Posts

15Sep2020

To be independent is to have confidence in one’s ability to face daily challenges head-on, and is the feeling of freedom while living a life without limits. 

In essence, occupational therapists take on the task of helping patients reach this level of confidence. It is not solely our extensive training, years of hands-on experience, or the letters that follow the names that make us qualified. It is our passion that qualifies us to be the second set of hands and eyes that parents need to make sure their child lives a full life. 

As a pediatric occupational therapist, we address anything from developmental delays, sensory integration issues, handwriting concerns, ADL’s (activities of daily living) such as chores, personal hygiene, feeding, and getting dressed. 

We also closely monitor gross motor coordination to enable children to play safely and be successful in team sports. After all, the safety of our patients is our number one concern. When it comes to team activities, we also know that communication plays a major role in a child’s ability to play safely with others. This is why we do not stop at observing fine and gross motor skills, but we work with our patients and their families to make key observances of their social interaction skills, as well. We want our patients to live a life of confidence, and that includes them having the ability to interact with peers, adults, their families, and friends. 

With our guidance, our patients and their families are able to feel at ease knowing that they are equipped with the appropriate tools and skills to take home and apply to their everyday lives. We also go the extra mile to make necessary referrals and follow-up with Physical Therapists, Speech Therapists, Pediatricians, Optometrists, and so forth depending on the specific need of each of our patients. 

A limitless lifestyle begins and ends with confidence, and confidence is truly who we are. We are the small hands that help smaller hands do BIG things.



Written by: Nykia Petty- OTR/L

10Sep2020

Many times a day you likely pick up a book. Whether you hand it to your child to look at while you’re busy, sit down and read a bedtime story with your child, or read as a school assignment, speech, and language opportunities are endless. Reading is a simple, yet effective way for parents to facilitate their child’s speech and language development, outside of the therapy setting. If you are not sure of your child’s therapy goals, speak with your child’s speech therapist so they can further help you. Based on your child’s goals, here are some ideas for how to incorporate speech and language into everyday reading, or how to begin incorporating books if you have not yet! Each idea will include an example related to the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.

  1. Read the title! Describe to your child what the story will be about. If your child is using a lot of languages already, have them describe what they think the story will be about
    • Example: This story will be about a BIG, green caterpillar who wants to eat lots of food
  2. Talk about the pictures! Go beyond just reading the words on the page. If your child is working on expanding their language skills, have them describe what else is happening in the picture scenes
    • Example: read the words then describe how the moon is hiding behind the tree and that the moon has a smiley face on it
  3. Ask questions! You can make these questions as easy or as hard as you’d like. If your child has trouble answering, give them two options of answers.
    • Example: What is laying on the leaf? Is it an egg or a shoe? It’s an egg!
  4. Retell the story! When you finish reading, go over with your child what the story was about. If your child is able to, have them tell you what they remember. You can help them fill in missing parts
    • Example: If your child says “the caterpillar ate lots of food”, you can add “that’s right! He ate strawberries, pears, plums, oranges, and an apple

You can use these ideas with any of your child’s favorite books to facilitate language growth!

La Importancia de Leer

Puede ser que varias veces al día recoja usted un libro. Ya sea que se lo dé a su hijo/a para que lo vea mientras usted está ocupado/a, leerle una historia antes de dormir, o quizás ayudándole con un trabajo escolar, las posibilidades para el lenguaje y el habla son infinitas.

Una manera simple pero muy eficaz en que los padres pueden facilitar el desarrollo del lenguaje y el habla es leyendo un libro, fuera del ambiente de terapia. Si no esta seguro/a de las metas de terapia, asegúrese de hablar con el/ la terapeuta de su hijo/a para que le puedan asistir.   Aquí ay unas ideas en como poder comenzar a incorporar el habla y lenguaje basado en las metas de su hijo/a. O cómo puede empezar a incorporar libros si aún no lo hace! Cada idea incluirá un ejemplo relacionado con el libro “ La Oruga Muy Hambrienta” escrito por Eric Carle.

