We’re Moving in May! Check out our new location

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May is Moving Month for Lumiere Children’s Therapy!

This month, we’re settling into our long awaited, spacious, new location at nearby NEWCITY 1500 N Clybourn Ave. Our state-of-the art facility will have double the space, plus a slew of new amenities for kids and parents. Here are some of the highlights:

  •  NEWCITY location – one block north from previous location

  • 5,500 square feet

  • 3 preschool classrooms

  • Designated sensory room

  • Therapeutic gym

  • Indoor playground with rock climbing wall & bicycle track

  • Playhouse/treehouse

  • 5 treatment rooms

  • Easily accessible, ground-level entry

  • Expanded enrichment class hours for after school and weekends

  • On-site, two-hour validated parking

  • Curbside pick-up and drop-off capability

 Open House dates coming soon for fall!


Did you know that May is Better Hearing & Speech Month? Our Speech Therapy lead therapist, Lea, offers insight on Child Directed Speechand shares some tips on how parents can promote better language development in their child.

The use of language underlies almost everything we do in life. Parents and caregivers play such an important role in helping this skill develop.

Have you ever noticed how we as adults, automatically adjust the way we speak when we are interacting with young children? Our pitch is higher, our rate is slower, and we sound almost musical. In addition, we tend to simplify the words we use and we use fewer words than we would when speaking to an adult or an older child. We also tend to stress the important words in the particular phrase or sentence we are using. We are usually highly responsive to anything a young child verbally produces and we celebrate every sound that comes out of the child’s mouth as though it were something quite insightful.  

There’s a name for this special way we speak to small children and it is called Child Directed Speech. Research has found that using Child Directed Speech is highly beneficial for language development. Babies whose parents use Child Directed Speech are likely to have a larger vocabulary and better grammatical accuracy. Further, the use of Child Directed Speech encourages children to participate in conversations and can help instill confidence in their interactions. But how do we continue to encourage small children to learn and develop language, and how do we help those that may be struggling? Here are some things that parents and caregivers can do to encourage their children to use language in meaningful ways: 

Self-Talk - Talk out loud about what you’re doing

Parallel Talk - Talk out loud about what your child is doing

Sing - Songs like Old MacDonaldcan teach language through interaction. Encourage your child to say which animal to sing about next by pausing so they can fill in the name. Also encourage your child to imitate the sounds the animals make.

Reading - Read to your child from a young age. Talk about the pictures, point to and label new vocabulary and encourage your child to do the same.

Simplify - Use short phrases and sentences

Add One Word - Use one more word than your child is using; this will encourage language expansion

Say it Back - Repeat what your child has said back to them with stress on any correction word/words

Comment - Make more statements than questions

Wait - Pause and give your child time to respond

Be Forgetful - Let them ask for what they need, for example a fork or spoon at mealtime

Sabotage - Set it up so they need your help, for example, give them a container they cannot open and have them ask for help

One at a Time - Give only one thing at a time, for example, blocks at play time or goldfish at snack time, so they have to ask for more

Give Choices - “Do you want _____ or _____?” Let your child tell you what they want. 

We hope you find these tips useful, and that they help you to be more confident in helping develop your child’s speech and language skills. 

If you are interested in a speech evaluation for your child, one of our ST specialists can help! Check out our Speech Therapy services or contact us HERE.

Source: Apel, K., Masterson, J., & American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2012). Beyond baby talk: From speaking to spelling : a guide to language and literacy development for parents and caregivers. New York: Three Rivers.


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ABA THERAPY
Our approach to ABA therapy for kids diagnosed withAutism Spectrum Disorder
Find out more here

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SPEECH THERAPY
Our therapists are highly trained in speech programs and curriculums
Find out more here

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We now offer Teletherapy for Social Work and Speech Therapy!
Find out more here

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“Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms! We admire your dedication to your child’s growth and development, as well as your support of our services. It is with your help that we are able to help make your goals, our goals. We celebrate you and wish you a beautiful day together with your kiddos!”

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A great way to bring awareness to stuttering is to find ways you can help while speaking to someone with this speech impediment. Most experts agree that what matters most when speaking to a child who stutters, is speaking to them at a pace that promotes their fluency. Below are some helpful tips on how to speak to a child who stutters:

1. Reduce the pace.Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently. Wait a few seconds after your child finishes before you begin to speak. Your own easy relaxed speech will be far more effective than any advice such as “slow down” or “try it again slowly. For some children, it is also helpful to introduce a more relaxed pace of life for awhile.

2. Full listening.Try to increase those times that you give your child your undivided attention and are really listening. This does not mean dropping everything every time she speaks.

3. Asking questions. Asking questions is a normal part of life – but try to resist asking one after the other. Sometimes it is more helpful to comment on what your child has said and wait.

4. Turn taking.Help all members of the family take turns talking and listening. Children find it much easier to talk when there are fewer interruptions.

5. Building confidence.Use descriptive praise to build confidence. An example would be “I like the way you picked up your toys. You’re so helpful,” instead of “that’s great.” Praise strengths unrelated to talking as well such as athletic skills, being organized, independent, or careful.

6. Special times.Set aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when you can give your undivided attention to your child. This quiet calm time – no TV, iPad or phones - can be a confidence builder for young children. As little as five minutes a day can make a difference.

7. Normal rules apply.Discipline the child who stutters just as you do your other children and just as you would if he didn’t stutter.

Tips courtesy of The Stuttering Foundation, https://www.stutteringhelp.org/

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When we started out 10 years ago, our VISION was to create, capture and celebrate 100,000 Magic MomentsSM by the year 2020. What are Magic MomentsSM? They are every small step, every little success and tiny milestone met that makes a big impact on the lives of children and families in meeting their family goals.

See some of our Magic MomentsSM here

2019 marks the start of our 11th year in business. Since opening our doors in 2008, we've been celebrating and tracking Magic Moments - and now we'll be sharing them with you here every month. Please see below on how you can share yours with us!

Have a Magic MomentSM you want to share?

Upload a picture or video to your page and tag us @LumiereChild for your chance to be featured on our social media! We are always looking to identify success stories and positive experiences around therapy!

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May 2: Special Olympics Opening Ceremony, 10am-1pm, Soldier Field. Free

May 4: Best of Bump Club & Beyond Resource Fair, 8:30am, Swissotel Chicago

May 5: Low Sensory Early Exploration at the Museum of Science and Industry8:30am

May 6: Calm Waters @ Shedd Aquarium 4:30-7:30pm

May 7-13: Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

May 11: Parent Empowerment Expo hosted by the Office of Diverse Learner Support Services Chicago (ODLSS) 9am

May 13-19: National Stuttering Awareness Week 

May 14: National Apraxia Awareness Day; wear blue in support!

May 19: Everyone at Play @ Kohl’s Children Museum 9:30-11:30am

May 25: Sensory Friendly Mornings @ Brookfield Zoo 9-10am

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ENROLLING NOW
for our Therapeutic Preschool

Check out the latest video in our NEW Learning Series

Sign up for a FREE trial class to one of our enrichment groups!

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Autism: Recognizing & Intervening Challenging Behaviors

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Autism: Recognizing & Intervening Challenging Behaviors 

It’s Autism Awareness Month. Did you know that a big part of your child’s behavior, positive or challenging, is a reaction to something that is happening in their immediate environment?Sometimes we inadvertently reinforce challenging behaviors, but knowing the ABCs can help prevent inadvertent reinforcement. By recognizing the ABCs of behavior, you may be able to help prevent and better de-escalate challenging behaviors with your child. 

  1. Antecedent - This is what happens just before the behavior to provoke it.  

  2. Behavior - This is what you can see your child doing. 

  3. Consequence - This is how you react the behavior.  The consequence will determine whether or not that behavior will reoccur. 

When thinking about how to intervene your child’s behavior, it is important to look at why the behavior is occurring, also known as identifying thefunction.  This is much more important than what the behavior looks like.  By recognizing which function the challenging behavior serves, you can begin to understand how to intervene.  The four main functions of behavior are:

Sensory - These behaviors are occurring because they feel good.  Stereotypy, or self-stimulatory behavior, is a common sensory behavior that children with autism often engage in. 

Escape - These are behaviors occur when your child wants to get out of doing something they don’t want to do. This is often the root cause of difficulty with transitions, with which many children with autism have difficulty.

Attention - These behaviors occur to gain attention from somebody.  Attention-based behaviors can be easily inadvertently reinforced, so it is important to remember that negative attention is still attention!

