Teens and Virtual Therapy

How Can Virtual Therapy Benefit Teens?

The pressure on teens is very high. There are social pressures, academic pressures, family responsibilities, and more. The teen years are also a very confusing time. They are a time to break away from parents, but kids this age also need their parents. The teen years are even more complex when a child faces one of the following mental disorders:The Benefits of Virtual Therapy for Teens

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Learning issues
  • Social issues
  • Family issues
  • ADHD

Teens in general feel very comfortable with the virtual world.  Many of their homework assignments are turned in virtually, and much of their social communication is done virtually. It makes sense that Virtual Therapy (also known as Tele Therapy) can be a comfortable and productive way to help support a teen with their many pressures.  For a teen who may be resistant to regular therapy, Virtual Therapy is a great way to help him get used to the therapeutic relationship and to help him see how it could benefit him.

Through Virtual Therapy, a teen can learn how to deal with his busy life by having a safe, comfortable place to share and solve problems.


Find Out More About Tele Therapy

 

college and tele therapy

How Can Virtual Therapy Benefit a Child Going to College?

Going to college is one of the biggest changes in a young person’s life. There is excitement mixed with trepidation. There is new found independence mixed with sometimes too much independence. There is a whole different way of learning.

This change alone can cause many emotional issues and stress for a young adult. Many times, aThe Benefits of Virtual Therapy for College Students child enters college with identified social emotional issues as well, and must somehow face all of the above stressors out of the comfort of his own home.

The college years are also a time when many questions arise. Kids being to think about the following:

  • Where should I live?
  • Should I continue in school?
  • Am I ready to settle on a career?
  • Should I get married?

If these stressors are too much for a college student, Virutal Therapy (also know as Tele Therapy) can help.  Virtual therapy can help a person during and after college deal with some very tough choices and stressors in their life.  By providing therapy virtually, it is easier to fit in one’s schedule and helps to take away from the stigma of “going” to therapy.

Find Out More About Tele Therapy

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

How Can Virtual Therapy Benefit a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder?

As with any diagnosis, there are no two cases alike. People can have the same “label” or diagnosis, butHow Virtual Therapy Can Help People With Autism this label can be exhibited in very different ways.  This is also true for the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). An ASD diagnosis has a spectrum of variables and intensity of behaviors. The patterns of behavior that are affected are common for all diagnosed, and these common variables include the following:

Common Variables for All Autism Spectrum Diagnoses:

  • Problems with communication
  • Problems with social interaction
  • Repetitive thoughts, interests and / or physical behaviors

There are many therapies that can help a child and family with ASD.  Speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy are just a few of the common therapies.

Virtual therapy (also known as Tele Therapy) can also help. Through virtual therapy, a child, adolescent, or adult with ASD can learn what is needed to manage a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Social interaction can be improved by specific guidance and strategy.  Helping a person with ASD tell their story through virtual therapy can be empowering and vital to their growth as well and can be administered in the comfort of the patient’s own home.

Virtual therapy is one tool that can help a person with ASD grow and meet his potential.

Find Out More About Tele Therapy

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Finding the Right Treatment for Your Child

Choosing the Right Treatment for Your Child: Evidence-Based Practices

Trying to decide which treatments would provide the best outcomes for your child can be a difficult and overwhelming process. You want your child to receive the most effective treatment option but what determines whether or not a treatment is effective? If it worked for other children with similar problems, will it work for your child? Is there research or evidence to support the effectiveness of this treatment?Choosing The Best Treatment For Your Child: Evidence-Based Treatments All of these questions are important and relevant questions to ask yourself when it comes to finding the right treatment for your child. Although it is strongly recommended to address these questions and concerns with your child’s clinician, one way to learn more about effective treatments is by familiarizing yourself with Evidence-Based Practices (EBP).

What are Evidence-Based Practices?

Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) are well-established treatments because they are strongly supported by evidence from research studies that are designed to evaluate their effectiveness.  Specifically, when a treatment is identified as an EBP it means that the treatment has been studied in a community or academic setting and has been proven to show positive treatment outcomes in multiple studies conducted by multiple research teams. Additionally, EBPs are client-centered because they are treatments that are designed to integrate research evidence, clinical expertise, and client/patient/family values, preferences, culture, and environment.

