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The Five Essential Components of Evidence-Based Reading

Posted on: December 21st, 2018 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

Hands Following Along in a Book

Peak Potential Therapy is proud to incorporate an evidence-based reading strategy PRIDE Reading.

If your child is struggling with reading, the PRIDE reading program may be able to help him or her. The PRIDE reading program is an evidence-based program that is made up of five major components as detailed below.

PRIDE reading falls under the category of a group of reading strategies that are known as evidence-based reading programs. The name lays out the definition succinctly. Simply put, “evidence-based reading instruction can be defined as a particular approach, a specific strategy, or an instructional method which has had a record of success (International Reading Association).” But, of course, it’s a little more complex than that.

While there are nine total components of evidence-based reading, five are considered “major” components. The reason that these are important is that new dyslexia laws passed in many (but not all states) use these components to legally define the traits of evidence-based reading. These are the five components that make up the major components of evidence-based reading instruction:

1. Phonemic Awareness Instruction
This is the concept that enables us to see that words are comprised of individual sounds that are blended together for reading but then pulled apart for spelling. This is a critical skill that is important for all readers and is especially reinforced in kindergarten and first grade.

2. Systematic Phonics Instruction
If a student can decode, then they can comprehend (Richland).” That’s why systematic phonics is so important. This is the understanding that individual sounds are represented by letters or groups of letters. The ability to use those sounds to decode words is what the National Reading Panel refers to as systematic phonics.

3. Fluency Instruction
Accuracy, reading rate and reading expression make up reading fluency. Accuracy, the basepoint of fluency, is learned with system phonics, and reading rate and reading expression come soon after.

4. Vocabulary Instruction
Understanding what individual words mean is the crux of vocabulary instruction. Without this basic comprehension of individual words, it’s impossible to understand larger selections and, thus, impossible to read and know what you just read.

5. Comprehension Instruction
Understanding connected text as the ultimate goal of reading is what the National Reading Panel refers to as comprehension instruction. Reading comprehension is a complex, active process that requires intent and thought as the reader interprets the text. Without vocabulary development and instruction play, comprehension cannot take place.

There are more components to evidence-based reading, but these are the five deemed most critical by most states. PRIDE reading fits all definitions, and we are proud to offer PRIDE Reading instruction at Peak Potential Therapy. If you think your child could benefit from PRIDE Instruction, contact us to set up a consultation. We look forward to meeting them and helping them reach their peak potential.

Contact Peak Potential Therapy Today

How To Help Your Child Enjoy Their Turkey Day

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

Ah, Turkey Day.  Time to turn on some parades, enjoy some great food and enjoy a football game with the family.  The traditions on Thanksgiving are just about universal at this point.  But to a child with ASD, what is a “routine” holiday is anything but a routine day for them.

You’ll see a recurring theme in blogs about helping kids on the spectrum: repetition.  Kids generally like schedules and routines.  Kids with ASD LOVE them, and any change, even one with the potential of a lot of fun like a holiday, can be stressful.

So how do you take the stress out of Turkey Day for your child on the autism spectrum?

1. Get Ready In Advance.
Let your child know ahead of time how the day will unfold.  Let them help make the schedule and include an activity or two that is something you know they will enjoy.  Keep the schedule as close to normal as you can, and include time to decompress in between activities as the day allows.

2. Make Sure Your Child Gets To Participate When They Want To.
What is a chore to an adult, like baking a pie or washing dishes, can be a lot of fun for your child. Let them find their spots where they would like to participate and reward them for helping and staying on task.

3. Thanksgiving Can Also Be Chicken Nugget Day.
If your child doesn’t particularly like turkey, don’t force it.  Have an alternate meal ready to go to avoid stressing them out about food.  This is an easy fix and there will be plenty of other things going on that are stressful.  Don’t make food one of them.

4.Give Your Child An Escape Route.
Sensory overload can come on fast.  Make sure your child has an easy escape route from the table if necessary, as well as a quiet spot to go and calm down if things get to be too much.

 Peak Potential Therapy is thankful to have the opportunity to help so many wonderful children grow with our programs.  Contact us to get ready for our exciting winter programs as well as all of our year-round therapy-based programs!

How to Make Halloween A Treat For Your Child On The Autism Spectrum

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

Halloween and Trick-Or-Treating can be an absolutely wonderful and fun experience. But for children on the autism spectrum it can be overwhelming, and in some cases, terrifying and disorienting.  Does this mean that your child shouldn’t be able to participate in the festivities?  Not necessarily.