Tangible - These are behaviors that your child engages in when they are told they can’t have something they want or if something they like is taken from them. By identifying common things that provoke behavior, we can arrange the environment to prevent behaviors in the first place.By knowing why your child is engaging in a challenging behavior, you can begin to understand how to respond to your child.

General Preventative Strategies

  • Give your child choices throughout the day.  This gives them a sense of control in their environment.  You can give them a “choice” when there may not actually be one.  An example of this is, “Which shoe do you want to put on first?” or “Do you want to go potty in 2 minutes or 4 minutes?”

  •  If you would like for your child to do something, present it as a choice via instruction.  It is important that instructions are followed through.  An example of this is, “Are you ready to put on your shoes?” vs. “It’s time to put your shoes on.” 

  • Prepare your child for transitions.  Instead of abruptly telling them that it is time to transition away from a preferred task, give them a visual or verbal countdown

  • Reward the positives!  Point out when you see your child making good choices.  Throw a party if they engage in a difficult and desirable behavior.  Some children with autism may not be motivated by social praise.  If this is the case, allow your child time with a favorite toy or sensory input (tickles, hugs, squeezes etc.)

  • Encourage flexibility!  Many children with autism can be rigid, so encouraging your child to play with different toys, try different foods, and pointing out when unexpected changes occur, can help prevent challenging behavior related to rigidity

  • Make sure your child has meaningful breaks throughout the day to engage in preferred activities

  • Teach appropriate behaviors when your child is calm and not engaging in challenging behavior

 General Consequence Strategies

 Sensory

  • Give your child something similar to do/have instead of the inappropriate behavior.  An example of this may be to offer your child a chewy snack instead of putting toys in their mouth

Escape

  • Be sure to follow through when an instruction is given

  • Validate your child’s frustration and let them know that you understand that they are upset, but they do need to complete whatever task is at hand

  • Try not to force your child to comply.  Have them complete the task at hand when they are calm and ready

  • Remember what the original instruction was and stick with it

  • Reward your child as soon as they complete the non-preferred task

Attention

  • Ignore attention-seeking behavior as much as possible.  Sometimes this is not 100% doable.  If you must provide your child with attention, minimize verbal attention and remain neutral

  • Do not show frustration or anger.  Children with autism sometimes think this is “funny” and may not have the social awareness to truly understand your frustration.  Emotions should be taught when your child is calm and regulated

Tangible

  • Not allowing the child to have access until they ask calmly or show that they are calm (if they do not have the language to ask)

  • If you are unable to provide your child access to the preferred item, acknowledge their emotion and their feelings

  • Do not go back on your word.  If you told your child that they cannot have an item, do not give your child that item, especially if they engage in challenging behavior 

Tips provided by Lumiere therapist, Jacqueline M., M.A., BCBA, (Lead Board Certified Behavior Analyst)


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ABA THERAPY
Our approach to ABA therapy for kids diagnosed withAutism Spectrum Disorder
Find out more here

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INFANT PHYSICAL THERAPY
Check out our blog series on infant torticollis and plagiocephaly here

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We now accept Medicaid
for ST and PT!
Find out more here

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WE’RE MOVING!

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“Our new move is right around the corner - literally and figuratively! We are so excited to be moving into our new location at nearby NEWCITY next month. Our new location boasts 5,500-sq.ft. of space with three preschool classrooms, five treatment rooms, a designated sensory room and a therapeutic gym. It will also feature an indoor playground with a rock-climbing wall and bike track! For parents’ convenience, curbside drop-off and pick-up will be available with ground-floor entry, as well as validated parking in the NEWCITY complex. Stay tuned for more information on our grand reopening!”

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What Our Therapists Can Do For Your Child

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Did you know that April is occupational therapy awareness month? We are excited to celebrate and share more insight about our profession. Occupational therapists give people the ability to live their life to the fullest by helping them gain independence in everyday activities that are important to them. Here at Lumiere Children’s Therapy, we focus on helping children learn to PLAY, one of their most important occupations.

We strive to always be the best we can be for our kids and families at Lumiere Children’s Therapy, which is why we are continuing to learn and grow through continuing education and professional development opportunities. Below are just a few examples of what our therapists are trained in and areas we have gained more experience in over the past year:

Zones of Regulation. A curriculum designed to help children regulate their bodies and emotions, improve impulse control, increase body awareness and increase attention.

Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S.) approach to feeding assessment and treatment. S.O.S. is a play-based, non-judgemental approach to feeding that uses natural reinforcers to encourage food exploration. It is designed for kids with feeding sensitivities and weight gain/growth difficulties and takes into account a wide variety of skills, including posture, motor, sensory, learning, and behavior.

Handwriting without Tears.A developmentally-based writing curriculum that addresses all styles of learning, including visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic.

Infant Positioning and Handling. Acourse focusing on evidence-based strategies for safe and effective tummy time positions to positively impact future development as well as strategies and treatment routines to maintain and improve function in infants.

Early intervention. Gaining more insight into early intervention, accounting for all aspects of intervention with evaluation outcomes, as well as courses focusing on partnering with families to help make a smooth transition out of early intervention. 

 Through these courses and learning opportunities we are able to provide the best and most current treatment approaches for our children. During the month of April, we are reflecting on how much we have learned by staying up-to-date on evidenced-based practices as well as areas in which we want to continue to grow! We are eager to learn the new and best treatment approaches to help our children be more successful and PLAY! 

One of our OT specialists would love to help your family! If you’re interested in inquiring about any of these methods and would like to schedule an evaluation for your child, please contact us HERE.

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When we started out 10 years ago, our VISION was to create, capture and celebrate 100,000 Magic MomentsSM by the year 2020. What are Magic MomentsSM? They are every small step, every little success and tiny milestone met that makes a big impact on the lives of children and families in meeting their family goals.

See some of our Magic MomentsSM here

2019 marks the start of our 11th year in business. Since opening our doors in 2008, we've been celebrating and tracking Magic Moments - and now we'll be sharing them with you here every month. Please see below on how you can share yours with us!

Have a Magic MomentSM you want to share?

Upload a picture or video to your page and tag us @LumiereChild for your chance to be featured on our social media! We are always looking to identify success stories and positive experiences around therapy!

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Thanks to all who came out last month to visit our booth at the Developmental Differences Resource Fair, hosted by the Neighborhood Parents Network (www.npnparents.org)

Our certified therapists had a great time talking to parents and telling them more about our services. We also enjoyed hearing from our Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Jakki, presenting to parents on “Managing Difficult Behaviors”. If you missed the event, check out Jakki's presentation here >

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ENROLLING NOW
for our Therapeutic Preschool

Check out the latest video in our NEW Learning Series

Sign up for a FREE trial class to one of our enrichment groups!

SUMMER CAMPS

Summer Camps Are Springing Up at Lumiere!

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SUMMER CAMPS ARE SPRINGING UP AT LUMIERE

It may not feel like it yet, but Spring is just around the corner. March 20th is the official first day of Spring! Here at Lumiere, we’ve already started prepping for warmer weather with the introduction of our summer camps! We’re excited to offer half-day camps for one and two-week sessions starting in June. Ages 3-5 can take advantage of our LITTLE EXPLORERS camp, and bigger kids ages 6-8 can join our BIG ADVENTURERS camp. Click HERE to find out more and reserve your spot!

March is National Social Work Month. This holiday serves as a great opportunity to recognize the Chicago woman who developed social work as a profession. In the late 1800’s just down the street from Lumiere at Halsted & Harrison Streets, Jane Addams started a movement that grew into the Hull House, the first settlement house created to support vulnerable populations in receiving educational, legal and health services.

The profession of social work has grown immensely and has become more varied in the populations that it serves today. At Lumiere, our social workers seek to support children and families in strengthening their interpersonal skills in order to engage and function within society. At the heart of happiness is strong relationships, so Lumiere social workers seek to support children and families at developing healthy relationships by responding to their emotions in healthy ways. When families seek services from our social workers, they are typically seeking solutions for their children as they struggle to manage their emotions.

Read on for some of the most common recommendations made to families to support children in developing healthy coping skills at home:

PRACTICE. Children will not be able to access healthy coping skill when they are upset, if they have not practiced them when they are calm.  Aiding your child in practicing coping skills when they are calm will aid them in utilizing their skills when they are becoming upset. Practice the following with your child:

  • Free coloring

  • Counting slowly to 10

  • Asking for help

  • Express your emotion "I feel..."

