How to Get a Break From Your Child When You Need To Cool Down

When you’re starting to, or already have, reached your limits with your child, how can you get away without fueling the fire?

Take Some Alone Time

Very Angry Mother And ChildWhen you get angry, it is usually best to wait until you’re calm again to have a productive talk about the issue. Instead of saying things like “go to your room”, tell your child that you need to go into your own room alone to cool down. Talk to your child about “alone time” and why it is a good thing and why everyone needs it sometimes. Explain to your child that “cool down” time helps you to think better and talk better.

Pick a name for your favorite spot to cool down, and call it something like “chill spot”, “cool down corner” or “cool chair” and tell them that this is where you might go sometimes to calm down. Tell them it is very important for you to be alone at this time, and it will be only a minute or two (as long as your child is able to be left without direct supervision). Your child should choose their own spot in the house also, and perhaps they can wait in their spot while you are taking your moment alone.

Start Out Small

If your child has a particularly hard time with this and feels overly rejected, try starting out with short increments of time and gradually increasing it as they handle it successfully. You can use a kitchen timer to set a minute or two, and let them know that when the timer goes off you will be back. I suggest giving them an immediate sign of physical affection along with verbal praise to reinforce their patience!

When you do this with your child, you are modeling extremely positive behavior! You are showing your children how to cope with anger and frustration in an appropriate way.

Teach A Lesson About Anger

When you reunite, be sure to give lots of love and praise! Show them that alone time is not about rejection, it is about making good choices. Always reinforce to a child that feeling angry doesn’t mean they are “bad” (a very common perception of theirs that I hear about often). The only “bad” part about anger is the “bad choice” they can make when feeling angry and do not take time to cool off. “Good choices” need to be taught and modeled, and what better way than to let them see you use this technique yourself!

Don’t forget to use your spouse as a resource when they are around. Have a special signal between you that lets each other know when you need them to step in, so you can take a break. Remember that you will be much more effective with your child once you are calm and that self-care makes you the best parent you can be!

How To: Teach Your Child to Write the Right Way

Young Boy Writing On EaselHandwriting is a very complex process that requires many prerequisite skills and abilities before it can be done successfully and easily. Some of these skills and abilities include the development of the small muscles in the hand, pencil/marker grasp, eye-hand coordination, the ability to draw shapes and lines, and visual perceptual skills.

For beginner writers, emphasis is placed on learning how to hold a pencil or marker, getting accustomed to making strokes on paper and beginning to form meaning out of what is drawn (for example, a loop is defined as a circle). The early writer learns to write first by imitating various strokes (horizontal line, vertical line, circle) , then copying the same strokes from a visual example and eventually drawing and writing independently. Below are preparatory activities your child can do to help them begin to write the right way! Read more

How will health care reform affect pediatric therapy?

Is this health care bill revamp a positive or negative move for families of children with autism and other predominant and growing special needs?  What will this do for children needing occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, applied behavior analysts, psychology?  Is insurance up for grabs now?  I hear everyone is going to have access to the best health care, the “same ones that the congressmen in Illinois have” is what someone just told me.  Like I said, I have no idea if this new insurance deal is yay or nay but I have some research to start doing very quickly!  Any cheat sheets you have to send me on this new bill and how it impacts therapy is much appreciated!  Please share whatever you know.  I want to hear what you have to say!  Here is where I am starting my research….Let me know what you find!

http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Article/Health-Care-Reform-and-Disability-Rights.aspx

http://www.amazon.com/Pediatric-Neurologic-Physical-Therapy-Clinics/dp/0443087644

http://illinoisaap.org/

Visual Perception

Visual Perception BlocksWhat is Visual Perception?

Visual perception is a sensory and cognitive process that organizes perceived visual information and interprets and uses what is seen. There are five main subcategories of visual perception: visual discrimination, spatial relationships, visual memory, figure-ground, and visual closure.

What are symptoms of decreased visual perception?

A child who demonstrates decreased visual perception may exhibit difficulty cutting, coloring, constructing with blocks, tying shoes, doing puzzles, getting dressed, using buttons and fasteners, hesitancy going up and down stairs or curbs, and difficulty with classroom activities such as reading, spelling, handwriting, math, and finding items in his desk.

Difficulties may also include an inability to distinguish small visual details, difficulty discriminating contrast and color, difficulty reading or writing, difficulty recognizing familiar faces, difficulty seeing objects such as steps and walls, decreased fine motor coordination, and decreased safety resulting from inability to see obstacles in path of travel. While these difficulties may be indicative of decreased visual perception, there may also be other factors contributing to any of the difficulties listed above. It is important to assess your child’s visual perception in relation to other developmental skills, such as motor planning and fine motor control, in order to truly determine the origin of their difficulty.

If I see symptoms of decreased visual perception, what do I do?

If you observe your child having difficulty with the tasks and activities listed above, it is important to seek out an ophthalmologist or optometrist to determine if any corrective procedures or tools may be warranted (i.e. glasses). An occupational therapy evaluation may also be warranted to evaluate how your child’s decreased visual perception is impacting their performance. Following an evaluation, the occupational therapist will create goals and set up a treatment plan to help to develop the appropriate learning environments in which your child can best participate in all different kinds of activities, thus strengthening their confidence in their own abilities and fostering his sense of independence.

Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our therapists work with children who experience decreased visual perception by using a multisensory approach. We provide your child additional sensory experiences when visual skills are decreased. Our therapists engage your child in various activities that incorporate movement, tactile, visual, and auditory sensations to enhance visual perception. In addition, our therapists are trained to alter your child’s environment and/or his activities in order to better utilize his existing visual perception, which in turn helps to improve those skills.

Client Reviews (16)

I completed my first FWII placement at NSPT in Bucktown. I had such a fantastic learning experience that truly helped me to grow my skills and experience. The staff at Bucktown was extremely welcoming and happy to teach, answer questions and allow me to observe outside my discipline to make this an even more well-rounded experience. The orientation/mentor program is great for students and makes heading into FW a much easier transition that sets you up for success. I had a great working relationship with my clinical instructor who helped me develop my treatment planning, documentation and intervention skills as well as teaching me a great deal about being a practicing OT in general! Overall, I couldn’t ask for anything more from a FWII experience!

Rachel

I completed my Level IIA Fieldwork at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown. I am so impressed by the organization of the student program and its emphasis on the reflection process. This reflection process has helped me develop clinical reasoning skills that are significant to treating clients. I also felt surrounded by a professional body of therapists that took on a mentor role, especially my supervisor. The gradual increase in case load was challenging yet manageable, providing me with client-centered intervention experience that will apply to my future endeavors as a therapist. Thank you, North Shore.

Amanda

Our son Ian has been having sensory issues for a while & we were very pleased with the work that Ms. Dawn had been doing with him to help him deal with his processing issues. We were sad to leave NSPT due to a move out-of-state.

Stephanie Long

I completed my level II OT fieldwork at NSPT and it was a really positive experience. There is a multidisciplinary staff that are all eager to welcome and assist in the learning process. It is a really great location to learn about diverse applications of pediatric OT. All of the staff are passionate about what they do and have creative and exciting ideas to motivate children as they work on a wide variety of skills. NSPT is a wonderful placement for developing skills for pediatric OT and I am grateful to have had this experience!

Pnina

We are incredibly fortunate to have Mrs. Ellyn’s influence. Even though we have only been here for 6 months, I am seeing a more able, more confident child. Mrs. Ellyn not only has helped gross and fine motor control, coordination and motor planning, but has helped set boundaries and attainable goals for my child. It is great to see him grow so strong.

Heather

I completed my final level II OT fieldwork at NSPT and had one of the best clinical experiences I could have expected. The entire staffs’ level of investment in their work motivated me to be creative while also working hard to deliver evidence-based research interventions. The successful stories I often heard from parents regarding their child’s growth reflects the passion and love each clinician at NSPT has for their job. I am so sad to have to say goodbye to the staff and the kids I’ve been working with for the past three months, and can’t express how grateful I am to have been placed here!

Mary Kate Mulry

My 5-year-old son has been receiving OT therapy at NSPT for 2 1/2 years. Could not be happier with his progress. Thank You NSPT!

Barnaby Wilde

My son (now 4) has been receiving OT at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview for almost a year. He receives a wide array of OT services including feeding therapy, core strengthening, fine-motor work, and balance activities. It is very encouraging to see the progress he has made and how much he enjoys his sessions. The OT truly listens to our concerns and provides us with plenty of resources and activities that we can work on at home to keep his progress going.

Jennifer N

North Shore Pediatric Therapy (NSPT) has changed our lives for the better! My six year old son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was 3. Getting through a day was a difficult journey for the entire family until we began to get Occupational Therapy services (OT) for him. We see Ellyn, an OT at the Highland Park office, and she acts not only as an advocate for my son helping him strengthen his areas of weakness, but also as a great support system for me (mom). The entire NSPT team has been fantastic. I highly recommend them!

Amy

Our daughter is currently 3.5 years old. Since birth, we knew something wasn’t quite right. Her colic lasted nearly a year and when the colic broke, whining/crying/severe tantrums began. She was evaluated at 3 and 24 months by an OT for potential sensory processing issues and both came back inconclusive. We had her seen by a behavioral specialist as well as a developmental pediatrician. No one was able to help our struggled daughter or us. Until Dec 2013 when we came to North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Highland Park….we met Ellyn Kearney. She understood our daughter before she even met her. Ellyn has changed our lives and how we live day to day. Our daughter suffered from severe sensory processing issues despite being a healthy beautiful child. The progress noted from my child is remarkable. Thank you NSPT and Thank you Ellyn.

Carrie

My 6 year-old son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/PPD-NOS around age 3 1/2 years old. After searching and looking for Occupational Therapy services we started coming to North Shore Pediatric Therapy in April 2013. We began seeing Shannon Phelan here at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown for his OT services. We have seen a tremendous amount of growth in his OT Fine & Gross Motor skills: holding a pen/pencil, writing his letters and numbers and working on his Sensory Processing Integration. We are extremely pleased with our Occupational Therapist, Shannon and the entire North Shore Pediatric Staff. I would highly recommend coming here if you need Occupational Therapy services for your child.

Melinda V

I completed my Level II Fieldwork at NSPT in Bucktown in 2011. From the moment I walked in on the first day it was clear that NSPT created a supportive environment that would further my development as a professional and as an occupational therapist. The sense of community created a comfortable environment to collaborate with other disciplines. Not only was my clinical instructor invested in my learning, but so was the whole staff. Through this experience at NSPT, I found my passion for working within pediatrics. I increased my clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning and confidence during this time. I would highly recommend this site for occupational therapy students looking for a well-rounded and challenging experience.

