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6 Tips to Prepare Your Child for Occupational Therapy

Are you going to be starting occupational therapy for your child? It’s a great decision because an occupational therapist has the skills and knowledge to help your child gain independence in his or her daily routine. You could look forward to seeing improvements in your child’s daily activities such as eating, dressing, communicating, grooming, writing, and playing. Improvements that will help your child to not just live better each day but also engage better with the world around. However, for occupational therapy to yield optimal results, your child needs to be as open and receptive to participating in the therapy sessions as possible. And this is where you can help make a difference as a parent. Here are 6 tips to prepare your child to get the most out of an Occupational Therapy program.

Tip 1
Inform your child. Sometimes children can experience fear when going to a new, unfamiliar place. Explain to your child why they’ll be going to a place where they’ll see other kids, parents, and ‘friendly’ people they can trust and talk to. Tell your child that though some things may be challenging, they will make it easier for your child to do what he or she likes or wants to do.

Tip 2
Ask your child about their goals. Children are more likely to want to participate if they are able to see what’s in it for them. Ask your child about the things they wish they could do more often or easier than before. Do they want to be able to write faster, tie their shoelaces on their own, or even go to the beach with their friends and be able to dip their fingers in the sand? Write down your child’s goals or desires to give them a source of inspiration.

Tip 3
Dress your child for active therapy. Your child would be required to engage in exercises or activities recommended and controlled by their occupational therapist. It follows, therefore, that your child should be dressed in clothes that should neither irritate nor restrain them from feeling comfortable and participating willingly in these activities.

Tip 4
Tell your child what to expect. Let your child know what an occupational therapy office looks like. Perhaps there are swings hanging from the ceiling, games, toys, or exercise equipment. Let your child know how long a session is likely to be and if possible, how many such sessions they’ll be required to attend. Most importantly, let your child know that you will be there in every appointment, from start to end. So they really have nothing to worry about.

Tip 5
Share your child’s background with the therapist. Your child’s occupational therapist is going to need to know your child’s history. Bring along samples of your child’s schoolwork or even pictures and videos that you think might help the therapist better understand why your child needs therapy. Be sure to bring along your insurance card, photo ID, and any doctor’s referrals.

Tip 6
Reassure your child. Let your child know that you (and their occupational therapist) are on their side and want to see them get happier. Let your child know that apart from gaining abilities and skills to do a lot of things easier than before, they’re also going to have a lot of fun in therapy!

If your child needs occupational therapy to lead a better, happier life and you have been googling ‘occupational therapy for kids near me, look no further than Milestone Therapy Group. With a hand-picked team of qualified and experienced specialists, this occupational therapy center in Philadelphia has the expertise and services to help your child get on the path to a happier and healthier future.


5 Signs your child needs Pediatric Speech Therapy

If your child is a late talker, struggles to make friends, or has difficulty understanding what people say, they may need pediatric speech therapy. This can include difficulty producing speech sounds, unintelligible speech, or speaking too quickly. Speech Therapy for kids can provide intervention and support to help reach age appropriate speech and language milestones. This can also be a great way to improve their language and communication skills. Here are 5 signs your child may need speech therapy.

1. Child Isn’t Babbling

Most babies babble before they start talking. Babies use babbling as a way to learn and experiment with sounds before using words. Babbling helps them vocalize their needs, build oral-motor skills, and is fun! But once a baby starts talking, they will be able to use their words more effectively and begin learning how to understand what people are saying. If your child isn’t babbling as expected, it’s a good idea to see a speech therapist. Children’s speech and occupational therapists nearby can help your child strengthen their speech and language skills.

2. Issues with verbal requests

People can get frustrated with kids for not wanting to do what they asked them to do. A toddler that doesn’t want to brush their teeth or a preschooler who doesn’t want to get dressed are examples of requests that can cause frustration and requires a child to call out for you. If your child is having trouble understanding verbal requests, it is important to look for a pediatric speech therapist near me. This can be a sign your child is having trouble processing language or expressing their own wants and needs effectively. Speech therapy for toddlers nearby can help a child improve their ability to follow directions and help them understand verbal language and express themselves more appropriately.