  • Take 5 deep breaths

  • Listen to music 

  • Hug yourself

  • Name or think of your favorite things

  • Stretch 

  • Say positive affirmations "I am brave”

MODEL. Children learn from their environment. Parents who model coping skills and how to appropriately respond to their own emotions, will go a long way in aiding children to develop healthy coping skills. 

SELF-ATTUNEMENT. When your child is upset, focus on keeping yourself calm.  An escalated parent typically escalates a child more.  It is like being on an airplane: put your oxygen mask on first, so you can then take care of your child.  

CREATE. Children who struggle to calm themselves down, usually enjoy creating. Try incorporating ways for your child to create, such as craft time, baking time, or lego time.  This proactive approach will aid your child in learning how to self-regulate.

ATTENTION. Providing consistent, one-on-one attention aids children in regulating their emotions. Try taking 15-20 minutes a day to sit on the floor and play with your child.  

EMOTIONAL CHECK-INS. Having consistent routines where your child feels safe and “listened to” can also reduce your child’s need to seek support through behavior. Creating a daily or weekly routine that includes an emotional check-in is one way to achieve this. For example, at bedtime, ask your child to express their “highs” and “lows” of the day.  

PRAISE. Children are developing their problem-solving skills.  When you observe your child solve a problem, make sure you praise them.  Over time, they will notice they can use their problem-solving skills when responding to their emotions. 

REGULATE.  Not every big emotion can be prevented, so having co-regulation tools around the house can aid children in calming down once they are already upset. Tools could include silly putty, a soft place to lay down, a favorite stuffed animal or stress balls.  

Tips provided by Lumiere therapist, Claire C. (Clinical Social Worker/Therapist, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.)


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SOCIAL WORK
We help school-aged children with anxiety, bullying and self-esteem issues.
Find out more here

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INFANT PHYSICAL THERAPY
Check out our blog series on infant torticollis and plagiocephaly here

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SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS
Did you know we can work with your child’s school? We welcome referrals.
Contact us

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Come check out our booth, speak to our therapists and hear Jakki, one of our ABA Board Certified Behavior Analysts speak on "Managing Difficult Behaviors" as part of the guest speaker presentations!
Check out Jakki's video here >

THE DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES RESOURCE FAIR

hosted by the Neighborhood Parent Network www.npnparents.org

When: Sunday, March 31st

Where: DePaul College Prep, 3633 N. California Avenue, Chicago IL

Time: 10am-2pm

>> We will be raffling off a FREE summer camp session at the event! See you there!

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

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“March 8th is International Women's Day. I couldn't be more proud of the amazing women that our company comes into contact with everyday; from other women owned businesses and the partnerships we have created, to the amazing women who are dedicated moms, wives, friends, clients, and Lumiere employees.  I am so inspired by you and grateful for the relationships we have built and maintain.  This day is to recognize you and all that you do.”

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March 2nd is National Read Across America Day, a day that celebrates the wonderful world of reading! Lumiere speech therapists use books daily during therapy sessions to build vocabulary, increase attention to clinician-directed tasks, target a variety of 'WH' questions about pictures and stories, and to ultimately build positive interactions through a shared enjoyable activity.

We encourage you to read to your children as often as possible, as books can help kids explore unlimited topics and places while at home. Click below to read on for some tips to encourage language use and participation during shared reading:

Give them a choice. Pick two books and give your child the option of which one to read to make them involved in the process - they may tell you verbally or via pointing.

Utilize your local library. Libraries have endless options for children's books and may even have additional resources to help your child enjoy reading (i.e. kids group events held at the branch).

Make it your own! While reading, incorporate silly sounds, funny voices, and movements to motivate your child. Remember, the more they enjoy reading, the more they will learn!

Encourage quiet time. Let your child explore books on their own. Looking at pictures, turning pages, and escaping into a story can help your child get familiar with and even like books. While we encourage you to ask questions at times during reading, make sure they don't feel pressure to constantly perform. We want it to be FUN and stress-free for the children.

Model reading. Believe it or not, children often imitate adult actions. If they see you engaging in reading time at home, they will view reading as a daily activity and hopefully create a lifelong healthy habit of reading books. Happy Reading!

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When we started out 10 years ago, our VISION was to create, capture and celebrate 100,000 Magic MomentsSM by the year 2020. What are Magic MomentsSM? They are every small step, every little success and tiny milestone met that makes a big impact on the lives of children and families in meeting their family goals.

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See some of our Magic MomentsSM here

2019 marks the start of our 11th year in business. Since opening our doors in 2008, we've been celebrating and tracking Magic Moments - and now we'll be sharing them with you here every month. Please see below on how you can share yours with us!

Have a Magic MomentSM you want to share?

Upload a picture or video to your page and tag us @LumiereChild for your chance to be featured on our social media! We are always looking to identify success stories and positive experiences around therapy!

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ENROLLING NOW
for our Therapeutic Preschool

Check out the latest video in our NEW Learning Series

Sign up for a FREE trial class to one of our enrichment groups!

SUMMER CAMPS

5 Ways to Make a Big Impact on Little Hearts

5 WAYS TO MAKE A BIG IMPACT ON LITTLE HEARTS

Valentine’s Day, of course, is what first comes to mind when we think of February holidays. But did you also know that this is the month for Heart Health? In fact, February 1st is National Wear Red Day to promote awareness for heart health but what about the emotional side of taking care of your child’s heart? We can do our hearts good by spreading kindness. February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day! Make sure to be following us on Facebook and Instagram to see how our kiddos will work on spreading kindness to one another! Want to show heart happiness to your child?

Here’s how:

  1. Keep them active. Physical activity is at the base of every healthy heart. The American Heart Association recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity every day. In addition to getting blood pumping and working out the heart, it’s also good for growing bones and muscles. Movement also boosts your energy and helps you sleep better at night! This is important no matter what our age, but it’s a great lifestyle trait to start incorporating into kids’ lives from a younger age. Keeping your heart healthy should be something that kids begin to understand at a young age. The best way to do this is to make sure kids get the daily recommended amount of physical activity.

  2. Make movement fun. Of course, nice weather naturally begets more movement – parks, pools, beaches, playgrounds, biking, running and walking are just some examples. However, winter months see a lag in our opportunities to incorporate physical movement into our daily routine. Therefore, we need to make a concerted effort to find creative ways to move. If you’re stuck inside, you can throw a dance party in the living room, create an obstacle course, or have the kids join you in some yoga (Twister, anyone?).

  3. Eat the rainbow. Establishing healthy eating habits when your child is young sets, the blueprint for a healthier future. Food is fuel; much like a car needs good fuel to function well, teaching your kids to eat the right "fuel" to help their bodies "go" is a relatable way to get them thinking differently about food. How do you do this? Get them excited about eating more fruits and vegetables by telling them about how our bodies need colorful foods -and urging your child to try them. "Peppers come in yellow, red and green. Carrots are orange. Broccoli is dark green but celery is light green. What else is yellow that we can try?" You can make it a game where the person with more colorful plate, wins!

  4. Manage stressful situations. We're so busy trying to manage our own stress as adults, that we may not think that kids are also stressed – just in different ways. This can come in the form of anxiety around friendships, bullying, pressure to win, learn, accomplish or be good at something, doing well in school and even, pleasing you. Try to step away from the stressors of your everyday life, clear your head and take time to take or observe your child and what may be causing him/her to act differently, talk less or become disconnected. Try to connect by asking specific but non-pressuring questions in a calm environment. Pay more attention in your daily observations of your child –routines, sleep patterns, quality of sleep, meals, actions and reactions. A little more targeted awareness can go a long way in helping them manage and reduce their stressors – now and in the future.

  5. Show love and kindness. This is the emotional aspect of being kind to your heart – which is just as important as the physical and nutritional aspect. Teaching and showing kids love, empathy, affection, understanding and kindness to friends and strangers are traits that the world can always use – and that starts with exemplifying it to impressionable kids. We, as parents and caregivers, are the role models in their lives, after all. Helping them through friendship dilemmas, teaching them to stand up and support those who can’t do it for themselves, or doing something nice for someone without expecting something in return are great ways to teach by example.

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SOCIAL WORK
We help school-aged children with anxiety, bullying and self-esteem issues.
Find out more here


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SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS
Did you know we can work with your child’s school? We welcome referrals. Contact Us


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We offer a team-focused multidisciplinary approach to therapy. Learn more about what makes us unique.

