Marian Hope Children’s Learning Center provides a nurturing environment where children feel safe and loved. Marian Hope Center offers a plethora of classes and services for the array of differential learners and learning diagnoses, including: autism spectrum disorders, childhood apraxia & other speech disorders, Down syndrome & other genetic disorders, dyslexia & other reading disorders, the varying specific language & learning disabilities, feeding disorders, sensory integration disorders, & motor disorders. We service all special needs, focusing on the individual child and building individual plans to help each reach their God-blessed potential.

Why Marian Hope Children’s Learning Center?

  • The dynamic gifts of Marian Hope therapists and educators
  • Our parent/education and training to ensure skills are being generalized outside of therapy classes
  • The blending of children with and without special needs
  • The 1:2 staff to student ratio

Below is a list of our Fall 2015-Spring 2016 scheduled classes, which will run from Aug 17 -May 27.  Other classes can be created on an “as needed” basis. For further information, please contact Heather Ruoff at 816-695-1255 or



Therapeutic Play Groups

PlaygroupLanguage Through Play – Speech-language pathologists will guide the children as they practice communicating with peers.

The specific areas addressed will vary according to the needs of the children in each group and may include initiating and participating in conversation, maintaining appropriate eye contact, asking and responding to questions, and turn-taking.

Children will practice the social skills while participating in a variety of activities including role playing, outdoor games, board games, crafts, and conversation.

Date/Time: Monday from 10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m, Wednesday 12:45-2:45, Thursday 9:45-10:45 and 10:45-11:45* and at our KS location on Tuesdays from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Social Language & Motor Development – This class is similar to the Language Through Play classes with an extra hour to allow time for motor activities.  This class is intended to improve both social communication and physical skills of young children.

Date/Time: Tuesday from 9 a.m.-11:15 a.m. and Wednesday 10 a.m. -12 p.m.

Therapeutic Preschool Classes

Language Enrichment Classes – These classes provide intensive speech, language, and occupational therapy as well as sensory integration techniques.   Books, fine and gross motor activities, and speech/language activities focus on different themes each month; however, the curriculum is modified to meet the needs of each individual child.  Students participate in circle time, small group and/or individual therapy settings, gross motor exploration, snack time with gluten- and casein-free snacks, and therapist-directed free play.  The ratio of therapist/paraprofessional to child is 1 to 2.

Date/Time: Monday 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Improving Communication with Technology – This class utilizes augmentative communication devices to provide non-verbal children ways to communicate their wants and needs as well as giving them appropriate ways to play with toys.  Strategies and techniques are also implemented to improve verbal communication and receptive language.  Socialization is also encouraged through the use of augmentative communication devices and through play-based therapy.

Date/Time: Monday from 12:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Get Ready for School – This class is recommended for pre-K students, ages 4-6.  An occupational therapist and speech-language pathologist address each child’s fine motor skills, social coping skills, and food play for picky eaters.  u

Date/Time: Wednesday from 12:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.

Feeding Classes

Feeding Time


Fun with Food– This is an excellent class for children who have sensory issues related to eating and for children who have difficulty swallowing or chewing foods.

A variety of healthy snacks and foods (including casein- and gluten-free foods) will be used to help your child learn to eat.  This is a fun class that uses oral motor activities, play-based therapy, and motivators to encourage healthy and safe eating.

Date/Time: Tuesday from 10:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.

Check out our blog: Helping Families Through Nutrition


Handwriting Camp for the Beginning Writer offers daily themed activities in engage children in handwriting tasks. We offer individualized activities to meet the child at their level to encourage proper grasp patterns, hand strengthening, visual perceptual skills, and proper letter formation to create a good foundation for further handwriting.

Please contact us to request a class time.

Handwriting for the Writer – For the more advanced writer (ages 6-9), we address spacing, line awareness, and increasing writing speed and neatness. Children participate in fine motor stations, games, and writing in fun and creative ways to supplement the table top writing and help make handwriting more enjoyable for the kids and their families.

Please contact us to request a class time.

