Company Specializes in Therapy for Children

Parents seeking alternative therapy for their special needs children can find it at Innovations.

The pediatric rehabilitative therapy company, located at 51 11th St. in Wheeling, will begin Kids Yoga Class on June 2. Although targeted to children with special needs, all children are welcome.

“We want to offer things that are usually only available in the bigger cities,” said Lisa Stone, an occupational therapist who co-owns Innovations with physical therapist Rebecca Tucker. Their patients range from children with autism, Down syndrome or genetic disorders to those with vision and hearing issues.

Innovations, which opened in January 2013, already hosts martial arts classes in Moundsville. Stone hopes that success will transfer to the yoga offerings so the latter can become year-long courses.

“Kids have the same benefits from yoga as adults do,” said Jomana Papillo, owner of Star Bright Yoga, who is certified to teach yoga for both children and adults.

Papillo, who has also worked with Innovations in the past, referenced yoga’s emotional and physical benefits, adding the goal is to create an alert and relaxed child. Papillo helps children release energy at the beginning of class. By the end of the session, she uses yoga principles such as focused breathing to guide the group in meditation.

“It provides an atmosphere where kids can get that fitness … (and) socialization when they’re not in school. They can also get the portability of the practice they’re learning,” Papillo said.

The 45-minute Kids Yoga Class sessions will be held over a period of 10 weeks for 4-6 year olds at 9 a.m. Mondays and 1 p.m. Wednesdays; 7-9 year olds at 10 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays; and children 10 years and older at 11 a.m. Mondays and 3 p.m. Wednesdays.

Mommy and Me Yoga, consisting of 45-minute sessions beginning June 6, is also being offered. Classes for 0-18 month babies are 10 a.m. Fridays, and those for 18-36 months are 11 a.m. Fridays.

To register for class or learn more about Innovations, call Stone at 304-650-9431.