Archive for August, 2014

Music and Speech Therapy

As explained by the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is:

“an evidence-based, allied health profession that uses music interventions to accomplish individualized goals. Through musical responses, the board-certified therapist assesses emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills. Specifically regarding communication, music therapists are trained to adapt elements of music (e.g. tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony, and texture) to promote effective expressive and receptive communication skills.”

On the ASHAsphere website, it is explained that there are multiple similarities between music and speech, which it why these two therapies make a great collaborative approach to children in therapy. The website explains these similarities between music and speech and why they are important:

  • Music and Language are universal and specific to humans.
  • Both have pitch, timbre, rhythm, and durational features.
  • Spontaneous speech and spontaneous singing typically develop within infants at approximately the same time.
  • Music and language have auditory, vocal, and visual uses (both use written systems) and are built on structure and rules.
  • Distinct forms of music and language exist and vary across cultures.

Think about music therapy as an option for your child!

Posted by on August 11th, 2014 Comments Off on Music and Speech Therapy

 

FREE Speech Therapy Materials!

Thanks to SpeechandLanguageKids.com, there are plenty of FREE printable materials to work on a multitude of different concepts with your child anywhere, anytime! Click on the links below to check out these fun, interactive games with your children (or clients!).

  • He Does, She Does Game: This game works on proper use of gender-specific pronouns.
  • Where Questions Game: This game will help you to work on speech and language skills, mainly matching the question to the “where” question.
  • Funny Faces Grammar Game: This FUN game works on building different faces while describing moods, possessive nouns, and many other speech and language skills.
  • Sequencing Game: This game includes working on skills such as sequencing and following directions. Included are sequencing from 5 steps to 9 steps.
  • Opposite Game: This game works on learning opposites and how they relate to each other.
  • Vocabulary Game: This game can be used in a variety of ways. Not only does this game work on building vocabulary, but you can also work on basic concepts, following directions, and answering questions.
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear Game: This game is used along with the Brown Bear, Brown Bear: What do you see? book. Use this game to develop speech and language using a carrier phrase, literacy skills, and reading skills.
  • Adjectives Game: This game will help children learn different vocabulary words as well as learning to describe items using their five senses!
  • Spatial Concepts Game: This game will help children learn spatial concepts such as behind, next to, in front of, on top, and so on. Very important concepts to learn!
  • When Questions Game: This game will help children learn how to properly answer “when” questions at varying difficulty levels.

Posted by on August 7th, 2014 Comments Off on FREE Speech Therapy Materials!

 

The Dreaded “W-Sitting”

Stephanie Galanis tells us about the dreaded “W-sit” and why it is important to correct it in your toddlers as soon as possible! Below is her article from YummyMummyClub! Read to see why W-sitting could lead to some problems later down the road.

THE DREADED W-SITTING IN TODDLERS

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I had a patient recently ask me if it is okay for her thirteen-month-old daughter to be W-sitting during playtime. The short answer is: absolutely NOT!

It is never ok to be sitting like this for a prolonged period of time, and should be stopped immediately whenever you see it. There are a few postural and developmental reasons for this, and I’ll go into some detail on all of them:

  • Hip Distortion
  • Knee and Foot Distortion
  • Poor Development of Core Muscles
  • Lack of Cross-Body Coordination

1. Hip Distortion

With the legs externally rotated, this puts an enormous amount of pressure on the internal aspect of the hip joint. Muscles that stabilize the hip joint become short and contracted in this position, which restricts future mobility of the joint. This can and will impact the development of walking and how the hip and pelvis move later in life. The joint itself, which is made up of the femur bone and the acetabulum of the hip, has a greater chance of dislocating when placed in this extreme rotation.

2. Knee and Foot Distortion

With the hips at the extremes of internal rotation, in the W-sitting position the knees are also placed in extremes of internal rotation, and the ankles are places in extreme external rotation. The shear force over the knee, coupled with the shear force in the hip, will inevitably cause spasm and contracture through the hamstrings and the adductor muscles (inner thigh muscles), as well as the Achilles tendon.

