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Kids at Play, an indoor sensory playground and pediatric therapy center, is launching a new program that combines recreation and mental health services for children.
The announcement comes as the organization relocated its facilities to Roxborough from East Falls about nine months ago.
Kids at Play offers outpatient speech, occupational and physical therapy — in addition to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) — and is now launching a program that addresses mental health issues for children.
Director of operations Julia Bookbinder said they plan to hire certified mental health professionals who can readily assist children with behavioral health challenges on site.
“Our goal is that when you come in, you have no idea who’s getting therapy and who’s here playing,” she said. “We want to really destigmatize the concept of therapy.”
The new service launched as Kids at Play has seen a growing number of children struggling with emotional regulation, depression, anxiety and the effects of early childhood trauma.
While not involved with diagnosing or medicine management, the organization aims to hire the licensed mental health professionals by March.
Founded in 2016, Kids at Play opened as an inclusive indoor playground with neurodiversity in mind and welcoming for children with ADHD or on the autism spectrum.
The group designed its original 7,000-square-foot space in East Falls as a multi-sensory play space decorated with vibrant colors and ambient lighting.