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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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

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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
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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

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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!**

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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

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Claire Conway 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 since graduating from Loyola University Chicago with her Bachelors in Social Work. Over the next four years, she gained experience working with children and families and decided to pursue her Masters in Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social Work. She earned her degree in 2011. Prior to joining the Lumiere team, Claire managed a program that focused on helping children and families develop healthy family dynamics. 

Claire's treatment specialties include anxiety, depression, self-development and building skills around self-regulation. Claire has extensive experience in milieu therapy. Milieu therapy focuses on developing treatment plans utilizing the client's environments and client's peers to aid their skill building. Group sessions are the main focus of the milieu therapy approach. Along with milieu therapy, Claire believes family therapy is key to a client’s success. Claire has specialized training in both de-escalating crisis behaviors and aiding caregivers in developing attunement skills in order to effectively respond to children's behaviors. 

In addition to individual therapy sessions, Claire also leads many of the social groups at Lumiere. The social groups focus on providing a safe environment for children to practice skills that will lead to healthy relationships and successful social interactions. The activities within the groups aim to meet the children where they're currently functioning, while building their confidence step by step. During the group sessions, in-the-moment feedback is provided and challenges are created to allow for practice, problem solving and encouragement.  

Keep reading to learn more about Claire!

Q: What do you like most about facilitating the social groups? 
A: Healthy relationships are the root to human self-esteem and confidence so my passion around groups stems from years of observing that one group session can have the same impact on a child as four individual sessions.  

Q: Why are the summer months a great time to practice social skills? 
A: In the summer. there seems to be more opportunity for "recreation". The Chicago summer weather allows families to take advantage of parks, lakefronts and museums.  The idea of "recreation" is that activities are for enjoyment, refreshment and fun.  Recreational activities such as biking, swimming or gardening provides a common language for kids and adults to bond with others. This decreases anxiety that occurs during social interactions and increases confidence in kids and adults. Identifying hobbies and bonding with others around shared interests is the ultimate practice of a social skill. 

Q: What's your favorite part about summer? 
A: Swimming. I feel at peace when I am in water.  In the summer, I can swim outside at the Chicago Park District pools and the Lakefront beaches, both FREE! 

Beaches open over Memorial Day weekend. Pools open June 18th, 2018. For more information, go to:  https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/swimming-pools

 

OUT & ABOUT: May Festivals in Chicago

CHICAGO KIDS & KITES FESTIVAL, May 5 - Montrose Harbor

MAYFEST, May 18-20, 3100 block of North Ashland, Lakeview

FOOD TRUCK SOCIAL, May 19, Lincoln Park Zoo

MOLE DE MAYO, May 25-27, 18th Street & Ashland

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE, May 26, Daley Plaza

CHICAGO HOUSE MUSIC FESTIVAL, May 26, Millennium Park

RANDOLPH STREET MARKET FESTIVAL, May 26-27, 1341 W Randolph Street

BELMONT-SHEFFIELD MUSIC FEST, May 26-27

NAVY PIER SUMMER FIREWORKS – Memorial Day – Labor Day
(Wednesdays @ 9:30pm & Saturdays @ 10:15pm)

BIKE THE DRIVE, May 27, Lake Shore Drive

 

 

It’s April, which means it’s Autism Awareness Month!

 Lumiere Team

In this newsletter, we’d like to take the time to address the parents of children on the autism spectrum.

Yes, the parents.

Parents are the ones who silently deal with the day-to-day struggles of nurturing and raising kids on the autism spectrum, booking endless doctor appointments and therapy sessions, and dealing with the challenges that come with teaching their child basic life skills and daily routines. What about the guidance they need to help their child navigate these volatile waters?

Here are three things you need to know:

  1. The little things don’t have to be so big
  2. You don’t need to go through this alone. We are here to help.
  3. Our mission at Lumiere is simple: Your Family Goals Are Our Goals.

Simple, daily tasks can become the source of heavy stress and anxiety for parents of kids on the spectrum, however it doesn’t have to be frustrating or difficult and most importantly, you don’t have to go through it alone! There are ways that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy – combined with our comprehensive customized therapeutic strategy - can work to alleviate some of that stress.

Perhaps it’s getting your child to simply wear socks in the morning or getting him to brush his teeth. Or how about sharing a toy or trying new food? No task is too small for us to focus on. Using family-centered therapy like ABA helps kids and parents reach their goals – and that is OUR goal. Focusing on a multitude of skills across domains, such as independent living skills (i.e. getting dressed), using basic foundational skills (i.e. imitation, communication and socializing with peers) focus on decreasing rigidity and anxiety, and increasing appropriate behaviors. It is possible to make wonderful gains! This is done through a collaboration with parents, who learn the skills they need to help their child reach these not-so-small milestones, and kids, who are taught the skills they need to thrive in their community, school and home.