As with many activities, a little pre-planning and preparation goes a long way towards turning the night into a great experience for your child on the spectrum!  Here are some tips to make trick-or-treat night memorable for all of the right reasons:

  • Create some visual aids to let your kids know what to expect.

Children on the autism spectrum tend to understand concepts better when they see them, rather than when they just hear them.  Make a storyboard or have your child help you make a poster that shows what trick-or-treat is all about before you head out for candy.

  • Practice makes perfect.

Don’t wait until trick-or-treat night to go through the process of going door to door.  Schedule a dry run the day before and practice going to the neighbor’s house and ringing the doorbell without all of the other kids in costume around to create a distraction.  Familiarity will breed confidence when it comes to the real thing.

  • Costumes aren’t for everybody.

If clothing is a problem on a normal day, there’s no reason to think they won’t be an issue on Halloween.  Start with a simple costume that can be added to regular clothes.  Perhaps just a different hat or a police badge, as examples, might be enough to get the point of a costume across.  If your child wants to try a costume out, have them wear it around the house in small increments leading up to Halloween so they can get used to it.  If your child is adamant about not wearing a costume, don’t force it.

Peak Potential Therapy is dedicated to helping you and your children on the Autism spectrum enjoy every day to the fullest.  Let us help you find innovative solutions, whether at school or at home, to provide real world learning opportunities for you and your child. If you’re not sure how to get started, contact Peak Potential Therapy and speak with someone who would be happy to help answer your questions. a new lifestyle for you and your child on the spectrum.

3 Easy Ways to Help Your Young Child with Speech Therapy

Posted on: October 5th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

There are many things we still need to understand about helping children with Autism.  Every day we get closer and closer to many of the answers we’ve searched for since the first diagnosis of the spectrum, and yet there is so much to learn.  One thing is for certain, there are more techniques available today than ever before to help you and your child grown and learn.  Speech therapy has emerged as one of the most important and effective techniques for helping a child on the autism spectrum communicate and express emotions that can be difficult to get out.

There are so many great resources out there to research speech therapy techniques for your child, but here are three basic speech therapy techniques for elementary school children on the autism spectrum:

1. Have your child visualize their feelings.

Children on the autism spectrum see the world vividly.  To help them develop language based responses to how they feel, you can start by having them show you their feelings with drawings or illustrations.

2. Tailor your discussions to what they like to talk about.

If your little one is really into comic books, use this to your advantage.  If they get really excited about a particular cartoon on television, or there is an activity they really like to do, use this to help get the ball rolling for speech therapy.   The attention span of a child on the autism spectrum can be short, so you have to maximize the time you have by focusing on subjects that are interesting for your child.

3. There is strength in numbers.

If you have the opportunity to get a couple of kids together to work on their speech therapy in a group, they will benefit.  They can learn to ask each other questions to find out answers they are looking for, and even learn how to express emotions through body language.

Peak Potential Therapy can help you learn effective speech therapy techniques to practice with your child so you can continue to help them grow at home.  We will work with you, your child’s teachers and school staff and anyone else involved in your child’s life to make sure that you are all working together.  Contact Peak Potential Therapy today and let us help you understand and apply speech therapy techniques that work for your child on the autism spectrum.

3 Amazing Autumn Experiences For Your Child On The Autism Spectrum

Posted on: October 4th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

For many residents of Northeast Ohio, fall is the best time of year.  We are fortunate to have beautiful foliage that changes colors and although we know that the winter snow is near, it’s nice to have a transition from the summer sun to the ski slopes.

Autumn can be a wonderful season for kids on the Autism spectrum as well.  Sensory stimulation is so important to development, and there is plenty to take in around this time of year.

Here are some keys to helping your child on the spectrum get the most out of the fall season:

  1. Get out and enjoy the leaves.Driving by the leaves is great, but if your child isn’t playing in the leaves, he or she is missing out on some great sensory opportunities.  Leaves smell terrific.  Leaves feel amazing.  Leaves sound stupendous.  Don’t miss the chance to let your child enjoy all of those sensations.
  2. Do some yard work.Kids on the spectrum love structure and accomplishing tasks.  If you have a huge property and need to rake, try breaking the job into smaller, more attainable goals.  Start with a small section, take a break to enjoy some leaves, and then move on to the next task. And always remember to let the praise pile up higher than the leaves do! Reinforcing positive behavior is key to behavioral development.
  3. Find a hayride.Hayrides pop up all over Northeast Ohio and they can be a great place to find activities to stimulate the senses.  The ride itself may not be something your child enjoys, but that’s only part of the fun.  Many times there are giant sandboxes filled with corn to play in, as an example.  What a great tactile sensation.  There are often opportunities to see some animals, and even sitting on a big stack of hay bales can be a unique experience. Lots of great chances for social skill training too!

