Teaching Your Child To Care

Teaching your child to care for others is an important role that each and every parentgirl caring for friend carries.

Often, people assume that compassion is a born instinct, but it can also be taught. Yes, all people are born with some level of a “caring gene”, just as Babe Ruth was born with a talent to play baseball. However, if Babe Ruth was never introduced to baseball, never taught the rules of the game, never tried to play, then what good would his natural talent have been? Everybody can be taught to feel for others; you just have to start teaching them while they are young and continue teaching them by example!

Here Are Some Tips to Help Your Child Learn To Be More Compassionate:

Start Young

  • Start teaching your child to care for others as soon as they are able to communicate.During play-time, role-play with your baby on dolls. Show them how to hold, hug and care for the doll. Even pretend the doll got hurt and show your baby how to comfort the doll. Playing with your child and a doctor’s kit is another great way to show your child to care for others and how one person makes another feel better.
  • It’s also important to teach your child in the moment. When at the playground or on a play-date and your toddler’s friend falls down or gets hurt, bring it to your toddler’s attention. You can say to your toddler: “Oh no, Joey got hurt, and is very sad. I think it would make him feel better if you gave him a hug”. This will ensure that when your child is in preschool, he or she will more likely be the kid who helps his or her friends instead of running past them when they get hurt.
  • Just as teaching your children to care for those who are hurt physically, it’s equally important to teach your child to be aware of those who get hurt emotionally. Let your child know that it is not okay to hurt other’s feelings. This will prove to be vital when your child is in grade school and Bullying begins.

Lead by Example

  • Parents are the first teacher a child ever has. Everything a parent does, their child is watching, taking notes and learning from. Show your child how to be compassionate. When you see a homeless person on the street, stop and give him/her some spare change. Afterward, explain to your child why you helped that person. How there are people out there less fortunate. Let your child know that there are children who may not have as many toys as your child. Ask your child how it would make them feel to not have all the things he/she has.
  • Often, people get frustrated when they have to pull over to let an ambulance or fire-truck pass by because it delays them to their destination. Instead of getting irritated, say out loud how you hope the ambulance or firemen get there in time to help those in trouble.

Find Local Places to Visit

  • Along with leading by example, you can help your child become caring and compassionate by actually working with those in need. Many nursing homes have programs where you can bring children to come and talk to residents.
  • You can also take your child to a soup kitchen to help serve people in need. Let your child feel good about helping others!
  • Have your child bring a bag of toys to a children’s home to give to less fortunate children. There are plenty of websites that offer information on places and ways you and your child can help. Below are a couple of examples:

 http://www.redcross.org/volunteertime/ and http://www.volunteermatch.org/

So go ahead, turn off your T.V. and video games and go out with your child into the world to make a difference!

I welcome any comments on more opportunities for children to “care”!

Why Working at North Shore Pediatric Therapy is The Best Private Pediatric Therapy Clinic Job In Chicago!

Pediatric occupational, speech, physical therapists, social workers, BCBA’s and tutors have many options for work but who can beat these top 26 reasons to work at North Shore Pediatric Therapy?

NSPT Staff Picture

North Shore Pediatric Therapy Staff Enjoying a Staff Outing!

The jobs may be out there for pediatric OT, PT, Speech, BCBA and social workers but there are not too many places that hold their employees in such high regard! Do you just want to work under the clock doing the same old thing day in and day out or do you want to shine and make a difference in the lives of families, help grow a company, feel successful and be happy!

Top 26 Reasons Every Pediatric Therapist Loves Working For North Shore Pediatric Therapy:

1) Committed multidisciplinary pediatric therapy diagnostic and therapy team!

2) Trustworthy and honest management team!

3) Excellent mentorship program!

4) Newbie club for all therapists who have been working at NSPT one year or less!

5) In-house webinars and continuing education!

6) Opportunity to grow personally and professionally!

7) Room to grow and manage!

8) Highest quality therapists surrounding you!

9) Comfortable space with up to date equipment and technology!

10) Competitive salary and benefits!

11) PTO whenever you want it, just be productive and flexible and a team player!

12) Smiles around you all day, positive energy!

13) Solutions-based company!

14) Quarterly team meetings for growth!

15) Weekly “What’s Up” e-mails from the CEO!

16) Super transparent company!

17) Excellent Reputation as proven by our countless requests from news stations, tv networks and even Oprah, to provide interviews and expert advice!

18) Evidence-based treatment!

19) Supportive environment!

20) A growing company!

21) Biggest and Best Therapy Facebook page!

22) Most outstanding therapy blogger team on the internet!

23) Be a part of a marketing team of therapists who knows their product well…kids and families!

24) Top of the line Linkedin communicators!

25) Fun themed days where employees dress up!

26) Staff outings including BBQ’s, Popular Concerts, Bowling, Mani-Pedi’s, Race Car Driving- you name it we do it with our team!

 

Don’t let this once in a life time opportunity slip through your fingers.  Become our next rock-star therapist by applying here!

