ChatterBox Newsletter (Issue 6, Spring 2015)

Issue 6 | Spring 2015

Check Out Former Client Chloe

In the latest edition of Hearing Health Magazine published by Hearing Health Foundation, our former client Chloe is featured in the page 12 article "If You Embrace Your Hearing Loss, You Deal With It Better" by Melissa Griswold, M.E.D.

Here is the excerpt from the article:

Chloe, age 6 1/2
Bilateral cochlear implants

On her skateboard, Chloe is just one of the girls, practicing drop-ins and eager to learn new tricks. Her determination has won the hearts of many, including the HearStrong Foundation, who honored her as a Champion last June, and the Girls Riders Organization (the group she is training with). Efforts are under way with adaptive sports companies to design a helmet that will accommodate Chloe's cochlear implants safely and make it less "uncomfy" for her.

Identified at birth, Chloe's hearing loss is genetic. Her parents wanted her to listen and talk, so at age 6 weeks, she was fitted with hearing aids. At 2 1/2 years old, after her hearing loss progressed even further, she received bilateral cochlear implants and enrolled in Clarke New York's Early Intervention Program. Following intensive work with teachers of the deaf and speech pathologists, a once anxious and quiet Chloe rapidly excelled.

Chloe speaks English and Russian at home and is studying Spanish at school. Mainstreamed in kindergarten, she is thriving in a gifted and talented program. (Watch a video of Chloe at

To read the whole article and more about Chloe in her own words, click here.


Out and About in NYC

It was a rough winter but Spring is finally here! Hopefully it will bring warm weather and sunny days! Although April may be a rainy month, there are lots of things to do in our area that are kid friendly and fun for the whole famiy! As the days get longer and the sun sets later and later, here are some great places to keep your children busy!

Spring Activities

Check out Time Out NY for other fun kids stuff to do!

Friendly Reminders from Chatty Child

  • We strive to keep our reception area clean for everyone. If you bring in food items, please be sure to dispose of any remains into our trash receptacles located in the reception area.
  • Please be aware that the public bathrooms are located in the hallway. Children should be supervised in the public areas at all times.
  • Please make sure to remove all personal items and valuable from strollers left in hallway since that is a unsupervised public area.

Learn About PROMPT

(Source: The Prompt Institute)

PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. The technique is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a patient’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide them through a targeted word, phrase or sentence. The technique develops motor control and the development of proper oral muscular movements, while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding.

Therapists begin by helping patients produce certain phonemes. A phoneme is the smallest increment of sound in speech. For example, the “d” sound in the word dog is one phoneme, the “o” is another and the “g” is yet another. Each phoneme requires different muscle contractions/retractions and placement/movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, neck and chest to produce. All of these things have to happen with the proper timing and sequence to produce one phoneme correctly. The therapist attempts to “teach” the patient’s muscles to produce a phoneme correctly by stimulating all of these through touch. With the timing and movement of more than 100 muscles involved, you can see why the training is so intense.

PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide range of patients with communication disorders. The most common patients have motor speech disorders, articulation problems or are non-verbal children. Many patients with aphasia, apraxia/dyspraxia, dysarthria, pervasive development disorders, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries and autism spectrum disorders have benefitted from PROMPT therapy. An evaluation by a PROMPT-trained speech therapist is the only way to find out if a patient is appropriate for the therapy.


Meet the Interns: Paulina Smietanka

Paulina Smietanka has been an intern at Chatty Child for 4 years. Paulina is getting her masters in Speech Language Pathology at Columbia University.

In the future, Paulina hopes to work in a hospital for adults iwth neurogenic disorders. In her spare time, Paulina likes to ski.

Spring Activities for Children

Here are some speech and language activities for the spring season:

Spring Time Walk  
Go for a walk with your child and see if they can identify the signs of spring while going for a walk outside.  Point out the trees blooming, the grass turning green, and the flowers blossoming.  Then, see if they can name some spring activities.  For example, catching a ball, flying a kite, and planting flowers. You can also talk about the animals who have woke up after a long winter's nap (i.e., birds back from the south, bears awake from their caves.) 

Expressive Language Activity
Fill a bucket with spring items. You can find items around your home or at the dollar store. These items can include: plastic eggs, flowers (fake or real), baby animal pictures (figures), baggie with grass, baggie with soil, and picture of butterfly/insects. Then you can have the child pull something out of the bucket (while your back is turned) and make them explain what the item is.

April is Earth Month
Spring is a great time to teach children about how to take care of and appreciate our planet in honor of Earth Day on April 22nd:

  • Sort household items to recycle -- papers, plastics, etc
  • Make a collage/picture from nature (leaves, sticks, etc) or recycling materials
  • Go outside -- identify the sky, grass, sun, clouds, and the signs of spring
  • Count trees that are around the house or on the block
  • Use cotton balls and make pictures of clouds; and paint a white piece of paper blue with finger paint.

Here are some OT activities for the spring season:

Gardening with your kids is a great way to learn responsibility of taking care of a plant and getting their hands in the earth for sensory play.

Mother Goose Day - May 1st
Read stories and rhymes to your children. Play rhyme games!

Cinco de Mayo - May 5th
Celebrate Mexican/ Hispanic culture through dance, music and food. Practice dancing with your kids!

Nation Teacher Appreciation - 1st Week of May
Make your teachers a card or letter to say thanks!

Clean Up Your Room Day - May 10th
Clean Up Your Room Day is a day parents eagerly await...and kids dread!
If you've got kids, it is very possible that their rooms are a vast wasteland, completely filled with "good stuff". "Messy" is too kind of an adjective to describe the conditions. Its impossible to walk through the room. Every dresser and shelf (and under the bed), is packed with everything imaginable. Dust has been piling up as long as your child has been around. Comfy, cozy, and quite livable to the child, its an everyday source of frustration for the "folks".

