Keystone Launches Two New Schools

Since its opening in 2013, Keystone Child Development Center has grown rapidly. The school was founded based on the inclusion model that provides opportunities for students with disabilities to learn alongside their non-disabled peers. The center’s leaders have spent the past four years developing and perfecting an educational approach that is thoughtful and balanced. They have successfully prepared hundreds of preschool children for success in primary school and beyond.

“Our goal was to produce an educational program that is developmentally appropriate for all young children and based on the best practices in the education field,” Katie Falwell, CEO and founder, said. “We are inspired by a variety of philosophies and approaches, which we have blended together into a program that reflects our commitment to helping children lay the best possible social, emotional, physical and cognitive foundations.”

As a result of rapid growth and what has been learned from the success of Keystone Child Development Center, Dr. Falwell is retiring KCDC and launching two new schools. Collage Day School and Mosaic Day School will open with the 2017-18 school year.

Collage Day School opens in Palm Valley with the first day of school on Aug. 10.

Collage Day School

Collage Day School, an academically challenging, independent day school that will open in Palm Valley this coming August, is currently accepting applications for students from 3 months old through 5th grade. The school focuses on providing a rich, integrative curriculum that encourages creative thinking and that is personalized for each student.

Students will start classes on Thursday, Aug. 10, and the school will follow the St. Johns County Public School Calendar. Collage Day School is located at 171 Canal Boulevard, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. The 8-acre campus is nestled between the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean in the heart of the Ponte Vedra Beach area of St. Johns County, which offers students hands-on experiences with nature and outdoor learning and additional layers of education, history and ecology.

The faculty of the School is made up of a combination of certified lead teachers and assistant teachers. Each teacher is tasked with bringing subject matter to each student in a way that is engaging and appropriate for the developmental stage of the student, rather than following a scripted lesson plan developed by someone else.

Our approach is thoughtful and balanced. It is also developmentally appropriate and based on the best practices in the education field. We are inspired by a variety of philosophies and approaches, which we blend together into a program that reflects our commitment to helping children lay the best possible social, emotional, physical and cognitive foundations.

Collage staff is challenged with uncovering the unique learning profile of each individual student and matching that knowledge with instruction to help their students develop the tools to be problem solvers, innovators, creators and change makers.

The grounds around Collage Day School will be put to good use as a “living classroom” where children can develop cognitive, social and emotional skills. The school is dedicated to promoting students’ health. Students do not spend their day sitting in front of computers under artificial lights, but have the opportunities to move and use their bodies in healthy ways and to spend time outdoors with a myriad of natural features such as woods and pathways, garden, play equipment and an inner courtyard that provides a common area for the Collage family to gather and socialize.

Collage is completing the process for full membership and accreditation by the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The school’s VPK program is endorsed by the Florida Department of Children & Families.

How important is preschool?

As reported in Parents.com, “There’s increasing evidence that children gain a lot from going to preschool,” says Parents advisor Kathleen McCartney, PhD, dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “At preschool, they become exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes. And, more important, they learn how to socialize — get along with other children, share, contribute to circle time.”

Mosaic Day School

 Mosaic Day School offers education for children with special needs, ages 1-7. Mosaic has classes designated for early intervention for students who are not appropriate for Collage Day School. Students attending Mosaic will receive services from Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, as needed, and attend either a half-day program (morning or afternoon) or a school day program (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.). Before- and after-care will also be available. Mosaic also offers a day treatment program for older students that are not able to successfully participate in a classroom setting.

The school primarily serves children with behavioral/developmental issues who have experienced failure in the continuum of available public or private special education environments and require a high degree of individualized attention and intervention. The program includes intensive one-to-one sessions and small group sessions, when appropriate, which teach students to relate to their peers and participate cooperatively in group activities. The goal is for each student to reintegrate or matriculate to a less restrictive academic setting with traditional classrooms.

Mosaic Day School is located at 6867 Southpoint Rd. N, Jacksonville, FL 32216.

To learn more about Collage Day School, visit @Collage Day School on Facebook and contact Rebecca Bowersox, director of admissions, rbowersox@keystonebehavioral.com, 904.900.1439.