Check out these blog articles on Handwriting: Integrating Handwriting Practice Into Your Everyday Activities & 10 Ideas To Make Handwriting Practice Fun!

Motor skills

Kids YogaOur motor groups are individualized programs within a small class setting. Most of our students enrolled have his/her own overseeing therapist to work on personal goals.

Brain Connections – Each child performs a variety of obstacles/ exercises based on their individual needs (it may be to integrate primitive reflexes, meet sensory needs, treat coordination difficulties, visual functioning, social skills, and/or overall strength). Our goal is to facilitate successful motor functioning for children across all environments.

Date/Time: Wednesday from 4:00 p.m.- 5:15 p.m.

SensoriMotor – This class is designed as a fun way to help kids integrate their primitive reflexes and learn to regulate their sensory system in order to increase their daily life performance.

Date/Time: Thursdays from 4:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Pre-literacy and Reading

Phonological Awareness & Social Language – This class helps develop conversation,language, and phonological awareness skills that will be crucial for success in a typical classroom environment. The speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists leading the class target social skills, such as having conversations with peers and participating in age-appropriate play.

Phonological awareness skills are targeted to increase early reading success.  Activities to develop speech/language skills and fine motor skills are integrated into this class session.

Please contact us to request a class time.

Reading, Writing, & Reasoning – Therapists in this class will teach skills to increase class participation and success.  Activities provide opportunities to practice social problem solving.

Date/Time: Friday from 1:00 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Daily Living Skills

Visual Skills for Daily Living – Vision is more than just 20/20 eyesight. This class takes a closer look at the visual system. It explores how a child’s eyes work together and apart. We dive into scanning, attention, and perception. In addition to vision activities, we focus on integration of primitive reflexes which are the basic foundation for higher level executive functioning.

Please contact us to request a class time.

Taking Care of ME – This class is designed for clients who are working on becoming more independent in school, at home, and in the community.  The focus of this class is teaching the life skills needed to achieve a greater level of self-sufficiency.

Date/Time: Wednesday from 5:15 p.m.- 6:45 p.m.

Social Skills

Social Skills – Speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists will guide the children ages 6-9 as they practice communicating with peers. The specific areas addressed will vary according to the needs of the children in each group and may include initiating and participating in conversation, maintaining appropriate eye contact, asking and responding to questions, and turn-taking. Children will practice the social skills while participating in a variety of activities including role playing, outdoor games, board games, crafts, and conversation.

Date/Time: Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Becoming Independent – Children will practice every day self-help skills with peers. A speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist will guide the children through activities such as going to a restaurant, grocery shopping, writing checks, making change, and doing laundry.  The main objective is to improve daily living skills while also helping children to make friends and to interact more appropriately with others.

Date/Time: Tuesday from 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.*

FUNctional Daily Living – This class will focus on improving your child’s daily life and social skills.  Speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists will address healthy eating, being environmentally friendly, ordering from a menu, telephone skills, reading a recipe, cooking, grocery shopping, etc.  A variety of social skills will also be a focus such as having a conversation, maintaining a topic, asking and answering questions, not interrupting, waiting your turn to answer, game playing, etc.  Reading, writing and language skills will naturally be incorporated in the class sessions.

Please contact us to request a class time.

High School Social Skills – This class is geared toward male students who are high school age who have at least basic communication skills.  The boys in this class will have the opportunity to practice social skills, enhance language skills, and build new friendships during activities.  Please note that this class is only offered in the summer.

Infant/Toddler Parent Training

Ready to Play: Enhancing Interactions with Your Child– A speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist provide hands-on training in a small group setting.  We introduce great play techniques and provide much-needed tools to enhance a child’s development in their first two years of life. Topics to be discussed include: nutrition, speech and language development, fine and gross motor development, incorporating signs and music, and much more.  Session One will meet from Sept. 21 – Dec. 7, 2015.  Class size is limited to five families.  There is a $5 charge per family for each class.

Date/Time: Monday from 9:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m.


* indicates that a class is full.  Please contact Heather Ruoff at 816-695-1255 to be added to the waiting list.