3. Child Isn’t Interacting with others

A child that isn’t talking and isn’t interacting with familiar people and their peers, can be concerning for parents and developmental professionals. If your child isn’t learning how to interact with others, it may be difficult for them to learn how to form friendships, learn how to play, and socialize appropriately. A Pediatric speech therapist is a great place to start when you notice delays in your child’s social development. A speech therapist can help your child learn to interact with others appropriately and build upon their social skills.

4. Language Development issues

If you feel that your child is not developing language at the appropriate pace, it can progress to difficulty with speaking, literacy and general communication skills. If you notice your child isn’t meeting appropriate language milestones, you may want to consider seeking out speech therapy if your child is making sounds, but is unable to produce words. Most pediatric speech pathologists are able to help your child with their speech and language development.

5. Child is having difficulty understanding others

If your child has difficulty understanding what someone is saying, they may have trouble processing language. Difficulty in processing language can cause deficits in other areas including social communication, following and understanding directions and communicating their wants and needs. A pediatric speech therapist can help your child to increase their ability to receive and process language and can provide strategies and support for the child and caregiver to use outside of therapy. In addition, speech therapy and occupational therapy for kids can help your child learn how to participate in group situations and interact with their peers. 

Speech therapy services can help your child develop their speech and language skills. When looking or searching for a speech therapist near me that can help your child improve their speech and language skills, Milestone Therapy Group is ready to help. 

Our speech therapists provide intervention to improve receptive and expressive language skills, to improve production of words and speech sounds, increase fluency in your child’s speech and develop appropriate means of social communication. Speech therapists also provide strategies for parents to incorporate into their daily routines. 


Occupational Therapy for Kids

Occupational therapists assist patients with achieving their highest level of function by finding ways to adapt their activities of daily living to best meet their needs. When hearing the phrase ‘occupational therapy’ one might think it is something adults will benefit from, however, occupational therapy is just as important for kids. A child’s occupational therapist can help children with fine motor skills such as holding a pencil, improve their abilities to participate in play activities and socialize with their peers, manage classroom activities with ease, feeding/eating challenges, and picky eaters as well as become more independent with self-care. 

Occupational therapy for children can be a great adjunct to other therapies and treatments. Some common diagnoses that may benefit from this type of therapy include autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, fine motor weakness, Down syndrome, Spina Bifida, and muscular dystrophy. Whether the challenges are physical or cognitive, occupational therapy may be able to help.

Therapists can help children on the autism spectrum with self-regulating their emotions and responses. They can help with managing sensory issues as well. Other areas to address may include executive functioning and social skill management.

Cerebral palsy (CP) can be caused by damage to the brain before, during, or after birth. It can cause children to have difficulties with motor movement and tightness due to a decreased range of motion. Occupational therapists can help those with CP to increase their range of motion and stability, and improve control of their body. 

There are many different reasons why a child may have low tone or weakness in their muscles. Conditions such as Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, premature birth, and developmental delays can cause a child to fatigue quickly due to inefficient use or control of their muscles. This may hinder their ability to keep up with their peers and access the world around them. Occupational therapists can help children find a more energy-efficient and practical way to participate in activities throughout their day both at home and school. This may include the use of assistive devices, adaptations in their environment, therapeutic exercise, accommodations, or other modalities. 

Per the World Health Organization (2022), approximately 1 in 100 children are on the autism spectrum. Sometimes a child may have tactile defensiveness where certain textures or temperatures bother him or her. This may carry over into eating, perhaps the child will gag, or worse, vomit when specific foods are placed in their mouth. Alternatively, sometimes a child may present with weak muscles in the mouth and have difficulty controlling the movement of food, or swallowing. Occupational therapy can help overcome these challenges.

When searching for a children’s occupational therapist, look no further than Milestone Therapy Group. The therapists understand that children need to engage and interact through play in their world. Kids learn through social interaction and by gaining the ability to experience their world firsthand. Milestone Therapy Group can help your child find their own way of doing so. They are able to assess a child’s individual needs and come up with a treatment program that is tailored specifically for them. Giving a child the gift of communication and independence will lead to a happy, thriving child. 


Speech Therapy for Children : What are the Benefits?

