“Show me you’re ready!” As a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, I can’t even begin to guess how many times this utterance is repeated throughout my day in the therapy gym. While I’m sure that my clients think I sound like a broken record, the bottom line is that if they’re not ready to pay attention, they’re not going to learn what I’m teaching. What does it look like when a client is ready to attend? Here are three important ways for young clients to show you, their therapist, they are ready to work and learn.
Three Tips to Gain Maximum Attention from Pediatric Therapy Clients:
Ready Body: The body is still and facing the person who is speaking. It is not jumping, running, or facing other areas of the room. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Lindsey Moyerhttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngLindsey Moyer2013-08-06 06:26:272014-04-20 19:34:51Helping Your Client to Optimally Attend: Advice for Pediatric Therapists
As adults, our primary care physicians often instruct us to have labs drawn to check our blood lipid levels. Most of us probably know someone who is on a “lipid lowering” medication for high cholesterol levels. These same labs are also being drawn more often for kids, especially if there is a family history of hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) or heart disease, or if the child is overweight or obese. Read on to understand what these labs look for in children, what the numbers mean, and what you should do after getting results.
The “lipid panel,” as the lab is called, measures these lipids that circulate in the bloodstream:
LDL cholesterol: LDL cholesterol is associated with a risk for heart disease. The goal result for LDL cholesterol is <100 mg/dL, and <130 is considered acceptable.
HDL cholesterol: HDL cholesterol is the “good” kind of cholesterol that scoops up the “bad” kind and helps get rid of it. The goal result for this type of cholesterol is >40 mg/dL. The higher the HDL is, the better, in most cases. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Stephanie Wellshttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngStephanie Wells2013-08-05 06:57:492014-04-20 19:37:29Lipid Labwork in Children: Understanding the Numbers and When to Seek Help for Dietary Changes
Ages 0-3 are critical for learning and mastering speech and language. Some babies and toddlers initiate talking earlier than others. If you are looking to encourage speech and language in your little one, read on for easy guidelines to help promote speech and language for young children.
3 Tips for promoting Speech and Language Development in children 0-3 years of age:
1. Use Simple Language:
Short sentences are easier to understand and allow your child to pick up the important pieces of the message.
Talk about what you are doing as you go about your day. It is easier for a child to pick up new language if he can see or hear the object or action as he is exposed to the vocabulary. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Kate Connollyhttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngKate Connolly2013-07-30 07:03:362014-04-20 19:54:293 Tips for Promoting Speech and Language Development in Children: Ages 0-3
Reading is fundamental to academic success. Children spend hours from preschool to third grade learning how to read. From third grade on, children spend hours reading to learn new subject material. As a Pediatric Speech Therapist, I’ve been asked the following question: My child is an accurate reader, but seems to read more slowly than his peers. Should I be concerned? For reference, Hasbrauck and Tindal (2006) published reading norms for grades 1-8. The following is a general rule for the number of accurately read words produced in a minute by a young reader by grade.
Reading Norms | Words Read per Minute by Grade:
By the end of Grade 1, your child should be reading approximately 53 words correctly per minute.
By the end of Grade 2, your child should be reading approximately 89 words correctly per minute.
By the end of Grade 3, your child should be reading approximately 107 words correctly per minute.
By the end of Grade 4, your child should be reading approximately 123 words correctly per minute. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Kate Connollyhttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngKate Connolly2013-07-26 06:55:282014-04-20 19:58:33How Fast Should My Child Be Reading?
As toddlers are developing their speech and language skills, there are a number of articulation errors that are typical. A common articulation error that a 2-year old may make is substituting the /t/ sound for /k/. For example, the child may say “tat” for “cat,” “tar” for “car” or “bite” for “bike.” By the age of 3, however, accurate production of the /k/ sound should be emerging in a typically developing child.
The /k/ sound is called a “velar consonant,” meaning it is produced in the back of the mouth, with the back of the tongue elevating to touch the velum (soft palate). When a child replaces this sound with a /t/, she is “fronting” the sound, which means she is instead lifting the front of her tongue (the tip) to the ridge behind her teeth.
If your child is unable to imitate the /k/ sound, try these tricks at home:
Use a mirror. Having the visual support of actually seeing what’s going on in the mouth will help your child. Explain to your child you will be practicing the “/k/ sound” which is made “in the back of your mouth.”
Keep your child’s mouth open, and have her practice a coughing sound. She will feel the back of her tongue naturally elevate. You may need to provide tactile support by gently holding her lower jaw as a reminder to keep her mouth open. Provide positive verbal feedback like, “Great! I heard that sound in the back of your mouth.”
Use a popsicle stick to gently hold the front of your child’s tongue down while she tries the /k/ sound in isolation. Prompt her by saying, “Good job! I saw your tongue go up in the back.” Try it again without the stick.
Have your child lie on her back on the ground. Her tongue will naturally pull to the back of her mouth in this position. Try the /k/ sound in isolation. Make it fun by lying under a table with the lights off and a flashlight. Stick pictures of objects that have the /k/ sound (e.g. bike, cat, car) on the underside of the table, and practice the /k/ sound by itself every time the flashlight finds a new picture.
Once your child is able to imitate /k/ in isolation, practice in syllables (e.g. “key, “coo,” “kah”) and then the initial position of words (e.g. “can,” “cow,” “cat,” “carrot”). The /k/ sound may need to be separated from the rest of the word at first (e.g. “k – ey”) to maintain an accurate /k/ sound, however with continued practice, your child should be able to blend the sounds together.
With a little practice, your child should be producing the /k/ sound in no time!