Lauren

I completed my second Level 2 fieldwork experience at North Shore Pediatric Therapy and could not have enjoyed my time more. I learned invaluable lessons about the world of pediatric occupational therapy all in a warm and welcoming environment created by staff members of all disciplines. I would highly recommend this fieldwork experience to anyone interested in working with children.

Lindsey

I was able to complete my Level 2 occupational therapy fieldwork at NSPT. It was a great experience! I was challenged educationally and clinically, and as a result came out of the experience with a greater knowledge about sensory integration, fine and gross motor skills, and how to evaluate and treat a wide variety of children in an outpatient setting. My supervisor and all of the staff made me feel welcome and a part of the team!

Kim

I completed my second Level 2 fieldwork at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview and Bucktwon in the Spring of 2012. I enjoyed my experience so much that I am now an employee at NSPT! Overall, I had a very positive yet challenging learning experience that supported growth in my clinical and professional skills. Not only did I grow my OT skills and knowledge but I was able to learn about and collaboate with many different disciplines including social work, physcial therapy, speech language pathology, neuropsychology, etc. NSPT is able to provide students a unique experience to learn how to treat the whole child to help them function at their fullest potential!

Sara Probasco

I had the opportunity to complete my Level 1C fieldwork experience at North Shore Pediatric Therapy Bucktown. I was incredibly impressed by the knowledge and professionalism of all the staff and their work with the clients and their parents. It was a wonderful learning experience for me and I highly recommend this site for any level 1 or 2 OT student interested in pediatrics. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Chelsea

Meet-With-An-Occupational-Therapist

Visual Motor Skills

Visual Motor Skills HandwritingWhat are Visual Motor Skills?

Visual motor skills, also referred to as visual motor integration, are the skills that emerge from the integration of visual skills, visual perceptual skills and motor skills that allow us to use our eyes and hands in a coordinated and efficient way. Visual motor skills are the foundation for many of a child’s day to day activities, including cutting, coloring, writing, catching or kicking a ball, or tying his shoes. When the visual and motor systems are efficiently communicating with one another, these activities are easy for children to complete.

When these systems are not effectively communicating, children will have difficulty with many of these activities. A child may not have any visual issues with acuity or perception and may not have any challenges with hand strength or dexterity, but the connection between their visual and motor system is not as organized or efficient as it should be, resulting in difficulties with visual motor skills. Functional implications of poor visual motor skills include difficulty with handwriting, drawing, completing mazes, copying from the board at school and poor eye-hand coordination.

Our approach to difficulties with visual motor skills at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our therapists work with children who have difficulties with visual motor skills by using a multisensory approach to provide the child with additional sensory experiences and successful completion of visual motor integration activities. Deficits in visual motor skills may be caused by difficulties with underlying visual perceptual skills or motor skills. To identify a child’s current level of performance related to his visual motor skills our occupational therapists (OT) will administer a standardized assessment called the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration, or the Beery VMI. This assessment provides the OT with important information on the development of the child’s visual and motor abilities, as well as where the child should be performing for his/her age.

Following the evaluation, the therapist will develop goals based on the child’s performance and design a treatment program that concentrates on improving these skills. The therapist will engage the child in various activities that incorporate movement, tactile, visual, and auditory sensations to enhance visual, fine and gross motor skills. Throughout therapy, the therapist will also provide activities and exercises for the child to complete at home, such as mazes, dot-to-dots, puzzles or ball activities. Participation in home exercises will help the child practice these visual motor skills during the week outside of therapy and will ensure improvements in participation of everyday activities.

Client Reviews (16)

I completed my first FWII placement at NSPT in Bucktown. I had such a fantastic learning experience that truly helped me to grow my skills and experience. The staff at Bucktown was extremely welcoming and happy to teach, answer questions and allow me to observe outside my discipline to make this an even more well-rounded experience. The orientation/mentor program is great for students and makes heading into FW a much easier transition that sets you up for success. I had a great working relationship with my clinical instructor who helped me develop my treatment planning, documentation and intervention skills as well as teaching me a great deal about being a practicing OT in general! Overall, I couldn’t ask for anything more from a FWII experience!

Rachel

I completed my Level IIA Fieldwork at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown. I am so impressed by the organization of the student program and its emphasis on the reflection process. This reflection process has helped me develop clinical reasoning skills that are significant to treating clients. I also felt surrounded by a professional body of therapists that took on a mentor role, especially my supervisor. The gradual increase in case load was challenging yet manageable, providing me with client-centered intervention experience that will apply to my future endeavors as a therapist. Thank you, North Shore.

Amanda

Our son Ian has been having sensory issues for a while & we were very pleased with the work that Ms. Dawn had been doing with him to help him deal with his processing issues. We were sad to leave NSPT due to a move out-of-state.

Stephanie Long

I completed my level II OT fieldwork at NSPT and it was a really positive experience. There is a multidisciplinary staff that are all eager to welcome and assist in the learning process. It is a really great location to learn about diverse applications of pediatric OT. All of the staff are passionate about what they do and have creative and exciting ideas to motivate children as they work on a wide variety of skills. NSPT is a wonderful placement for developing skills for pediatric OT and I am grateful to have had this experience!