To learn more about Mosaic Day School, contact info@keystonebehavioral.com, 904.619.6071.

Keystone CEO Recognized for Integrated Healthcare

Keystone CEO Katherine Falwell, Ph.D. and clinical psychologist, was recognized in a recent issue of the Ponte Vedra Recorder for her efforts to help children with integrated healthcare that focuses on all areas of behavioral, developmental, socio-emotional and learning services provided by Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, which Dr. Falwell founded in 2008.

The article chronicled the path that led Dr. Falwell to open Keystone, starting with her postdoctoral residency at the University of Florida, where Dr. Falwell became part of the faculty at University of Florida in the Department of Behavior Analysis. She became aware that Northeast Florida needed more comprehensive pediatric services than it had available at the time to meet the growing numbers of children with unique needs and took the opportunity to open Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics in 2008 to further her idea of collaborative, integrated healthcare.

Keystone provides Integrated Healthcare that Focuses on All Areas of Behavioral, Developmental, Socio-Emotional and Learning Services

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Katie Falwell (far right), in addition to her passion for helping children become successful, is also devoted to her family and northeast Florida beaches community.

Next, Dr. Falwell opened Keystone Child Development Center in 2013, because she believes passionately in research that supports the importance of providing individualized instruction and support as early as possible in a young child’s life. She designed KCDC to focus on all aspects of a child – mind, body and soul – to offer children the best opportunity for success in elementary school and throughout life.

In response to the paper’s question about her focus on early intervention, Dr. Falwell notes, “All children learn and grow at different rates. These first five years of a child’s life are filled with major developmental milestones that prepare them for lifelong learning.” She refers to research which shows that 90 percent of a child’s brain is developed by age 5.

Research also confirms that getting help early can lead to the best outcomes for kids. Developmental, learning, behavioral and social-emotional issues are estimated to affect one in every six children. Because these issues are often very subtle in young children, only 20 to 30 percent are identified as needing help before kindergarten.

The article described Keystone’s new Right from the Start Clinic designed to help parents know whether their baby would benefit from early intervention to solve or alleviate any issues before they become problematic. The Right from the Start clinic is a free screening clinic for children between the ages of one month and 5-1/2 years old. Parents can complete a free questionnaire online by clicking on the ASQ logo on our website. The questionnaire gives Keystone therapists an idea of areas of a child’s development that are of concern to the child’s parents. A client care coordinator contacts the parents after the clinic receives their completed survey and invites them to visit Keystone for a free multidisciplinary screening evaluation to assess their child’s developmental progress. Parents will meet with clinicians from Keystone’s psychology, occupational therapy and speech language departments, as well as a pediatrician. At the end of the visit, they will receive information on how their child is doing developmentally, with suggestions to target any areas of need that have been identified.

Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, located in Jacksonville, Duval County, northeast Florida, offers integrated healthcare by a collaborative, interdisciplinary team of 130 child psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, behavior analysts and technicians, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, teachers, and pediatrician working in 17 specialized clinics. The focus is on early intervention regarding health and wellness, the whole child and all issues that affect a child’s potential for success including physical, developmental, learning, behavioral and social-emotional issues.

Keystone works with children from one month old to 22 years old on all types of behavioral, developmental, socio-emotional, physical and learning issues in four types of clinics: assessment clinics (Neuropsychological, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Health and Wellness and Educational and Learning), developmental clinics (Autism and Developmental, Right from the Start, Early Intervention and Day Treatment); Rehabilitative Clinics (Feeding, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language); and Treatment Clinics (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), Disruptive Behavior and Mood).

Keystone Child Development Center offers safe, nurturing and stimulating preschool and early intervention services from infancy through kindergarten. We have a minimum of two teachers in each classroom and a child development team that works with the teachers to focus on intellectual, social and behavioral success for each child. With maximum class sizes of 12, KCDC is able to create individualized learning plans.

Keystone’s preschool offers Enrichment Membership Program

Keystone Child Development Center’s Enrichment Membership Program provides a variety of fun and educational classes for kids, in one location, for one all-inclusive price! Enrollment is open to community children, in addition to students of KCDC.

