Source: Sherman Publications

New special-needs classes at School for the Mind and Body

by Wendi Reardon

August 17, 2011

A School for the Mind and Body (SFMB) is expanding and adding Special Needs Enhanced Learning (SNEL), beginning in September at 3604 Clarkston Road.

"Our special needs program is quite unique," said Nanci Canine, owner and president of A School for the Mind and Body.

Services offered in the new SNEL program include speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, a special needs preschool classroom as well as speech, sensory and social skills groups.

Each child in the SNEL program is evaluated by the screening director and paired with a specialist based on their need and disability.

Canine added there is nothing like it in the north Oakland County area and families in Clarkston, Lake Orion, Oxford, Grand Blanc and Lapeer don't have a far drive to get the best services for their children.

"Parents are getting in their car and driving for an hour or so," Canine explained. "One mom is in the car from 8:30 in the morning to one in the afternoon. She is driving her child everywhere to get what he needs. She is excited we are here."

The SNEL program helps children with ADD/ADHD, Apraxia, Articulation Disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, Auditory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Coordination Disorders, Developmental Delays, Dyfluency/Stuttering, Expressive Language Displays, Visual Skills, Feeding/Oral Motor Disorders, Fine Motor Delays, Receptive Language Delays, Regulatory Disorders and Sensory Processing/Integration Disorders

Jennifer Antonelli, a Speech Pathologist, and Joan Kimber, a Occupational Therapist, join the staff to add to the uniqueness of the program.

Stacey Taplin is also part of the team as the Behavorial Health Therapist.

Antonelli has 16 years experience as a speech pathologist and has experience with children who have language delay disorders, expressive and receptive language delays, verbal apraxia, fluency disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

She also has experience with a variety of treatment methods including Applied Behavioral Analysis and Verbal Behavior techniques.

"It is extremely exciting for me that this is here," she said. "Through my experience in the past 10 years I have learned there is a high need in this area. Nanci's experience with the preschool age and her reputation with her school is really going to help build the special needs program."

Kimber has worked as an occupational therapist for nine years. Four of the years were at Lincoln Park Public Schools. She started providing outreach services in the Downriver area to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

"With the disorder comes a lot of needs for kids like sensory dysfunction, hand-writing, feeding disorders and a large range of disabilities," she said, adding they can help with sensory and motor coordination.

A School for the Mind and Body also offers free screening for speech and language for those children enrolled in their traditional preschool program at SFMB.

"The early intervention is another part of our program," said Canine. "In the school systems you don't get tested as early as 2-years-old. It's unique and exciting for parents."

Antonelli added it is a key for future success and the earlier children are screened, the better. In addition children from all of SFMB’s programs can also benefit from speech and occupational therapy in the SNEL program.

Canine knows cost is another important aspect for parents and added School for the Mind and Body prices are reasonable.

"Now you can get the care you need and you are not driving far," she said. "SFMB is all about meeting the needs of families – especially those with special needs children with our SNEL program."

Ahe School for the Mind started in 2005 and has grown to offer Mind & Body Babies, Terrific Two's, Young Five's and Kindergarten along with Blended Learning, tutoring and (ASMG) afterschool programs.

Call 248-814-9300, 248-814-7100, or visit