Pnina

We are incredibly fortunate to have Mrs. Ellyn’s influence. Even though we have only been here for 6 months, I am seeing a more able, more confident child. Mrs. Ellyn not only has helped gross and fine motor control, coordination and motor planning, but has helped set boundaries and attainable goals for my child. It is great to see him grow so strong.

Heather

I completed my final level II OT fieldwork at NSPT and had one of the best clinical experiences I could have expected. The entire staffs’ level of investment in their work motivated me to be creative while also working hard to deliver evidence-based research interventions. The successful stories I often heard from parents regarding their child’s growth reflects the passion and love each clinician at NSPT has for their job. I am so sad to have to say goodbye to the staff and the kids I’ve been working with for the past three months, and can’t express how grateful I am to have been placed here!

Mary Kate Mulry

My 5-year-old son has been receiving OT therapy at NSPT for 2 1/2 years. Could not be happier with his progress. Thank You NSPT!

Barnaby Wilde

My son (now 4) has been receiving OT at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview for almost a year. He receives a wide array of OT services including feeding therapy, core strengthening, fine-motor work, and balance activities. It is very encouraging to see the progress he has made and how much he enjoys his sessions. The OT truly listens to our concerns and provides us with plenty of resources and activities that we can work on at home to keep his progress going.

Jennifer N

North Shore Pediatric Therapy (NSPT) has changed our lives for the better! My six year old son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was 3. Getting through a day was a difficult journey for the entire family until we began to get Occupational Therapy services (OT) for him. We see Ellyn, an OT at the Highland Park office, and she acts not only as an advocate for my son helping him strengthen his areas of weakness, but also as a great support system for me (mom). The entire NSPT team has been fantastic. I highly recommend them!

Amy

Our daughter is currently 3.5 years old. Since birth, we knew something wasn’t quite right. Her colic lasted nearly a year and when the colic broke, whining/crying/severe tantrums began. She was evaluated at 3 and 24 months by an OT for potential sensory processing issues and both came back inconclusive. We had her seen by a behavioral specialist as well as a developmental pediatrician. No one was able to help our struggled daughter or us. Until Dec 2013 when we came to North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Highland Park….we met Ellyn Kearney. She understood our daughter before she even met her. Ellyn has changed our lives and how we live day to day. Our daughter suffered from severe sensory processing issues despite being a healthy beautiful child. The progress noted from my child is remarkable. Thank you NSPT and Thank you Ellyn.

Carrie

My 6 year-old son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/PPD-NOS around age 3 1/2 years old. After searching and looking for Occupational Therapy services we started coming to North Shore Pediatric Therapy in April 2013. We began seeing Shannon Phelan here at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown for his OT services. We have seen a tremendous amount of growth in his OT Fine & Gross Motor skills: holding a pen/pencil, writing his letters and numbers and working on his Sensory Processing Integration. We are extremely pleased with our Occupational Therapist, Shannon and the entire North Shore Pediatric Staff. I would highly recommend coming here if you need Occupational Therapy services for your child.

Melinda V

I completed my Level II Fieldwork at NSPT in Bucktown in 2011. From the moment I walked in on the first day it was clear that NSPT created a supportive environment that would further my development as a professional and as an occupational therapist. The sense of community created a comfortable environment to collaborate with other disciplines. Not only was my clinical instructor invested in my learning, but so was the whole staff. Through this experience at NSPT, I found my passion for working within pediatrics. I increased my clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning and confidence during this time. I would highly recommend this site for occupational therapy students looking for a well-rounded and challenging experience.

Lauren

I completed my second Level 2 fieldwork experience at North Shore Pediatric Therapy and could not have enjoyed my time more. I learned invaluable lessons about the world of pediatric occupational therapy all in a warm and welcoming environment created by staff members of all disciplines. I would highly recommend this fieldwork experience to anyone interested in working with children.

Lindsey

I was able to complete my Level 2 occupational therapy fieldwork at NSPT. It was a great experience! I was challenged educationally and clinically, and as a result came out of the experience with a greater knowledge about sensory integration, fine and gross motor skills, and how to evaluate and treat a wide variety of children in an outpatient setting. My supervisor and all of the staff made me feel welcome and a part of the team!

Kim

I completed my second Level 2 fieldwork at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview and Bucktwon in the Spring of 2012. I enjoyed my experience so much that I am now an employee at NSPT! Overall, I had a very positive yet challenging learning experience that supported growth in my clinical and professional skills. Not only did I grow my OT skills and knowledge but I was able to learn about and collaboate with many different disciplines including social work, physcial therapy, speech language pathology, neuropsychology, etc. NSPT is able to provide students a unique experience to learn how to treat the whole child to help them function at their fullest potential!

Sara Probasco

I had the opportunity to complete my Level 1C fieldwork experience at North Shore Pediatric Therapy Bucktown. I was incredibly impressed by the knowledge and professionalism of all the staff and their work with the clients and their parents. It was a wonderful learning experience for me and I highly recommend this site for any level 1 or 2 OT student interested in pediatrics. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Chelsea

Meet-With-An-Occupational-Therapist

Visual Acuity

What is visual acuity?

