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Learn To Move It, Move It

I just came from the house of an adorable 10 month old girl who I see through early intervention. She has been an amazing example of how quickly a child with an intact neurological system can learn new skills. This little girl had a rough start medically, but is now very healthy. With the medical concerns stabilized, her family was very concerned about her from a developmental perspective. When I started with her a couple of months ago she was barely sitting. Today she was crawling, cruising, and pulling to stand beautifully! She is now doing what other children her age are doing and is taking off. Read more

“Stretch Armstrong”

As a therapist working with kids with CP I often try to understand what it is like to be in the child’s shoes. Adults with CP have so much insight to offer therapists and parents alike. No 2 kids with CP, or 2 kids period, are the same, but we can gain a lot of knowledge by the vast experience of adults with disabilities who have been there, done that. Read more

I think I can, I know I can.

I saw 2 kids today who are similar in their motor skills. They both have cerebral palsy and walk independently with their walkers. They are both verbal, sweet as can be, beautiful, fun, smart kiddos. They are very different though in their independence in their daily lives. The boy has been pushed to be as independent as possible from early on. He was allowed to fall and learned how to be responsible for his own body in space. The girl was never allowed to fall and has learned very well how to get her family and nanny to do things for her. Read more

Musings, Evidence Based Practice, Etc

Dear Blog,

Sorry for my neglectful behavior. I have not forgotten about you, but I had a lot to figure out in my professional life recently. The experience has led to a lot of clarification as to my goals and although the details continue to be a bit hazy, they are gradually revealing themselves. Read more

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“What Early Intervention Has Meant to My Family”

The following is an essay that a mom of one of my soon-to-be-discharged early intervention kiddos wrote for a contest through the NJ Early Intervention program. Not only did she win the contest (yay!), but it conveys to parents the hope that early intervention can bring to a family and the difference that therapy early on can make in a child’s life.

If I had to sum up in one word what The NJ Early Intervention System has meant to our family, its hope. When our youngest son Jonathan was born prematurely and soon after found to have hypotonia and both fine and gross motor delays we were so worried. What did this mean for his future? Would he ever catch up? What could we do to help him? So many concerns ran through our minds initially and then as we began our relationship with the early intervention program we began to find some answers and more importantly we began to find some hope. Read more

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Discussion on “Does Your Baby Have Autism?” by Teitelbaum and Teitelbaum

As a pediatric physical therapist specializing in developmental disabilities, I have worked with a lot of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past 10 years. After several months of physical therapy, I frequently saw how related areas of development, such as communication and social skills, would improve after addressing their motor deficits. Read more

When Therapy Is No Longer Therapeutic

As summer approaches I have been working on my summer schedule with all my families. This is always a scheduling challenge, but more importantly it brings up a lot of big questions. Read more

Happy Mother’s Day SuperMoms

Regular moms vs Special needs moms

Moms, a stranger walks among you. We look like regular moms, but we are the hybrid to your standard engine. Our child’s disability altered us, enhanced us. Many words describe us: resilient, creative, protective, emboldened, sympathetic, fierce and determined. We are special needs moms. How do our lives stand apart from your own? Take a look under the hood and see for yourself.

by Dawn Villarreal, One Place for Special Needs, May 2010

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Attention Deficit Disorder?

When you think of a child with Attention Deficit Disorder you picture a child who can’t sit still, pay attention or follow directions. Maybe you picture a little boy bopping around the classroom or a little tazmanian devil running circles around his mom and dad. Read more

Is W-Sitting Really One of the 7 Deadly Sins?

W-Sitting Picasso

A few days ago a friend came up to me in music class and asked “so, what’s with the w-sitting?”

She recently read an article in a parenting magazine that said w-sitting was harmful to the hips and knees and limits trunk development.  Of her 2 year old twins one was a frequent w-sitter and now my friend was making herself NUTS trying to fix her feet all day long!  Read more