What about going outside the home? Whatever you want to teach your kids – like riding the train or going to the grocery store - we can help there, too. We call these community outings, our family adventures. By setting a fun precedent, these scheduled and supervised outings are designed to ease the stress and demands of taking your child outside the home.


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Our therapeutic preschool program and Jr. kindergarten is offered Monday – Friday and focuses on a holistic learning approach in a therapeutic setting that helps prepare children for their transition into kindergarten. Since it’s also Autism Awareness Month, it’s important to note that our therapeutic preschool can also be an integral part of a well-rounded ABA treatment plan for kids up to first grade.

Every day your child will be exposed to language, literacy, math, science and adaptive self-care activities. These skills will be taught through books, music, movement, sensory exploration, problem solving, fine motor and visual spatial activities. To maximize learning, the program was designed to be custom-built, allowing the individual needs of each child to be met within our classroom setting.

Our program is aligned with the Illinois Learning State Standards; it blends academic and developmental milestones in a learning plan with therapeutic treatment plans. Both focus heavily on social skill development and communication to create a comprehensive program to prepare your child for school. We are also committed to Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) through a play-based curriculum to support the needs of our students.

The program emphasizes the importance of social interactions with peers and includes comprehensive intervention led by therapists with a Master’s degree or Ph.D, who are skilled at developing your child’s social skills so they can have meaningful and impactful interactions with other children, both in and outside of the program. We focus on emotional intelligence; every child should understand and express their feelings.

Daily therapy services include:

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Developmental Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Social Work
  • Behavior (BCBA/ABA) services

Our multidimensional program also places high emphasis on social skills development and peer interactions. Daily therapies will also be available based on your child’s needs. In addition, our clinic includes a sensory gym, where children can regulate their bodies before challenging themselves with academic tasks.

Our class size is designed for intimate instruction - up to six students - however, we also offer separate, private rooms to build on individual therapy sessions in a more private setting. Contact us to find out more information or to get your child enrolled.


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Dr. Matt is a licensed clinical psychologist and neuropsychological trained in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, developmental delays, and learning disorders.  He has spent the last nine years providing psychotherapy, neuropsychological testing, and school advocacy for children, teenagers, and college students.

"When I was a child, I experienced severe separation anxiety for years. I also struggled with spelling; the words were wrong, even if I thought they were right. I felt bad, stupid and different,” he recalls.

“These two struggles made my personal, school, and family life much more difficult both emotionally and socially until I entered 8th grade and saw a therapist for the first time. I found her warm, guiding, and inviting. I also worked with another professional tutor who was patient, loving, and helped me with my spelling. One of them helped me conquer my anxiety, and the other helped me conquer my learning delay. They’re both a big part of the reason I achieved my doctorate; they provided solutions to me when I needed them so badly.

These experiences are the foundation of his passion for this work. His mission is to help others the way he was helped. As his website states: “I help angry, sad or anxious kids and adults. Helping you and your family turn despair into happiness, worry into confidence and anger into cooperation.”

“So now I offer solutions to you, your children, and your marriage in an honest effort to recreate what helped me."
 

Dr. Matt holds a psychology degree from Marquette University and a Master's and Doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. www.drmattcanhelp.com


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Autism Speaks Walk: Scheduled for May 12, 2018 at Soldier Field. Registration opens at 8:00am; event concludes at 1pm. Walk goal to be raised: $1M

CLICK FOR REGISTRATION

 

AMC Theaters hosts Sensory Friendly Film showings

CLICK FOR SHOWINGS

 

Brookfield Zoo Goes Blue for Autism

Saturday, April 17, 2018, 10am-6pm

CLICK FOR DETAILS

 

Chuck E. Cheese offers Sensory Sensitive Sundays on the first Sunday of every month, two hours before the restaurant opens to the general public. 

CLICK FOR MORE INFO

 

Pump it Up (Elmhurst, IL)

Offers Sensory Jump Night on the first Tuesday of every month.

CLICK FOR DETAILS

 

Autism Eats Chicago: Various restaurants in Chicago and the suburbs offer autistic friendly dining opportunities that are closed to the general public. Tickets are required to be purchased in advance. The next event is scheduled for April 21st at Lou Malnati’s in Lincolnwood.

COMPLETE LISTINGS

CLICK FOR LOCAL ORGANIZATION