Visual acuity refers to the clarity or sharpness of vision at both near and far distances. Visual acuity differs from visual perception;Visual Acuity visual perception is a sensory and cognitive process that organizes perceived visual information, which interprets and uses what is seen. Visual acuity also differs from visual motor skills, also known as visual motor integration; visual motor skills are the skills that emerge from the integration of visual skills, visual perceptual skills and motor skills that allow us to use our eyes and hands in a coordinated and efficient way.

What are symptoms of decreased visual acuity?

Symptoms of decreased visual acuity include difficulty with:

  • Distinguishing small visual details
  • Discriminating contrast and color
  • Reading or writing
  • Recognizing familiar faces
  • Seeing objects such as steps and walls

Symptoms also include decreased fine motor coordination, and decreased safety resulting from inability to see obstacles in path of travel.

What should I do if I suspect decreased visual acuity in my child?

If you observe your child having difficulty with the above tasks and activities, it is important to seek out an ophthalmologist or optometrist to determine if any corrective procedures or tools may be warranted (i.e. glasses). An occupational therapy evaluation may also be warranted to evaluate how your child’s decreased visual acuity is impacting his performance. Following the evaluation, the occupational therapist will create goals and set up a treatment plan to help develop the appropriate learning environments in which your child can best participate in all different kinds of activities, thus strengthening his confidence in his own abilities and fostering his sense of independence.

Our approach to decreased visual acuity at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our occupational therapists will address your child’s visual acuity as related to his performance with his fine and gross motor abilities, visual motor skills and participating in play both individually and with peers. Our occupational therapists may also suggest a visit to your child’s school to observe and collaborate with teachers to set up modifications around his school environment in order to allow him to be most successful and actively engage in the classroom setting.

Client Reviews (16)

I completed my first FWII placement at NSPT in Bucktown. I had such a fantastic learning experience that truly helped me to grow my skills and experience. The staff at Bucktown was extremely welcoming and happy to teach, answer questions and allow me to observe outside my discipline to make this an even more well-rounded experience. The orientation/mentor program is great for students and makes heading into FW a much easier transition that sets you up for success. I had a great working relationship with my clinical instructor who helped me develop my treatment planning, documentation and intervention skills as well as teaching me a great deal about being a practicing OT in general! Overall, I couldn’t ask for anything more from a FWII experience!

Rachel

I completed my Level IIA Fieldwork at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown. I am so impressed by the organization of the student program and its emphasis on the reflection process. This reflection process has helped me develop clinical reasoning skills that are significant to treating clients. I also felt surrounded by a professional body of therapists that took on a mentor role, especially my supervisor. The gradual increase in case load was challenging yet manageable, providing me with client-centered intervention experience that will apply to my future endeavors as a therapist. Thank you, North Shore.

Amanda

Our son Ian has been having sensory issues for a while & we were very pleased with the work that Ms. Dawn had been doing with him to help him deal with his processing issues. We were sad to leave NSPT due to a move out-of-state.

Stephanie Long

I completed my level II OT fieldwork at NSPT and it was a really positive experience. There is a multidisciplinary staff that are all eager to welcome and assist in the learning process. It is a really great location to learn about diverse applications of pediatric OT. All of the staff are passionate about what they do and have creative and exciting ideas to motivate children as they work on a wide variety of skills. NSPT is a wonderful placement for developing skills for pediatric OT and I am grateful to have had this experience!

Pnina

We are incredibly fortunate to have Mrs. Ellyn’s influence. Even though we have only been here for 6 months, I am seeing a more able, more confident child. Mrs. Ellyn not only has helped gross and fine motor control, coordination and motor planning, but has helped set boundaries and attainable goals for my child. It is great to see him grow so strong.

Heather

I completed my final level II OT fieldwork at NSPT and had one of the best clinical experiences I could have expected. The entire staffs’ level of investment in their work motivated me to be creative while also working hard to deliver evidence-based research interventions. The successful stories I often heard from parents regarding their child’s growth reflects the passion and love each clinician at NSPT has for their job. I am so sad to have to say goodbye to the staff and the kids I’ve been working with for the past three months, and can’t express how grateful I am to have been placed here!

Mary Kate Mulry

My 5-year-old son has been receiving OT therapy at NSPT for 2 1/2 years. Could not be happier with his progress. Thank You NSPT!

Barnaby Wilde

My son (now 4) has been receiving OT at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview for almost a year. He receives a wide array of OT services including feeding therapy, core strengthening, fine-motor work, and balance activities. It is very encouraging to see the progress he has made and how much he enjoys his sessions. The OT truly listens to our concerns and provides us with plenty of resources and activities that we can work on at home to keep his progress going.

Jennifer N

North Shore Pediatric Therapy (NSPT) has changed our lives for the better! My six year old son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was 3. Getting through a day was a difficult journey for the entire family until we began to get Occupational Therapy services (OT) for him. We see Ellyn, an OT at the Highland Park office, and she acts not only as an advocate for my son helping him strengthen his areas of weakness, but also as a great support system for me (mom). The entire NSPT team has been fantastic. I highly recommend them!

