Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Prevent Learning Regression During the Summer

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

As the parent or family member of a special needs child, you work very hard during the school year to help your child adjust to the routine, feel comfortable in a school environment, and practice important skills with his or her peers. It can then be understandably difficult to help your child adjust to the end of the school year routine and a new summer schedule. It may also be a time of anxiety for you, as you fear your child might regress in some of his or her developmental learning skills. Here are a few ways to prevent regression during your child’s summer break from school:

  • Maintain a routine. Though summer break is intended in part as a break from routine, for children with special needs, maintaining a routine is absolutely essential. While there will likely be some variables in your summer schedule, try to establish a daily schedule as best you can. Post the schedule in a place where it is visible to everyone in the family and include segments of time for any learning activities you wish to incorporate, such as an art project, science experiment or reading together. This will help you maintain a consistent routine for your child throughout the summer.
  • Take advantage of many learning opportunities in Northeast Ohio. Whether it’s a special program at the Cleveland or Akron Zoo, a storytime at your local library, or an outdoor hike or class at one of the Cleveland MetroParks, the Northeast Ohio region offers a variety of programming for children and families to enjoy through the summer. Try to find a couple activities that best fit your family and incorporate them into your summer plans. These programs are usually great learning opportunities—and lots of fun! If you’re looking for other ideas to have fun and create new learning experiences at home, the summer edition of Parenting Special Needs Magazine has lots of ideas, like camping, backyard obstacle courses or outdoor water play.
  • Register for a summer camp. You may not realize there are summer camps designed especially for children with special needs as a way of helping them maintain and continue to build on important developmental and social skills throughout the summer break. Peak Potential Therapy offers a variety of camps in Northeast Ohio; while registration for 2017 filled quickly, there are several weeks of camps with spaces still remaining or waitlists started.

If you have questions or concerns about how your child will adapt to a new summer routine, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Peak Potential Therapy. We’re here to help and provide whatever guidance we can.

 

 

May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month!

Posted on: May 21st, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

At Peak Potential Therapy, we are proud to recognize and participate in Better Hearing and Speech Month during the month of May. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) uses this month to raise awareness about communication disorders and the resources that exist to provide life-altering treatment.

Their theme for this year is, “Communication: The Key to Connection.” We believe in this theme at Peak Potential Therapy, as communication is the foundation to much of our work. When parents, caregivers, therapists, teachers and administrators are all in communication and working together on behalf of a child, amazing progress can be made. We also work with children to help them learn how to best communicate with those around them and navigate their daily environment.

The ASHA has many resources available online and will be continuing to update during each week of May. Check out resources like Kids and Autism: How Speech-Language Pathologists Help and Preventing Hearing Loss: 8 Tips for Noisy Environments.

At Peak Potential Therapy, we also provide a variety of resources for children who are experiencing a speech, language or fluency disorder. If you are not sure if your child is experiencing a speech delay or disorder, start by taking one of our speech-language self evaluations. This can be the first step toward contacting your doctor or a therapist for a formal assessment, which we strongly recommend.

To learn more about our speech therapy services, please complete an intake form and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your child’s unique needs and goals.

5 Features of a Fantastic Transdisciplinary Team

Posted on: April 11th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

Are you seeking a fantastic therapy team to work with your child? There are several factors to look for when choosing a transdisciplinary team:

Family members are integrated and engaged in your child’s therapy.

We believe that family members should be integrated into a child’s therapy. At Peak Potential Therapy, we value our clients’ families as active members of our team and look for ways to collaborate with parents and engage a child’s entire family in therapy when possible.

Therapists are committed to ongoing training and learning.

A fantastic therapy team will understand that there is no end to learning new skills. Therapists should be committed to training each other in their specific areas of expertise and engaged in ongoing learning opportunities. We also try to blend our skillset with expertise and knowledge we have obtained from other disciplines.

The focus is on achieving an integrated outcome for your child.

A strong transdisciplinary team will be committed to using a variety of methods to create the best possible outcome for your child. When there is a collaborative approach to your child’s treatment plan, all aspects of therapy can be integrated to best contribute to a functional lifestyle.

The treatment plan is unique, customized and individualized to meet the needs of your child.

Again, achieving this relies on collaboration among family members, therapists, and other professionals. When everyone works together, including the family, who can best speak to their child’s unique needs and skills, a stronger plan will be created.