Before- and After-School Program open to all Community Children beginning Aug. 22, 2016

All children, three to eight years old, can pick and choose a variety of experiences as they explore a wide variety of classes. The KCDC Enrichment Membership Program is an unbeatable package and provides teachable moments for all children. The purpose of these classes is to enhance “the whole child,” including health and wellness, creativity, social skills, manners and much more!

Examples of Enrichment Classes that may be offered at various times throughout the year:

  • Picasso Painters – All children are artists! Become transformed into miniature Picassos. All types of media will be explored to encourage self-expression and creativity with every lesson.
  • Making Music – In an atmosphere of joy through singing, playing instruments and games and enjoying storytelling. Unleash your creativity and embrace fun through the arts.
  • Tiny Dancers – Through movement, music, games and choreography, get a healthy amount of exercise, express yourself and have a blast!
  • Keystone Yogis – Go on an adventure as you get to explore kid friendly yoga movements. Release energy in healthy, natural ways. Strengthen your body while trying new movements, such as balancing, handstands and finding stillness at the end of an energy-filled class.
  • Se Habla Español – Through games, songs, stories and movements, learn the basics of Spanish as a second language while building confidence and having fun learning.
  • Mad Scientists – The best way to learn is through experiments! Fun, easy and educational experiments (even a few messy mixtures) that will fascinate the young mind.
  • Nature Lovers – Explore the outdoors through nature walks, nature talks and ways to save the environment. Learn the importance of getting outside and being one with nature.
  • Creative Cooks – Calling all little chefs! Have a blast mixing and measuring while creating kid friendly yummy bites. Learn about mealtime manners and surprise mom and dad! This is a peanut free class.
  • Cardio Lovers – Get your body movin’ and groovin’ in the high energy class. It’s good healthy fun when you jump, skip and run!
  • Dog Care and Etiquette – Pamper your pet by learning how to feed, walk and groom your dog, as well as how to approach strange dogs in terms of petting and playing with them.
  • Computer Lab – Experiment with various software and learn keyboarding, 3D design printing, digital special effects and more!

Monthly membership fee:  

$110 includes UNLIMITED CLASSES for the month and renews monthly

Sibling discount: $25

Classes are offered before and after school at regularly scheduled times.

You and your child can pick and choose a variety of experiences by downloading and using the free MINDBODY app on your iPad or iPhone or Android cell phone. To learn how to enroll online via your computer or iPhone, Android or iPad, click here!

Contact rbowersox@keystonebehavioral.com or Rebecca Bowersox, Director of Admissions, 904.619.6071, Ext. 117, for more information and/or to enroll your child.

Keystone Child Development Center, a program of Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, is the area’s premier early learning and child development center for children from infancy through kindergarten. The center focuses on individualized instruction with a low student-to-teacher ratio designed to prepare children for success in elementary school and beyond. KCDC will offer classes for the following age groups this fall: Infants and 1’s, Preschool for 2’s and 3’s, Pre-K/VPK (VPK-endorsed by DCF) for 4-year-olds and up to two years of kindergarten. An Early Intervention class is also offered, as well as before- and after-care services.

 

 

Children benefit from predictable and balanced summer schedule

Yay, it’s summertime! No school and time for fun things. It’s great for kids to have a change from the norm; however, a fairly predictable schedule and activities are great too. Although some kids and teens are fine without any kind of schedule being given to them, children with developmental delays, behavioral challenges and special needs such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorder require support and behavior management that provides them a predictable set of things to do without having to stir up their own excitement. The following is a list of ways to do that.

First, keep consistent morning and evening routines. Parents can decide on their own if they want to have a later bedtime overall and what they want to include in the routine (brushing teeth, showers, etc.) That said, toddlers and young children will have better rest and go along better with wake-up/go-to-bed routines if they are consistent, such as regular wake and sleep times, regular hygiene schedules and a regular set of things to do as they are going to bed and waking up.

