Kidville Ridgewood first Bergen County business to be Autism Certified!

First Bergen County Business Trained & Certified in Autism Awareness & Acceptance:
Kidville Ridgewood

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We are thrilled to announce Missing Piece Awareness has trained and certified Kidville Ridgewood in autism awareness and acceptance. Kidville of Ridgewood is the first business in Bergen County to obtain this certification. Kidville is an all-in-one children’s enrichment center, offering classes in music and dance, gym, art and enrichment, as well as Kidville University, a social preschool alternative, with curriculum designed by early childhood development specialists.


“Ridgewood is an inclusive community that takes great care to provide a safe, welcoming environment for all who live, work or visit here,” explained Mayor Paul Aronsohn, “We are therefore excited and grateful that Kidville of Ridgewood has taken this important step and is now ready, willing and able to work with children with autism and their families.”


In addition to their staff being trained, special modifications and accommodations have been implemented by the management team to ensure a positive and smoother experience for guests with special needs and their families. Kidville Ridgewood’s exceptional team members are thoroughly prepared with knowledge and strategies to welcome and effectively engage children of all abilities.


Clearly devoted to improving opportunities for the special needs communities, Michael Pickholz, co-owner with his wife Jessica, wanted to have their team trained and implement special accommodations to be offered to ensure jumpers of all abilities could join in the fun. “We want children of all abilities to visit and enjoy Kidville Ridgewood,” said owner Michael Pickholz, “Having my staff trained by Missing Piece Awareness was important to me to be better able to support all members of our community. It is our goal to provide families with an accepting, welcoming environment where children can thrive, grow and develop alongside their peers.”


Our team at Missing Piece Awareness was profoundly impressed with each and every team member’s enthusiasm, interest and participation during the interactive trainings. The genuine eagerness and passion that the team members  showed to work (and play!) with individuals with autism and special needs was heartwarming and inspiring. Connor who is a member of the Kidville band, contributed his insight, “I think it’s wonderful that Michael had our staff trained. Any place that’s working with kids should have this kind of training because you’re going to encounter kids with autism.”


Kidville curriculum and teaching philosophy is based on play. Kidville believes that through play, children learn and develop physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Through play children create, solve problems, and make sense of the world. Co-owner Jessica reflected, “Michael and I wanted to have all staff trained and for everyone at Kidville Ridgewood to be aware of kids on the autism spectrum because we wanted all kids to come and play at Kidville and enjoy classes. We feel that all of our classes have all sorts of educational components and developmental components whether its’ physical development in the gym or fine motor skills in art or rhythm and mathematics in music. Those are skills all kids can use, whether they have autism or not.” Kidville image


Missing Piece Awareness trains and certifies mainstream businesses in Autism Awareness and Acceptance. By providing on-site, interactive trainings and individualized support materials, businesses can be successful servicing individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Dianne Porter, CEO of Missing Piece Awareness, explained, “We are excited to be working with Michael and his dedicated teachers and staff. He is proactive and forward-thinking to institute this training for his team members. Equipping his team with necessary tools, knowledge and strategies to meet the needs of children with autism, he is setting a revolutionary precedent for Bergen County. We value their commitment and enthusiasm to welcome the surrounding autism and special needs communities into this unique facility. The structure of the routine and activities here supports the children’s need for safe and smooth transitions, while the nurturing philosophy of Kidville supports child directed learning. The Kidville team truly understands how crucial this training is and are dedicated to providing the best possible programs where children can practice and generalize skills in autism accepting, inclusive environments.”


Kidville Ridgewood also offers the Kidville University Program, a social preschool alternative program with the goal to welcome children to their first “school” experience with sensitivity to the needs of the child and the family. Special education teachers, shadows and related service providers are welcome to attend with a child that may need extra support. At Missing Piece Awareness, we are truly grateful for Kidville Ridgewood’s sincere commitment to serving the autism and special needs population and that this opens the door to families in a whole new area for enriching, inclusive fun and education.


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