Amy

Our daughter is currently 3.5 years old. Since birth, we knew something wasn’t quite right. Her colic lasted nearly a year and when the colic broke, whining/crying/severe tantrums began. She was evaluated at 3 and 24 months by an OT for potential sensory processing issues and both came back inconclusive. We had her seen by a behavioral specialist as well as a developmental pediatrician. No one was able to help our struggled daughter or us. Until Dec 2013 when we came to North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Highland Park….we met Ellyn Kearney. She understood our daughter before she even met her. Ellyn has changed our lives and how we live day to day. Our daughter suffered from severe sensory processing issues despite being a healthy beautiful child. The progress noted from my child is remarkable. Thank you NSPT and Thank you Ellyn.

Carrie

My 6 year-old son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/PPD-NOS around age 3 1/2 years old. After searching and looking for Occupational Therapy services we started coming to North Shore Pediatric Therapy in April 2013. We began seeing Shannon Phelan here at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Bucktown for his OT services. We have seen a tremendous amount of growth in his OT Fine & Gross Motor skills: holding a pen/pencil, writing his letters and numbers and working on his Sensory Processing Integration. We are extremely pleased with our Occupational Therapist, Shannon and the entire North Shore Pediatric Staff. I would highly recommend coming here if you need Occupational Therapy services for your child.

Melinda V

I completed my Level II Fieldwork at NSPT in Bucktown in 2011. From the moment I walked in on the first day it was clear that NSPT created a supportive environment that would further my development as a professional and as an occupational therapist. The sense of community created a comfortable environment to collaborate with other disciplines. Not only was my clinical instructor invested in my learning, but so was the whole staff. Through this experience at NSPT, I found my passion for working within pediatrics. I increased my clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning and confidence during this time. I would highly recommend this site for occupational therapy students looking for a well-rounded and challenging experience.

Lauren

I completed my second Level 2 fieldwork experience at North Shore Pediatric Therapy and could not have enjoyed my time more. I learned invaluable lessons about the world of pediatric occupational therapy all in a warm and welcoming environment created by staff members of all disciplines. I would highly recommend this fieldwork experience to anyone interested in working with children.

Lindsey

I was able to complete my Level 2 occupational therapy fieldwork at NSPT. It was a great experience! I was challenged educationally and clinically, and as a result came out of the experience with a greater knowledge about sensory integration, fine and gross motor skills, and how to evaluate and treat a wide variety of children in an outpatient setting. My supervisor and all of the staff made me feel welcome and a part of the team!

Kim

I completed my second Level 2 fieldwork at North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview and Bucktwon in the Spring of 2012. I enjoyed my experience so much that I am now an employee at NSPT! Overall, I had a very positive yet challenging learning experience that supported growth in my clinical and professional skills. Not only did I grow my OT skills and knowledge but I was able to learn about and collaboate with many different disciplines including social work, physcial therapy, speech language pathology, neuropsychology, etc. NSPT is able to provide students a unique experience to learn how to treat the whole child to help them function at their fullest potential!

Sara Probasco

I had the opportunity to complete my Level 1C fieldwork experience at North Shore Pediatric Therapy Bucktown. I was incredibly impressed by the knowledge and professionalism of all the staff and their work with the clients and their parents. It was a wonderful learning experience for me and I highly recommend this site for any level 1 or 2 OT student interested in pediatrics. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Chelsea

Meet-With-An-Occupational-Therapist

Type II Diabetes

Type II DiabetesWhat is Type II Diabetes?

Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. This form of the illness is a chronic condition in which the body is resistant to the effects of insulin or does not produce enough insulin. Insulin–a hormone produced by the pancreas–takes digested glucose from the blood and transforms this sugar into fuel and energy. People with type II diabetes, thus, do not get necessary energy from food during the digestion process and are at risk for glucose build-up in the blood. Type II diabetes is generally diagnosed in adulthood and is associated with family history, obesity, poor diet, decreased physical activity and ethnicity. According to WebMD, 90% to 95% of people with diabetes have type II diabetes.

What are some symptoms of the condition?

Symptoms of the condition include extreme fatigue, unusual weight loss, constant hunger, blurred vision, increased thirst and urination, slow-healing sores and areas of darkened skin.

How does the condition progress?

After diagnosis of type II diabetes, a doctor will discuss treatment options to control blood sugar levels. Type II diabetes is not curable, but it is manageable with proper care and lifestyle changes. Without careful self-management, however, an individual with type II diabetes can endure long-term complications like heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage in the extremities, eye damage, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and bacterial or fungal infections. These complications are minimized with efforts to be healthy, maintain daily physical activity, keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control and routinely checking in with a doctor.

How can I help treat my child’s condition?

Treatment for type II diabetes includes monitoring blood sugar, regular exercise and healthy eating, and possibly diabetes medication or insulin supplements. It is important for people with type II diabetes to monitor their blood sugar level to make sure it is within a target range. In some cases, a doctor may recommend diabetes medication or insulin therapy. Oral diabetes medication lowers glucose production in the liver. A doctor may also prescribe insulin therapy in combination with diabetes medication. There are two options for insulin supplement therapy–insulin injections or an insulin pump. Insulin injections are done manually by means of a small needle or insulin pen which delivers insulin to the body. An insulin pump is a small device worn outside the body that connects to a catheter inserted under the skin, near the abdomen. The insulin pump automatically injects the body with insulin at a steady rate to regulate the sugar in the bloodstream.

Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, we offer a variety of services that may be beneficial for children with type II diabetes. Specifically, our registered dietitians and licensed professional counselors will work with your child to create healthy meal plans and identify coping strategies, since we know how crucial it is for your child to make their physical and emotional health a priority.

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Sensory Processing Disorder

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory Processing is the ability to take in sensory information from the world around us and interpret this information effectively so that we may function optimally throughout the day. The brain not only processes information through the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound, but the nervous system also interprets this sensory information and translates it into movement, body position and pressure. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) occurs when the nervous system has difficulty regulating, processing, and interpreting information from one or more of the senses. This may affect one’s ability to function optimally in all environments, and these difficulties can adversely affect a child’s social skills, academic performance, and motor development.

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What are some symptoms of sensory processing disorder?

Different children perceive and process sensory information differently. Some children find loud noises scary, while others like to bang objects and search for interesting ways to create noise. Similarly, some children may only tolerate certain fabrics or textures for clothing, while others may enjoy rolling around in grass, sand, or on the carpet. All children and adults have different sensory preferences, and while most adults have learned to adapt to their specific needs, some children need guidance in processing sensory information to reach their full potential.

Some symptoms of the disorder include:

  • Inability to focus on an activity if there’s background noiseDownload Your SPD Checklist
  • Jumping from one activity to another, never fully being ableto complete a task
  • Responding negatively to loud noises, or often covering ears
  • Seeking high movement activities, but often appearing clumsy
  • Showing a strong preference for certain foods or smells
  • Irritation from shoes, socks, tags, or different textures
  • Difficulties learning new activities
  • Under or over-sensitivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
  • Social and/or emotional problems
  • Unusually high or low activity level
  • Poor coordination
  • Physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
  • Poor fine motor coordination
  • Impulsivity, lack of self-control
  • Difficulty in making transitions
  • Inability to unwind or calm self
  • Emotionally reactive
  • Poor self concept
  • Delays in speech, language, motor skills
  • Delays in daily skill performance (dressing, feeding)
  • Delays in academic achievement

How does sensory integration progress?

The normal process of sensory integration begins at birth and continues for years. For most children, sensory integration occurs automatically, with the majority of development before teenage years. However, for some children this process takes extra effort and the nervous system is ineffective in interpreting sensory input, resulting in delays of gross and fine motor skills, behavioral or emotional difficulties and problems with learning.

How can I help treat my child’s disorder?

With effective treatment provided by an occupational therapist, a child’s nervous system can develop the ability to process sensory information in an appropriate manner. A child with poor sensory integration skills may need to learn specific compensatory strategies to function optimally and integrate sensory input in an efficient manner.

Our Approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, we tailor our therapy to meet the needs of each individual child. Our therapists are specially trained to provide your child with vital sensory input and experiences needed to meet the needs of his nervous system. Children with sensory processing disorder require individualized treatment plans adapted to motivate and empower them to reach their full potentials, with the proper balance of arousal, calming and organizing activities.

Somatosensory Impairment

Somatosensory ImpairmentWhat is somatosensory impairment?

Somatosensation refers to the sensations arising from the skin. These sensations include the ability to feel light touch, localize a touch, discriminate temperature, identify an object through the sense of touch (somatosensation), discriminate the sharpness of an object, and the ability to feel pain. Somatosensory impairment refers to any type of impairment that affects one’s ability to effectively and accurately process input received from sensory receptors in the skin. Somatosensory impairments can occur in any part or area of the body.

What are some symptoms of somatosensory impairment?

Symptoms vary widely depending on the severity of condition, injury, or impairment. Some symptoms include tingling, numbness, pain, inability to recognize the position of a limb in space or decreased sensation in one or more areas of the body.

How does the condition progress?

Depending on the cause, somatosensory impairment can be an acute condition lasting a few days or a chronic condition that lasts several years. Some conditions that cause somatosensory impairments include stroke, cerebral palsy, nerve injury or laceration, and nervous system disorders (like brain or spinal cord injury).

How can I help treat my child’s somatosensory impairment?

Treatment techniques may include, but are not limited to, surgery, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to enable the body to interpret, discriminate, and detect sensations to the skin in a more efficient and accurate manner.

Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our specialists believe that the most beneficial treatment approach begins with an accurate and thorough assessment of current abilities to perceive somatosensory information. Next, an individualized treatment plan will be created, incorporating somatosensory re-training techniques, including, but not limited to, massage, direct visual and verbal feedback, constraint-induced movement therapy, and the most relevant evidence-based practices.

Client Reviews (5)

My daughter who is now 1.5 years old and she started physical therapy when she was 6 months old and was discharged at 1 years old. We was reevaluated and needed therapy a few months later, and that’s when we met Marcy. She was very professional and compassionate towards my daughter. In the beginning hannah was very fearful of leaving my hands and had many meltdowns, a few weeks later hannah was eagerly jumping into Marcy hands. It only took a few months for hannah to come walking out to me in the office and it was a dream! Hannah is now meeting with devorah for speech and she’s absolutely great with it. I’ve recommend this place to friends and neighbors because hoe fantastic the staff and services are. Very highly impressed!

Jill

Our daughter saw Sarah Friedman in Glenview (now in Lincolnwood) for gross motor delay. Through our time with Sarah, she made tremendous progress. Sarah worked hard to keep our baby happy during sessions and cheered with us when she did her first roll and her first independent sitting session. We are so grateful for Sarah’s expertise and encouraging support. We still email her with questions and she happily responds. We highly recommend Sarah and the PT at NSPT!