Consistent feeding schedules often keep kids’ moods more balanced. With all of the busy activities in which people get involved, it can be hard at times to keep feeding and/or snack times within 30-45 minutes of their normal routine. This doesn’t have to be overly restrictive though; it just takes planning. For example, parents and caregivers don’t have to totally abandon a trip to the zoo if they are going to be away from home during a meal or snack time. However, the zoo trip may go a lot better if parents pack a snack or box lunch and then take a quick break at the zoo during their child’s regular feeding time.

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Practicing mastered skills during the summer, such as reading, helps your child transition more smoothly back to school.

Summertime may include academic time. Most children lose some skills over the summer if they don’t practice, which means more frustration for everyone in August. Parents don’t have to go above and beyond to teach new skills, but even practicing mastered skills that are relevant to their child’s academic and developmental level will contribute to a smoother transition back to school.

If you haven’t already received a packet of summer academics from your child’s teacher, it’s still possible to practice. Parents can choose as few as one to three activities or worksheets a day in the areas of reading, writing and math. Appropriate grade level workbooks are available at bookstores or online with suggested materials, although there are also websites with readily available—and free—online resources. Academics are often best done in the morning, when children have better attention.

Active kids are going to need an outlet for their energy. Since parents often have to provide supervision, it can be a challenge to be on the go all the time. One simple formula is to alternate active times (even as little as 15-30 minutes) with times spent indoors or concentrating. That way, kids get to expend energy, and parents don’t have to deal with extra mischief that comes from kids trying to find a thrill if they’re kept indoors all morning or all afternoon. Active time can be in a park, in an indoor playground or other appropriate places.

Finally, predictability does not have to be boring. Parents can plan for variety within a routine. For instance, there can be some kind of museum trip every Tuesday afternoon that changes each week or some kind of different cooking activity on Wednesdays. Alternatively, there could be a daily academic time at 10 or 10:30 a.m. and recess planned at 11 a.m. each day in a variety of places.

Some local offerings this summer are:

  • Cinemark Tinseltown’s Summer Movie Clubhouse with 10 films for kids at $1 per show or $5 for all 10 movies
  • AMC Regency 24’s Sensory Friendly Movies four times a month with more light and lower volume, and with kids able to get up and move about
  • The Museum of Science and History’s Little Learners preschool group the second Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. (visitors can see exhibits any time)
  • The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens’ Florida Blue Free Tuesdays and Art for Two classes for you and your child each month on the second and third Saturday (first come, first in—sign-up starts at 4 p.m.; classes start at 5 p.m.) (and, The Cummer is fun any time plus it has a large garden outside)
  • Your neighborhood public library’s Epic Summer Program full of activities for children of all ages through July (and parents can take a trip with their children anytime they like to get books to read there or to take home).

By Andrew Scherbarth, Ph.D., BCBA-D, licensed child psychologist

Published on page 8, June/July issue, Jax4Kids.com

Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics offers integrated healthcare by a team of highly educated child psychologists, behavior therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language therapists, feeding therapists and a medical director who lead the 120-person staff in collaborating to bring the best resources for addressing behavioral, developmental and physical issues in children. It offers one stop services to parents plus collaboration is the most effective way to address interactive issues that children often have. In addition to pediatric occupational therapy, child behavior therapy including applied behavior analysis, pediatric speech therapy, Keystone Child Development Center, located in Southpoint Office Park is the area’s premier early learning and child development center, providing day care and education to all children, 3 months through kindergarten, in four levels – Infants and Walkers, Preschool, Pre-K/VPK (state-endorsed free VPK for 4- and 5-year-olds) and Kindergarten.

VPK program 2016-17 registration begins for 4-year-olds

 

You can now register your child for Keystone Child Development Center’s (KCDC) free Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program at https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com/. KCDC serves both typically developing children and children with special needs, from 18 months through first grade. Children with needing help with behavioral issues and learning challenges benefit from Keystone Behavioral Pediatric’s comprehensive team including a pediatrician, licensed clinical psychologists, board certified behavior analysts, master’s level clinicians and occupational therapists that provide behavior therapy as well as occupational, speech/language and feeding therapy to toddlers and all ages of children for ADHD, autism. The team works collaboratively in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of a broad range of developmental, behavioral, learning and genetic disorders in children and adolescents (birth to 22 years of age).