 

 

Making the most out of the Autism Society of Illinois

Autism Society of Illinois LogoYour child has an autism spectrum disorder and you live in Illinois or you want to live in Illinois. You start calling friends, joining chat rooms, and asking all over for information on autism, on Illinois, on schools, on legislation, on support groups, and on therapy providers. I have news for you, your research is great but don’t forget how much the Autism Society of Illinois website can do for you. They are here for you, the parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

 6 Ways To Use The Autism Society Of Illinois

  1. Sign up for the newsletter to stay updated on the latest news and events
  2. Call and email the director, her full time job is being a resource of information for you
  3. Ask for other members or supporters you can call or turn to for assistance, advice, and support
  4. Go to the social events in your area to meet others face to face and build relationships with others affected by autism
  5. Look up support groups in various cities in Chicagoland
  6. Visit the Autism Society of America website for deeper and more global information

Make the most out of your child’s offered and available services, supports, and educational opportunities – they are there to help you!

Good luck!

Fandango With Kids: Tips For A Trip To the Movies

Summer is meant to be active, fun, and exhausting for children but sometimes the weather just won’t cooperate. What do you do on days when they can’t run outside, swim, or barbeque? You Fandango! Remember these words of wisdom for the best theater experience with your children.

 Top tips for a trip with kids to the movies

  1. Choose a very child friendly film. You can even look up the sensory friendly screenings in your area.Empty Movie Theater
  2. Consider bringing your own snacks, especially if your child has special dietary needs.
  3. Remember that you don’t have to stay for the entire movie. Your child may only be able to handle half, and that is OK.
  4. Bring another adult if your children need to be able to get up or go to the bathroom quickly. You may need an extra pair of helping hands.
  5. Bring headphones to reduce the sound if your child is sensitive to loud noises.
  6. Teach your child movie time rules before making the trip so he/she knows what is expected ahead of time. Bring a reward chart if that helps.
  7. Enjoy the show!

Torticollis: Before And After Physical Therapy

What do you notice in the picture of two babies lying down? That they are two adorable boys?…Well of course!! They are my sons so I can’t help but agree. You may or may not also notice how both of their heads are tilted to the left. This is because they both had a condition called torticollis.

Twin Boys With Torticollis

Baby Boys Exibiting Torticollis

What is Torticollis?

Torticollis is derived from the Latin language for twisted neck, which makes sense but sounds pretty awful! As a parent it can be even more awful to find out that there is something wrong with your child. For me, even as a clinician who works along side children with torticollis, it was hard to believe that my young sons had a condition that required therapeutic intervention.

Physical Therapy Used To Resolve Torticollis

Twin Boys With Torticollis Resolved

After Physical Thereapy, Torticollis Is Resolved

Both of my sons received physical therapy under the care of a physical therapist at North Shore Pediatric Therapy for a few months, and the torticollis is now resolved. Overall, the process of receiving physical therapy was a great experience.

First and foremost, if torticollis is not treated and resolved there are several issues that can result, including issues with development of gross and fine motor skills, visual perceptual difficulties, and even facial and jaw asymmetries can present. Also, from a parent of small infant’s perspective, it was really helpful for me to have some structure to my week that included an “outing” (therapy) with my boys to force me to get dressed and leave the house Finally going to the appointments weekly and hearing about progress that an experienced clinician was observing every visit was helpful and encouraging!

Reading Contest Results: Top Books For First Time Readers

Reading together is a great activity with many benefits parents and caretakers can do with children from a very young age. Some parents even read to their children before birth!

Before you know it, the time comes for children to get Pile Of Booksinvolved with the reading… But what story will provide the right combination excitement, fun, inspiration, and picture guidance to allow your child to read a book to you, all on their own?

A trip to the library or the children’s section of your local bookstore will provide a variety of options that can sometimes be overwhelming. To help you pick out the best books for your child we held a contest on our blog asking our readers to share with you which books they, or their children had first reading success with.

Below are the best first book titles we compiled from our blog readers to help start your child on their life long reading adventure.

Top Titles For First Time Readers

  1. Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly – “fun to read and act out”
  2. Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman – “When they don’t recognize a word, they only need to look at the pictures to help them figure it out!”
  3. We Love You…Just The Way You Are! Mommy Perks got creative and wrote this story for her daughter and it became “her first memorized story”
  4. Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
  5. The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton.
  6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
  7. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr.
  8. From Head To Toe by Eric Carle
  9. My Uncle’s Donkey by Tohby Riddle: “I really really loved it to the extent that I would always hold it!”
  10. Green Eggs And Ham by Dr. Seuss – “as a picky eater, I loved quoting this book for my parents at meal-time and using food coloring to make green eggs with my mom

We hope you can use some of these books to get your child excited about reading. Soon you will experience the proud feeling and excitement that comes when your child can read a book to you next story time!

All By Myself: Child’s First Book Contest

Share Your Child’s First Book For a $75 Amazon.com Gift Card | So Easy To Win This Contest!

