Little Steps Pediatric Therapy News

August 2019

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We are adding a Highland Park Location for Preschool Readiness Group!!


WHAT: promotes early learning for children who have not yet met preschool age. The program tries to teach alongside the requirements elementary schools are most currently looking for. Our PRP works with various aspects that try to engage our children socially, intellectually, physically, and emotionally.

The program focuses on hands on activities so children can explore and learn in their environment to create curiosity and promote learning. Social interaction also creates a unique peer learning environment that encourages children to reach their highest potential. Activities are created alongside the children and their needs in order to reach achievement and ultimately academic success.

Our Preschool Readiness Program Practices:

  • Social Interaction
  • Peer Learning
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Pre-writing Skills
  • Pre-language Skills
  • Pre-Reading Skills
  • Math, Science, and Reading integrated activities
  • Aid in transitioning from activity to activity
  • Creating a positive learning environment

WHEN & WHERE: Fridays, Glenview Clinic - 8 week program

  • 9:30-10:30 - younger 2's (FULL)
  • 10:30-12:00 - older 2's and 3's (a couple spots remaining...)
HELD BY: Vanesa Corado, Lead Teacher & Spanish Interpreter/Translator. SLP and OT's assist with class as well


AGES: 2/3

TIME: 9-10:30am

HELD BY: Emily Montgomery, SLP


Social Skills Group at Little Steps


Social skills camp focusing on social communication and interaction


In order to develop self-confidence, improve social emotional skills, enhance functional communication skills, strengthen problem-solving skills and build peer relationships


Group of kids between ages 5-9


Thursday’s 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.


Little Steps (Highland Park location)

1442 Old Skokie Valley Road

Highland Park, IL 60035


Stephanie Plein, Speech-Language Pathologist

Please give us a call at: 847-707-6744 to sign up!

Big picture

Therapeutic and Sports Focus Group @ Glenview and Wilmette Clinic

WHO: Age 5-7 year olds

WHAT: weekly afternoon group, in adjunct to their one-on-one sessions, to work on higher level balance, coordination, strength, and endurance exercises.

Billable by insurance! $20 to trial the class

WHEN: TBD...based on interest. Call Kaley.

HELD BY: Jaime Neidenbach, PT, DPT

The Importance of a Strong Core in Children

By: Allison Amato, PT, DPT

Why is core strengthening important?

Your child’s core is active and engaged in almost any physical activity they participate in throughout their lifespan. Whether they are rolling from their back to their tummy, crawling forward, running on the playground, or doing jumping jacks, they require a strong core to complete these activities safely and independently!

Decreased core strength can result in:

-Inability to roll or crawl independently

-Poor posture


-Walking on tip-toes

-Decreased balance

-Difficulty keeping up with peers

-Becoming quickly fatigued with physical activity

Activities to improve core strength core strength for infants and toddlers:

-Rolling towards both directions from their back to their belly

-Reaching for objects while they are laying on their belly or sitting independently

-Playing with toys while sitting independently

-Crawling on uneven surfaces or up and down ramps

-Playing with toys while in a kneeling position

-Pulling up to stand from the floor

Activities to improve core strength for school-aged children:

-Climbing up and down playground equipment

-Animal walking (walking like a bear or a crab)


-Sit-ups and planks

-Riding a bicycle

-Big jumps on a trampoline

Having a strong core will improve your child’s ability to navigate their environment no matter what age! They will be able to better interact with their peers and play for longer periods of time before they become tired. These exercises can all be completed inside or outside- so take advantage of the rest of the summer by incorporating these activities into playtime!

Self-Help Skills and Your Infant :

by Corrie Lukkes, OTD, OTR/L, CEMI/CIMI

You can begin to work developing self-help skills early on with your child to help establish routines and improve their active participation in daily tasks. Self-help skills include grooming, feeding, dressing, toileting, and sleep skills. Skills can begin as soon as a child is more aware of his/her surroundings and is demonstrating controlled use of his/her hands, so typically around 5-6 months old.

Grooming –Teeth brushing should begin as soon as your child has teeth. Present your child with a toothbrush and allow him/her to chew on it, taking breaks to help brush with a second brush. When in the bath, label the body parts you are washing.

Feeding –When feeding purees or scoopable foods, present your child with a spoon and encourage him/her to bring it to his/her mouth. Present your child with a cup during mealtimes (sippy, straw).

Dressing –Encourage your child to assist with pushing his/her arms through the sleeves of their shirts. Allow your child to attempt to pull a shirt off his/her head. Have your child practice removing socks and shoes.

Toileting –When changing diapers, talk to your child about toileting tasks and what you are doing.

Sleeping –As your child gets older, allow him/her to fall asleep on their own for naps and bedtime.

Summer Tactile Fun – Making Oobleck!

Oobleck is a non-Newtonian substance, meaning it has properties of both a liquid and a solid. If you move your hand slowly, you can dip it into Oobleck. If you move your hand quickly or try to squeeze, the Oobleck will become hard. Try it outside for a messy afternoon that can easily be cleaned up by spraying it with water!


· 1 part water

· 1.5 to 2 parts cornstarch

· Food coloring (optional)

To make:

· Start with water, slowly add in cornstarch

· Stir as you go until you get a “gooey” texture that runs through your fingers but can be rolled into a ball

· Add food coloring as desired

· Enjoy!

Make it more fun:

· Add colored bears and locate prior to sorting into matching colored cups

· Locate plastic shapes, sort into a sorter


By: Katherine Lofling MA, CCC-SLP


Everyone knows the more you practice the better you become at whatever you do, but it can be stressful trying to ensure you spend part of your day providing speech therapy to your child when not in therapy. I like to tell parents/caregivers to try and incorporate therapy into your current daily routine.

1. Pick a routine in your day that you are already doing and turn it into therapy time by narrating the event from start to finish.Whether it’s changing your toddler’s diaper, bath time, driving in the car, or reading a book before bed- choose a routine in your day to set aside as therapy. That way, you are already doing the routine and the routine serves as a reminder to turn it into therapy. For example, getting in the car.

“It’s time to get in the car”

“Mommy needs her car keys”

“Time to buckle you in your carseat”

“Shut the door”

“Let’s go!”

Or diaper changes. They happen multiple times a day. During diaper changes, remember to narrate the event.

“mommy is changing your diaper”

“pee yew, so stinky!”

“I threw the diaper in the trash”

“all done, JoJo is all clean!”

“let’s go!”

When you child imitates a word or phrase, praise them and affirm what they said.

2. Repeat and expand what your child says to affirm their attempt at communicating.

For example, if you son says, “go truck!” you can reply and say, “yes, go truck!” … “the truck is going down the street” or if your daughter says, “mommy up” you can reply, “ok, mommy can pick you up”. By repeating and expanding what your child says, it affirms their attempt to communicate and provides a correct model for appropriate grammar. Don’t alter proper grammar to shorten and make speech easier.

3. Building language is all about imitation. Prompt your child to imitate a word or short phrase 3-5x before completing the task yourself and allow time for them to process and respond.

For example, during snack time your toddler may want more banana slices. Rather than giving your child the slices instantly, try prompting your child to imitate a simple 2-word phrase. Tell your child, “say more bananas” or “more please”, then wait 3-5 seconds for them to imitate you. If your child doesn’t imitate you, prompt the phrase 3-5 more times, each time pausing to allow them to process. and then follow through with giving them more bananas even if they don’t imitate the targeted phrase.