KCDC classrooms use an inclusive model. This type of classroom gives special education students the support they need while they learn alongside their general education peers. General education students benefit from the additional resources and supportive techniques used in an inclusion classroom.

The program is designed to prepare children for school with specialized VPK standards implemented within all lesson plans. The multi-age classroom setting allows younger students to learn from their older, more experienced peers, while giving older students the opportunity to lead and support their younger peers.

To be eligible for Keystone’s free pediatric VPK program, children must reside in Florida and have been born between 9/2/2011 and 9/1/2012.

To register, you will need:

  • Access to the internet and a scanner
  • Child’s Social Security Number
  • One proof of current residency (driver’s license, utility bill or pay stub)
  • One proof of age (birth certificate, passport or military ID)
  • Shot records cannot be accepted

How to register:

  • Set up a working email address.
  • Log on to VPKDuval.org to complete the online VPK application.
  • Separately scan and submit required supporting documents in PDF format:
    • Current proof of residency (see above)
    • Current proof of age (see above)
  • Once application and documentation has been reviewed and approved by ELC, a certificate will be emailed to families.

You can learn more about KCDC’s VPK classroom and the other classrooms and programs it offers by visiting online and touring in person by contacting Paige Norton at 904.619.6071 for an appointment.

Keystone Child Development Center students enjoy Navy Woodwind Quintet’s holiday music

Navy Band Southeast’s Woodwind Quintet, Fair Winds Quintet, will perform Christmas music for students at Keystone Child Development Center’s Christmas party, 11:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, Dec. 18. The performance will be extra special for one KCDC student, 3-year-old Oliver Corneanu, whose father, Ovidiu Corneanu, plays the clarinet in the quintet. Oliver is a member of KCDC’s Early Intervention Program.

“We started the Early Intervention Program this fall because we recognize that early identification, intervention and treatment are the keys to maximizing potential and preventing major challenges throughout a child’s life,” Ashley Kiser, M.S., BCBA, director of early childhood services, said. Clinicians work to reduce students’ problem behaviors and promote acquisition of appropriate skills while the students simultaneously attend the classes appropriate for their level.

KCDC, a private preschool located in the Southpoint Office Park on Jacksonville’s Southside, offers children, ages 18 months through kindergarten, early childhood care including individualized instruction and a nurturing and stimulating learning environment that includes both children with special needs and typically developing children. In addition to its Early Intervention Program, KCDC offers Preschool (18 months – 3 years), Pre-K/VPK (3½ – 5 years and including free VPK funded by the state), Kindergarten (a one- or two-year program), and Aftercare.

Students attending KCDC may take advantage of services offered by Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, such as onsite medical care including a pediatrician and nurse/psychological assessment; applied behavior analysis (ABA); early identification and intervention of developmental delays and behavioral challenges; and feeding, speech and occupational therapy.

Navy Bank Southeast's Woodwind Quintet
Oliver Corneanu’s father, Ovidiu Corneanu (second row, center), plays clarinet in the Navy Band Southeast’s Woodwind Quintet, Fair Winds Quintet, and will be performing for his son and other students at Keystone Child Development Center’s Dec. 18 Christmas Party.

Navy Band Southeast’s Woodwind Quintet performs musical styles ranging from traditional woodwind quintet literature to patriotic fare, Broadway hits and the popular music of today.  They have performed at numerous military ceremonies, official receptions, public concerts and schools throughout the Southeast region.  They also have a dynamic educational program specifically designed for elementary-aged children.

For more information about Keystone Child Development Center or Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, make an appointment online or contact info@keystonebehavioral.com or 904.619.6071.

Keystone’s VPK program earns perfect inspection by DCF

Keystone Child Development Center’s Pre-K/VPK program for 3½- to 5-year old children offers individualized instruction to prepare both children with special needs and also those typically developing for its kindergarten program, which is a one- to two-year program designed to fit the individual needs of each student. The Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF) monitors KCDC’s facilities because the center offers a free voluntary prekindergarten program, which is funded by the state.

