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Developmental & Behavioral Health

“Toys are children’s words and play is their language.”
-Garry Landreth

Repairing Hearts | Developmental & Behavioral Health

Sensory Lab Climbing Wall

We're racing against the clock.

90% of brain growth occurs before age five. Childhood trauma and stress interrupts brain growth and causes impairments across the developmental domains– physical, cognitive, social-emotional, and language and literacy. 

Left unaddressed, these issues can have an affect well into adulthood. Nearly 30% of incidences of mental disorder was associated with adversities and trauma in childhood. By the time a child enters Kindergarten, it will be too late.

Our Developmental & Behavioral Health team specializes in various services for children and parents. The use of mental health consultations for infants helps determine and correct delays. The team trains staff on trauma-informed, care best practices in the classroom, and equips parents with behavioral intervention tools for at home.

Counselors and Therapists help the children process and cope with physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. Onsite sessions in private therapy rooms and Telehealth therapy is offered to the parents as well. Play therapists work 1:1 with the children and in a group setting in The Vogel Alcove Sensory Village, Dallas' first sensory lab for children experiencing homeless. 

These services repair the hearts of children and families of Vogel Alcove.

50%

of homeless children
exhibit depression, anxiety,
and/or aggression. 

26%

of homeless preschoolers
have mental health problems
requiring clinical evaluation.

3X

Homeless children have 3X more developmental, emotional,
and behavioral problems.

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Sensory Lab Class

The Sensory Village

Children who experience chronic childhood trauma have brains wired to always keep them safe, even when safety is not an issue, like at school. This automatic brain response can result in children expressing their fears and emotions in ways that are unsafe to themselves and others.

Vogel Alcove’s Behavior Intervention Team aims to use Action Based Learning strategies to improve the health, wellness, and education of the children at Vogel Alcove through movement. Through climbing, jumping, swinging, and bouncing on specialized equipment, children are building brain structures needed to fill in developmental gaps caused by adverse childhood experiences like homelessness.

play therapy costumes

Play Therapy

A child’s first natural form of communication is playing, their language is play and their words are toys. Our Play Therapists help children explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma. Through play, children can learn new coping mechanisms and how to redirect inappropriate behaviors. With toys, children are able to play out different situations in their life that are causing concern.

The therapists offer support to teachers in the classrooms as well as providing parents with useful tools and skills. Our playrooms are stocked with toys in the following 5 categories:

· Expressive toys (craft supplies, easel & paints)
· Aggressive toys (weapons, toy soldiers, foam bat and ball)
· Fantasy toys (doctor kit, cash register, dress up, puppets)
· Scary toys (reptiles & dinosaurs)
· Nurturing toys (dollhouse, babies, kitchen)

On-site therapy room

On-site Mental Health Therapy

Obstacles such as being unhoused, food insecurity, health uncertainty, family instability & other factors are all sources of stress for people experiencing homelessness.

Children living with a depressed parent have poorer medical, mental health, and educational outcomes. We provide access to free behavioral health services for parents to help them cope with stressful life events. Parents can schedule on-site with our therapists and counselors or via Telehealth.

Our Stories

Restoring Families

Here at Vogel Alcove, we restore families. Each day, we hear stories of trauma and struggle. 90% of our kids come from single-parent homes, usually led by a mom. Our mission is to rebuild these lives and help children and

Read Their Story »

Know someone who needs help?

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-888-411-6802.