History of Empowering Steps Therapy

How We Got Started

In 2002 I was approached by a mother who had a child living with Autism. She had heard that private lessons in gymnastics might help her child. I had never heard of autism and was unsure of what to expect; therefore, I decided that it would be best if I did the private lessons myself. This was the beginning of a new direction in my career. The child had to attend his lesson when the gym was empty, which was lunch hour. He was overwhelmed, frightened, unable to cooperate and resistant to new experiences. He often had angry outbursts and became over-stimulated by the end of his class when others began arriving for their lessons. My first challenge was to create a safe environment and to relax the child so that he felt able to tolerate this environment and could develop a sense of trust in me. This was accomplished over time with consistent strategies and patience. My next challenge was to expand his comfort level while others were present at the facility. We gradually expanded his comfort to include other children arriving for classes as well as, staff members. As his trust grew, we were able to expand his sensory threshold and repertoire of physical capabilities and experiences, greatly enhancing his enjoyment of the everyday world we take for granted. I suggested to his mother that we integrate my work with that of his other specialists. This proved to be very beneficial, enabling him to make new neurological connections and to increase his cognitive and verbal abilities which increased his ability to participate in the world. I drew upon my knowledge and belief that there is a huge connection between gross motor development and the acquisition of learning and fine motor skills.

- Vivien Symington B.A./B.P.H.E., Founder of Empowering Steps February 28, 2008

Where We Are Today

We currently have over 150 children enrolled weekly, partaking in a combination of Movement Therapy, Behavioural Intervention, and Music Therapy. It is our goal to offer a wide range of services at multiple facilities in the near future.

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