Peak Potential Therapy believes that growth and development can happen anywhere.  Our approach is to take the learning where your child will benefit the most, so if that means in school therapy, or therapy around your home this fall, we’ll develop a program to help your child get the most out of this autumn, and the most out of life!  Contact us today, and find out how Peak Potential Therapy can change the way your child sees the world.

Teaching The Spectrum – How To Reach Children With Autism

Posted on: September 28th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

School is in full swing and it’s time to work on development plans for the education of young minds who are on the Autism spectrum.  Here are some basic habits that you can practice to create a great environment for learning:

  1. Structure is key.

Many children on the spectrum have  ADHD symptoms and sensory issues to compete with, so keeping them on task is important.  Keeping on track can be a challenge, but using structure to define goals can help with focus. Be consistent with scheduling and stick to it.

  1. Work with any teachers or tutors that might be involved.

Just like parents need to be on the same page when it comes to discipline or rules for their kids, everyone involved in the academic life of a child on the spectrum needs to be aware of the action plan for development.  Another person might be achieving success using a technique that you didn’t know existed.  Everyone needs to be in the loop.

  1. Peer to peer tutoring can help.

If your child is in a traditional classroom setting, it might be a challenge for the teacher to dedicate time to individual attention for that child.  You might want to suggest peer tutoring as an option. One-on-one peer tutoring can be very effective because often a child with Autism will mimic the actions of their peers and benefit from seeing the way they work and handle social situations.

  1. Use visual aids when possible.

Sometimes a child can tune out verbal cues or have problems retaining attention during spoken instruction.  Using visual aids can help refocus attention and can help block out distraction.

  1. Sign language can help the non-verbal learner.

If you have a non-verbal child, sign language can be a huge asset.  Non-verbal children tend to respond well to hand motions, so knowing sign language can be a valuable tool in communicating.

  1. Use the child’s interests to help teach other areas.

This is a great way to get the most out of your child’s attention span.  If he or she doesn’t like math, but loves music, incorporate song into your math lessons when possible.  If your child likes to paint, try to find a way to match difficult concepts from other subjects with that visual element. You will get a much better response and find your child paying attention for a longer duration if you can dial in to what excites them.

  1. Set clear goals.

Make everything transparent in terms of benchmarks to attain.  Also remember to set goals that make sense.  If a child averages 10 minutes of optimal focus for a task, don’t expect them to complete a 30 minute project.  Break that larger project into smaller segments to make the goal attainable.

  1. Heap praise and reward.

Children on the spectrum revel in praise.  Make sure to use positive reinforcement techniques whenever applicable and reward even small task completion.

  1. Be consistent with consequences.

You really have to mean what you say, and be prepared to stick to it.  You can’t say things like “We aren’t leaving until you finish,” unless you are prepared to stay all day.  Make sure that your consequences are actionable, close ended and attainable.

 

If you have a child with special needs and are looking for help, we are here.  Peak Potential Therapy believes that therapy should take place wherever it is most needed, whether that is at home or in the classroom.

We will work with you as well as the teachers and staff at your child’s school or daycare to make sure that your student has the most successful action plan possible in place.  Contact us today and let us get started making a difference in your child’s life.

3 Amazing Autumn Experiences For Your Child On The Autism Spectrum

Posted on: September 25th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

For many residents of Northeast Ohio, fall is the best time of year.  We are fortunate to have beautiful foliage that changes colors and although we know that the winter snow is near, it’s nice to have a transition from the summer sun to the ski slopes.

Autumn can be a wonderful season for kids on the Autism spectrum as well.  Sensory stimulation is so important to development, and there is plenty to take in around this time of year.

Here are some keys to helping your child on the spectrum get the most out of the fall season:

Get out and enjoy the leaves.

Driving by the leaves is great, but if your child isn’t playing in the leaves, he or she is missing out on some great sensory opportunities.  Leaves smell terrific.  Leaves feel amazing.  Leaves sound stupendous.  Don’t miss the chance to let your child enjoy all of those sensations.

Do some yard work.

Kids on the spectrum love structure and accomplishing tasks.  If you have a huge property and need to rake, try breaking the job into smaller, more attainable goals.  Start with a small section, take a break to enjoy some leaves, and then move on to the next task. And always remember to let the praise pile up higher than the leaves do! Reinforcing positive behavior is key to behavioral development.

