Recognizing the need for quality music and art therapy services that would address the special needs population in our community, Nancy Landy ATR-BC, LCAT and John Mahoney Ph.D. MT-BC, LCAT launched a Yonkers-based Saturday program focusing on the enhancement of the social, emotional and communication needs of children and young adults in Yonkers in the fall of 2009.
As families and agencies in neighboring communities learned of the program, demand grew, and so has Westchester Creative Arts Therapy Services, or, as parents say, "Westchester CATS." In the Saturday program, located on Saw Mill River Road, and in agencies in the surrounding Metropolitan New York area, participants engage in music and art therapy groups where they have the opportunity to socialize and develop skills in an environment where they find acceptance and joy.
Every day is a new experience for both the children and the NY State credentialed and National Board Certified creative arts therapists who make up the CATS staff.
In their art sessions, children express thoughts and feelings by making a mask or interacting through a puppet. In music groups children discover success when they come together to play music that gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Westchester CATS works closely with families and other professionals to ensure that the treatment they provide compliments the work of the other therapists and teachers that comprise a child's therapy team.
According to the Special Education Coordinator at one of the CATS outreach programs, "Their approach is ultimately beneficial in building a strong foundation for growth and development."