Therapy allows generalization to occur naturally.

At Peak Potential Therapy, we provide therapy services in a variety of environments—at home, at our therapy center, out in the community—and with multiple team members. This helps generalization to your child’s regular environment occur naturally. When all of these factors are in place, your child will learn more efficiently and effectively, be able to carry new skills into other settings, and receive consistent guidance and support from his or her therapy team.

A Helpful Reading Comprehension Resource

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

We wanted to share highlights from a reading comprehension resource from Reading Rockets. If children do not have a strong background in several basic skills, they will not be able to achieve reading comprehension. The article details the following skills that should be worked on with children:

  • Decoding
    The ability for a child to read a word by translating letters into the sounds of spoken language
  • Vocabulary
    The words a child must understand to communicate, and read, effectively
  • World knowledge
    A child’s knowledge of the world that may influence their reading comprehension
  • Active comprehension strategies
    Helping a child think aloud and remain active as they read a text
  • Monitoring
    Teaching children to monitor their comprehension as they read and seek clarification through re-reading

As parents and family members help their child develop strong reading comprehension, practicing these skills will be essential. For more information, read the entire article at Reading Rockets.

The speech-language pathologists at Peak Potential Therapy can help your child become a better reader. Contact us to get started with a free Intake Session.

 

Register for 2017 SMILE Summer Camp

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

It’s that time of year again! Registration is open for our popular SMILE Summer Camp, a therapeutic day camp led by a speech-language therapist. Join us this summer as we engage in structured learning activities and take daily field trips across Northeast Ohio, including mini golf, bowling, swimming, the Cleveland Metroparks & Zoo, Sky Zone and many other destinations.

Camp sessions begin on May 30 and run through the summer until August 25 for three age groups: ages 4-8, ages 8-12, and ages 13-18. However, age groups are not definitive—all ages are accepted all weeks depending on both the family’s and therapist’s recommendation and approval.

Registration is still open for most weeks, though several have already filled. Spaces fill up quickly because we keep it limited to just 6 spaces per week to maintain a low ratio of campers to one speech therapist and one assistant.

Get the details on this year’s dates and register your child today!

3 Tips to Follow Your Child’s IEP Process

Posted on: January 26th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

A lot of time and effort goes into preparing your child’s Individualized Education Plan. But once you’ve had the initial IEP meeting with your child’s teachers, aides and other school administrators and the plan is officially in action, what should you be doing? Here are three tips:

  • Read the progress reports carefully. When you review your child’s progress reports, look for signs or indicators of progress. These may be evident in the adjectives or specific percentages used in the report, i.e. “multiple times” vs. “a few times.” If you do not see evidence of progress, it may be time to call an IEP meeting to review lack of progress, have a discussion with your child’s IEP team to discuss why, and open up options of how to move forward. Consider possibilities such as changing the method of instruction, adding in visual supports, chunking tasks, adding in breaks, increasing services provided or incorporating sensory input during instruction.
  • Make sure your child is receiving adequate supports and services. The purpose of an IEP is to tailor supports and services to your child’s unique needs. When you have any concerns that your child isn’t receiving the agreed upon supports, start by reaching out to a teacher or administrator at the school to have a discussion. If action is not being taken or your child’s IEP is not being followed, then put requests in writing to maintain a paper trail. The IEP is a legal document and the school must follow all that it states. Remember that the minutes for services are the minimum that need to be provided.
  • Remember that the IEP is responsible for home, school and community. Most IEPs focus only on the school environment. If you need help in the home or when you take your child into the community, bring this to the attention of the IEP team. Goals and supports can be put in place to help your child progress in any setting.

Peak Potential Therapy can offer support with IEP planning and progress. Please contact our team to learn more about our services.

Robots Helping Children with Autism Navigate Social Situations

Posted on: January 26th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

Socializing with robots may sound unusual, but George Washington University researchers have been helping children with autism do just that. Interactive, humanoid robots are able to communicate with children on the autism spectrum, analyze their actions and respond in ways that reinforce the child’s social skills.

Kevin Pelphrey, the director of the Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders Institute at George Washington University and the parent of a child with autism, writes:

“These robots engage children socially in a safe setting, providing practice in social skills. They also may enhance ‘brain readiness’ for social training, maximizing the benefits of evidence-based behavioral interventions. Children who might otherwise be reluctant to enter a social situation often feel comfortable interacting with a robot, which is more predictable and nonjudgmental.”

