Little Steps Pediatric Therapy News

June 2019


Welcome new therapists to the Little Steps team!

Speech-Language Pathologists:

Emily Montegomery, MS, CF-SLP

Sarah Vogt, MS, CF-SLP

Stephanie Plein, MS, CCC-SLP

Occupational Therapist:

Devin Mahoney, MS, OTR/L

Summer Groups and classes


WHO: Ages 5+.

**If you are unsure if your child will benefit from bike camp, they can schedule an evaluation with Jaime N.**

WHAT: To teach your kiddo how to ride a two-wheeled bike by themselves!

  • Bike safety
  • Balance and coordination of pedaling
  • GAMES and prizes!


  • June 10-14 - two sessions: 3:30-4:30pm AND 4:30-5:30pm **Few spots remaining**
  • July 15-19 - 3:30-4:30pm
  • August 12-16 - TBD

WHERE: Glenview clinic - parking lot behind the clinic/Marianos

HELD BY: Little Steps Team

Preschool Readiness Group - NEW SESSION starting JULY 12!! Spaces are limited...

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 (7/12-9/6)

  • 9:30-10:30 - younger 2's
  • 10:30-12:00 - older 2's and 3's

HELD BY: Vanesa Corado, Lead Teacher & Spanish Interpreter/Translator. SLP and OT's assist with class as well

Rhythm Works Integrative Dance

WHO: 5-8 year olds

WHAT: Dance class (see flyer below for more details)

WHEN: TBD, pending interest. 1x/week in JUNE/JULY, 6 week session

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Social Skills Camp @ Wilmette clinic

See flyer below for more Details:

*Billable by insurance

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Summertime Fun in the Sun

By Van Nguyen, SPT - Physical therapy student on clinical at Little Steps.

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day! Fingers crossed, this rain will pass and stay away for good because nothing says summertime more than the sound of children playing and laughing in the warm, summer sun. Now that your child is older and it’s starting to get warmer outside, there are so many fun activities you can start playing with your child to further improving his or her gross motor skills, balance, coordination, and overall strength. Below are gross motor milestones1your child should be working towards at his or her age and listed below are activities or games you can do that incorporates their age appropriate skills.

2 years

• Tiptoe standing

• Able to kick a ball place in front of them

• Beginning to run but still falls frequently

• Climbs up/down furniture without help

• Walks up/down stairs holding on to railing or wall for support

3 years

• Climbs well

• Runs easily

• Pedals a tricycle

• Walks up/down stairs with one foot on each step

4 years

• Run, jump, and climb with ease

• Starting to skip

• One legged hop

• Standing and balancing on one leg for 2 seconds

• Catches a bounced ball most of time

• Ride tricycle with ease

• Beginning to attempt somersaults

5 years

• Skips & jump rope with ease

• Beginning to skate and swim

• Climb & swings with ease

• Standing and balancing on one leg for greater than 10 seconds

• Independent with somersaults (forward roll)

Outdoors Activities

• Go for a bike ride around the neighborhood, park, or lakefront

• Go to the park and play on the jungle gyms

◦ Monkey bars

◦ Swings

◦ Slides

• Go for a swim or play at a water park

• Kickball

• Baseball

• Outdoors obstacle course - make it more fun and exciting by having a competition

◦ Hopscotch

◦ Wheel barrel race

◦ Running

Indoor Activities

• Indoor rock climbing

• Homemade obstacle course - make it more fun by saying the floor is hot lava

◦ Jumping over toys

◦ Climbing on to furniture

◦ Tiptoe walk on a taped line

• Roller skating

• Trampoline Parks

Other great resources you can use to help get those creative juices flowing are Pinterest and



What is Self-Regulation?

By: Allison Schmitt - Occupational therapy student on clinical at Little Steps.

Self-regulation is our ability to monitor and control our emotions, behavior, and attention. It allows us to tune out the unimportant things in our environment and focus on what is relevant or important. For adults or children with mature sensory systems, this process typically happens subconsciously; we don’t have to actively think about what to tune in and tune out. For children with sensory processing concerns, it can be difficult for their body to take in and understand, or regulate, all of the sensory information happening in their environment. This may manifest as physical behaviors, decreased attention, not following directions, or sensory seeking behavior. Instead, children can learn to check in with their bodies and develop strategies for self-regulation. Self-regulation strategies may include proprioceptive input, tactile input, gross body movement, taking a break, or deep breathing. Children are able to begin identifying self-regulation strategies around age 5-6. Once a child is able to self-select strategies to regulate sensory input from their environment more effectively, they are able to increase their participation and performance in daily activities.

Examples of Self-Regulation

· Refraining from highly emotional reactions to unpleasant stimuli such as loud noises

· Avoiding physical behaviors when a peer causes you frustration or anger

· Calming yourself when sad or upset

Self-Regulation Strategies

· Wall or chair pushups

· Get a drink from the water fountain

· Take 5 deep breaths

· Jumping jacks

· Playing with putty or sand

· Stomping your feet or marching

· Animal walks

Holding a yog

Jumping into June

Articulation & Speech Sound Development

By Sara DiBiase

What is articulation?

Articulation is how we produce different sounds using our articulators (lips, teeth, tongue, etc) that make up our words. Speaking involves controlling parts of the mouth and nose to shape the air that comes from our lungs.

Should I be worried about my child’s speech? What sounds should my child be making at his/her age?

Below are the ages at which English-speaking children should be able to say each sound. Ages listed are the latest age speech sounds should appear, however sounds may develop at earlier ages.

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What can I do at home?

  • Be a model of accurate speech production as much as possible by speaking slowly and clearly when face-to-face.
  • If he/she says a word incorrectly repeat the word and model with the correct pronunciation.
  • Emphasize the mispronounced sound. For example, if the child said “I like the tuck.” Parent can say, “I like the duck too.”
  • Try to embed practice in every-day routines (ie. in car, scavenger hunts, dressing, brushing teeth). Ask your speech-language pathologist for more ideas on how to find easy routines to embed practice for your child.
  • Reinforce correct productions with praise (ie. high fives, clapping, “good job”).
  • Read, talk, and play with your child. Model many correct productions, revise incorrect productions, and stimulate overall language development.

You may want to contact a speech-language pathologist if your child:

  • Has multiple errors on multiple sounds that are not developmentally appropriate for his/her age.
  • Has an error on a sound that greatly impacts your ability to understand them or draws negative attention to their speech.
  • Is unintelligible (difficult to understand) even with known context.
  • Omits entire portions of words.

Frog Jump Activity

Cut out pictures of items with target sounds or just the letter sound in the shape of lily pads and place them on the floor.

Have him/her jump to each lily pad and produce the word or written target sound. You can also use a stuffed animal to jump or dollar store jumping froggies if tight on space and/or if jumping movement is difficult for your child.

To increase activity difficulty or also include following directions or 1-2 step commands you can direct your child to, “jump to the lily pad with a cat and touch your nose.”

This is a fun way to jump into practice sounds while also following directions!