Under new KS48-croppedmanagement by Ashley Kiser, M.S., BCBA, director of early childhood services, and Greta Hernandez, RBT, assistant director of early childhood services, the KCDC facility has been 100 percent compliant in the past four quarterly inspections.

The Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program (VPK) provides 4-year-old children who reside in Florida and were born on or before Sept. 1 each year with an opportunity to attend quality preschools such as KCDC for free, to enable them to receive age-appropriate curricula with a strong emphasis on early literacy skills, accountability, manageable class sizes and qualified instructors. The Florida VPK program supports Keystone’s emphasis on the importance of a child’s early years in learning to be attentive and to follow directions.

KCDC supports the philosophy that the most important growth and development in the brain happens by the age of five. Structured early learning fosters these abilities for later success in school and in life. In addition, KCDC’s Pre-K/VPK program uses a multi-age classroom setting, which allows younger students to learn from their older, more experienced peers while giving older students the opportunity to lead and support their younger peers.

KCDC uses the “Making Friends, Pre-K – 3: A Social Skills Program for Inclusive Settings” (Second Edition) curriculum. Students enjoy structured and unstructured social activities while reaping the benefits of weekly themes and lessons.

As a department within Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, KCDC offers its children services offered by other Keystone departments, such as onsite medical care including a pediatrician and nurse/ psychological assessment; applied behavior analysis (ABA); early identification and intervention of developmental delays and behavioral challenges; and feeding, speech and occupational therapy.

To learn more, arrange a visit or apply, visit Keystone’s website or contact info@keystonebehavioral.com, 904.619.6071.

 

Special education teacher starts each day with a compliment!

Special Books by Special Kids visit mayor's office
Mainspring Academy teacher Chris Ulmer’s kids visited the Mayor’s Office recently to talk with the Mayor’s Disability Council.

It all started with eight kids who have special needs and their teacher of three years, Chris Ulmer, at Mainspring Academy, a private, kindergarten through grade 12, special education school serving the Jacksonville area. The kids let Chris know that they often feel like outcasts, misunderstood and made fun of or ignored.

“Curious glances are directed at these children during community outings,” Chris said. “Their peers do not understand attempts at communication. Many adults avoid interaction because they fear they will offend somebody and don’t know the ‘appropriate’ way to interact with a special needs child.”

So, Chris decided to start every day by showering each student with 10 minutes of genuine compliments. Instead of focusing on what things they are not able to do or need to do better, he reminds them of all the things that make them each uniquely special.

“I noticed the kids were always more motivated, happier, and better-behaved on [the days that began with affirmations]. So we started doing it every day,” he told ABC News in a story (http://abcn.ws/1PMQMS3) that aired on Nov. 17.

Chris has been collaborating with his students and their parents about how they can work to erase social stigma in the larger community by showing the true nature of these eight students. The result is the Special Books for Special Kids project run by Chris with the help of others. The project includes editing videos, taking photos, collecting stories and responding to messages from people who visit the projects website or Facebook page.

“I also love to share stories from children with special needs around the world,” Chris said. “I believe if enough people follow our journey it will erase stigmas and show the beautiful nature of children with special needs.”

His wish is quickly coming true, as the story of these kids has gone “viral” in the past couple of weeks, due in large part to the ABC story which was quickly picked up by other news sources. He is receiving Facebook messages from parents and others around the world, with more than 136,000 “likes” for the Special Books by Special Kids Facebook page.

On the project’s website, Chris encourages parents and caregivers to share their stories of children with special needs by submitting a photo and story to SBSKsubmission@gmail.com. Viewers of the website can read interviews and see photos of his children. Ultimately, Chris hopes to have a book published about his students and their stories.

Chris has taught for the past three years at Mainspring Academy, which was founded in 2010 as Keystone Academy, part of Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics. It became its own nonprofit school in summer 2015. Mainspring Academy was founded on the principles of special education, applied behavior analysis and psychology.

