Program Description: Together Time and Port Discovery Children’s Museum collaborative pilot program provided a support group for mothers and their young children with developmental disabilities. Together Time at Port Discovery is a 5 week program designed to promote positive parent-child attachment and to enhance each mother’s self-sufficiency in caring for her child. The pilot group addressed skill building in the context of everyday activities such as mealtimes, bedtime routines, playtime, etc., by utilizing Port Discovery’s innovative environment and unique play-to-learn exhibits designed for early learners of all abilities.
Target Population: Baltimore City mothers and their children ages 2-4 with developmental disabilities. Families were recruited from a Kennedy Krieger home and center based developmental therapy program. All of the families were receiving Medical Assistance.
Program Objectives & Components:
- Through hands-on engagement, improve mother-child attachment, and increase mothers’ confidence in their ability to help their children with developmental disabilities build necessary skills.
- Together Time/Port Discovery staff will used the Museum’s unique exhibits to provide mothers with development-enhancing techniques through five participatory group sessions themed around everyday activities.
- By helping mothers feel more skilled and informed, Together Time at Port Discovery aimed to build their comfort levels with parenting and also strengthen their parent-child relationships.
- Enrich the community support network for mothers of children with developmental disabilities.
- Port Discovery staff was trained in the Together Time at Port Discovery curriculum, and will receive valuable hands-on experience under the guidance and supervision of PACT’s experienced occupational therapist, who developed the Together Time program.
- Throughout the 5-week program, Together Time’s therapist and Port Discovery staff aimed to help develop social support and a communal environment among participating mothers so they will feel less isolated and more engaged in their community.
Unique components of this administration of the Together Time program included a modified administration of the Mother Goose on the Loose program.
Mother Goose on the Loose is a fun-filled thirty minute interactive early-literacy program for children from birth to age 3 with their parents or caregivers. Created by Mother Goose on the Loose Executive Director Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, this innovative program is based on research which shows that children learn best through routine and repetition in a nurturing environment. Mother Goose on the Loose uses a variety of activities, such as rhymes, songs, puppets and instruments to foster speech development, motor coordination, self-confidence, and sensitivity to others. For more information on Mother Goose on the Loose, please visit http://www.mgol.net/