Little Steps Pediatric News

May 2019


A lot is happening at Little Steps. We have some new faces and a variety of classes happening now and over the summer.


Kaley Rosinski, Operations Manager

Erin Frazier, MS,OTR/L

Allison Amato, PT, DPT

Katie Knaapen, PT. DPT


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

Therapeutic and Sports Focus Group @ Glenview 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: Thursdays 4:00-5:00pm,

HELD BY: Jaime Neidenbach, PT, DPT

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, 6 week session

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Social Skills Spring Camp @ Wilmette Clinic

See flyer below for more Details:

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For more information or sign up for classes please email: OR call 847-707-6744

Better Hearing & Speech Month

by: Rachel Lemme, Speech-Language Pathology student on clinical at Little Steps

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!

This month we want to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of speech-language pathologists in the community. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a professional who evaluates and treats all age ranges to optimize individuals’ abilities to communicate and to swallow. SLPs work in many different settings, such as private clinics, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. The following encompasses all service delivery areas for SLPs:

  • Fluency: SLPs evaluate and treat children and adults who produce disfluencies (stuttering) and provide strategies to help create “smoother” speech.
  • Articulation: SLPs evaluate and treat children and adults who have difficulty producing specific speech sounds.
  • Language: SLPs evaluate and treat children and adults who have difficulty with understanding verbal language as well as the use of language to communicate with others.
  • Cognition: SLPs evaluate and treat children and adults who have difficulty sustaining attention, problem solving and using executive functioning skills.
  • Voice and resonance: SLPs evaluate and treat children and adults who have difficulty using an appropriate loudness, pitch or quality of voice to talk.
  • Feeding and swallowing: SLPs evaluate and treat children and adults who have difficulty chewing or swallowing.

Ways to see if your child might benefit from speech-language therapy:

  • If your child produces words differently than other children their age
  • If your child has difficulty understanding questions or following directions
  • If your child is an extremely picky eater or has difficulty chewing or swallowing

Fun Activity:

Hide one or two-step commands on slips of paper around the house and bring your child on a scavenger hunt! Once found, read the direction out loud and help your child follow the command. This is a fun way to practice following directions! Examples include:

  • Jump up and down and then touch your head
  • Clap your hands and then do a jumping jack
  • Touch your toes and then touch your ears
  • Spin in a circle and then clap your hands
  • Do a silly dance move and then touch your nose

Visual Processing vs. Visual Motor Integration

By: Allie Schmitt, occupational therapy student on clinical at Little Steps.

What is visual processing?

Visual processing is our ability to understand and make sense of what we see. It allows us to recognize shapes, letters, and numbers, discriminate size and orientation, remember faces, locate items within a busy background or find words on a page, remember words we read, and understand where an item is located in space. In short, visual processing is how our brains interpret what we see.

What is visual motor integration?

Visual processing and visual motor integration go hand in hand. Visual motor integration is the action piece of visual processing. It allows us to use our eyes and hands together in a coordinated way to do things such as write, draw, copy designs, stack and place items, and throw a ball at a target. Visual motor integration is an important skill needed for handwriting development. Although a child may not have any visual acuity deficits or fine motor concerns, the processing between their vision and hands may be inefficient or disorganized.

Signs of a visual motor concern may include reversing letters, clumsiness, difficulty completing puzzles, copying designs inaccurately, difficulty cutting or tracing, dropping or knocking over items, and difficulty navigating around the house, school, or other familiar areas. Children may be easily distracted by visual stimuli around them, causing them to appear unfocused or inattentive. Learn how you can help your child increase their visual motor skills below.

Visual motor activities to do at home:

· Tracing shapes, numbers, and letters

· Mazes

· Stacking blocks

· Puzzles

· Connect the dots

· Ring toss, bean bag toss, or darts

· Jenga, Legos, or Lite Brite

· Pouring from one container to another

· Measuring cups

Summer Themed Gross Motor Activities

By: Jackie Bynes, PT student on clinical at Little Steps

3 gross motor activities to work on balance, coordination, & strengthening

Pool Raft Balance

If your children has started crawling, you can challenge their balance by having them crawl across the raft. For walkers, have them walk across.

  • PT Tip: They can hold one or both of your hands to start, as this activity can be challenging. As they become more comfortable, reduce the amount of support you are providing until they can complete the activity independently.

Bubble Reaching

Bubbles are a great tool to keep your children engaged as well as work on their balance. Encourage your little ones to reach up & to the sides and try to catch the bubbles.

  • PT Tip: You can make this activity more challenging, by changing the instructions to, “Pop the bubbles with your feet.” This a great way to work on single leg balance for kids of all ages!


Summertime is a great time to play with chalk, and here’s an activity idea that allows you to work on balance, coordination, & motor planning.

  • PT Tip: You can design a pathway to have your children follow or let them create their own! Some ideas include:
  • Draw a straight line: as use it as a balance beam, alternate feet as you go across.
  • Draw large zig zags: to working on side shuffling and agility training as a more challenging activity
  • Draw hopscotch squares: a good way to practice jumping and single leg hopping
  • Draw stepping stones: they can either step or jump from one stone to another

Bike Safety Tips

The nicer weather calls for some bike riding, but here are a few tips to remember before getting on your bike:

#1: Always wear your helmet

· “According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, cycling accidents were involved in roughly 86,000 of the 447,000 sports-related head injuries in 2009.” That’s almost double the amount of football related head injuries (47,000). Helmets help reduce the risk of such head injuries.

#2: Know where your brakes are & how to use them

· Most children’s bikes brake when you push back on the pedals. It’s always a good idea to practice braking in a safe area, without cars & other obstacles.

#3: Obey street signs and stay on designated bike paths

· In order to increase your safety on the road, follow stop signs, railroad crossings, etc. Additionally, if on a bike trail stay on your right at all times in order to avoid accidents with oncoming traffic.