Monday, December 23, 2013

Promoting Language Development

Here are a few tips to help your child with language development. 

* Always speak to your child using complete sentence.

* Ask questions that require more than yes or no answers. 

* Play games that include songs and rhymes, such as "Jack and Jill" and "Hickory Dickory, Dock." Always encourage your child to imitate the words.

* Ask questions about the immediate environment. For example, if your folding laundry, ask your child the color of each piece of clothing.

* If your child wants something and she points to the item, tell her to "use your words."

* Read, read, read to your can never overdo reading!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Retro Baby" on Fox & Friends!

I had so much fun talking about my new book "Retro Baby" on Fox & Friends this morning!  Click HERE to view the segment and HERE to order a copy! It contains lots of tummy time tips and over 100 time-tested activities to promote infant development!

Friday, December 13, 2013


Visual perceptual skills are the ability to efficiently process visual information. When a child has visual perceptual problems, it can lead to challenges with writing, eye-hand coordination tasks, memory and attending to task.

There are a variety of strategies that may be helpful if visual perceptual skills are challenged. Here are some:

1)    Limit distractions
2)    Keep the working surface clear except for paper and pencil
3)    Use a ruler to keep place when reading
4)    For cutting, outline shapes/forms with a highlighter
5)    Provide a letterstrip for the student’s desk
6)    Use a word processor with spell check
7)    Highlight the writing lines on paper
8)    Try raised lined paper
9)    Limit writing requirements
10) Try colored overlays for reading
11) Provide tactile input (writing with chalk or placing paper over a piece of sandpaper)
12) Practice forming letters in the air using the pointer finger while eyes are closed
13) Use a slant board for reading and writing (Click here for instructions to make a slant board)
14) Provide desk copies of notes written on the board

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Teaching Kids with Special Needs How To Dress Appropriately for the Weather

Picking out the appropriate clothing for a child can be a challenge, especially for those who have  can difficulty understanding cold vs. hot and rainy vs. sunny. A student that I see for therapy uses this nifty worksheet, and it has proven to be very effective. If you're child is struggling when picking out appropriate clothes for the weather, try having him fill out this worksheet every evening before bed and pick out his clothes for the next day. For younger children, add some fun by including a sunny/snowy/rainy coloring sheet, depending on the weather forecast.

Weather Report and Forecast

Today the temperature high was_____________________.
The temperature now is________________________.

The weather today way: 
                                      rainy   sunny  cloudy   snowing    windy
                                                             (Circle all that apply)

Tomorrow the temperature high will be_________________
    and the temperature low will be__________________.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is:
                                  Rainy    sunny cloudy    snowing    windy
                                   (Circle what the weather may be)

Tomorrow I will wear a:
Short sleeved shirt  Long sleeved shirt   Sweater Sweatshirt

Jeans       Pants         Shorts          Athletic pants

Tennis shoes          Sandals         Boots

Jacket       Heavy coat        Raincoat        Umbrella
        (Circle the items you will wear tomorrow)

I will wear this because the weather tomorrow will be:
            Hot        Warm          Cold            Cool

Now I will pick out my clothes for tomorrow!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Handmade Gift Idea for a Baby or Child

Homemade baby gifts are special, and here's an idea for a lift-a-flap handmade baby book that's extremely simple! Have your child turn the pages, lift the flaps, and name the objects to address fine motor skills and promote language development!
What you'll need:
3 or 4 felt rectangles, 12" x 6" each
Needle and thread (or sewing machine)
OR if you don't sew...fabric glue
Fabric scraps that have pictures for kids...letters, numbers, animals, automobiles, etc. (See photo below)

Select the pictures that you want to include in the book and trim around each one

Lay out the felt rectangles and arrange one or two pictures on each "page" (the right 1/2 of each rectangle will be a book page). Glue or sew the pictures in place. Cut small felt squares/rectangles to cover each picture. Stitch or glue each one in place to make a "lift-a-flap." Choose your favorite picture for the front cover of the book and secure it in place by stitching or gluing.
Stack the rectangles and fold them to make the book. Hand stitch the left edge of the book making sure that all of the inside pieces of felt are stitched in place (see photo above). Here's how my homemade baby gift turned out!
Looking through books with baby is a wonderful way to teach various language concepts, colors, numbers, letters, etc. When your child lifts each flap to reveal the picture, he is learning about object permanence. This is also a wonderful activity to work on pointing skills.