Find a hayride.

Hayrides pop up all over Northeast Ohio and they can be a great place to find activities to stimulate the senses.  The ride itself may not be something your child enjoys, but that’s only part of the fun.  Many times there are giant sandboxes filled with corn to play in, as an example.  What a great tactile sensation.  There are often opportunities to see some animals, and even sitting on a big stack of hay bales can be a unique experience. Lots of great chances for social skill training too!

Peak Potential Therapy believes that growth and development can happen anywhere.  Our approach is to take the learning where your child will benefit the most, so if that means in school therapy, or therapy around your home this fall, we’ll develop a program to help your child get the most out of this autumn, and the most out of life!  Contact us today, and find out how Peak Potential Therapy can change the way your child sees the world.

 

Back to School Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Posted on: August 9th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

As they always seem to do, June and July have flown by in a flurry, filled with family gatherings, vacations, play dates, outings and much more. Perhaps your child participated in one of our Summer Camps and enjoyed experiencing new sights and activities across Greater Cleveland. However your family spent the summer, we hope you had a lot of fun—and some relaxation! While there are still a few weeks of summer break left, August has arrived, which means many children will be soon heading back to school.

This is an exciting time, but it can also be an anxious time of year for you as a parent, particularly if your child has special needs. There are jitters about your child adjusting back into the school routine, working with a new teacher, and socializing with a new group of peers. Keep these tips in mind to ease some of your anxieties and reduce your stress during this hectic back to school season:

Have a plan for organization. After the first day of school, your calendar will begin to fill up with IEP meetings, conferences with your child’s aides or teachers, school events and activities, and the list goes on. Along with a busy calendar comes a lot of paperwork! You will want to have a system already in place to store your documents, whether it is a filing cabinet or a special binder. It is easier to stay organized from day one rather than trying to organize an overwhelming pile of documents later on.

Remind your child and your entire family of the school year routine. Instead of waiting until the morning of the first day of school to discuss the routine, talk about it regularly as a family and practice it before school begins. This will help your child adjust to earlier bedtimes, earlier alarm clocks, and other changes to the summer routine.

Participate in Back to School events. Many schools will hold events like an Open House or a Meet the Teachers Day that are optional to attend, but may be a real benefit to you and your child. These are great opportunities for your child to become refamiliarized with the school environment and routine, such as being dropped off by a parent or the school bus, walking to his classroom, greeting his teacher, finding his seat, and so on. If for some reason your school does not offer any events prior to the first day of school, consider calling the principal or school administrator and requesting a time when you and your son or daughter could visit.

Remember to stay positive! We know this sounds easier than it really is sometimes, but a positive attitude is so essential to starting the new school year on the right track. Try to embrace the changes and opportunities that a new school year brings, which will in turn help your child feel more positive and confident in navigating the challenges of heading back to school.

Let us know how we can help! The experienced therapists at Peak Potential Therapy are here to provide support to you and your child during the school year. Contact us with questions or concerns.

Our New Overview Video

Posted on: June 14th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

We are so excited to share our new overview video, detailing our services and introducing our team members. At Peak Potential Therapy, we provide speech therapy, ABA therapy, educational tutoring services, and a variety of day camps to children with special needs or disabilities in Northeast Ohio. We believe in a family-focused approach and support your child through fun and meaningful activities.

If you are interested in learning more or signing your child up for services, please contact our team and submit a new client intake form.

3 Benefits of Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Posted on: June 1st, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

Many of our clients express uncertainty about how early is “too early” to start their child in speech-language therapy. The easiest answer is that it is never too early to begin—research actually shows that speech therapy is most effective when children are less than 3 years old. There are many benefits to early intervention:

  • Speech therapy is really about helping your child be able to communicate effectively, interact with others, and understand the world around him or her. The longer you wait to begin therapy, the more likely a communication disorder is to have a long-term effect on your child’s social development, relationships with peers and ultimately, their ability to learn.
  • By starting your child in speech therapy early, you can avoid more significant speech problems later on. After beginning therapy, you will soon notice a change in your young child’s ability to communicate.
  • Siblings of children with speech delays or issues are more likely to have a speech problem as well, as it tends to run in families. Evaluating your child early, and proactively starting therapy early, will only benefit your child in the future.

If you have questions about whether your child needs speech therapy, please don’t hesitate to contact our team directly, submit a client intake form, or start with a self-evaluation of your child at home before scheduling a formal assessment with your pediatrician.