Speech therapy services can be a great benefit to kids. Speech pathologist services make a difference in your child’s ability to communicate. Effective communication is necessary, as it allows children to bond with the people around them in addition to getting their needs met. Communication affects their learning. They are more likely to understand new information or express themselves if there is something they don’t understand. Good communication skills can decrease behavior problems and help children to thrive in their environment.

Stuttering is one clear sign that speech therapy for kids is beneficial. Stuttering is also known as stammering. It is when a child has difficulty getting their words out and ends up repeating sounds in an effort to do so. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders claims that around 5-10% of all children will at one time in their life stutter. 

Some children may suffer from apraxia of speech. This occurs when a child has difficulty getting out the words that they want to say. It is a neurological disorder that impacts motor planning and results in the inability to properly plan and sequence the required speech sound movements.

Dysarthria is when there is weakness or difficulty controlling the muscles used in the production of speech. It is a result of damage to the muscles or nerves that are involved. These areas can include the mouth and vocal cords or even the diaphragm.

Lisping is a very recognizable speech impediment. The sounds in words do not come out correctly due to the poor positioning of the child’s tongue. Speech pathologists are good at deciphering what is happening in the child and addressing their needs.

Spasming dysphonia is what it sounds like. There is spasming in the vocal cords. This causes the sounds to not come out as they should (i.e., dysphonia). Sounds can present as trembling, shaky, or hoarse.

Cluttering, not to be confused with stuttering, presents as difficulty with the fluency of speech. Words come out unorganized and often very fast. To be considered cluttering, the child’s speech would need to include words that are repeated such as ‘um’, ‘so’, or ‘like’.

Sometimes a child may be mute and not talk at all or have a delay in speech development. Aphasia can be another disorder that is caused by damage to the brain like in a traumatic event.

Whatever the case may be, perhaps you find yourself looking for services for your child. You may search online specifically for speech therapy for toddlers near me. Milestone Therapy Group can help. Their speech therapists know the value of a child being able to communicate with their world. Their speech therapists can assess, diagnose and treat common speech disorders. They can address things such as difficulty producing sound, disconnect in thoughts vs sound production, auditory disorders, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, and more. So, don’t delay and give your child the gift of communication so that they can thrive and be part of the world that they so desire to interact in.


5 Signs Your Child May Need Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy for children can be an important part of a child’s development, as it focuses on skills required to participate in everyday activities. Pediatric Occupational Therapy aims to assist children in becoming as independent as possible in all aspects of life. An Occupational Therapy Practitioner can facilitate in helping children develop the skills and abilities needed to become independent in all areas of life. 

Pediatric Occupational Therapy can help children in various ways, but the first step is identifying how a child could benefit from these services. For example, some children have trouble mastering specific skills that will allow them to navigate their environment independently. When children present difficulty with fine or gross motor skills, sensory processing, visual-perceptual skills, and cognitive development, occupational therapy can help make a big difference.

Below are just a few signs that your child might benefit from Pediatric Occupational Therapy.

1. Difficulty achieving age-appropriate developmental milestones: Occupational therapy can help children who show signs of developmental delays. For example, if your 1-year-old isn’t crawling yet, occupational therapy for kids can help with this developmental delay. Crawling is an important milestone for children to help with bilateral coordination, shoulder stability, core strength/postural control, hand strength, and textural input. If you notice crawling challenges in your child or other developmental challenges, you should inquire about occupational therapy services. 

2. Difficulty with fine motor tasks: Some children may struggle with fine motor tasks requiring finger/hand strength and control, such as writing, scissors, stringing beads, using utensils, and dressing. In addition, some children may present with difficulty using both hands together when playing and need assistance to develop their fine motor and bilateral coordination skills. If fine motor skills are not addressed, this could present difficulties in performing essential activities at school and in the home. 

3. Difficulty with gross motor activities: Occupational therapy can also help children who have trouble with gross motor skills and motor planning, which can affect balance, strength, coordination, and endurance. This can limit a child’s ability to climb up & down stairs, walk, run, and jump.

