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Therapeutic Nursery School (Oakland, CA)

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Therapeutic Nursery School (Oakland, CA)

Sept 2011

Does anyone have experience with the East Bay Agency for Children's Therapeutic Nursery School, or with any similar programs in the East Bay? I am seriously considering the EBAC preschool for my child. wondering

My child attended the Therapeutic Nursery School for one school year, 2006-2007. A setting like this was recommended for him as he had problems with making transitions and had frequent emotional meltdowns in regular preschool. The school was unable to give him the attention that he needed and the director recommended that we try a setting such as this. At the time the brochure said that the school was for children who had suffered some type of childhood trauma, which fit him. The negatives for me were that I found the facility a bit depressing and lacking in enrichment objects and activities. Also I'm not sure the teachers were trained to handle children who needed a therapeutic approach to their learning. In our case, they didn't seem to have the training to handle a child with special emotional needs. They were nice people, but didn't seem really equipped for the job. That was a disappointment to me. And I didn't like the padded room that the children would be put into when they had a meltdown. That was a little too institutional for me. The positive was that I found the play therapist that worked with my child to be very good. She was an intern, but seemed to have good training and I felt that she worked well with my child. I know that there have been staffing changes there, so you will want to visit and see what you think about it. I know that EBAC has another site in Oakland, Building Blocks or some name like that, and I heard that it was a nicer setting. Overall, I would say that TNS was an OK experience for our family. A former parent of TNS
Dear wondering, I am an occupational therapist who specializes in working with young children and preschoolers with special needs. My experience and professional views with therapeutic settings have been mixed. It is intended for children who have rather severe emotional issues, so I would just be careful about the goodness of fit for your child. For any parent looking at a preschool, it is vital to visit and actually stay to watch how the program is run. This first visit should be without your child. Then go visit with your child. Finally, ask important questions such as when do kids get outdoor time, how do you discipline children, and how do you resolve conflicts between the children. The last two are especially important if you are considering a therapeutic setting.
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