Oct 2017

3 Fine Motor Activities to Treat Your Kids to This Halloween

By: Sara Sciarrino, MS, OTR/L Working on increasing your child’s fine motor skills doesn’t have to be scary! Here are some spookily fun things you can do at home to improve bilateral coordination, hand strength, and visual-motor skills. Straw Skeleton What you’ll need: Construction paper Children’s scissors Plastic straws Liquid glue How to do it: Draw a stick figure skeleton on the paper or print one out. Have your child cut the straws into various sized pieces. Encourage them to use one hand to hold the end of the straw while the other cuts. Place glue on the skeleton picture [...]

Oct 2017

5 Inexpensive Teacher-Approved Fidgets

By: Stephanie Kaliades, OTR/L We are all well aware of the fidget spinner craze that took classrooms by storm. What was meant to be a tool to aid concentration and focus during class has seemed to have the opposite effect. Teachers and schools are banning fidget spinners in the classroom, dismissing the item as a disruptive toy. But what if your child really does perform better in the classroom when they have something to occupy their hands? Here are five cheap and easy ideas for fidgets that won’t drive you or your teachers crazy. Stress Ball Stress balls are cheap [...]

Sep 2017

New York City Autism Speaks Walk 2017

This September, our team will be participating in the annual New York City Autism Speaks Walk to show our support for the Autism spectrum community and to raise funds for Autism Speaks. As a speech-language and occupational therapy practice, we have the pleasure of working with many families with children on the autism spectrum. We embrace their strengths and are proud of what makes them unique. Through our participation in this event, we hope to spread awareness, promote compassion, and shed light on what makes these individuals remarkable. The Autism Speaks Walk is powered by love and built on the [...]

Aug 2017

20 Fun Articulation Homework Ideas For The Whole Family

By: Elyse Schultz M.S., CCC-SLP, Lindsay Barret M.S., CF-SLP, Kyle Mutch M.S., CCC-SLP, Christina Rossi M.S., CF-SLP Have you been trying to think of creative ways to practice your child’s articulation homework? Below are 20 suggestions to try while practicing at home. These work best for those practicing on the single word level. These strategies will help motivate your child to complete his or her homework and increase generalization outside of the speech therapy room. Get creative with these ideas and get practicing! 1. Charades Act out your target word 2. “I Spy” Find items around the room that contain [...]

Aug 2017

Speech & Language Therapy FAQs: Christina Answers Your Questions

By: Christina Rossi, M.S., CF-SLP As a speech and language pathologist (SLP), I am often asked about what I do and how my work helps kids in their daily lives. I love what I do, and I’m more than happy to answer these questions!   What is the difference between speech and language? Speech is the physical act of moving the articulators (jaw, tongue, and lips) to make sounds. Language is a multi-faceted process that encompasses understanding spoken conversation, using words to express thoughts and feelings, and following the unspoken social “rules” of conversation. Both speech and language affect our [...]

Aug 2017

5 Summer Activities to Improve Bilateral Coordination

By: Sara Sciarrino, MS, OTR/L Bilateral coordination, also referred to as bilateral integration, refers to the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time in a controlled and organized way. This skill is important for all different activities of our everyday lives, such as walking and running, zippering a jacket, going up and down stairs, and using two-handed tools, like scissors. If your child struggles with tasks that require using two hands or two feet together, consider these five fun activities for the summer: Hopscotch Nothing says summer like sidewalk chalk. Have your child draw a [...]

Jul 2017

Summer Sensory Fun At The Beach

By: Stephanie Kaliades OTR/L The weather is heating up, and pretty soon school will be out for the summer! Sensory play is a great way to not only give your child the sensory input they need but to have fun as well. Sensory activities are significant because they can help teach the brain to process sensory information more effectively. In turn, this can help your child respond more appropriately to their environment. I have included tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular activities in this list. Tactile activities provide sensory input through touch, proprioceptive activities provide information to our muscle and joints, and [...]

Jul 2017

Summmer Speech and Language Essentials for Kids

Summer is an exciting time full of adventure, sunshine, and family fun. Summer is also a great time to work on speech and language skills - at home and while traveling! Our therapists put together some of their top tips for incorporating speech-language activities into your summer schedules. Speech-Language Activities at Home (contributions from Elyse Schultz, M.S., CCC-SLP) Go to a local farmer’s market Word-finding difficulties? Have your kids sort food by category (fruits, vegetables, etc.) color (red, yellow, etc.) taste (sweet, sour, etc). If you can’t make it to the market, you can also have your kids help sort [...]

Jun 2017

5 Must-Have Toys For Your Child

By: Lindsay Barret  M.S., CF-SLP Five tried and true toys that target development of language and cognitive skills! Puzzles. Puzzles introduce novel vocabulary, provide background knowledge, foster problem solving skills, and encourage visual-spatial awareness. They’re also great for working on simple single words such as “in,” “out,” or “more.” Mr. Potato Head. Mr. Potato Head targets body part and clothing vocabulary, following 1 and 2 step directions, and play skills. Musical instruments. Musical instruments teach children to imitate what they see and hear. Music also encourages expression and creativity. Farm animals. Playing with farm animals is a good way to [...]

Jun 2017

7 Toys to Facilitate Language Discovery

By: Lindsay Barret M.S., CF-SLP The best part about language is that it’s everywhere! The following list of toys and games are excellent to use when promoting language: Cause & Effect Toys   Ring stack Jack in the box Marble run Shape sorter What do these toys facilitate? Single words and short phrases: “Open”, “close”, “put in”, “put on”, “up”, “down”, “push”, “ready, set, go!”, “you go”, “I go”, “my turn”, and “your turn” Vocabulary: colors, shapes Problem-solving skills Puzzles   What do puzzles facilitate? Introducing vocabulary (animals, food, clothing, tools, sports, colors, shapes, modes of transportation) Basic concepts: numbers, [...]

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