From Our Executive Director

Thank you for considering Blue Bird Day as the place for your child.

I know this time may be a difficult time, and you have plenty of questions going through your mind. As a parent, I understand the immense pressure in determining the right therapy and education program for your child. Please rest assured, the Blue Bird Day team and I are here to help any way we can.

I discovered this career in the most unlikely place, Shanghai China, but there I became determined to impact as many children as possible. While teaching English, I met a boy with autism, fell in love with occupational therapy, returned to the States two years later, and pursued my career and vision to improve the lives of young children. I completed my bachelor’s degree at Loyola University Chicago, became a developmental therapist, and founded Eyas Landing in 2007, providing Early Intervention services throughout the city of Chicago. In 2011, I completed my masters and clinical doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois Chicago. My mentors included Dr. Gary Kielhofner, Dr. Renee Taylor, and Dr. Brent Bravemen, who helped me build the foundation for our company’s core values of scientific evidence, client relationships, and visionary leadership.

Dr. Laura Mraz
Executive Director

Shortly into my career, I recognized a service gap in the existing early intervention and early childhood service models. While early intervention served as a gateway to therapy services for children, services often fell short once the child entered an early childhood school program. I noticed, while many daycare settings were able to care for children with delays, they were struggling to teach them and integrate them with their peers. As a result of my observations, in 2014, I began a small preschool readiness pilot program. A core group of multidisciplinary therapists worked to develop an individual approach to therapy within the child’s most natural environment – a classroom.

Within 1 year, we had 24 students enrolled and branched the program into its own business, Blue Bird Day. Today we have two Blue Bird Day locations in Chicago and our new location in Wheaton opened in early 2021.

This evidence-based approach is integrated into the carefully timed transitions and program schedules in a sensory-rich environment with peers. Each child has an individual therapy program that is guided by Blue Bird Day’s Approach to Learning © which includes a progression of developmental skills and functional capacities that are assigned as goals for your child when they are developmentally ready.

Our collaborative and multidisciplinary team approach to therapy comprises team members that include occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, dieticians, developmental therapists, behavioral therapists, physical therapists, neuropsychologists, and therapeutic assistants.  Each child has a team to ensure the child and family are supported and the best possible results are achieved. Your child’s “teacher”- a clinical social worker – serves as your family’s case manager, assisting you throughout your journey at Blue Bird Day.

While the Blue Bird Day program is an intensive model, the environment is truly what sets us apart. Your child will have their own cubby, practice their skills in classrooms with peers, develop their motor and sensory skills in our state-of-the-art sensory gyms, and regulate their emotions in our sensory retreat rooms throughout our space. Regardless of what your child may need, our facility has got them covered!

Know that when choosing Blue Bird Day, you are choosing a family-owned and operated program that values relationship-based care, a family-centered approach, and individualized intensive treatment plans for our clients. We believe that parents are equally important team members and the more engaged you are, the better outcomes your child will have.

Over the past 15 years, I have been fortunate to come across compassionate Clinic Directors and Administrators with the same desire as mine – to make an impact on the lives of children, their families, and the community.

As our program continues to grow, I am confident that our team has created a foundation of program curriculum, staff training, and administrative processes where your family will have individualized care and attention, all while being embraced by our large, supportive Blue Bird Day community.

Thank you for your consideration of our program. I hope that we have brought awareness to the possibilities of neurodiversity, acceptance, and resilience. We are here for you and are honored to be a part of your family’s journey.

Dr. Laura Mraz
Executive Director, Blue Bird Day, Eyas Landing, and Merlin Day Academy.