What Are Current Evidence-Based Practices?

The table below provides a brief list of EBPs for specific child and adolescent disorders:

 

Diagnosis Evidence-Based Practice
Anxiety Ages 9-18 Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Ages 3-17 Exposure Therapy

Ages 3-13 Modeling Therapy

ADHD Ages 3-12 Behavior Therapy (in home and in school)

Ages 3-16 Parent Management Training

*The combination of behavior therapy and medication is often most effective in treating ADHD

Autism Spectrum Disorder Ages 3-13 Behavior Therapy

Ages 3-13 Individual and family therapies that target   communication skills, interaction skills, and behavior modification

Bipolar Disorder No controlled studies of psychosocial interventions for youth with bipolar disorder have been done. However, behavior therapy, family education, and support benefit youth and families and improve relationships, communication, and coping skills.
Conduct Disorder Ages 3-15 Parent Training

Ages 9-15 Anger Coping Therapy

Ages 6-17 Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT)

Ages 13-16 Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Ages 9-18 Treatment Foster Care (TFC)

Ages 12-17 Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

Ages 12-17 Mentoring

Ages 9-18 CBT

Depression Ages 9-18 CBT

Ages 11-18 Relaxation Therapy

Ages 12-18 Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Ages 12-18 Family Education and Support

Schizophrenia No controlled studies of psychosocial interventions for youth with schizophrenia have been done. However, behavior therapy, family education, and support benefit youth and families and improve relationships, communication, and coping skills.
Substance Use Ages 9-18 CBT

Community Reinforcement

Family Therapy

 

Online Resources on Evidence Based Practices

The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Division 53 of the American Psychological Association) offers clinicians and parents access to a variety of online video resources on EBPs, which also includes a more recently developed YouTube channel titled: Effective Child Therapy Resource Library. Along with providing par

ents and clinicians with a variety of free videos, these online resources cover a wide range of topics pertaining to EBPs for children and adolescents including:

These video resources provide parents with interviews conducted with experts in child and adolescent psychology. Experts provide brief discussions on specific issues such as, treating specific disorders, identifying certain behaviors (to determine whether or not your child might have a problem), as well as evidence-based treatment options. The videos also provide additional links to related videos and PDFs that offer parents more information regarding the specific topic.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Teach Your Child to Pay it Forward

Teach Your Child to Pay It Forward

I get comments all the time like, “You are so mature for your age.” or “You have an old soul.” or “I can’t believe you’re a millennial!” Apparently someone in their 20s doing something kind or responsible comes as a big shock these days. It’s kind of sad. I’m living in a generation known as “Millennials,” but now the stereotype has grown to the point that we are also referred to as “The Entitlement Generation.” Children need to be taught about citizenship, community, and caring for others. Let’s work on bettering ourselves and our communities while teaching our children in the process.

Be the change you want to see in the World! – Mahatma Gandhi

Let’s show our kids how much good there is in the world, and how they can pay it forward. Random Acts of Kindness make the world a better place.

Ways to Teach Your Child to Pay it Forward:

  1. Lead by Example – Kids love “monkey see, monkey do” for a reason. They love to emulate thoseTeach Your Child To Pay It Forward that they look up to. Be the person you want your kids to respect. Show someone around you some kindness, and your kids will follow suit.
  2. Start Small – Let someone with a couple items in front of you in the checkout line, or hold a door for someone. Give someone a compliment or a nice note.
  3. Teach Empathy and Awareness – Watch a sad movie, read some books, or bring your kids to volunteer somewhere. Have a discussion afterwords about how thankful you are for the things you have and how life must be hard for the person or characters. When you go to the store or the mall, teach your kids to be aware of people around them. Something so simple can make a huge impact. Many people who act “entitled” may have just never learned to look at the world around them and see how their actions impact others.
  4. Help a Cause your Child Cares About – Is your little boy fascinated by firemen? Bake some cookies together and bring them to your local fire station. Your little one can meet his idols and may even get to slide down the firepole. Does your daughter want to be a doctor when she grows up? Look for a volunteer opportunity at a children’s hospital or your local pediatrician’s office. Does your child love GI Joe? Help him create a nice care package to send a random soldier. You can even find supplies at your local dollar store. – These are just a few examples, but there are so many possibilities. Keying  into your child’s interest will ensure he remembers it for a long time to come.
  5. Pass It Along – Encourage your child to go through his old toys to find things he doesn’t use anymore and donate them. Have a closet raiding “party” as a family and look for unused clothes or pantry item to donate.
  6. Make a Commitment – Work together as a family to come up with “pay it forward” ideas and goals. A good one might be that each family members agrees to find a way to pay it forward by the end of the week. At the end of the week everyone can share what they did, and how the experience made them feel.
  7. Keep a Balance – It’s good for your children to be happy when they help someone out, but make sure they learn the difference between doing something for someone else and doing it for themselves. If they want to do something for the praise they get afterward, then they haven’t really gotten the message. Paying it forward is about helping the other person. Doing this naturally feels good!

