Got Water...

Summer is in full swing! How have you been spending your time? We have been trying to check items off our summer bucket list. This can be a great way to get outside and burn some energy off. Here are some ideas for different ways to incorporate water play this summer: 

--Go to the Beach!- Pack up the sand toys and head out. Build sand castles, play in the water, go on a scavenger hunt, read a good book, throw a ball or frisbee, etc. 
--Sprinkler- Target gross motor skills; running and jumping. Build descriptive language skills; wet/dry, fast/slow, up/down. 
--Water Table- There are many commercially available water tables available, but empty bowls and bins work great too! Add some plastic toys, sponges and cups for hours of fun. 
--Washing the car- talk about multitasking…. You can spend time having fun with your kids AND get your car cleaned. 
--Gardening- Get out the hose and water your plants and flowers. If your child doesn’t enjoy getting wet give him/her a spray bottle or watering can. 

Share photos or your ideas for water play on our "Got Water" FaceBook post for a chance to WIN! In order to win you must LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT on this post. Winner will be announced in August Newsletter.

Written by Lindsey Fry, MA, CCC-SLP/L


Summer Bucket List

We share a few ideas for you and your family to start your SUMMER BUCKET LIST of everything you want to do. It can be a great way to involve the whole family in creating memories that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy, it can be as simple or involved as you’d like.

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PODD (Pragmatic Organization of Dynamic Display (PODD)

Children with complex communication needs require another way to talk and communicate with their family, peers, and caregivers. There are many options to consider. There are low-tech devices and high-tech devices. Low-tech devices are often devices made of paper and high-tech devices are technology-based (e.g., iPads, Dynavox, etc.). PODD is a paper-based device that focuses on the teaching of communicative functions (e.g., commenting, requesting, protesting, opinions, etc.), so there is no need to understand categorization prior to utilizing the device. The system also aims to provide continuous communication, a range of messages, across a variety of settings and situations. PODD can also easily allow communicators to transition into a variety of high-tech devices (e.g., GoTalk, Proloquo, etc.) and can also be used alongside the communicator’s current communication device/system.

To begin with PODD, it is important to model the language for the communicator. Verbal communicators learn to speak by listening to others speak around them, and the best way to help a child with complex communication needs learn to use the PODD system is to use the system to model speaking through pictures throughout the day.  This will allow the child/communicator to learn the way the system works and utilize the system independently. The numbers in the upper right hand corner create links on each page, which allows for the communicator to build on the pragmatic function to communicate ideas, so that we as communication partners can also navigate the device with minimal difficulty.

PODD would be a beneficial tool for individuals who benefit from using an alternative and augmentative communication system to assist with understanding and expressing language. For more information on PODD, please visit

Written by Thao Witbeck, MS, CCC-SLP/L after attending training by Gayle Porter and Linda Burkhart

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The 411 on PROMPT

Did you know that it takes about 100 muscles to speak? Speech is one of the most complex processes that we humans perform. Just to say “Good morning!”, we have to coordinate which of those 100 muscles to use, and then use those muscles with the correct timing, place, and tension. It's no wonder that our kiddos often have trouble with speech sounds! 

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The Do's and Don'ts of Pacifier Use


  • Use a pacifier for babies to help self soothe
  • Use a pacifier until your child is 1 year
  • Use a pacifier to introduce different flavors (e.g., dunking in apple juice)
  • Use a pacifier to help with establishing an appropriate suck-swallow-breathe pattern
  • Use a pacifier for children who are getting food intake through a NG (naso-gastric) or G (gastric) tube    


  • Use a pacifier just because it is there
  • Use a pacifier beyond the age of 2

  • Use a pacifier while your child is walking around

  • Use a pacifier as a substitute for giving coping strategies for emotional regulation

  • Use a pacifier when your child is in an emotionally regulated state (or calm)