Very Happy Boy With Book

Time and time again parents are told that reading to your child as early as birth and teaching your child to read early is important for development and will lead to life long success.  Here at North Shore Pediatric Therapy we couldn’t agree more!  Encouragement from parents, teachers, siblings and peers is an important motivator, and of course, so is a good book!

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy we want to provide you with a list of parent tested titles to get your child excited about reading. We know that parents are the field experts so we want your help!  And of course we will reward you for your opinion!

Contest Details: Share Your Favorite Book And Win!

  1. Become a fan of our Facebook Page by liking us here:
  2. Write the name of the first book your child read independently in the comments section of this blog post. Feel free to add additional comments about why you think your child had success with this book or how you got them interested in reading.
  3. Then thumbs up your favorite suggestions form others
  4. Finally, share this contest on your facebook and encourage your friends to like your suggestion!  Don’t have a child old enough to read yet? Don’t worry, you can tell us about your first book.

On July 14 (10:00pm CST) the author of the most voted comment will win a $75.00 Amazon.com gift card. That’s enough to buy plenty of new books for your children to get excited about (and a few for you as well).

At the end of the contest we’ll also be posting a blog with the top 10 beginning readers titles and some comments and input from you as well.

Click here to read other blogs about reading…

For more information on how to get your child reading, visit our Orton-Gillingham Reading Program by clicking here.

Top 5 Pediatric Therapy Myths: Explored and Explained

Scared Girl

There are numerous misconceptions about pediatric therapy out there. I hear parents reporting to me all the time that they “heard from a friend,” or better yet, “saw on the internet” that developmental therapy does not work and that pediatric therapists “just keep kids in therapy” with no real improvement.

Below, I will address the 5 biggest myths out there regarding Pediatric Therapy:

Myth 1:   My child will “mature” and this will not be an issue.

I have heard this numerous times from parents about their children. Will the child “mature” and develop eventually? Sure, probably to some extent. My question back to them is: at what cost? What would be the consequences of not addressing the specific issues that the child demonstrates? How would these issues play out in school? Would the child be teased, bullied, or unable to progress to the best of his or her ability? There are obviously certain developmental stages that children reach at certain times, but some children develop at a slower rate than others . The goal of pediatric therapy is to enable these children to catch up with their peers and prevent later consequences. Additionally, research has demonstrated that the earlier the developmental issues are addressed, the better that child’s long term prognosis will be. Read more

When the “WHY” is big enough the “HOW” will come

When the WHY is big enough the HOW will come when we work for it. When you believe in a cause and work hard for it, you WILL make a difference. This is true for a world cause, or for a more personal cause in your community, at your workplace, and within your own family.

When I was doing my first few internships in occupational therapy school, I met a  little five year old boy. His mom had adopted him and his brother.  She was riding her bike and had the boys in her bike carriage behind her.   A car hit them. The boy was left with brain damage that impaired him both physically and cognitively. In the face of this extreme hardship, Mom was a go-getter and had really felt that a therapy dog would be amazing for him. We needed to raise $10,000. This was the WHY. Now the HOW. I got to work. I gathered my supervisor and another therapist and together we formed a fundraiser.    We had everything donated: the room, the food, the auction prizes, the invitations, the drinks and even a DJ!   We raised over $10,000 that night!   When the WHY is BIG enough, the HOW will come!

As parents and teachers, therapists and physicians, when we get energized by the WHY, the HOW just happens. Our brains get to work– the conscious mind during the day and the subconscious mind at night, on getting it done for the children and families.. We are motivated by a clear and strong understanding of an important cause that demands a solution. As individuals and as a community, we come up with wonderful ways to make a difference.

Little David called and asked if he could come with my family to ski. Little David had no other friends he could rely on to say “yes”, and he needed help to save his self esteem and self worth. The WHY was staring us in the face and the HOW just happened.  Of course we had room in our car for him- we just switched to a bigger car and brought him along for the great trip, and it happened.

When families come to their physicians they bring a very important “WHY” for the physicians to tackle. The parents have logged on paper and in their minds the behaviors that just don’t seem normal in their child. WHY  would they be sharing this? WHY would they be concerned?  WHY do they need help?  Why?  Because they KNOW that their child needs some kind of push, advocacy, and assistance to thrive.  Like a ball being tossed at her or him, the physician takes the WHY and with care and intelligence gently tosses the ball back by providing the HOW in the form of advice, therapy, diagnostics, books, support, etc.

MR. Z keeps the WHY at the forefront of his mind and gets the HOW done for his beloved son. He comes every week to therapy with his autistic child for OT, speech and ABA. Mr. Z, a taxi driver, saves $144/week plus to pay for therapy and he deals with difficulties with his insurance company. The challenges of attaining the HOW do not matter- he gets them done. He does what he needs to do for his son because the WHY is clearly understood. Taking his dedication as a starting point, his therapy team works together with him to attain the HOW for his son- a holistic and therapeutic plan for his son to attain his full potential and to thrive.

What WHY is currently knocking at your door? What do you need to do for the HOW? If you are honest and clear about the WHY, when you put forth the effort and reach out for the support you need, the HOW will come. If we can help you to attain that goal we are here for you.