4. Sensory processing problems: Children with sensory processing disorders can benefit from pediatric occupational therapy. Sensory processing can affect your child’s reaction to touch, taste, smells, or sounds. Children with sensory processing disorders may overreact or underreact and seek out sensations by moving quickly through their environment, touching items around them constantly. If your child has difficulty with self-regulation when over or understimulated, occupational therapy can help with regulation and self-awareness.

5. Social interactions: Social interaction skills help people to have relationships and understand those around them. If your child displays delayed social skills, such as difficulty interacting and engaging with others, difficulty adapting to new environments, delayed language, overly focusing on one subject, and difficulty coping in a school environment. Occupational therapy would be beneficial for your child, as these social skills are an important aspect of life. 

If your child is experiencing delays in any areas listed above, a kids occupational therapist is something to consider. It can help develop the skills needed to succeed in school and later in life. You can contact us at Milestone Therapy Group. Our licensed and qualified children’s occupational therapist in Philadelphia has helped countless children meet their goals! Please feel free to book a consultation with us and let’s get started helping your child discover the path to healthy growth and development.


Is speech and language therapy effective for children with speech and language impairments?

Speech and language impairments include several types of speech and language delays and disorders. Child Speech Therapy Services will target these various impairments and help to identify and treat the prevalence of Speech and Language Impairments. 

Language impairments can range from expressive and receptive language delays, language-based learning disabilities, or Aphasia. Speech impairments include phonological impairments, stuttering, Apraxia and voice disorders. Pediatric Speech Therapy is the most effective way to treat these speech and language impairments in children. Speech Therapists will target the specific impairment and develop goals and lesson plans for your child in order to increase their intelligibility, correct speech sound errors or improve their expressive and receptive language. 

At Milestone Therapy Group we use a play-based approach to speech therapy for kids. Play-based therapy is the best approach to speech therapy for children. It is scientifically proven to help children develop language and keeps children engaged and motivated throughout therapy. Play-based therapy is great because it can be conducted in therapy sessions as well as in the home. We work closely with parents in order to provide strategies for improving speech and language impairments and how to incorporate them into the child’s daily life. 


Ways to know if your child needs a Speech evaluation

Every child develops their abilities to communicate at their own pace. Developmental milestones may appear before or after the typical age-ranges depending on the child. While some delays are common, others may be reason for concern and require specialized intervention as early as possible.  The question then becomes, how do you know when to seek out a professional speech and language evaluation?

At Milestone Therapy Group, we believe the first step to helping children with speech and language delays and disorders is early identification followed by suitable intervention. 

Below is a brief overview of typical communicative milestones to look for at every stage of your child’s growth. If you feel that your child is falling behind on their speech and language development based off of these milestones, it may be time to seek out a speech evaluation with Milestone Therapy Group. 

  At 12 to 15 months

 – Responds to a person’s presence with smiles or waves

– Follows simple spoken commands

– Speaks their first words

– Gestures or points to communicate

– Attempts to imitate words

At 18 to 24 months

– Speaks about 50 words

– Can identify familiar items including pets, toys and body parts

– Begins combining words into 2-3 word phrases

– Answers simple yes/no questions with a head shake or words

At 2 years

 – Answers simple “what” and “where” questions

– Begins combining words into 3-4 word phrases

– Uses over 100 words

– Begins using descriptive words

At 3 years

– Can follow simple 2 step directions

– Uses sentences of 3 or more words

– Asking ‘what’ and ‘where’ questions

– Responds to ‘who’ questions

– Sequences recent events

– Uses over 300 words

At 4 years

– Frequently uses full sentences to communicate.

– Understands the function of objects

– Uses personal pronouns

– Answers questions about quantity

At 5 years

– Follows three part instructions

– Understands concepts related to time

– Tells simple stories complete with a beginning middle and end

– Uses verb tenses correctly

– Learns to read

 We hope this article helps to familiarize you with the milestones of language development in children. If you feel that your child may be falling behind in acquisition of these language skills, contact us at Milestone Therapy Group. Our licensed and qualified speech therapist has helped countless children to increase their speech and language skills . Please feel free to book a consultation or speech evaluation with our therapists. Whether you have concerns about your child’s progression through these milestones or are looking to improve your child’s functional communication, we at Milestone Therapy Group are here to provide you and your child with the tools to communicate.