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Kitsa Antonopoulos

Kitsa Antonopoulos

SUMMER CAMPS ARE COMING!

“In a city like Chicago, it’s never too early to start thinking about summer. We’ve been thinking a lot about it, too.

I am thrilled to announce that we will be launching our first-ever summer camp program, just in time for the move to our new location at nearby New City this Spring! Sessions will begin in June and run through August. Camps will be available for ages 3-5 and 6-8. You can find more information on our website later this month…stay tuned!”

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Bringing awareness to those who require or are currently using a feeding tube, also brings awareness to the reasons why it’s needed in the first place.

For children who are at risk for complications when eating by mouth, feeding tubes can provide necessary nutrition in a safe manner. There are six types of feeding tubes available to children with swallowing problems. To get more insight into the advantages and disadvantages of each type of feeding tube, click on our link below.

Read More

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When we started out 10 years ago, our VISION was to create, capture and celebrate 100,000 Magic Moments(SM) by the year 2020. What are Magic Moments(SM)? They are every small step, every little success and tiny milestone met that makes a big impact on the lives of children and families in meeting their family goals.

See some of our Magic Moments(SM) here

2019 marks the start of our 11th year in business. Since opening our doors in 2008, we've been celebrating and tracking Magic Moments - and now we'll be sharing them with you here every month. Please see below on how you can share yours with us!

Kitsa Antonopoulos (right) is presented with the Alumni Merit Award from Dr. Mardell Wilson, Ed.D., RD, LDN, Dean of Doisy College of Health Sciences.  Photo Credit: SLU
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Upload a picture or video to your page and tag us @LumiereChild for your chance to be featured on our social media! We are always looking to identify success stories and positive experiences around therapy!

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Come check out our booth, speak to our therapists and hear one of our ABA Board Certified Behavior Analysts speak on "Managing Difficult Behaviors" as part of the guest speaker presentations!

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THE DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES RESOURCE FAIR

hosted by the Neighborhood Parent Network www.npnparents.org

When: Sunday, March 31st

Where: DePaul College Prep, 3633 N. California Avenue, Chicago IL

Time: 10am-2pm

We will be raffling off a FREE summer camp session at the event! See you there!

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ENROLLING NOW for our Therapeutic Preschool

Check out the latest video in our NEW Learning Series

Sign up for a FREE trial class to one of our enrichment groups!

7 WAYS TO BEAT POST-HOLIDAY BOREDOM

7 WAYS TO BEAT POST-HOLIDAY BOREDOM

Now that the fun and fanfare of the holidays is over, you may notice that “merry and bright” has been replaced with boredom and cabin fever. Add the fact that winter is still in full force, weary kids and families may begin to feel the onset of the post-holiday blues. Here are some fun games and activities you can do to keep your child’s mind active, their body moving and their sensory system regulated:

  1. Scavenger Hunt: Have your child find items around the house and talk about them along the way; you can even make it holiday themed! Having your child describe each item they find works on using sentences and promotes vocabulary development by using new and fun adjectives!

  2. Animal “Walks”: Have your child walk like many different animals (I,e, bear, dog, snake, kangaroo, frog, crab walks). These positions help strengthen their legs, arms, and core, while your child has fun pretending to be various animals.

  3. Simon Says: Simon Says is a great way to work on language comprehension and following direction; it incorporates as much movement as you want! It also helps develop hand-eye coordination and body awareness. Take turns letting the child give the directions so they can work on forming phrases or sentences. You can give the game a holiday twist by referring to it as “Santa Says” or “Turkey Says”!

  4. Ball/Balloon Play: Keep the ball small and stick to the holiday theme! Encourage your child to throw underhand into an opened gift-wrapped box or have him/her pretend throwing a “tree ornament” into a basket. To make it more difficult for older children, have them stand on one foot or on a pillow as they throw. With balloons, play volleyball by encouraging one and two-hand taps at various distances to work on agility and hand-eye coordination.

  5. Laundry Train: Have your child push a laundry basket through the house to pick up designated items (such as all the puzzle pieces in a puzzle, or all the rings of a stacker). You can weigh the basket down with some heavy books to help your child get some energy out as he or she pushes it along the ground.  Child Yoga: Child yoga positions can be fun yet calming to your child! Getting into each position by imitating a parent/therapist and/or a picture requires body awareness and visual understanding. Changing from one position to another can help your child learn how to sequence activities. While your child maintains the position, the sensory input to their body can be calming as well as strengthening. For child yoga positions, look online for Child Yoga downloads.

  6. Red Light, Green Light: Stand with your child at one end of the room or hallway. Explain to your child what each sign means: Green means GO! Red means STOP! Yellow means SLOW! Progress from walking to other motor skills such as crawling on hands and knees, belly crawling, jumping on two feet, skipping, walking backwards, sideways, etc. You can print out pictures of a traffic light or make your own with construction paper or to get your child in the holiday spirit, pretend you are walking/running/driving to Thanksgiving dinner, to see Santa, being in the snow, or to pick up a Christmas tree etc.

  7. Snow Day: If there’s snow outside, bundle up and go jump in! Grab a sled or toboggan and pull them for a ride around the block. Make snow angels, snow balls and a snowman! They’ll be having so much fun, they won’t realize they’re incorporating strength-building movement and using sensory tactile exploration and fine motor skills!

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SOCIAL WORK
We help school-aged children with anxiety, bullying and self-esteem issues.
Find out more here


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MOVEMENT GROUPS
Did you know we offer a yoga series? Learn more


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We now accept Medicaid for ST and PT! Find out more here

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Kitsa Antonopoulos

Kitsa Antonopoulos

NEW YEAR... NEW SPACE!

“Happy 2019! If you’ve been in to see us recently, you may have noticed that we’re running out of space; we’ve noticed it, too. So, we will be growing to meet your needs. We are thrilled to announce that Lumiere Children’s Therapy will be moving in the spring! Our new space will be located in nearby New City. In addition to over 5,000 sq.-ft. of space to work with, we will also be offering curbside drop-off and pick-up as well as ample parking options. We are excited to provide this gorgeous new facility to our families. Here’s to a new space in the new year!”

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Sometimes, suggesting something as simple as a fingerplay activity can help curb boredom and make scheduled routines fun! Fingerplay, used by speech therapists to build skills and maintain interest, is a combination of hand and/or finger movements along with verbal accompaniment in the form of words or songs. It may seem rather unimpressive, but according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, can be very beneficial.

  • An On-The-Go Option. Fingerplays can be incorporated by parents or therapists anywhere at any time – during therapy, as part of a bedtime or bath time routine, in the car or in a store. They don’t require technology, a special setting or particular equipment. This technique is always at your “fingertips”!

  • Supports Motor Development. Fingerplays help build hand-eye coordination, visual-spatial tracking, body awareness, self-regulation and hones in on executive-functioning skills.

  • Incorporates Story Structures. Popular fingerplay songs like “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and “Where is Thumbkin?” contain all the elements of a story – who, what where, when and how. This supports narrative understanding and creative expression for kids in developing their oral narrative skills.

  • Promotes key developmental skills. Kids are encouraged to pay attention in how they will use their bodies to act out fingerplays. This promotes self-regulation and physical movement like clapping and other arm movements as well as literary and speech-language skills like singing, rhyming and repeating.

  • Encourage personal bonding. Creating a child-adult connection is important in therapy at any age – especially at younger ages. Kids observe adult facial reactions, voice inflections and hand movements to learn and mimic. Fingerplays like “Pat-a-Cake” encourage touching, tickling and laughing which contributes to the overall building of trust.

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When we started out 10 years ago, our VISION was to create, capture and celebrate 100,000 Magic Moments(SM) by the year 2020. What are Magic Moments(SM)? They are every small step, every little success and tiny milestone met that makes a big impact on the lives of children and families in meeting their family goals.

See some of our Magic Moments(SM) here

We’re thrilled to announce that we celebrated 12,500 magic moments in 2018! This brings our 10-year total to 68,750! As we get closer to our goal, we want to share it with you – and you can share yours as well!

Kitsa Antonopoulos (right) is presented with the Alumni Merit Award from Dr. Mardell Wilson, Ed.D., RD, LDN, Dean of Doisy College of Health Sciences.  Photo Credit: SLU
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Upload a picture or video to your page and tag us @LumiereChild for your chance to be featured on our social media! We are always looking to identify success stories and positive experiences around therapy!

