Sensorimotor Affect and Relationship-based Therapy (SMART) Program

SMART Program is a social group program offered by Nationwide Children's Hospital. The program teaches children the fundamental social skills necessary to build and maintain relationships. It is comprised of toddler, preschool, elementary and middle school children with a 10-year-old age limit.

Social groups are recommended for children who:

  • Need help developing their pragmatic language skills to an age appropriate level
  • Need help learning to cooperate and play appropriately with peers
  • Have lower level language skills, non-verbal to highly verbal
  • Are unable to attend group activities without requiring many sensory breaks

Children may have a diagnosis of Autism, PDD, Asperger's, ADHD, developmental delay, social/ language disorder or a suspected social language disorder.

SMART focuses on:

  • Developing tolerance for sitting and structure

  • Following a visual schedule

  • Improving joint attention

  • Improving eye contact

  • Improving play skills

  • Greeting and engaging with peers and adults

  • Increased use of language or alternative communication

  • Participation in group activities (circle time, crafts, group games)

  • Improving ability to transition from one activity to another

  • Redirecting behavior when inappropriate

  • Answering questions (yes/no and simple to complex who, what, when, where, why questions)

Additional Information

  • SMART groups take place at the Hilliard Close To Home Center.

  • Must have recent evaluation in Occupational Therapy and Speech (within the past six months) or current Individualized Education Program (IEP). If you have not had an evaluation in these areas within the past year, you must call to schedule an evaluation.

  • Must have Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology prescriptions on file.

  • Groups are implemented by a Speech Language Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist, and a therapy aide (ratio of 3: to 6 or 8)

  • Each SMART session lasts 10 to 12 weeks (approximately 4 sessions per year; summer session is 12 weeks)

  • Children may attend more than one session at the discretion of SMART therapists, but are limited to one year total

  • Groups are scheduled based on age and need from our waiting list

  • Please note:

    • Each patient is charged a one hour extended Speech Therapy group charge and a one hour extended Occupation Therapy group charge.

    • Insurance that covers traditional speech therapy will also cover our group therapy.