Matt Galin

Flexible, professional and always encouraging our daughter to reach to levels at all times. Updated information on performance reviews and adjustments to therapy goals.

Ben

My son (now 4) has only been receiving physical therapy at North Shore Pediatric Therapy for about a month, but already we are seeing so much progress. My son took to his therapist immediately and so he views his sessions as a highlight of his week; his time to play with Miss Sarah is always a joy. He had trouble hopping, balancing, etc… and now he is gaining so much more strength and confidence in his own abilities. My son also has Type 1 Diabetes and I always know he is in good hands as Sarah is well versed in diabetes care and always asks about his blood sugar before his sessions. Thank you!

Jennifer N

Andrea is a wonderful Physical Therapist! Her work with our son is always engaging and fun for him. She is always very helpful with things we can do at home to help him improve and the exercises she does with him, he thinks are games, so he is more willing to do them more often. I’m so glad she is working with him, it is easy to see the improvements over a short period of time!

Anonymous

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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a neurological disorder thought to be caused by a combination of Oppositional Defiant Disorderbiological, psychological, and social factors. ODD tends to occur in families with a history of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), substance abuse disorders, or mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. Brain imaging studies also suggest that children with ODD may have subtle differences in the part of the brain responsible for reasoning, judgment and impulse control. Psychological studies have demonstrated that children who display aggressive behavior have trouble accurately identifying and interpreting social cues from peers; specifically, aggressive children tend to see hostile intent in neutral situations. These children also generate fewer solutions to problems and expect to be rewarded for their aggressive responses. Lack of structure or parental supervision, inconsistent discipline practices, and exposure to abuse or community violence have also been identified as factors which may contribute to the development of ODD.

What are some symptoms of ODD?

Some symptoms of ODD include:

  • A pattern of uncooperative defiant and hostile behavior toward authority figures
  • Loss of temper
  • Arguing with adults
  • Actively defying adult rules
  • Refusing adult requests
  • Deliberately annoying others
  • Constantly procrastinating
  • Fussy, colicky, or difficult to soothe as infants

How does ODD progress?

For many children, Oppositional Defiant Disorder does improve over time. Follow up studies have shown that the signs and symptoms of ODD resolve within three years in approximately 67% of children diagnosed with the disorder. However, research has also shown that approximately 30% of children with ODD eventually develop conduct disorder. The risk is three times greater for children who were diagnosed at a very young (i.e. preschool) age. Preschool children with ODD are also likely to exhibit additional disorders several years later, including ADHD, anxiety, or mood disorders. Studies seem to point to the fact that approximately 10% of children diagnosed with ODD will eventually develop some form of personality disorder, like Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

How can I help treat my child’s disorder?

There is no single treatment for children or adolescents with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). The most effective treatment plan will be individualized to the needs of each child and family. Specific treatment modalities may be helpful for a particular child depending on his or her age, the severity of the presenting problems, and the goals, resources, and circumstances of the family. Treatment must be delivered for an adequate duration (usually several months or longer) and may require multiple episodes either continuously or as periodic “booster” sessions. Treatment will often include both individual therapy and family therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help children control their aggression and modulate their behavior. Social skills training has been effective, when coupled with other therapy, in helping children smooth out their difficult social behaviors that result from their angry, defiant approaches to rules. Social skills training incorporates reinforcement strategies and rewards for appropriate behavior to help a child learn to generalize positive behavior. Treatment may also include the use of medication–although medication alone would rarely be considered an adequate or appropriate intervention for children with ODD.

Treatment for children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder includes an individual approach in the form of problem-solving skills training and family interventions in the form of parent management training. An individual approach can be created specifically for the individual child’s needs, geared toward his age, and focused on helping him acquire new problem solving skills.

Our approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our applied behavior analysts will conduct evaluations in the real-world settings in which your child’s inappropriate behaviors are occurring. The behavior analyst will observe what precipitates the aberrant behavior and the consequences that follow. The analyst will then determine the function of the behavior and teach your child an appropriate replacement behavior which serves the same function. A specific behavior plan will be written and a systematic reinforcement schedule will be implemented to consistently reinforce the appropriate replacement behavior(s) and the decrease in the aberrant behavior(s).

(Source: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

Client Reviews (2)

My son has been receiving ABA at NSPT4Kids for a year and a half. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, caring, and understanding. They have been great working with our insurance company. My son has completely opened up. He now seeks his older sister to play – something he never did for the first four and a half years of his life. He looks at me when he talks to me. We have conversations. It is amazing. I never would have thought ABA could do this. I am so thankful for NSPT4Kids!

Lisa

Our son has been in the ABA program at North Shore for almost two years now. The gains his therapists have made with him have been without a shadow of a doubt wonderful and remarkable. Everything they do in session, we always reinforce at home to help him continue his gains. The ABA therapists are always quick to update the kids individual program to continue to challenge the kids, even if they are having a rough time that session. We are grateful of what North Shore has done for our son both past, present and moving into the future. As we get ready to send our son into Kindergarten, the North Shore ABA team gets a lot of credit helping to make this milestone happen for him. I highly recommend North Shore for all of their services.

Tom J

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