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ENROLLING NOW for our Therapeutic Preschool

Check out the latest video in our NEW Learning Series

Sign up for a FREE trial class to one of our enrichment groups!

HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

There’s no place like home for the holidays…where kids will be looking for things to do! Why not get them into the holiday spirit by getting creative? Having your child help with holiday-themed activities can build fine motor skills and build comprehension and direction-following skills – all while having fun! Below are some fun ideas:

  • Bake Cookies - have your child stir, roll out the dough, use a cookie cutter and even have them decorate with icing! This can also be a food tactile sensory and food exploration activity.

  • Wrap Gifts - have your child use safety scissors to help cut the wrapping paper, tape it together and add a peel n’ stick bow.

  • Create Cards - have your child make holiday cards for friends and family to work on coloring and writing their name, if they are able. You can put stickers on the cards to add an extra fine motor activity.

  • Make Hot Cocoa - work on having your child follow directions, measure and pour to make hot cocoa. You can get them to add small marshmallows to work on grasping and counting.

  • Craft Snowflake Decorations - Have your child fold up a piece of paper and carefully cut out pieces; when you open it up it will be a snowflake!

  • Make “Winter” Play Dough - Measure 1/2 cup of hair conditioner and 1 cup of cornstarch (you may need to add more to get the right consistency); mix it together and knead the play dough until it becomes smooth and soft. Optional: add blue sparkles and spruce essential oil.

  • Read Holiday-Themed Books - Reading holiday-themed books helps kids prepare for what's to come in terms of holidays! Seeing pictures that involve potential holiday decorations, food, traditions, etc., can help them get a sense for what the holidays might look like. If your child has a favorite character or book series, try searching holiday titles involving these characters (e.g. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, Merry Christmas Curious George, etc.). Ask your child questions (who, what, when, where, and why) while you read your favorite holiday stories and help them to form phrases and sentences to answer the questions appropriately. Going to the library or bookstore and letting them be involved in the process of picking books to read is also a fun activity for kids!

  • Introduce Holiday Songs - Get your little ones excited about the holidays by singing holiday songs! Some songs we will be singing at Lumiere are: “Jingle Bells”, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. You can always search songs online for help. If your holiday plans with family and friends include any specific songs (e.g. religious ceremonies), practice those lyrics with your children so they are familiar.

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SOCIAL WORK
We help school-aged children with anxiety, bullying and self-esteem issues.
Find out more here


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MOVEMENT GROUPS
Did you know we offer a yoga series? Learn more


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We offer a team-focused approach to therapy. Learn more about what makes us unique.


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We now accept Medicaid for ST and PT! Find out more here

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LUMIERE CHILDREN’S THERAPY
CLOTHING & TOY DRIVE
DECEMBER 1-20

Please join us in giving back to kids in need this season by bringing new or gently used, unwrapped toys, clothing and shoes to our location. We will be distributing these items to various children’s therapies in Chicago. Thank you helping us spread holiday cheer!

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The holidays can be stressful, but they don’t have to be! Here are some tips to keep your holiday season “merry and bright”:

  1. Kids thrive on routine and structure. If your child’s daily routine will be changing for the holidays, make sure you prepare them by telling them in advance. Making a schedule can help with this – we recommend getting a monthly calendar. You can put important events on the calendar and have them cross out each day, so they can expect when events are approaching.

  2. Holiday parties can be loud and overstimulating to children. Make sure you give them support when needed. Seek out a “safe place” your child can go to, to calm down (maybe a quiet room, bathroom or the car); if you see your child is beginning to get overstimulated you can remove them from the environment and take them to the “safe place” in order to prevent and treat overstimulation.

  3. Create social stories for off-routine days: If your child is feeling nervous about the routine change of holiday plans, it may help to make a social story (or find one online) so they know what to expect. Make a short book outlining your families holiday steps and include related pictures. Be sure to read your “book” multiple times leading up to the holiday so your child is prepared for the day and has a good understanding of the sequence of events that will take place. You can even have them help by drawing the pictures for more involvement! (i.e. “Christmas Morning at Our House”.1) wake up 2) get dressed 3) grandma and grandpa come over 4) open presents 5) have breakfast together as a family.) If your child has feeding difficulties, be sure to include in your story specific food items that will be served so your child feels prepared to see, and potential try, foods not typically consumed.

  4. Keep things positive! When talking about events, bring up fun and exciting things so your child has something to look forward to and is more motivated to participate.

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Kitsa Antonopoulos (right) is presented with the Alumni Merit Award from Dr. Mardell Wilson, Ed.D., RD, LDN, Dean of Doisy College of Health Sciences.  Photo Credit: SLU

Kitsa Antonopoulos (right) is presented with the Alumni Merit Award from Dr. Mardell Wilson, Ed.D., RD, LDN, Dean of Doisy College of Health Sciences.

Photo Credit: SLU

"It was an honor for me to recently be chosen by my alma mater, Saint Louis University, to receive the 2018 Doisy College of Health Sciences Alumni Merit Award. This award is the culmination of how my education set the foundation for the philosophy that Lumiere Children's Therapy is built upon; taking time to understand the needs of families and helping to guide them so they can get access to the services that they need. This is at the heart of the core values I created for Lumiere Children's Therapy."

From our family to yours, wishing you a blessed holiday season and a happy new year!

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ENROLLING NOW for our Therapeutic Preschool

Check out the latest video in our NEW Learning Series

Sign up for a FREE trial class to one of our enrichment groups!

5 Ways to Create Family Magic Moments This Thanksgiving

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GIVING THANKS FOR...

We can’t believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner! It’s time to give thanks for the year’s blessings and making time to create lasting memories of togetherness with loved ones. Here’s what our Lumiere family is thankful for:

OUR 10 YEARS of SERVICE

This year, we are proud to celebrate 10 years of providing quality pediatric therapy services in Chicago. Our community of neighbors, parents and children have become an extension of our Lumiere family.

MAGIC MOMENTS

We pride ourselves on making your family goals, our goals. In fact, when we started out, we set a special goal of our own, which became our VISION: To create, capture and celebrate 100,000 magic moments by the year 2020. Magic Moments are every small step, every little success and tiny milestone met, that makes a big impact on the lives of children and families in meeting their family goals.

This year, we're thrilled to announce that we celebrated 12,500 Magic Moments; this brings our 10-year total to 68,750 Magic Moments! We're thankful that we are able to provide and experience these moments with you. See all of our magic moments here

OUR FAMILY

This includes you - the parents and guardians who entrust us with the developmental care of your children - as well as our community partners and amazing team of therapists, admins, billing specialists, ancillary teams and interns for their dedication and unparalleled service.


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"Ten years ago, when I started Lumiere Children’s Therapy, I wanted to make a difference by lessening the burden of uncertainty and anxiety that comes along with having a child that learns differently. I soon realized that every little success is truly a magic moment that should be counted and celebrated. I am eternally thankful to my amazing staff, who strive to give light to this vision - it's a blessing to see how our clinicians touch the lives of your children. Most of all, I am thankful for you, our families, who entrust us with the developmental care of your children every day. You are all part of our family."


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Fun things you can do as a family!

  1. Walk! Don’t Drive - skip the car ride and take a walk instead. Explore nature by collecting fallen autumn leaves and compare them. How are they different? Why?

  2. Cook Together - have your kiddo help with dinner by stirring, pouring and measuring out ingredients.

  3. Game On - designate a family game night and try a different board game or join in their pretend play. Kids love it when you take part in their activities.

  4. Create Art - bring out the craft bin and add paints, crayons or markers and create your own family masterpiece - then display it!

  5. Show Time - put on a family talent show by dressing up, and showcase your singing, dancing or magic show abilities!


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ENROLLING NOW for our Therapeutic Preschool

Check out the latest video in our NEW Learning Series

Sign up for a FREE trial class to one of our enrichment groups!

Physical & Occupational Therapies: What You Should Know

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DID YOU KNOW…

October is National Learning & Development Month? It’s also National Physical Therapy Month and National Sensory Processing Awareness Month!

That’s not a coincidence. Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are an integral part of our learning and development services at Lumiere Children’s Therapy.

All of our physical therapists are PhD certified and all of our occupational therapists hold Masters degrees in their field. Below, they have compiled helpful information about Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy evaluations as well as milestone guidelines by age, to help you assess if your child is on track. Of course, the best way to have your child assessed is to bring him or her to Lumiere, where we can perform a thorough screening and evaluation in a comfortable and nurturing setting.

To request a screening evaluation in Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy, please contact us today by click here.