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Mary Bremerhttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngMary Bremer2013-07-25 07:31:062014-04-20 19:59:54Helping Your Child Produce the /K/ Sound at Home
Parents often ask when they should start teaching babies the word “no.” In answering this question, it is important to consider things from the baby’s point of view. Babies from 6 months to 2 years like to chew on things, bang things, take things apart, touch things, and put things in their mouths. Babies and toddlers use these methods to learn about their world. While it is tempting to use the word “no” to discipline your baby, there are more effective ways to keep him, and your home, safe.
Tips for Keeping Your Baby Safe Without Using the Word “No”:
Baby-proof your home so that your child can be free to touch, crawl or walk around without getting into trouble.
Use safety gates.
Keep medicines, cleaning supplies, and other dangerous items out of reach of your child or stored in locked cupboards. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Amy Winerhttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngAmy Winer2013-07-19 08:21:572014-04-20 20:43:31How to Set Boundaries for Your Baby Without Saying “No”
Dyslexia is a word that often stirs up fear and misunderstanding. In addition, it is awash in myths. Often, people think of a person with Dyslexia as an individual who confuses b’s and d’s or reads backwards. Others may think of a troubled reader who is confused by basic letters. This simplistic and incorrect understanding of Dyslexia often causes people, especially parents, to feel a series of negative emotions when their child has trouble reading and a Dyslexia diagnosis is given. In reality, as many as 1 in 5 children are diagnosed with Dyslexia, which is defined a deficit in the phonological processing component of language that results in trouble reading and decoding words. Read on for the truth about Dyslexia.
Dyslexia myths and the truths behind them:
Myth: “Dyslexia means readers see letters and words backwards.”
Fact: Letter reversals are a symptom of Dyslexia; however, this is not the condition itself. Dyslexia is a much more complex phonological processing disorder in which the reader has difficulty associating the letters and the resulting sounds. Read more
During the summer, it is important to keep working out your little one’s fingers. There are plenty of items around your house that you can use to exercise your child’s fine motor muscles. Below are 5 items that you may have laying around that can be re-purposed into a “digital” gym.
5 items to re-purpose for fine motor exercise:
Take-Out Boxes-Yes, I said take-out boxes. The aluminum “press-and-close” variety offers a great chance to work your child’s tip pinch (pointer finger and thumb), 3-point pad pinch (pointer finger, middle finger, and thumb), and lateral pinch (“key grip”) muscles. Use these containers to store beads, coins, or other small objects to create a fun musical instrument too!
Clothespins-Have your child use clothespins to transfer small objects from one container to another, to move game pieces, or to hold a blanket-fort together. Have your child squeeze the clothespin with different finger combinations (listed above) to “up” the challenge.
Balloons-Your child can grip the two ends of a balloon with different fingers as he or she stretches out the balloon. In addition, pulling a balloon over a faucet to fill water balloons takes a considerable amount of fine motor control, strength, and endurance.
Spray Bottles-Fill a spray bottle with water, and have your child water plants. For fun outside, you can also have a “water bottle” fight, or add food coloring to the spray bottle to “paint” a large sheet of paper.
Paper-Have your child fold a sheet of paper to make a paper fan, a paper airplane, a paper hat, or a fun origami animal. Folding paper requires a lot of fine motor precision and control, as well as visual-motor integration. In addition, folding paper will help to strengthen your child’s tip-pinch strength and will help build fine motor endurance. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Deanna Ligashttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngDeanna Ligas2013-07-10 07:15:382014-04-20 21:09:385 Everyday Items to Re-Use for Fine Motor Exercise
Music can be an important part of children’s therapeutic activities! While some children will participate in Music Therapy, conducted by a trained Music Therapist, other children will experience music in their speech-language or occupational therapy sessions. Some families will find that music therapy is not often covered by insurance; however, music in therapy may be. When music is incorporated into existing speech-language or occupational therapy sessions, there are numerous benefits for children.
Speech-Language Benefits of Including Music in Therapy:
Promotes attention and engagement: Music is a great motivator! Children may be more motivated during sessions and may pay better attention. They may also demonstrate improved engagement with their clinicians during therapy sessions involving music.
Builds imitation: Music can help to develop both verbal (e.g. singing) and non-verbal (e.g. gesturing) skills. Phrases with musical intonation are easier to imitate.
Enhances Skills: Frequent repetition in songs can increase vocabulary (e.g. singing Old McDonald Had a Farm to target animal names) and language skills.
Encourages peer interactions: Learning age-appropriate songs can help build social skills and strengthen peer interactions.
Increases carryover: Children may begin to associate songs they are learning in school, at home, and in therapy in a positive way! Parents can carryover skills learned in therapy as a fun and easy way to maximize their child’s potential at home. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Jaclyn Schneiderhttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngJaclyn Schneider2013-07-09 07:10:372014-04-20 21:11:36The Therapeutic Benefits of Music
These days, families come in many shapes and sizes. Some children are raised in a home with a mother and a father. Others are raised in a home with two moms, two dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or a combination of adults as caregivers. Many young children are raised in families where the parents have divorced. Young children living with parents who have split-up, or with parents who are living in separate homes may face strong emotions about their family situation. Parents can help their young children to feel supported, express themselves appropriately, and cope with their feelings surrounding the divorce in several ways.
The following are tips to help your young children deal with divorce:
Remind your children (again and again) that the divorce is not their fault. Let your children know that they did absolutely nothing that led to the decision you and your spouse made to separate. Remind your kids that despite any times they have misbehaved, or despite arguments that you have had together, they did not influence your decision to split-up. Tell them that you and your spouse made the decision solely based on matters between the two of you and nothing else. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Jaclyn Harrishttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngJaclyn Harris2013-06-28 08:19:312014-07-06 21:32:56Helping Young Children Deal with Divorce