To mom and dad's delight, and every child's chagrin, Clean Up Your Room Day arrives every May 10th. Get out the shovels. Call in an industrial sized dumpster. Its time for everyone to clean your rooms!

Note to Kids: Clean Up Your Room Day also applies to your parents. You may want to inspect to assure that mom and dad practice what they preach!

Wear Purple for Peace Day - May 16th
It's Wear Purple for Peace Day. You'd think that this day originated in protest of a particular war or conflict. Or, perhaps it should have been conceived by the UN, or another peacemaking or peace keeping group. Our extensive research found no evidence supporting the origin of this holiday stemming from these sources.

Rather, we found this day to be a stellar event. It seems some of you out there fear that aliens from outer space consider earthlings to be too hostile (you've got that right). As a result, they have yet to visit or make contact with us. So, some of you (originators unknown) decided to promote world peace by establishing Wear Purple for Peace Day.

The goal of Wear Purple for Peace Day is to make the world a peaceful place and, of course, encourage alien species to make contact with earth.   

Do you want to meet aliens for another planet? Me, too! So, lets all wear purple for peace day.


News to Know

News of Interest for Caregivers and Families

Kids Suffering From Spring Fever?
(Source: Parent Guide News)
As the days grow longer, the weather gets warmer. While the sun lingers a bit more each day, have you noticed your children becoming listless and excited at the same time? They’ve probably caught spring fever - and the feeling is contagious.

10 Ideas: Enjoy Spring With Your Kids
(Source: Family Life)
Winter is a time when children are often trapped in the monotony of the indoors. Then, one day, the sun's rising brings heat instead of just light. The daffodils appear and the trees bud. With months of pent-up energy surging throughout their bodies, children everywhere break forth through their front doors, declaring their emancipation. How can we join these liberated prisoners in their celebration of freedom?
Spring Cleaning: 13 Fun Ways To Get Your Kids Involved
Looking for creative ways to get your kids to help out as you spruce up your home this Spring? Getting kids to participate is a breeze when you inject some fun and foolishness into household chores. Just make sure to assign age-appropriate tasks that can be achieved in short increments (ten to fifteen minute spurts for younger children), and things will be spic and span in no time! If you start kids at a young age and keep things fun, they'll enjoy pitching in - it gives them a great sense of accomplishment, collaboration, independence and responsibility.

Follow Chatty Child

Chatty Child is on Twitter and Facebook. Follow and Like us as we share important information, interesting articles, helpful tips and news about the Chatty Child Center related to speech therapy and occupational therapy. Click the links below connect to us today:

Did You Know???

Heather, Speech Therapist is PROMPT 2 trained, certified in Yoga for Special Needs children

Anne, Speech Therapist is NDT and HANEN trained

Janine, Speech Therapist is PROMPT 1 trained and trained in AAC systems

Jennifer, Occupational Therapist, infant massage trained

Natalie, Speech Therapist is PROMPT 1 and Floortime trained

Sonya, Occupational Therapist, is a Level 1 certified Handwriting Without Tears specialist and also Astronaut Boards, iLs, Soma Rapid Prompting Method trained.

Socialization is

A child’s speech and language skills are extremely important for learning, literacy, socialization and school success. Treatment groups increase the social use of language, build vocabulary, and peer interactions. One hour group sessions are formed according to age and development level.

Social Butterflies
2 - 6 years
Forming groups now.

**Sign Up for Spring Classes**
Wednesdays 5.15p - 6.15p

Other groups offered:

  • Handwriting
  • Drama & Theater

To register or learn more
about a class, call us at 347.491.4451 or email
info(at) info(at)

Spring Song

I'll plant a little seed in the
dark, dark ground.
Outcomes the yellow sun,
big and round.
Down comes the cool rain,
soft and slow.
But comes the little seed,
grow, grow, grow!

To the tune of
row row row your boat:

Dig, Dig, Dig the earth
(make digging motions)
And plan your seeds
(pretend to drop the seeds)
The gentle rain
(flutter fingers down)
And bright sunshine
(circle arms above head)
Will help your flowers grow.
(hold one arm parallel to the ground and move the other arm up behind it with fingers extended to represent a flower growing)

Apps Corner

Max & Ruby: Hop into Spring
Hop your way into fun this season with Max & Ruby: Hop into Spring. Crack all the pinatas on the screen and watch as toys, eggs, and candy come flying out. Each new pinata opens a new opportunity for fun and prizes. Keep an eye out for special pinatas, as you just might find a surprise waiting for you! Now hop to it!

Abby Monkey: Spring Math-Math Games

Spring is here! Celebrate it with Spring Math! Get four unique games (full version only) in one app wrapped within this amazingly colorful Spring-themed design! Believe that learning basic math has never been more fun. You will love to see your children making progress in their arithmetic skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) while being engaged.

Rainy Days: A Stella and Sam Adventure
Play alongside Stella and Sam and their dog Fred as they go out on a playful adventure on a rainy day. Make paintings with Fred, dig through the leaves looking for treasures and race pinecones across Puddle Lake. The Stella and Sam Interactive Adventures combine stunning animation with three elegantly-designed activities.

Spring Book Suggestions

It’s Spring!
by Samantha Berger

Finding Spring
by Carin Berger

Up, Down, and Around
by Katherine Ayres

A Perfect Day for Digging
by Cari Best

On Meadowview Street
by Henry Cole

Spring is Here!
(Bear & Mole Story)
By Will Hillenbrand

Mouse’s First Spring
by Lauren Thompson

Bear Wants More
by Karma Wilson

Zinnia's Flower Garden
by Monica Wellington