Category: blog

Past Tense Verbs Fun!

We have many children in the clinic who need help using past tense verbs.  Here’s a fun way to address this issue!  Using a child’s favorite action figures or dolls (Lego men, Transformers, Polly Pockets etc.), have the figures perform the actions.  Start with the carrier phase “Yesterday………” as in “Yesterday, Spiderman jumped over the building” or “Yesterday, Barbie rode her bike to school”.  This activity strengthens use of past tense as well as giving your child practice in formulating novel sentences!

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Strategies for the Young Child: Challenging Behaviors and Communication Skills

This transdisciplinary workshop addresses two therapeutic techniques often utilized with the young child: PROMPT, a multisensory approach to speech challenges and ABA, applied behavioral analysis, understanding and managing challenging behaviors. Jackie Santiccioli, a renowned PROMPT specialist, will provide information on the PROMPT technique, a multisensory approach to treating the child with challenges in the development of speech using functional interactions. Clinicians working with the prelinguistic and early linguistic child will have a greater understanding of the sensory and motor systems and the impact that the PROMPT technique provides. Sarah Hively, a Behavior Analyst, will provide information on how to identify, understand and treat challenging behaviors. The training will break down challenging behaviors into four different functions of behavior. Upon completion […]

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FALL into Arts & Crafts

Looking for ways to celebrate the autumn season and create memorable learning experiences with your kids?  Look no further than my favorite FALL arts & crafts below.   As an added bonus, a few will help decorate your house! Pine Cone Bird Feeder: Take a walk to find a few large pine cones.  Tie a string around the tops and leave enough string on the other side to hang from something outside (try to find a place where squirrels won’t be able to reach it!)  Smear all sides with creamy peanut butter and sprinkle with birdseed.  Hang up where you can watch the birds come and enjoy! Orange Peel Bird Feeder: Peel an orange in a circular motion, making sure the […]

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What To Do With All of Those Apples?

Do you have an entire bushel of apples from the apple farm sitting on your kitchen floor, waiting to be eaten?  Here are some ideas for what to do with them that can involve your children and enhance their learning: DÉCOR: Put apples in a bowl as an edible centerpiece.  Take a walk outside to collect acorns and pine cones to add to the bounty. ART: Cut an apple open through the middle and reveal the “star” inside; then make a masterpiece!  Dip the flat side of the apple in washable paint and press it onto paper to make “apple prints.”  Be creative and draw on the paper after the paint dries. Observe different apples and try to sketch them. […]

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It’s Apple-Pickin’ Time!

I saw two trees today whose leaves had begun to change colors, signaling to me that autumn is on its way.  That means Saturday I will be  packing up the family and heading to our favorite apple orchard to pick a bushel of apples.  Here are the top reasons to make this an annual tradition: 1.     It’s exciting to research and plan, and an adventure to get there. 2.     Apple cider donuts and fresh apple cider for breakfast. 3.     Free tastings out in the orchard. 4.     Kids learn a lot about apples…when an apple is ready to pick, how to find apples low and high on the trees, how different apples taste and look, and how heavy carrying a bag […]

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Coffee and…..

Growing up, my mother and her sisters always placed a certain importance on the practice of “Coffee And…”   which for them meant having coffee, relaxation, bonding time, and of course great dessert.   My mother would become so excited at finding a new place the offered gourmet coffee and bakery items.  I couldn’t wait to be of age to fully enjoy the outings.   Interestingly enough, in searching for exciting things for parents and kids to do in the city, I came across a new trend in sites that offer a twist on our family idea.  There are so many places now that offer great coffee/dessert (for the adults) and . . . .   exercise, learning, and play experiences for children.   They […]

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Keeping Cool in August!

August is typically the hottest month of the year…we’ll see if it rivals the heat we’ve experienced so far this summer.  When it’s hot, try heading over to one of the Chicago Park District’s parks/playgrounds that have water spray features… the perfect combination of enjoying the weather, playing at the park, and getting wet to cool off.   Bonus- you don’t even need to bring a towel if it’s very warm!  Besides being a fun and memorable experience, visiting a water park incorporates many aspects of language, from “packing the bag” as detailed in a previous blog to vocabulary (temperature of the water, color/size/shape of the sprayers, feel of the ground, drain) to relating the experience afterwards to another person.   Below […]

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Food can be Fun!!

Summer is a time for picnics, barbeques, sandwiches and light meals. It is exciting to explore the foods that can be a part of our summer meals. Taking a trip to the grocery store and the farmer’s market can be educational for the child who is picky about eating. Teach your child where fresh fruits and vegetables come from and the ways in which they can be prepared and eaten. Allow your child to smell and touch foods without having to eat them. Fruits and vegetables are plentiful and generously offered at one or more meals daily. These offerings can be new opportunities to try new foods or learn to eat familiar foods in new ways. For example, maybe your […]

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Fun and Learning in the Sun!

Hey Mom and Dad are you planning on taking a trip to the beach with your kids soon?  Why are you packing the bags?  A great activity to boost a variety of language skills during the summer would be to “pack that bag” together.    You can have your kids make a list of things they think they would need for the beach.  They can sequence through all the events from getting to the beach to getting home, and what objects and actions they would have to have and do.  Additionally you can have them locate the necessary objects within your house as a way to categorize by location.  Your kids will be learning and problem -solving, you will have less […]

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