PHYSICAL THERAPY

What do pediatric physical therapists assess?

Our physical therapists look at a child’s gross motor ability, and their ability to navigate environments. We also screen for strength throughout the body such as coordination/balance, quality of movements, appropriate physical development and ability to play and keep up with peers by utilizing age-appropriate motor skills. 

From infancy, we can assist in developing skills such as rolling, sitting up, and crawling. As a child grows, our PTs will look at a child’s ability to walk, run, jump, and manipulate objects including throwing or kicking a ball.  PTs also look at a child’s motor planning skills, which includes the ability to sequence movement or perform a novel task. Intervention techniques applied by our PTs are play-based, functional, and fun in order to engage your child and motivate them. Our techniques also enable kids to reach their fullest potential, realize their full motor abilities and ultimately, improve their quality of life.

How do I know if my child needs Physical Therapy?

Parents should consider seeking an evaluation with one of our Physical Therapists if their child is unable to demonstrate any of the following by age*:

AGE SKILL
5-6 months Rolling back to front and front to back on both sides
6-8 months Sitting up on their own and playing with toys without falling
8-10 months Crawling on hands and knees; Pulling to stand at a surface; Cruising along a surface
10-13 months Beginning to stand alone and take steps
12-15 months Walking unassisted
24 months Jumping up with two feet together; Performs stairs with two feet per step without support
30 months Balances on one foot for 3 seconds; Kicks a ball forward by swinging leg back; Performs stairs with one foot per step without support
36 months Catches a ball with hands and arms out from 5 feet away; Throws ball underhand about 7 feet
42 months Balances on one foot for 5 seconds; Throws ball overhand up to 10 feet while taking a step
48 months Hops on one foot; Gallops 10 feet; Skips forward; Throws ball underhand 10 feet

*These are a general range of typical ages; your child may be anywhere along the gross motor continuum. All children develop differently! A physical therapist can evaluate your child and let you know if your child will benefit from physical therapy services.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

What do pediatric Occupational Therapists assess?

Our Occupational Therapists evaluate sensory processing abilities in: cognitive skills (learning, thinking, problem-solving), fine motor skills (pencil grasp for writing, feeding, day-to-day movement), visual motor skills, visual perception, play skills, strength, coordination & body awareness, self-help skills, and attention & sensory processing.

Occupational Therapy can help children become more independent in their daily activities such as dressing, feeding, grooming, writing and playing. OT can also help children to become more successful at home, in school, and within their communities.

Our evaluations are family-centered, so we will always work with the family on what they would like us to assess based on their goals and concerns.

How do I know if my child needs Occupational Therapy?

Parents should consider seeking an evaluation with one of our Occupational Therapists if their child is unable to demonstrate any of the following by age*:

AGE SKILL
4-6 months Looks around at things nearby; Brings things to mouth and passes from one hand to another; Shows curiosity about things that are out of reach
7-9 months Plays peek-a-boo; Picks up things like cereal between thumb and index finger; watches the path of a falling object
10-14 months Looks at right object when named; drinks from a cup, puts things in and out of containers; points with index finger
15-18 months Points to body parts; Scribbles; follows one-step verbal commands like “sit down”; starts “pretend play”
24 months Begins to sort shapes and colors; plays simple make-believe games; names items in a picture book; completes rhymes in familiar books; follows two-step instructions like “pick up your shoes and put them in the closet”
3 years Can work toys with moving parts; does 3-4 piece puzzles; copies a circle with a crayon; turns book pages; turns door handles
4 years Names some colors and numbers; starts to understand time, uses scissors, starts to copy capital letters
5 years Counts 10 or more things; can print some letters and numbers, copies a triangle; knows about things used every day like money and food

*These are a general range of typical ages; your child may be anywhere along the gross motor continuum. All children develop differently! An occupational therapist can evaluate your child and let you know if your child will benefit from occupational therapy services.

Check out the second video
in our NEW Learning Series:
Shape Formations & Grasping

Contact us today to request
your FREE trial class to
one of our Therapeutic Groups!

ENROLLING NOW
for our Therapeutic Preschool

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Tips For Helping Your Child Transition Back to School

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The start of a new school year can be an exciting time - new friends, new teachers and fun, new school supplies! However, it can also be a source of anxiety for children: leaving the comfort of home, separating from mom or dad and overall, uncertainty.

Our therapists have pulled together some tips to help parents and children during this exciting but oftentimes scary transition.

  • Do a run-through. For kids going to a new school (or for any child anxious about going to school), have parents drive by the school to show the child where it is and what it looks like. Do a walk-through of the school and meet the teacher, if you can. Talk about what drop-off and pick-up will look like. If they take a bus, what bus number is it, etc. If there are any familiar faces at the school, talk about them (i.e. a neighborhood friend, an older sibling).
  • Check out play spaces. If physical activities can be difficult or intimidating, explore the new playground at the school so your child feels more comfortable at recess.
  • Role Play. Use pretend play at home - role play as teachers and students using dolls, stuffed animals, or figurines. Act out what it would be like in the classroom, lunchroom, P.E., art, etc.
  • Read about it. There are many books about the topic of starting school and going back to school; read them together, aloud, and encourage questions about anything your child may be unsure of.
  • Share your experiences. Have parents talk about how they felt going to school. Validate being afraid and nervous. Talk about things you were excited about, positive experiences you remember, etc.
  • Keep Passions in Play. If your child became a weaving whiz at summer camp or a diving champ at the local pool, keep it going. Integrate new summer hobbies into the school year by finding after-school clubs or groups that will let children continue to do the cool new things they tried this summer!
  • Have fun with practicing independent skills. Make it a game, have a race! Some independent skills to practice include washing their hands, using the toilet, putting on shoes and socks, hanging their coat on a hook, putting on a backpack, and using utensils at the table — all are important skills that they will be working on in early school age years!
  • Acknowledge feelings. Although it’s tempting to quickly reassure your child school will be fine and move on, it’s important to let your child know that his or her worries have been heard. Allow your child to express their feelings, listen closely and acknowledge your child's feelings about the end of summer time.
  • Create a social story. If a child is really anxious, you can make a social story about going to the new school. This can be made on a PowerPoint talking about what each day will look like (for example: wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, go to school, play with friends, see mom at end of day, etc.). If the parent is able to get pictures of the school to add to the story, that would be best. Then they can read that story leading up to their first day of school. 
  • Help them help themselves. Have your child work on self-help skills that they will need to be able to do in school by themselves such as putting shoes/coat on before going to recess, opening containers and eating with utensils at lunch, drinking from water fountain, and putting backpack on at the end of the day. 
  • Keep an active schedule. Going back to a structured schedule can be hard for kids, especially if that means more seated activities then what they are used to. Make sure the kids still have opportunities to move their bodies before and after school if they need it. If your child is an early riser, you can try going for a walk, yoga poses or animal walks before school. If it’s after school, you can try going to the park or making obstacle courses. 
  • Don’t forget about the little things. Make sure you leave plenty of extra time to get ready in the morning so it’s less stressful for everyone. Give your child choices whenever possible to help them feel more in control. Have them decide what they want for breakfast and lunch. When shopping for school supplies let them pick out their own items (i.e. a “super hero” backpack may make all the difference in getting them out the door or into the classroom).
  • Attitude is everything. Try to be as positive and enthusiastic as you can about your child going to school. Children feed off their parents’ vibes. You can talk about how fun it’s going to be and have them draw pictures of things they are excited to do and try at school. This can also help them get back into coloring/writing activities and work on their fine motor skills.

Watch our video on our
NEW Learning Series:
Pre-Handwriting

Sign up for our Saturday Enrichment Classes

ENROLLING NOW for our Therapeutic Preschool

We now accept Medicaid for Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy! Call us at 312.242.1665 for more information.

 

Tips provided by Lumiere therapists. Learn more about them below.

Shannon received her Master of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida in 2011. Since then, she has practiced as a licensed speech-language pathologist, working with the pediatric population in clinic-based and school settings. Shannon has evaluated and treated children presenting with a wide range of communication disorders related to speech sound production, phonology, fluency, literacy, language processing, and pragmatics/social communication. She has specialized training related to the following programs: Social Thinking; Orton-Gillingham Scope and Sequence for Dyslexia; LiPS (Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program); Zones of Regulation. 

