Program: SYNCroSI & Moving to Higher Ground

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SYNCroSI (Asia and Australia)
Moving to Higher Ground (North America)


The Challenge

As a therapist, educator or caregiver trying to best support children with special needs, figuring out the right intervention approach and creating a sustainable program around it can be a lifetime’s work. We can become inundated with a multitude of intervention approaches; it becomes very challenging to discern what works and what does not. As a program leader or coordinator, one is tasked with the creation of sustainable and integrated methods that will harness the potential of the children you serve. The value of the SYNCroSI experience is that it fine-tunes your innate ability to select and uniquely apply the approach that best fits each child and situation.

What is SYNCroSI? 

Synchronized and Sustainable Intervention (for children with special needs) or SYNCroSI for short, is a specialized mentorship program offered in Asia and Australia that combines personal growth with clinical development experience for therapists, educators and keen caregivers supporting children who have special needs. SYNCroSI provides a unique blend of integrated, eclectic and empowering interventional approaches that invites the removal of unsupportive personal, cultural and professional blinders that can sometimes inhibit healthy relational interactions and stifle a child’s potential.

What does the SYNCroSI Training Program Encompass? 

Under the guidance of master clinicians (Co-founders Kim Barthel, Manoj Pathnapuram SLP and others, when possible) participants have a chance to develop their own specialized learning plan to enhance the skill set they wish to improve. As part of this individualized learning program, participants are purposefully paired with appropriate children to help meet each of the participant’s learning objectives. State of the art intervention approaches are incorporated into this intense and full five-day learning experience, including didactic as well as practical experiential learning. There will be demonstrations, lectures and group discussions to complement the hands-on activities, and comprehensive one-on-one feedback will be provided to participants at each step. SYNCroSI encourages interaction and collaboration with other participants in your field, and also with professionals from other therapy and educational disciplines. What makes this program so valuable is how it uniquely offers opportunities for personal and professional reflection throughout. 

There is a SYNCroSI Centre in Shenzhen, China, which is a physical centre of excellence for this method, and where people come from all over Asia to hone their knowledge and skills (link to the page where the SYNCroSI Centre is featured).

SYNCroSI five-day workshops are also held in other locations across Asia and Australia, when there is the ability to coordinate a range of up to 30 participants, up to 15 complex needs children with flexible parents, and an environment that allows for multiple settings in one, with access to both sensory equipment and adult learning space.


*Note that in 2001, with the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre in British Columbia, Kim co-initiated what she called Moving to Higher Ground workshops. These five-day trainings have direct similarities to the SYNCroSI training and philosophy. Kim has led Moving to Higher Ground workshops across North America and in Singapore, and she still does so, upon special request. Each one which is a little bit different according to the setting and the participants. There are also other intense hands-on camp-like experiences which Kim has been a part of, beginning in 1985, which have contributed to Kim’s planning of Moving to Higher Groundand SYNCroSI trainings, including Camp Avanti and Regi Boehme’s Journey Workshop. What all of these experiential learning programs have in common is their trans-disciplinary nature, collaborative problem-solving mentality, and truly outstanding networking opportunities.


One message to prospective organizers is that SYNCroSI workshops and Moving to Higher Groundtrainings are more challenging to host financially due to the limited number of participants, and more complex to coordinate given the number of children and parents involved. The reason to host these programs is not in any way because they are easy to arrange, but because the participants commonly say that they are the best life-changing professional training programs they could ever have imagined.