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The Therapeutic Arts Department

The term therapeutic refers to practices, habits, and learnings to which we are committed, with the purpose of improving our well-being. At OCCTAC, The Therapeutic Arts Department (TAC) offers a series of services that could help in the process of emotional recovery or developmental challenges. The main focus of the TAC is to support Children and Youth with neurodiversity (commonly known as people with disabilities or special needs), to improve their life quality through the interaction with art, dance and music.

The TAC at OCCTAC offers:​

  • Comprehensive onboarding process

  • Workshops for parents

  • Complimentary psychological therapy when available

  • Therapeutic Arts, Dance and music classes (skills classes)

What are the Therapeutic Arts classes (skills classes)?

A therapeutic arts class is not a learning class, but rather a space where neurodiverse children and youth have the opportunity to be happy consistently and create a routine while being exposed to art, dance and music stimuli. This is not a substitute for formal therapy, yet the outcomes of a therapeutic art class can make a difference and change your children's lives. Our therapeutic team meets regularly to discuss the students progress and give support for successful outcomes.


The therapeutic arts classes can give your children the opportunity to socialize with others, express their emotions, and improve areas like language and communication, cognitive and motor skills. Some of the benefits according to disciplines are:

  • Dance and Movement: Encourages physical responses and interactions to enhance physical strength and emotional health. It also promotes nonverbal communication through exercises like mirroring or imitation, and healing though free movement expression. 

  • Visual Arts: Promotes self-expression and the possibility of identifying areas of challenges or strengths through the analysis of symbols. It also helps with fine motor skills and concentration. 

  • Music: Helps with nonverbal communication and emotional regulation. It may benefit to develop patience and self-confidence, as well as supporting with soothing anxiety. 

  • All disciplines: Can support the self-awareness process, setting and achieving personal goals, overcoming emotional challenges and building strong and healthy social connections. 

Group Classes

Schedules for Fall 2023

​Intakes and Assessment are required to enroll in these classes. Intakes are done by appointment only, please be sure to provide an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) at the time of appointment if applicable.

Socialization Training Program from the Regional Center

For parents that have their children participating in the Regional Center of Orange County, you have the opportunity to participate in the Socialization Training Program. This program could potentially cover the therapeutic arts classes. In order to participate, you will have to ask your coordinator to send OCCTAC a referral packet, that will include:


  1. Students IPP

  2. Number of classes client is eligible to take with us (or amount of respite hours approved for client). 
    *Send the information our Administrative Assistant Cecilia Navarrette ( copying her supervisor Sherry Rubinstein (


Parents, be mindful that the process has a series of steps to get the contracts approved. We can explain this in detail during our intake process. For more information contact Axel Meléndez ( or Sherry Rubinstein (

*Protocols: RC coordinators, please click here for detailed information regarding protocols.

*Note:  OCCTAC will only accept Socialization Training Program (STP) contracts for Therapeutic Arts Classes. For the students that were enrolled in Preparatory Arts Classes, OCCTAC will be honoring their spaces, and will be requesting contracts for those placements. Please be mindful that all of OCCTAC classes costs are updated. Up next you will see a list of the classes in which participants from the Socialization Training Program (STP) from the Regional Center were enrolled and wish to continue in August 2023. Please note that for the Prep Arts classes, OCCTAC will only request new contracts for those previous participants (honoring the placements). All new participants through the STP will only be enrolled in Therapeutic Arts Classes.

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