Claire is a licensed clinical social worker who has experience working with children and families from diverse backgrounds. She has been a social worker since 2007 when she graduated from Loyola University Chicago with her Bachelor’s in Social Work. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social Work in 2011. Claire’s treatment specialties include anxiety, depression, self-development, and building skills around self-regulation. Claire also has extensive experience with de-escalating crisis within families along with aiding caregivers in developing attunement skills and effective response to children’s behaviors. 

Kelly is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who has experience working with children ages 0-13 with a wide variety of diagnoses and disabilities. Kelly has pediatric experience in outpatient, inpatient, clinic and in-group settings. Kelly collaborates with other professionals, team members and most importantly the family in order to provide the child with the best possible care. Kelly helps children achieve their fullest potential and helps families to better understand their child. She graduated from University of Missouri with her bachelor’s degree in occupational science in 2013 and master’s degree in occupational therapy in 2015. 

IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT BACK TO SCHOOL

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Enroll NOW for our Therapeutic Preschool and Kindergarten!

It’s hard to believe how fast the summer is flying by, as it always does when you live in Chicago and cherish the limited number of warm days we are provided. August is already upon us and for many students, this means, it’s time to head back to school or at least, start considering educational options for little ones just starting school.

If you have children ages 6 or younger that need a little help getting started, consider our comprehensive therapeutic preschool and kindergarten programs.

Our Pre-K and kindergarten programs provide a supportive and inclusive environment for children of all developmental needs. Our small group setting allows for optimal, personalized therapy for each child.

We offer academics with a play-based approach to teaching and learning. We each share what we know in a relaxing and nurturing environment and work towards a graduation milestone for your child. No victory, success or accomplishment is too small here – in fact, we celebrate each and every achievement as a MAGIC MOMENT.

Your child will learn literacy, math, science and self-care – all explored through music, books, movement, sensory exploration, problem solving and visual/spatial tasks, all while having fun! Each activity will be modified to ensure your child’s success in our program in order to help them achieve academic milestones and ‘graduate’. Our staff provides your child with transitional support throughout the day. We emphasize the importance of social interactions, emotional intelligence and the ability to express feelings.

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We incorporate:

  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Social-Emotional Development through Social Work and Developmental Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy

Our clinic offers a Sensory Gym, allowing children to regulate their bodies before challenging themselves with their academic tasks. We offer small class sizes (6 kids or less) as well as separate, private rooms to build on individual therapy sessions in a private setting.

We align ourselves with the Early Learning State Standards and are committed to Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) through a play-based curriculum to support the needs of our students.

In the end, we want to make your family goals, our goals. A happy family unit is what we strive for with our approach to therapeutic education.

Not sure if our therapeutic preschool and kindergarten programs are the right fit for your child? No worries.

We offer year-round, rolling admission so you can take your time and decide without any pressure. Children can also be registered for full or half-day programs. Enrollment can be for 2-5 days per week, and we offer early drop-off and late pick-up options to accommodate your busy schedules!

We would love to have you come check out our facility. To schedule a visit, just give us a call at 312-242-1665 or contact us HERE.

But, enough from us. Let’s have you hear about our therapeutic Pre-K and Kindergarten programs directly from our parents.

What are our parents saying about our Therapeutic Preschool and Kindergarten?

Mom, Julia and her son, Alec.

How long has your child been attending our Therapeutic Kindergarten?
Alec has been attending Lumiere since October 2017 for Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy sessions.  He was super excited to come into the center and quickly got comfortable there with all the staff. Since then, we decided to have Alec attend kindergarten through Lumiere starting January 2018.

Was there something in particular that interested you about the kindergarten program that would address your child's needs?
To be honest, the overall environment of the clinic is very warm and welcoming.  You almost feel like you are in a spa. It projects calmness which is the most important setting for children with disabilities.  The staff is very pleasant and greets you at the door with a smile, daily.  I feel very comfortable communicating with everyone and receive very good, consistent feedback. There are a lot of services offered and you can really set up your child’s day for all his/her needs. I think having ALL services in a one-stop shop is a very attractive feature that almost no one else offers.

How has your child benefited from Lumiere's therapeutic kindergarten program? 
Alec has shown tremendous progress since he joined Lumiere!  He has finally started to consistently follow directions and gained full understanding of what is being asked of him.  He has done great with being independent since he joined the clinic.  ABA therapy has helped a lot with his everyday communication and regulation.  Not to mention, Alec came in as a non-verbal child and now almost a year later, he is able to communicate with a handful of words and tries to build sentences.  We are extremely excited with his progress!

What are your favorite aspects of the kindergarten?
As we watch our son grow with the help of Lumiere, I think it’s important to note that the people that work with him are the greatest asset for the clinic. Kitsa, the owner, has done an amazing job hiring very capable and highly educated professionals that make Lumiere a highly recommended therapy clinic in Chicago!  Shannon, the program coordinator, Jakki, the ABA director and all other therapists (Jessica, Lea, Megan, Alex and of course Alec’s most favorite person Ms. Maia) make Lumiere the best place for our son!

What are your overall thoughts about the kindergarten/Lumiere?
For our family, the Kindergarten has been a blessing since Alec struggled in school.  We were stressed out, upset and overall unhappy daily walking into the doors of his CPS school. CPS held Alec back in his growth due to lack of expertise on how to handle him.  Lumiere brought our family PEACE and we will never forget that and are forever grateful to everyone who is a part of our son’s life.


Mom, Catherine and her son, Joe.

How long has your child been attending the preschool?
Since April 2018, one month after Joe turned 3.

Was there something in particular that interested you about the preschool that would address your child's needs?
My husband and I were drawn by the preschool's holistic and highly personalized approach. We knew our son needed one-on-one attention from professionals that understood his unique challenges.  We also wanted a voice and the ability to participate in Joe's education, provided by parent meetings and frequent updates.

How has your child benefited from Lumiere's therapeutic preschool program?
Joe has flourished making leaps and bounds in all aspects of life. He isn't just communicating but excited to initiate and participate in conversations and activities.  His preschool peers provide friendship and motivation to learn.

What are your favorite aspects of the preschool?
I want Joe to enjoy being a child. The preschool allows Joe to engage in a number of fun activities that he would miss from a strict therapeutic schedule. I cherish the art projects he brings home and the daily updates (written down and provided by the staff) detailing Joe's day.

What are your overall thoughts about the preschool/Lumiere?
The group of therapists, staff, and students at Lumiere has quickly become Joe's second family. I was overwhelmed by his positive reception and acceptance. Just a few months ago I felt quite anxious about Joe's future. Now, I look forward to each day Joe heads to preschool and Joe does, too! He drags his backpack out even on the weekends!

School's Out, Fun's In!

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JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER…

Lumiere introduces our NEW Handwriting Clubs and NEW Physical Therapy Classes! These include music movement classes, a yoga series and our Ready, Set, Bike! class to get your child prepped for summer cycling.

**Introductory promotion: Book any group in June and receive 10% off for the month!**

Click to download PDF

Click to download PDF

Click to download PDF

Click to download PDF


How to make a smooth transition into summer

June is a glorious time for kids – no more school means the true beginning of summer, heading outdoors, cool treats and new adventures.

For parents, however, summer means a huge fluctuation in schedules and routines for the entire family. Heading to outdoor events and new places can especially bring on their own set of challenges. The key to making this transition as smooth as possible means being prepared. Below, our social workers are sharing some more tips on making outdoor activities a positive experience for the whole family.

PREDICTABILITY

  • Make the upcoming visit a social story. If you are going to a new place that may be overwhelming such as a zoo, concert or festival, talk about it with your child. What will happen there? What can they expect? Predictability helps a lot - especially for kids with autism, who like routine.
  • Have them draw pictures, write out a story or talk about what they are going to see at the event. We usually tell parents to start talking about it a few days beforehand; they can even put it on the calendar to show the kids how it is approaching.
  • Make a schedule for the day of the event if you think your child needs it. Saying things like, “first we will visit the lion house, then we’ll see the elephants and then we will have a picnic lunch” prepares them with predictability and security. 

SENSORY BREAKS

  • Think about bringing a stroller, so if they do get overwhelmed, they can find comfort in their safe spot. If this is not an option, scope out the venue in advance to see if there is a quiet place you can go to remove the child from the overstimulating environment.
  • Take breaks and walk away from the busy environment. It can even be something as simple as setting up a little picnic area in a grassy spot away from all the action.

CONTROL

  • Letting your child have a say in the day’s activities can help them feel like they have more control over the situation.
  • Give them options and let them make a few choices about where you can go or what you should do. For example, “should we get food first or go on a ride?” 