How to help your child if he/she has a Lisp

A common type of  speech sound impairment that can be easily recognized is a Lisp. This functional speech impairment generally affects children and adults and their ability to correctly pronounce certain sounds. At Milestone Therapy Group, we’re committed to helping children affected by  Lisps through licensed and certified speech therapists with considerable experience in handling a range of speech and language disorders. Here’s a short compilation of facts and practices that will help you understand the problem of Lisping and take the right steps towards helping your child overcome this speech sound impairment.

The types

Lisping can be categorized into four primary types:

 * Frontal lisp – which occurs when the child pushes the tongue too far forward, making a “th” sound when trying to speak words with S or Z in them.

* Lateral lisp – which occurs when extra air slides over the child’s tongue when making S and Z sounds, making it sound like there is excess saliva.

*Palatal lisp – which happens when the child touches the tongue to the roof of the mouth when making S and Z sounds. 

 *Dental lisp – This lisp sounds like a frontal lisp. The difference is that instead of pushing the tongue through the teeth, it is pressing against the teeth.

The signs

*Inability to pronounce consonants like s, z, sh, l, r and ch

The possible causes

Some of the factors that can lead to a lisp are:

*Excessive thumb sucking

*Overuse of pacifiers

*Structural irregularities of the tongue, palate or teeth

*Mild hearing loss for a brief period

*Prolonged bottle feeding

Ways to reduce or eliminate a lisp in a child

*Don’t lose your patience

 Be patient and understanding when your child is trying to communicate and remain engaged as you do not want to impede or discourage their efforts to speak or communicate better. 

*Improve your child’s confidence and be supportive

Your child’s sense of self-confidence is directly linked to his/her feelings. So, try to make your child feel loved as much as you can and be supportive. When your child feels good, they will make an effort to speak or communicate better. 

*Ensure extra care 

You could help improve your child’s learning experience by speaking to your child’s teacher and requesting a speech and language evaluation to assist your child in learning strategies to help change their sound production. 

*Schedule periodic dental check-ups

Check for the alignment of your child’s teeth periodically. 

While the practices stated above may help bring about some degree of change or improvement, you would still need to visit a qualified and experienced speech therapy expert to help your child effectively overcome the problem of Lisping. At Milestone Therapy Group, we came into existence with the sole purpose of helping children with a lisp and other types of speech sound disorders find their path to normal and healthy childhoods. Our licensed and certified Speech Language Pathologist has successfully treated and helped many children. Book a consultation with us and let’s get started helping your child take those first steps towards producing clear speech sounds and increasing their confidence.


How to know if your child needs an occupational therapy evaluation

As a parent, you want to see your child grow and develop without challenges. Therefore, you may feel concerned if you notice delays in your child’s skills at an age when these are either supposed to be forming or be in place. But how do you know whether what you are seeing needs a professional evaluation?

Many parents and caregivers have heard about Occupational Therapy services but aren’t quite sure exactly what an OT does. Occupational Therapy works with individuals on their Occupations and occupations look different at every age. In pediatric Occupational Therapy, the plan of care is to help support a child’s participation in daily routines and activities. At Milestone Therapy Group, we believe that the first step to helping children succeed is timely identification of needs and intervention. Below is a brief overview of some areas of development that an Occupational Therapy evaluation or ongoing OT sessions could address. 

  • Helping Infants Meet Developmental Milestones
  • Tolerating tummy time
  • Rolling, sitting, crawling and walking
  • Visually tracking toys
  • Reaching or moving to get to toys

Feeding and Mealtime Routines

  • Latching to accept breast or bottle for feedings
  • Introducing purees and table foods (accepting food off the spoon and progression of textures).
  • Self-feeding: finger foods and utensil use
  • Picky eaters: increasing the variety or volume of foods a child is eating
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing food
  • Difficulty in drinking from a cup or drinking from a straw

Fine Motor

  • Difficulty reach, grasping and manipulating toys
  • Completing toys such as a shape sorter or puzzle
  • Grasp on crayons and pencils
  • Copying simple pre writing strokes and progressing to handwriting (forming letters)
  • Bilateral Coordination skills: lacing/stringing beads and snipping/cutting with scissors