You can read the full article from Spectrum.

While our Center does not have robots, we do have opportunities for your child to engage with his or her peers in a social setting, practicing important skills in a comfortable environment with a licensed therapist. Our social skills groups are ideal for children and teens alike. Contact us to learn about upcoming sessions and reserve your child’s spot.

3 Things to Know About Online Speech Therapy

Posted on: January 11th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

At Peak Potential Therapy, we feel very strongly that any child or young adult in need of speech-language therapy should have access to working with an experienced specialist, regardless of his or her proximity to a specific center or office building. That’s why Peak Potential Therapy is licensed to practice online speech therapy in the state of Ohio. We can now work with children online whether they live close to our Twinsburg center but are homebound, they live outside of our immediate service area, perhaps in Ashtabula, Warren, or Canton, or they live as far away as Southeast, Southwest, or Northwest Ohio. If you live in the state of Ohio and are seeking a clinical speech therapist professional where you live, the team at Peak Potential Therapy is now an option for you and your child.

Many parents have questions about how online speech therapy programs work and whether online speech therapy has the same effectiveness as an in-person session. Here are three things we want you to know about the online speech therapy services provided by Peak Potential Therapy in Ohio:

  1. Online speech therapy treats the same speech, language, and fluency disorders as our in-person speech therapy sessions do. We practice online speech therapy with children who have difficulty making speech sounds, have problems with language understanding and expression, or have disfluency, apraxia or other delays.
  2. The quality of online speech therapy programs is the same as in-person therapy. We use video communication tools—similar to Skype or FaceTime—through an interactive webinar platform to engage and interact with your child. We can digitally post worksheets and games through the platform.
  3. Every child, whether we work with him or her online or in-person, receives the same degree of care and attention from our therapists. The only difference is that instead of sitting across from each other in person, we are “virtually” sitting across from each other using a computer!

If you are curious about our online speech therapy services, please do not hesitate to give us a call to speak with Holly or another member of our team. We’re happy to answer your questions.

Our Clients Created Their Own Cartoon at the Twinsburg Library

Posted on: January 6th, 2017 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

Several of our clients recently had a wonderful time learning about the digital animation process at the Twinsburg Library, where we created our very own cartoon! Using the resources in the Library’s Creative Lab—which has a variety of hardware and software programs available to the public—Miss Shannon spent time every Monday teaching our group about digital animation through a program called Moovly. The project was an incredible opportunity for our teens to practice their teamwork and collaboration skills while trying something completely new—and fun!

During the project, we learned how to take pictures in front of a green screen, edit and incorporate people into the cartoon, as well as learned about copyright usage laws. As a group, we spent five 2-hour long sessions to make a 3-minute cartoon, doing all the work including creating the plot, animation, voice recordings of our script and the editing.

You can download and watch our finished Mario cartoon here.

Great job teens and thanks again to Miss Shannon and the Twinsburg Library!

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Speech Therapy?

Posted on: December 14th, 2016 by Peak Potential Therapy No Comments

“How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?”

This is a question that many parents ask, some when their children are just toddlers, others when their child is preschool age or older.

While every child is unique, we do work with many children at Peak Potential Therapy who share similar challenges with speech. However, many parents do not realize the breadth of challenges that speech-language therapy can help with. Our speech-language therapists not only work with children with delays or impediments to speech, but a range of other issues, including language comprehension.

If you are unsure whether your child needs speech therapy, consider whether any of the following statements are true.

  • My child cannot make speech sounds—or cannot make them clearly. Your child may be completely non-verbal, or just beginning to speak, but not in a way that you and your family can understand.
  • My child has problems understanding language. Your child may not only be struggling to produce language, but also struggling with language comprehension.
  • My child has a speech rhythm problem. Stuttering and stammering are both fluency disorders, caused by a behavior that is interrupting the flow of speech.
  • My child has difficultly eating and swallowing. If your child struggles to eat and swallow, he or she may have a disorder such as dysphagia, which also affects speech.

These are just a few of the possible indicators that your child is a candidate for speech-language therapy. If you are seeking experienced speech-language therapists in the Akron-Cleveland area, please contact Peak Potential Therapy. We work with children from toddler age to young adults and can hold sessions at our center in Twinsburg, in your home within a certain distance of our center, or online for residents in Ohio. Register your child today or call our team to learn more.