Blue Bird Day: Participation & Volition Data in Multidisciplinary Interventions

Blue Bird Day Program 

While working with clients and families in Early Intervention, Dr. Mraz (OTD, OTR/L) noticed the need for an educational and therapeutic preschool and kindergarten program where children could continue to receive therapeutic intervention and develop the skills to succeed in a traditional school environment. In 2014, Dr. Mraz established Blue Bird Day, and the program has since expanded to multiple locations across the Chicagoland area.   

Blue Bird Day is an intensive pediatric therapy program designed to foster socialization, sensory regulation and learning in children with therapeutic rotations that simulate a preschool and kindergarten setting. Their highly educated and compassionate staff provide Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA Therapy, and Nutrition and Feeding Therapy.   

Blue Bird Day’s therapeutic programs are ideal for children with autism/autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, stuttering, and feeding disorders. Relationship-based therapists work to build individual goals for each child and family to ensure future success in all situations.

Data Collection & Evidence-Based Interventions 

Blue Bird Day’s program was featured in “An Evidence-Based Guide to Combining Interventions with Sensory Integration in Pediatric Practice.”  Participation in daily activities, considered the ultimate health and educational outcome, is an indicator of children’s well-being and linked to developmental outcomes. A focus on participation is central to Occupational Therapy, defined as the “therapeutic use of everyday life occupations with persons, groups or populations for the purpose of enhancing or enabling participation.” (AOTA, 2020) Participation centered outcomes, as well as ongoing shifts in health care towards evidence-based practice and cost-effectiveness, are opportunities for occupational therapists to demonstrate the unique value of OT while advancing its contribution to the realm of health care.  

Blue Bird Day utilizes annual and daily data collection to track client participation, volition, and outcomes, inform treatment interventions, and update client goals as they continue to grow and develop.

With increased participation in BBD rotations over time, progress towards long-term, family-centered outcomes can be correlated with mastery of hierarchy targets. This data is utilized to demonstrate how interventions are effective to promote development of foundational skills, improved functional performance and thus enhance participation in meaningful areas of life. Recent data indicates that more than 50% of caretakers participating in completing outcome data on their child’s participation in the program reported a decrease in desired change in the home, daycare/school, and the community. 

Blue Bird Day was developed with a focus on family-centered, evidence-based, sensory, and relationships-focused programming, resulting in enhanced participation outcomes for clients and families. BBD services occur in a peer-oriented environment, designed to promote the client’s successful transition to an academic setting. 



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