As a chiropractor who has been in practice for nine years, I can easily say that most of the patients who come into my office with low back pain almost always have something going on in the hips, and almost 100% of them have tight and short hamstrings. This is not the precedent we want to start forming with our little kidlets!

3. Poor Development of Core Muscles

A secondary—but important—side effect of W-sitting is poor use and development of core muscles (another common problem I see in practice—lots of weak core muscles, coupled with low back pain). Because the toddler is stabilized by the extreme rotation of the legs, they do not need to use the muscles in their core to stay upright, or to give feedback about balance and spatial awareness. The hips and pelvis are sort of “locked” into place, and the abs and pelvic muscles can just relax, as they have no need to work.

4. Lack of Cross-Body Coordination

This is related to the poor development of core muscles. With a lack of muscle stability and tone in the abdomen, there is also a lack of cross-body movement, or as chiropractors refer to it, neurosensory integration.

As most moms already know, cross-body movement is the essential key in crawling, and later walking (try walking without swinging your arms to see how awkward that is!). When in the W position, you will notice that the right arm of the child will stay on the right side of the body and will not reach across to the left, and vice versa. Bilateral movements are critical for brain development, and are needed for reaching more advanced developmental milestones later on (such as reading and writing). Interestingly, lack of cross-body movement has been noted in children who show signs along the Autism spectrum. Now, to be clear, W-sitting does not cause Autism, but is commonly noted in this group of patients, and is considered in part with abnormal development.

So, there you have my long and short answers on W-sitting. Whenever you see it, correct it. Prevention is absolutely the key here! If your child has developed a W pattern of sitting, bring them into see a Pediatric Chiropractor for a check-up and specific suggestions on what your child needs to correct.

 

Posted by on August 6th, 2014 Comments Off on The Dreaded “W-Sitting”

 

Follow-up to “Welcome to Holland”

Celebrating Holland- I’m Home (http://www.oafccd.com/lanark/poems/holland3.html)

By Casey Anthony

I have been in Holland for over a decade now. It has become home. I have had time to catch my breath, to settle and adjust, to accept something different than I’d planned. I reflect back on those years of past when I had first landed in Holland. I remember clearly my shock, my fear, my anger, the pain and uncertainty. In those first few years, I tried to get back to Italy as planned, but Holland was where I was to stay. Today, I can say how far I have come on this unexpected journey. I have learned so much more. But, this too has been a journey of time.
I worked hard. I bought new guidebooks. I learned a new language and I slowly found my way around this new land. I have met others whose plans had changed like mine, and who could share my experience. We supported one another and some have become very special friends.
Some of these fellow travelers had been in Holland longer than I and were seasoned guides, assisting me along the way. Many have encouraged me. Many have taught me to open my eyes to the wonder and gifts to behold in this new land. I have discovered a community of caring. Holland wasn’t so bad.
I think that Holland is used to wayward travelers like me and grew to become a land of hospitality, reaching out to welcome, to assist and to support newcomers like me in this new land. Over the years, I’ve wondered what life would have been like if I’d landed in Italy as planned. Would life have been easier? Would it have been as rewarding? Would I have learned some of the important lessons I hold today?

Sure, this journey has been more challenging and at times I would (and still do) stomp my feet and cry out in frustration and protest. And, yes, Holland is slower paced than Italy and less flashy than Italy, but this too has been an unexpected gift. I have learned to slow down in ways too and look closer at things, with a new appreciation for the remarkable beauty of Holland with its tulips, windmills and Rembrandts.

I have come to love Holland and call it Home.

I have become a world traveler and discovered that it doesn’t matter where you land. What’s more important is what you make of your journey and how you see and enjoy the very special, the very lovely, things that Holland, or any land, has to offer.

Yes, over a decade ago I landed in a place I hadn’t planned. Yet I am thankful, for this destination has been richer than I could have imagined!

Posted by on August 4th, 2014 Comments Off on Follow-up to “Welcome to Holland”