Mainspring Academy, a special needs private school in Jacksonville, Florida, was created with the entire child in mind. The school staff looks in detail at each area of development to ensure that academic, social skills, vocational and behavioral content are being presented in the most effective manner. To support the school’s curricula, Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics professionals push in to the classroom as needed and provide mental, behavioral and rehabilitative medicine services outside of regular classes, as Mainspring’s largest service provider.

Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics was formed in 2008 by Katherine Falwell, Ph.D., BCBA-D. Keystone offers a comprehensive, integrated team of professionals including a pediatrician, licensed child psychologists, licensed mental health counselor, board certified behavior analysts, master’s level clinicians and occupational therapists, who provide in-patient and out-patient care to assist families and primary care physicians. They work collaboratively in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of a broad range of developmental, behavioral, learning and genetic disorders in children and adolescents (birth to 22 years of age). Keystone focuses on the whole child – physically, mentally, socially, behaviorally and developmentally – to offer parents/caregivers one source to help meet all of their child’s needs.

 

Keystone named one of Jacksonville’s top 50 fastest-growing companies

Jacksonville Business Journal recently named Keystone to its Fast 50 list of the 50 fastest-growing companies in northeast Florida. By expanding based on need and stabilizing as necessary to remain financially sound, Keystone has steadily grown since its founding in 2008 as a small pediatric mental health behavior clinic.

In focusing on an integrated whole-child approach to assessment and treatment, Keystone quickly began to recognize the need for a school for special needs students who cannot function in a public school setting and who would benefit from having ready access to their behavioral therapists during the school day. As a result, in 2010, Keystone Academy was added as a special needs school for kindergarten through grade 12.

As more children and their families continued to come to Keystone for services, the clinic began seeing children with rehabilitative needs, with or without mental health/behavioral issues. Therapists were added to staff departments in occupational, feeding and speech and language with the goal of becoming truly interdisciplinary – one stop for services – to make it more convenient for families and less overwhelming to obtain services.

Keystone knows that early intervention is the key to successfully changing behaviors, so in 2013 Keystone Child Development Center was added to serve children 18 months through kindergarten. The center is VPK endorsed. In response to discovering that some children enrolled in the VPK program would benefit by having an extra year of kindergarten before transitioning to regular school, Keystone opened a one- or two- year kindergarten program this fall.

This summer Keystone transitioned Keystone Academy to Mainspring Academy, to enable it to grow as a separate, nonprofit, private, special needs school. Keystone therapists remain the primary providers of behavioral services for Mainspring Academy students, often working alongside academic teachers in the classroom, in addition to providing additional services after school.

In planning for the future, Keystone is adding more certified or credentialed staff because there is more need in the area than services available to meet the need. Keystone is focusing on making preschools and all public and private school in north Florida and south Georgia aware that it is available to train their staff on how to recognize and manage behavioral issues in the classroom.

Dr. Katherine Falwell, founder and CEO, continues to lead Keystone on its path to serving both typically developing children and children with special needs. While she was a professor and post-doc at the University of Florida, she became aware of the need for more pediatric behavioral services in general, and Jacksonville, as a large metro area, seemed a logical place to open a practice. The number of institutions of higher education in and near Jacksonville is a tremendous benefit to a growing practice like Keystone. The clinic regularly engages interns and practicum students majoring in psychology.

Keystone’s commitment to charitable organizations that relate to the developmental issues that its children face has helped it grow as well. For example, staff and families participate in annual runs and walks hosted by organizations such as the Early Learning Coalition, Walk Now for Autism Speaks, North Florida Chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Jax4Kids, March for Babies – First Coast, HEAL Foundation and Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville. These organizations work hard to raise money that goes towards improving and supporting services such as the ones Keystone provides and engaging and informing families with special needs children.

Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics is a full-service, outpatient clinic providing individual- and family-based services to both typically developing children and those with special needs from birth to 22 years of age. Keystone emphasizes an integrated whole-child approach to assessment and treatment. Treatment commonly involves new skill acquisition through evidence-based behavioral programming strategies to promote positive behaviors and to decrease problematic actions.