Pay it Forward has really become a movement in the last few years. I see stories every day about children asking for pet food donations to their local shelter instead of birthday presents, an endless line of people paying it forward in a Starbucks line, or people choosing to honor the memory of a loved one by holding a “Pay It Forward” day. It is so great to see these stories. They constantly inspire me to pay it forward myself, and hopefully this blog will help your family to do the same – to be the change!

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

speech therapy: a career

A Student’s Guide: How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist

As defined by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) a speech-language pathologist (SLP) works “to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.” The career of an SLP is very wide-ranging, yet overwhelmingly rewarding, as a person can work in a variety of different work settings and with varying populations of clients. For example, a SLP could work in clinics, schools, hospitals, or nursing homes, targeting skills in receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language, cognition, articulation and phonology, fluency, voice, feeding and swallowing.

The following are key points in the pathway of becoming a speech-language pathologist, starting at the undergraduate level to the Certificate of Clinical Competence.

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: A completed bachelor’s degree is necessary in order to be accepted into anSpeech Therapy: A Career accredited speech-language pathology master’s program. A student can complete their bachelor’s degree in any area, although majors in communication sciences and disorders or a related field would be ideal. It is smart to check the pre-requisites of graduate programs to ensure all necessary coursework is completed.
  1. Master’s Degree: It is required to obtain a master’s degree from an accredited Speech Language and Hearing Science master’s program. There are over 300 graduate programs that have been accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Use EdFind, ASHA’s online directory of undergraduate and graduate programs for speech-language pathology and audiology, to search for the graduate program that best fits you.

Typically, graduate programs take two years to complete. However, depending on the program and a student’s undergraduate degree, a graduate program could span the course of 3 years. It is also an option for a student to continue past their master’s degree and obtain a doctoral degree.

  1. Supervised Clinical Experience: Along with educational requirements, there are clinical hours that must be met before graduation from a master’s program. It is required that students complete 400 hours of supervised clinical experience (25 hours of clinical observation and 375 hours of direct client treatment).
  1. Clinical Fellowship (CF): Once a student has obtained their graduate degree, it is now time for them to enter into their clinical fellowship, which is meant to be a transition period between being a student to an independent therapy provider. During this time the clinical fellow has the support and supervision of their Clinical Fellowship Mentor. To find a CF position, search for job positions accepting CF-SLPs. A CF can be completed in 36 weeks if working full-time (35 hours per week). Part-time work can also be used to complete a CF, as long as the CF-SLP works more than 5 hours per week.
  1. Praxis Exam: The Praxis Exam is a requirement in order to receive your ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology. It is also necessary to be able to obtain a state professional licensure and state teacher credential. Typically, the Praxis Exam is taken during the last semester of your graduate program or shortly after graduation.
  1. Certificate of Clinical Competence: Once the previous requirements (as noted above) have been met, an individual can obtain a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). The credentials of CCC-SLP represent that individual has met certain academic and clinical skills to be competent in independently providing speech and language services.
  1. State License: Additionally, each state has varying licensure requirements. Majority of states require a state license in order to provide therapy. These requirements can be checked at ASHA.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

 

Developmental Milestones | The preschool years recording

THIS WORKSHOP, LED BY AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, BOARD CERTIFIED BEHAVIOR ANALYST AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST, WILL GUIDE YOU IN:

  • Social and Play Milestones: What to look for in the preschool years
  • Skill Development and Behavior: How Applied Behavior Analysis helps bridge the gap
  • Typical developmental milestones for receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language skills in children ages three through five
  • Learning the red flags pertaining to speech and language development to better understand possible deficits and delays in children three to five years of age
  • A better understanding of sensory processing
  • Obtaining information about motoric milestones for preschool aged children

Feeding Development: The First Year

Feeding your baby the first year is a big task. Below is a guide to what your baby can eat during this important first year.

