Canyon Kids Adaptive Outdoor Adventure Programs

Canyon Kids has teamed up with Dave Ritter, Outdoor Leadership Trainer, Guide and Director of Bretton Woods Outdoor Adventure Program to create a new program called Bretton Adaptive. 

We offer one on one and small group outdoor recreational outings like kayaking, ropes course, hiking and wilderness exploration for children and teens of all abilities and needs. These outings are happening during the 2018-2019 school year, afterschool, on select weekends and days off of school. 

During the summer, we offer our Integrated Summer Outdoor Adventure Camp. This is a multi week camp where campers participate in adventures based out of Bretton Woods Recreation Center on the banks of the Potomac River in rural Maryland. This camp accepts 1-3 campers each week from June 2019-August 2019. They will be paired with a trained adventure guide and participate with similarly aged peers in Bretton Woods Outdoor Adventure Camps and Day Camp. Activities can include zip lines, giant slip and slides, hiking, kayaking and swimming. 

Please contact us for more information at or 301 523 0902.  


Oscar Nominated film and book Life, Animated is about the life of Owen Suskind. Owen was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. He lost speech and it seemed his ability to connect to others until his family started to use the very thing that he loved: Disney Animated Film. This is a beautiful story of using a child's affinity to bring us all together. Christine Sproat had the priviledge to work as Owen's OT from the time he was 5 years old starting at a Sensory Integration Camp. Owen is now in his twenties, graduated from an adaptive college program and is living on his own in a supervised communilty with his dog Guss.

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Strategies for Use in Your Classroom

by Christine Sproat MA, OTR/L & Allison Martin MS, OTR/L


Calming & Organizing

The use of calming and organizing, and alert and arousing activities can vary with each student however these strategies can be used in lesson planning for an entire class. Each list is comprised of activities that include: Tactile, Vestibular, Proprioceptive, Auditory and Visual strategies to help students modulate sensory experiences. 


Calming and Organizing Strategies: To be used for children who are more sensitive and or avoidant to sensory input in their environment or who have increased activity levels. Calming and organizing strategies will help decrease or minimize over-responsiveness to sensory input.  Calming strategies will help foster continued engagement in activities while building coping strategies to use when faced with new sensory challenges.


1. Carrying weighted objects to and from in the classroom, such as milk jugs full of birdseed.
2. Pushing or pulling heavy loads, such as loading a box up with books and pushing it down the gym floor or pulling it with a rope.
3. Wearing a back pack filled with books orweighted vest while transitioning.
4. Wearing wrist weights (1/2lb each) and ankle weights (1lb each) for 30 minutes at a time during circle time or school performances.
5. Diming or turning out lights and use natural light from windows.
6. Music with slow tempos played at a moderate volume.
7. Linear swinging or rocking on a rocking chair or therapy ball.
8. Yoga poses (use Yoga Deck), especially inverted poses.
9. Deep breathing for 5 breaths while doing Yoga Poses.
10. Playing in dry rice or bean bin (may be alerting for tactile defensive child).
11. Start school day with tactile play (start the year with dry textures, such as a bin full of large noodles, and work toward more messy textures towards end of school year.)
12. Holding a fidget or squeeze toy during activities that require attention.
13. Wearing headphones to dampen noise for loud activities.
14. Singing to children to get their attention or to explain an activity that requires a sequence of steps.
15. Sitting on seat cushion (can be alerting depending on child).
16. Providing a quiet "cave" in the corner of the classroom to work or play in, such as using a quilt over a card table. Fill the area with pillows with different textures.
17. Finding objects in medium resistance putty.
18. Using a soft voice and slow movements.
19. Giving a child a bear hug, cuddling or back rub.
20. Sucking on a mouth chewy, frozen fruit bar.
21. Wheel barrow walking (give support under child’s thighs, shoulders slightly bent and fingertip face forward).
22. A warm classroom is calming.
23. Playing dress up.
24. Squishing child laying on floor with therapy ball, call it making a sandwich.
25. Adult affect (tone of voice, facial expression) is slower, more serious, quiet and deliberate.
26. Crabwalking and balancing bean bags on belly. Tell child to keep bottom up off the floor.
27. Weighted ball or animal tossing weighted ball (1lb-5lb) to each other or into a barrel.
28. Minimizing extraneous stimuli (noise, visual, lots of kids in one place, etc.)  in environment, especially during tasks that are difficult for the child already.
29. Providing separate or structured spaces that prevent the child from experiencing a lot of unpredictable touch (carpet square for each child at circle, hula hoops or tape mark squares).
30. Posting daily schedule using pictures to provide structure and expectations clearly.
31. Taping an alphabet or number strip to desk.
32. Attaching pictures with words to drawers, bins, shelves and cubbie.
33. Presenting new activities at eye level and ask child to repeat directions before beginning work.
34. Avoiding putting posters, pictures, memos in front of the classroom where children need to focus on the teacher.
35. Using close proximity as a teacher and deep touch pressure to help children to focus.