  1. Lee el título! Descríbale a su hijo/a de que se trata el cuento. Si su hijo/a usa mucho lenguaje, pídale que le describa de que piensa que se trata el libro.
    • Por ejemplo: este libro se trata de una oruga, verde y muy Grande, que come mucha comida.
  2. Háblele sobre los dibujos que ven. Ve más allá de leer las palabras que se encuentran en el libro. Si su hijo/a esta trabajando en expandir su vocabulario es bueno pedirles que describan lo que sucede en los dibujos.
    •  Por ejemplo: lean las palabras y después descríbales como la luna tiene una carita feliz y como se esconde de tras del árbol.
  3. Haga preguntas! Puede hacerles preguntas fáciles o difíciles como usted prefiera. Puede ofrecerle dos opciones si su hijo/a tiene dificultad para contestar.
    •  Por ejemplo: que se encuentra en la hoja? Era un huevo o un zapato?  Era un huevo!
  4. Vuelva a contar el cuento! Una vez que haga leído el libro repásenlo. Pregunte de que se trató, le pueden decir de que partes se acuerdan? Le puede ayudar con las partes que le hagan falta.
    • Por ejemplo: si su hijo/a dice “la oruga comió mucha comida”, usted podía añadir “así es! Comió fresas, peras, ciruelas, naranjas, y una manzana.

Puede usar estas ideas con cualquier libro favorito de su hijo/a para ayudar a facilitar el crecimiento de su lenguaje!



Written by: Madison Dolecki, MS, CCC-SLP

10Sep2020

Food! Mealtime! Are you having difficulty with your child eating a variety of foods? It’s understanding how hard it is to ensure your child is consuming a variety of foods to be healthy and grow. If you recognize two or more symptoms below in your child’s feeding, please speak to your pediatrician to determine if a feeding evaluation is warranted.

Does your child present with one or more symptoms during mealtimes?

  • Avoids all foods in specific texture or food group
  • Choking, gagging, or coughing during meals
  • Mealtimes are a battle for your child to eat non-preferred foods
  • History of a traumatic choking event
  • Medical condition: acid reflux, respiratory issues, etc.
  • During 2 or more well check visits child was reported as being a “picky eater”
  • Poor weight gain or weight loss
  • Eats/consumes less than 20 foods by 24 months of age
  • Difficulty transitioning to baby food purees by 10 months of age
  • Difficulty consuming any table food solids by 12 months of age
  • Difficulty weaning off of baby foods by 16 months of age



Written by: Shannon McKinnie, MS, CCC-SLP

15Aug2020

Do any of these statements remind you or your child?

“Morgan won’t eat anything green because of the color”

“Strawberries used to be Morgan’s favorite food; now she refuses them.”

“Morgan will only eat chicken nuggets!”

“He gags at the sight of oatmeal.”

If your child only eats certain types of food or refuses foods based on colors, textures, or brands, he/she may be a picky eater, and mealtime may be a sore topic in your household. While some parents worry about what their children eat or how much they consume, no need to worry too much because you are not alone. To help increase the variety and nutrition, you can make sure your child is exposed to different foods and textures from each food group. It’s okay if they don’t like chewy foods but consumes all other textures during their picky stage; eventually, they should add that texture to their diet at some point. Picky eating is a common behavior for many children from the age of 2 to 5 years. However, if these behaviors persist beyond this age or the picky eating results in nutritional compromise and weight loss, your child could be at risk for a true feeding disorder.

If you find that your child does not consume a variety of foods and textures please speak with your child’s pediatrician first to discuss your concerns about picky eating. If you believe your child’s picky eating is more severe than what is considered typical for his/her age, please talk to your child’s pediatrician for a possible feeding referral with a Speech-Language Pathologist or Occupational Therapist.

How to cope with picky eating: It’s okay your child is picky eater, as long as it’s temporary.

Try some of the following tips to help your child’s picky eating behaviors in a positive way:

  1. Let your kids pick fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.
  2. Let your kids help you prepare the meals. Let them add ingredients or stir the food.
  3. Offer choices, such as, “do you want green beans or broccoli for dinner?”
  4. During mealtime, have fun family conversations without the TV on for distractions.
  5. Offer the same foods for the whole family. Stick to mealtime routines.
  6. Cut food into fun shapes but keep it simple.
  7. Plate small portions on a child’s plate. Given them a small taste at first. You can always give them more if they like it!
  8. Offer only one new food at a time up to 10 times. Always serve something they like with new food. Children may need to try a new food 10 or more times before they accept it.
  9. Offer the new foods first! Your child is most hungry at the start of a meal.
  10. Be a Good Role Model at dinner time.



Written by: Shannon McKinnie, MS, CCC-SLP

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