*Please note, this is just a guide. Consult your physician for specific feeding instructions for your baby.

Feeding Guide-The First Year:

At 0-6 months, your baby can eat the following foods:

  • Breast/Bottle (0-13 months)
  • Thin Baby Food Cereal (5 months)
  • When first trying baby food your child may spit the food out… THIS IS OK. Children must learn how to safely get food out before learning to eat.
  • Eating comes FIRST, then comes manners. Exploring and getting messy with food is part of the process of learning to eat.
  • Thin Baby Food Puree/Stage 1 Baby Food (6 months)

Read our infant feeding series: Starting Solids.

At 7-9 months, your baby can eat the following foods:

  • Thicker Baby Food Cereals AND Thicker Baby Food Smooth Purees/Stage 2 Baby Food (7 months)Feeding Development: The First Year
  • Soft Mashable Table Foods AND Table Food Smooth Purees (8 months)
  • Hard Munchables (8 months)
  • These are hard textured foods for exploring only- NOT CONSUMPTION.
    • Examples: carrot stick, lollipop, hard dried fruit sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper strips,
  • Once a child can move her tongue around the munchable, she can transition to textured table food.
  • Some children will stick objects in their mouths and will not need hard munchables.
  • Hard munchables will help your child practice moving hard solid foods in her mouth, learn awareness of the mouth and become more familiar and comfortable with teeth brushing.
  • If children do not put things in their mouth, it can delay teeth eruption.
  • Meltable Hard Solids (9 months)
  • Melts in the mouth with saliva only (without pressure applied).
    • Examples: Gerber puffs, biter biscuits, graham crackers.
  • DO NOT USE CHEERIOS- Cheerios will shatter in a child’s mouth instead of melting.

Read our infant feeding series: How to Transition Your Child From Purees to More Textured Foods.

At 10-12 months, your baby can eat the following foods:

  • Soft Cubes (10 months)
  • Soft exterior but maintains its shape, needs tongue/munching pressure to break it apart.
    • Examples: Bananas, avocado, Gerber toddler cubes,
  • Soft Mechanical- single texture (11 months)
  • Soft exterior but maintains its shape, needs munching/grinding pressure to break it apart.
  • These foods will help your child learn how to chew food by using a circular chewing pattern.
  • Children need to be able to move food from their tongue to their back teeth to chew textured food.
    • Examples: soft lunch meats, pasta, cooked eggs
  • Soft Mechanical –Mixed (cube + puree) (12 months)
  • More than one of the above textures
    • Examples: macaroni and cheese, fish sticks, French fries, spaghetti, chicken nuggets
  • Your baby cannot eat a mixed textured food unless she can chew each texture individually.
  • Hard Mechanicals
  • Harder textured exterior food that needs grinding/rotary chew (circular chewing pattern) to break apart. These foods tend to shatter in the mouth.
  • Examples: cheerios, saltines, fritos, steak, fruit leathers

Read our infant feeding series: When Your Baby is Turing One Year Old.

Tips to Remember!

  • Eating is the most difficult sensory task that children do!
  • It’s hard to be neat when you are learning to eat.

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NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Books To Help Kids With Anxiety

Books To Help Your Child With Anxiety

There are so many books available today that talk about anxiety and children that it can be difficult to decipher which book will best meet your child’s needs as well as your needs as a parent. I often recommend the following books for children and their parents when I am treating child with severe anxiety.

Books About Anxiety For Parents:

Books About Anxiety For Children:

If your child continues to exhibit severe anxiety that is affecting his/her daily functioning at home and/or school I would recommend that you seek a consultation from a mental health therapist to further assess the severity of your child’s anxiety and to gain support for your family.

Anxiety Disorders

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!