 PREFERENCES

  • Think about your child’s likes and dislikes before going anywhere. For example, if they do not like swings at the park, they most likely will not like rollercoaster rides.
  •  If your child startles with loud noises, they may need noise-cancelling headphones at a concert.
  •  If your child is resistive to tactile sensory input, the waterpark may be overwhelming.

CALMING STRATEGIES
Ideas for sensory sensitive kids that parents can bring with them:

  • Mouth: Chew toy, crunchy foods/favorite foods or gum
  • Eyes: Visual calming things to look at (they can make a sensory bottle), sunglasses, hat
  • Ears: Headphones or calming music
  • Hands: Fidgets or soft stuffed animal
  • Proprioceptive: weighted blanket

Check out our handy list of outdoor festivals this month in our OUT & ABOUT section, below!


SPOTLIGHT ON…

Nathan: A Lumiere Success Story

Nathan has been with Lumiere since June 2015. This month, he will be graduating from our therapeutic preschool.  Here is his story…

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Nathan began receiving services from us through the State of Illinois’ Early Intervention program at the age of three. When he aged out of Early Intervention in April 2016, his mother, Nicole, needed to find a therapy clinic for him. “I needed to continue therapies on my own,” recalls Nicole, a CPS elementary school teacher. At the recommendation of one of the therapists, Nicole was referred to Lumiere.

His initial evaluation at Lumiere was for speech. “He was only using utterances and lots of non-verbal communication,” remembers Nicole. Nathan started with speech therapy and later added Occupational Therapy. Nathan received his autism diagnosis at the age of two-and-a-half, but even before then, Nicole’s concerns began around Nathan’s speech. “He started off saying a few words between the ages of one and two and then he just lost that,” she says.

“He was in co-treatment until he started in the therapeutic preschool full-time program in October of 2016,” says Nicole. “He was also signed up for the weekly Socialights clubs.”

After three years of a comprehensive, customized treatment plan by his therapy team at Lumiere, Nathan will be graduating from our therapeutic preschool program this month. He is reading, writing and speaking more - even well on his way to structuring sentences.

“His physical aspect is much better now,” says Nicole. “He does things with me at home, follows directions well, he’s learned how to redirect behaviors on his own, and he’s more verbal now. His non-verbal is diminishing. He’s requesting things more, he’s way more independent now, and he just figures things out more on his own.”

As for how she feels about Lumiere’s role in aiding her son’s developmental progress, Nicole tells us in her own words. “I credit Lumiere with how much progress Nathan has made and I give them all the praise in the world about how far he’s come and all the new things he’s learned. We have a great relationship with the therapists. They’ve been patient with him and communicative with us. They took my suggestions, ran with them and turned it around for Nathan. I love them and we’ll be in tears when he leaves. Lumiere was the best decision I ever made.”


COMMUNITY CORNER

Meet Dr. Tom of Roots Family Chiropractic

Dr. Tom is the chiropractor behind Roots Family Chiropractic, a primarily pediatric and prenatal chiropractic office, which opened in 2016 and is based in Lincoln Park. His wife, Lauren, is the office manager.

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The fact that most of his members are children, makes his practice very unique. He calls his services “safe, gentle and highly effective” for kids to quell concerns about misconceptions people have about chiropractic techniques. The main goal is to assess any interference (i.e. stress) on the nervous system through state-of-the-art technology and make recommendations for ongoing care. Dr. Tom a hard-working individual with a strong foundation built on providing neurologically based chiropractic care to practice members of all ages.

Dr. Tom aims to take care of the entire family. “We take great pride in our mission of empowering families to live a health-based life and we are excited to see how our practice continues to grow and help serve the families of Chicago!”

His care approach is different in that it focuses on the functionality of the nervous system and its ability to adapt. He specializes in Epic Pediatrics, Torque Release Technique and Webster’s Technique.

In March 2015, Dr. Tom took the opportunity to utilize his compassionate nature and commitment to quality chiropractic care by traveling on a clinic abroad trip to the island of Bequia. There he spread chiropractic care to underprivileged children and parents.

Dr. Tom completed his Doctorate of Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA. He is currently attaining a pediatric certification, CACCP, through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

Roots Family Chiropractic
(Lincoln Park)
2744 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
312-724-8724
www.rootsfamilychiro.com


OUT & ABOUT

JUNE FESTIVALS in CHICAGO

1-2       DO DIVISION STREET FEST- Division, Damen & Leavitt

1-3       LINCOLN PARK GREEK FEST – Sheffield, Diversey & Schubert

2-3       57th STREET ART FAIR – 57th Street, between Kenwood & Woodlawn

8-10     ANDERSONVILLE MIDSOMMAR FEST – Clark Street, between Foster & Catalpa

8-10     RIBFEST CHICAGO – Lincoln/Damen/Irving Park

8-10     CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL – Millennium Park

8-10     SPRING AWAKENING MUSIC FESTIVAL – Addams/Meddill Park

9-10     WELLS STREET ART FESTIVAL – Wells Street, between North Ave & Division

9-10     OLD TOWN ART FAIR – Old Town Triangle Historic District

16-17   GOLD COAST ART FAIR – Grant Park

22-24   COUNTRY LAKESHAKE MUSIC FESTIVAL – Northerly Island

23-24   RAVENSWOOD ON TAP – Ravenswood & Berteau

29-Jul 1 WINDY CITY RIBFEST – Lawrence & Broadway

Spring Has Finally Sprung!

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It’s time to ditch the heavy coats and boots for summer gear and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. We realize, however, that with children, that may easier said than done. We know that heading outdoors poses different challenges for different kids.

Although there’s lots more to see, do, smell and taste in warmer weather, it usually means crowds of people and increased noise pollution. For some children, being part of these activities tends to pose a bit more of a challenge. As part of our core values, it’s our mission to work with you to make your goals, our goals.

So, what is the goal, here? To minimize potential issues that may arise outdoors, by anticipating them. As such, our team has put together some important tips on how to make outdoor excursions enjoyable for you and your child. 

Lumiere’s Top 10 Tips for Summertime Fun

  1. Always have snacks and water handy

  2. Talk to your child about what you have planned for the day. Changes in routine can be difficult for children to process, so prepare them by letting them know the plan. Predictability and structure can be comforting to little ones. If your child uses a visual schedule make sure to have it on hand.

  3. Use Social Stories to help your child transition activities.

  4. Bring sunglasses, especially if your child is sensitive to light

  5. Bring noise-cancelling headphones, especially if your child is sensitive to sound

  6. Don’t forget to bring hand sanitizer or wipes so you can let them explore various outdoor textures without worrying about them staying messy

  7. Pack a spare set of clothes for the parent and child

  8. For younger kids, have diapers and/or pull-ups at the ready in case you’re not near public bathrooms

  9. Use sunscreen wipes or spray instead of lotion for sun protection

  10. Use Insect-repellent bracelets instead of lotion

Remember that the outdoors provides a plethora of opportunities and new adventures for kids to expand language, fine motor, sensory, and gross motor skills. This means providing many teaching moments for your little one. Anticipating the needs of each individual child can make for an enjoyable, fun excursion! So, go out there, explore and HAVE FUN! 

Some other great sites to explore to give you fun ideas when taking your kids outside!

Kid-friendly summer yoga - to get them stretching and flexing

Sidewalk chalk activities - have them get creative while practicing their gross motor skills

Check out our handy list of outdoor festivals this month in our OUT & ABOUT section, below.

SPOTLIGHT ON...
Our Summer Camps!

Did you know our therapeutic preschool offers summer camp options? This is a great opportunity for us to teach and learn alongside your kids in an environment that they’re comfortable in, while introducing them to amazing opportunities for fun that only the outdoors can afford.

Here’s a sampling of activities we will partake in, practicing getting outside and immersing kids in the outdoors:

Water day
Field day
Small field trips around the New City area
Learn how to make homemade ice cream
Carnival Day with snow cones, face paint, and games
Arts and Crafts
Themed Weeks
Scavenger hunts
Fun, outdoor games
Science experiments
Garden and Plants
Yoga in the park

Summer camp will be incorporated into our therapeutic preschool program. Our preschool runs Monday-Friday throughout the summer. We have a morning program, which runs from 8:30am - 12:30pm and an afternoon program, which runs from 2:00pm – 5pm. The program is for kids up to first grade. Please call our offices to find out more information or to register your child. 312-242-1665.

COMMUNITY CORNER: Meet Claire Conway