Gross Motor 

  • Walking and Running
  • Jumping
  • Walking up and down the stairs
  • Throwing and catching a ball
  • Decreased balance and coordination

Social Skills

  • Difficulty at home, daycare, preschool or school with:
  • Following classroom routine and directions
  • Transitioning between activities
  • Sharing toys with peers
  • Sitting to attend to adult directed tasks
  • Prefers to be self-directed
  • Limited eye contact


  • Hypersensitive or under responsive to sensory input
  • Heightened sensitivity to sound, touch or movement
  • Doesn’t like to have hands, face or clothing messy
  • Under responsive to certain sensations like pain
  • Difficulty coping with change or transitions
  • Inability to stay calm
  • Constantly moving, jumping or crashing


  • Difficulty cooperating in dressing and undressing routines
  • Unable to dress themselves independently (when age appropriate)
  • Difficulty managing fasteners: zipper, buttons and or snaps

We hope this article will guide you to understanding whether an occupational therapy evaluation is what your child needs at this moment. In fact, if you really want to be sure, you could even speak to us at Milestone Therapy Group. Our licensed and qualified occupational therapist has helped countless children meet their goals! Please feel free to book a consultation with us and let’s get started helping your child discover the path to healthy growth and development.


Facts, Reasons and Practices if your child has Speech Delay – Alalia

Speech delay or Alalia refers to a condition where the child has difficulty using the lungs, vocal chords, mouth, tongue or teeth to produce sounds or speech. This condition causes the child to be slow in picking up words and also lack the ability to shape the mouth and tongue to produce normal speech. At Milestone Therapy Group, we’re committed to helping children affected by Speech Delay (Alalia) and  other speech disorders through licensed and certified speech therapists with years of successful treatment experience. Here’s a short compilation of facts and practices that will help you understand the problem of Speech Delay and take the right steps towards helping your child handle this speech disorder. 

The signs

*Absence of usual sounds by the age of 15 months 

*No talking by the age of 2 years 

*Inability to speak short sentences by 3 years 

*Difficulty putting words in a sentence 

*Poor articulation 

*Showing preference to gesticulation over verbalization

*Displaying difficulty in imitating sounds and actions

*Inability to follow simple directions 

The causes 

Some factors that may bring about speech delay in a child include:

*Physical abnormality in the mouth such as a deformed frenulum, lips, or palate

* Oral-motor dysfunction, which is a lack or delay in the area of the brain where speech is formed and communicated to the mouth and tongue

*Prenatal traumas (before birth)

*Perinatal traumas (immediately before or after birth)

*Difficult deliveries

*Hearing loss

*Viral and infectious diseases 

*Brain traumas in the post-natal period (after birth)

Ways to help a child with speech delay

*Use flashcards or labels 

Using flashcards to label objects around your home is a great way to help your child identify things and speak out these words. The more your child speaks and repeats new words, the better he or she will get at speech abilities. 

*Turn play time into learning time

Kids are receptive to learning both verbal and non-verbal interactions when they play. Verbalizing play actions like ‘catch the ball’ or ‘give me the plane’ will help your child learn and speak newer words and phrases. 

*Keep it short and simple

Make sure that the words you speak with your child are short, simple and audible. This will help your child connect better with you, which in turn will impact the way your child learns to emulate your speech and language. 

*Use everyday situations

Try and talk to your child as much as possible about the things your child sees and hears through the day. For example, speak out the names of things that you purchase, the foods you prepare, the objects around your home as you do your cleaning routine and so on. 

*Read to your child

Use books, preferably the kind that’ll allow you to point and name pictures for your child to understand and pick up. 

The practices listed above may work to an extent in helping your child cope better with the problem of Speech Delay (Alalia). However, we recommend you book a consultation with a licensed and certified speech therapist to give your child the best chance of overcoming this speech disorder. At Milestone Therapy Group, we are passionately dedicated to helping children with Speech and Language Delay and other speech disorders find their path to normal and healthy childhoods. Our family of licensed and certified speech therapists has grown over the years and so has the number of children getting successfully treated under our caring and expert watch. Do feel free to speak with us and let’s get started helping your child take those first steps towards speaking without difficulties. 

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