals who are specialized in any of your child's potential needs.

Pyramid Early Learning Center

(312) 458-9865 | 3048 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60618

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