The YMCA Inclusion Program assists children with special needs or disabilities in becoming independent, engaged, and successful in their childcare setting. Our positive and supportive approach focuses on behavior management and play, social, and self-care skills development.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion is accepting differences and responding to individual needs with the purpose of ensuring that all individuals are provided a sense of belonging, and valued and respected as a contributing member of the community. Inclusion benefits all children, staff and families by providing them with opportunities to learn and value one another as individuals and members of the same community. Inclusion allows for all individuals within the community to experience life to the fullest, regardless of differences or abilities.
Inclusion services are provided to children between the ages of 3 and 17 attending preschools, summer camps, childcare, after school or recreational programs throughout Orange County. We focus on teaching and developing play, social, and self-care skills, managing behavioral challenges, and building confidence and independence through the use of positive reinforcement, behavioral interventions and other support strategies. Each child in our program is provided with an individualized Inclusion Plan, detailing their specific inclusion goals to monitor and facilitate their progress. Our Inclusion Facilitators collect data on these goals while facilitating the child’s engagement and inclusion in his or her childcare program.
Inclusion can be utilized for all children with special needs and/or challenging behaviors. We provide services to children with but not limited to developmental and learning disabilities, sensory challenges, epilepsy, autism, ADHD, emotional disturbance, as well as assist with self-care (diapering, feeding, etc.) if needed.
Possible Indicators (not limited to) for one-on-one Inclusion services:
• Elopement (wandering tendencies)
• Lacks personal safety or sense of boundaries
• Self-Injurious Behavior
• Harmful behaviors towards participants or staff
• Self-Care Needs beyond occasional
• Tantrums or emotional “meltdowns”
• Sensory or social integration challenges.
Our Service Areas
Our service area includes all cities within Orange County. Inclusion provides service as a third party at the group child care provider or community program site based on the child care or community program’s permission. Our services are utilized at YMCA child care sites, private preschools, Boys & Girls Clubs, school district child care programs, community and city recreational programs, etc. It is the responsibility of each parent to discuss utilizing Inclusion services with the child care or community program provider.
Parent & Family Collaboration
Inclusion staff at all levels work in direct partnership with the parents and families of children in our program to facilitate their inclusion and success within their childcare programs. Effective collaboration and communication with parents and families is key to providing consistency and high quality support. Parents and families are actively involved in the development of a child’s individualized Inclusion Plan and regularly updated on the child’s progress in the Inclusion Program. Inclusion staff welcome the opportunity to assist and support parents and families in supporting their child’s success in settings and environments outside of the childcare program, including the home and classroom. Inclusion staff work to connect parents and families to valuable resources that may prove helpful to the child or family, including respite care, childcare options, Regional Center consumer services, and other supports or resources within the community.
Inclusion fees are separate from any fees paid to the childcare or summer camp program provider and are the responsibility of the parent or guardian. Y Inclusion is a vendor with the Regional Center of Orange County, and current consumers with the Regional Center of Orange County may qualify for full funding through the Regional Center. Payment is also accepted through other third party agencies as applicable. Families who are not consumers with the Regional Center or do not qualify for Inclusion services through the Regional Center may pay privately for services. Financial assistance is available for families who qualify.
In addition to 1:1 services, Inclusion also provides consultation services to childcare, preschool and recreational program staff to assist with the success of an individual child within their program. At times, childcare and recreational program staff may struggle to effectively support a child with special needs in the program. Such struggles may involve behavioral challenges, including tantrums, aggression, and elopement, social skills difficulties, or curriculum or environment inclusion or adaptation.
A trained Senior Inclusion Facilitator or Program Director would consult directly with the childcare or recreational program staff and the child’s parents to determine the current challenges and receive intake information. The Inclusion consultant would then conduct an in-person observation and develop an individualized intervention plan, providing recommendations for behavioral interventions and proactive strategies. Follow up visits or consultations may be provided on as needed basis. The cost of a consultation through Y Inclusion is $175. Please inquire directly with the Inclusion Office if interested.
Inclusion also provides group training’s to childcare, preschool and recreational program staff to develop or expand their knowledge in how to teach, support, and assist children with special needs. Training’s can be conducted on-site if needed and are led by a Senior Inclusion Facilitator or Program Director. Training topics include Guiding Children with Special Needs, Behavior Management, Positive Reinforcement and other specialized topics. Other topics may be offered upon request. Depending upon the topic, training’s range from 1 – 2 hours and also include a question and answer portion and a copy of the training curriculum. Training’s cost $100 per hour. Please inquire directly with the Inclusion Office if interested.