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Pacifiers are a good beginning for babies to help them learn how to self-soothe.  When babies use a pacifier or a bottle they use an immature suckling pattern as they have not learned a more mature tongue movement pattern.  As kids develop, we want them to be able to explore the range of freedom that the tongue has which will be necessary for feeding, swallowing and speech production.  Use of a pacifier beyond the age of 1 can lead to dependency on the pacifier rather than learning coping strategies for self regulation.  When children walk around with pacifiers in their mouths, there are several consequences that may result: they use the pacifier as a point of stability (which can lead to impaired dissociation of the tongue/jaw or lip/jaw needed for the structures to function independent of each other for speech sound production), it encourages the child to talk around the pacifier resulting inappropriate tongue patterns for speech sounds (articulation errors) and it discourages your child from communicating.  There are varying opinions among professions (speech-language pathologists, dentists, doctors) but all agree that after age 2 the pacifier should be eliminated.  See upcoming articles for "how to eliminate your child's pacifier". 

Written by Lisa Morris, MS, CCC-SLP/L

How To Create A Safe, Fun Backyard Haven For Your Child On The Autism Spectrum

For parents of children on the autism spectrum, it can be difficult to find safe and engaging activities that aren’t overwhelming during summer months. Every child on the spectrum is different and has different needs, which can make it challenging for parents to share ideas on what works. One of the best ways to help your child have fun when the weather warms up, however, is to create an awesome backyard area that will keep him entertained but is still functional. Depending on your child’s learning needs, there could be great potential to teach him about science and other subjects right on your own lawn!

Because many kids who are on the spectrum feel easily overwhelmed by lots of noise or color, it’s important to customize your backyard as an area they can feel comfortable in, a place for them to retreat to when things are stressful. If your child loves water, create a water table for him to play on when the temperature goes up; not only will this engage him, it will keep him cool.

Read on for more tips on how to create a safe, fun backyard haven for your child this summer.

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Thank you to our many amazing families and professionals that have entrusted us to work with their children over the years.

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Travel, is it a "Trip" or a "Vacation"

If you’ve ever traveled with your children, you probably have a better understanding of the difference between a “trip” and a “vacation”.   The later is what I used to do before children, “trips” are what we go on now. While I immensely enjoy the time spent with my family and the memories we make, the amount of work that goes into traveling with children leads me to classifying these excursions to other places as “trips” not vacations. Here are some tips for traveling with kids that I’ve learned along the way: 

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Things We Love

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution this year Lindsey Fry, speech/language pathologist at Pediatric Interactions, decided to pick a word to guide her year.   For 2018 she decided on “simplify” and have been on a quest to simplify all areas of her life (work, calendar, home, meals, etc.).  

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What do I do when my child turns 3?!?!

Early Intervention (EI) services end the day of your child's 3rd birthday. Your child's service coordinator should have sent paperwork to your school district to start the transition. This process includes a transition meeting, evaluations and a meeting to develop an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) if your child's delays may potentially impact his/her education. Your child's EI therapists can help you with transition, participating in the meetings with you. Families can download the resource,  "A Guide to the Individualized Education Program".

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Preventing the Dreaded Toddler Tantrum and Meltdown

We’ve all been there, done that, but if you’re like me you’re not interested in doing it again anytime soon. While toddler meltdowns are not totally avoidable (and unfortunately developmentally appropriate) there are some strategies you can use to hopefully decrease how often they are happening.

It’s important to consider why your child is melting down or having a tantrum.

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What Is (EI) Early Intervention?

Early Intervention is a program for children who are between the ages of birth and 3 years old. It is a state and federally mandated program that provides support for families, teaching them how to play with their child in ways that will help them learn different skills they need for things they do every day.

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When does a SLP start working with children?

 At birth.....WHY, they aren't talking yet?

  • Communication starts at birth
  • We work with feeding
  • We have certified infant massage teachers to help with bonding/engagement, regulation, and many issues like constipation and reflux
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