Chatter Box Newsletter (Issue 4, Fall 2013)

Chatty Child Brings Music Therapy to the Center: Welcome Maya Benattar; Fall Activities for Children; News to Know; Follow Chatty Child on Twitter & Facebook; Socialization is F-U-N; App of the Month; Suggested Book for Fall

Issue 4 | Fall 2013

Chatty Child Brings Music Therapy to the Center: Welcome Maya Benattar

Maya Benattar, MA, MT-BC, LCAT is a nationally board-certified music therapist and NYS licensed creative arts therapist. She received her M.A. in Music Therapy from New York University and her B.S. in Music Therapy from SUNY New Paltz. Maya has worked with children with a wide variety of special needs in community, educational and private practice settings in the New York City area. Her holistic, child-centered approach utilizes individualized music-based interventions to address social, emotional, and developmental needs.

Maya is a professional member of the American Music Therapy Association, and a contributing blogger for the Child Development Club, an international online resource for parents, educators, and therapists.

More about Maya and her services on her Web site;

Maya is available for individual music therapy sessions on Tuesdays from 11am-1pm and Wednesdays from 10am-1pm. Music therapy can help address social, emotional, and other developmental goals. New Music & Movement: Stepping Stones to School Skills group classes will also be available in January 2014.

More information about Maya’s child-centered approach is available online. Please contact her directly with any questions or to schedule a session for your child: 914.330.9545 or maya.benattar(at)

Fall Activities for Children

Here are some speech, language and OT activities for the fall season:

Thanksgiving Dinner!
Have your child pick a colored paper plate that they like. Then, have them go through a magazine and pick out food items that they will be eating during a thanksgiving dinner. Have your child pick out the food items that are served during a thanksgiving feast. Have your child cut and glue the pictures onto their paper plate. Then, complete a follow up activity that includes labeling each food and the category it belongs to (i.e., its a fruit, a meat, a dairy product, or a dessert.) Have them label the foods they like the best and describe them (i.e., apple pie tastes sweet). When thanksgiving arrives, they will be very familiar with all the wonderful and tasty foods on the table -- thanks to this engaging language-based activity!

I am Thankful List! 
Have your child write a list of the things they are thankful for. For example, discuss with your child what they have to be THANKFUL for in their lives each and every day. Have them make a list of 5 things are they thankful for such as my family, my pets, my room, my house, my teachers.

My Thankful Turkey! 
Have your child trace his or her hands on a piece of paper with markers, crayons, or colored pencils. Each traced finger will represent a turkey feather and something that he or she is thankful for. When the tracing is complete, label each feather with a thankful item, draw on a turkey head, and finish off the turkey with glitter or sparkles for added beauty!

Crumbly Leaf Art
Using dry leaves found at the park, let your child crumble them up with their hands into a dish. Then squeeze liquid glue all over a piece of paper in whatever pattern they desire. Slowly sprinkle the leaves all over the paper. Then shake the excess leaves into a garbage can. Set aside to dry.

Leaf River Jump
Collect 2 long sticks and a few leaves (other house hold objects can be substituted). Lay the 2 sticks on the ground parallel to each other a few inches apart. Scatter the leaves in between the sticks and pretend it's a river. Have the child try to jump, step or bear crawl (knees off the floor) over the river. See what else your child can come up with to get across the river of leaves!

Apple Prints
Supplies: white paper, apples, kid-friendly paints in fall colors, paper towels.


  • Start by slicing an apple in half through the middle, revealing the star of the core. Show your child the star and count the points. Cut another apple and look to see if the apple cores looks different or the same.
  • Use traditional Fall color paints- red, yellow, and orange, along with of green or purple.
  • Create a stamp pad for the apples by fold a paper towel in half and then squeeze a dollop of each color of paint onto the paper towel.
  • Have your child press an apple, sliced-side down, onto the paint and then stamp onto the white paper. Continue pressing and stamping until the paper is full of apple prints!
  • For an added bonus you can laminate your child’s creation to make it into a place mat.

Paper Bag Pumpkins
Supplies: small brown paper bags (lunch bag size), orange & green paint, paint brushes, scrap paper, old magazines or newspaper to fill the bag.


  • Begin with ripping paper into small and medium sized pieces (have your child practice using pincer grasp as he tears the paper apart).
  • Crumple the paper up with both hands -- great for strengthening fingers and hands.
  • Stuff the brown bag with enough crumbled paper to fill it half way.
  • With your child twist the top of the bag closed to create the Stem of the pumpkin.
  • Encourage your child to paint the bottom of the bag orange using an up/ down stroke or side to side stroke holding the paint brush like a pencil.
  • Paint the stem green.
  • Let it dry and enjoy!

News to Know

News of Interest for Caregivers and Families

Toddler Brain Scan Gives Language Insight 
Source: Helen Briggs, BBC News

The brain has a critical window for language development between the ages of two and four, brain scans suggest. Environmental influences have their biggest impact before the age of four, as the brain's wiring develops to process new words, say UK and US scientists.

Olivet Middle School Football Players Create Secret Play For Teammate With Disabilities
Source: Huffington Post
Jocks don't have a reputation for always being nice to the little guy. But this middle school football team went above and beyond for a teammate, and their plan to lift up a student with behavioral and learning disabilities is an amazing example of kids' kindness. (Link to original story on

Is Obamacare What the Doctor Ordered for Kids with Autism?
Source: Ariva Martin Blog, Huffington Post
As an advocate for special needs children, I'm particularly impressed with the aspects of Obamacare that benefit special needs children. Under the new law, children are allowed to remain on their parents' health insurance plan until age 26, closing an antiquated coverage gap that has plagued families for decades.

Follow Chatty Child on 
Twitter & Facebook

Chatty Child is now 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 is PROMPT 2 certified

Ann is PROMPT 1 certified

Janine is PROMPT 1 certified

Natalie is PROMPT 1 certified

Ann is Linda Mood Bell certified 

Heather is certified in Yoga for 
Special Needs children

Ann is a Hatha Yoga Level 1 teacher

Natalie is Floortime trained

Sonya, Occupational Therapist, is a Level 1 certified Handwriting Without Tears specialist

Maya is a nationally board-certified music therapist and NYS licensed creative arts therapist

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 Fall Classes**
Wednesdays 5.30p - 6.30p

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

App of the Month

Articulation Games
By Virtual Speech Center

A comprehensive, flexible, and fun speech-therapy, iPad app that was created by a certified speech and language pathologist for children to practice the pronunciation of over forty English phonemes, organized according to placement of articulation. It includes thousands of real-life flashcards, accompanied by professional audio recordings and capability of audio recording. Learn More & Download


iDoodle Card 
By BND Co., Ltd.
This free app is great for working on basic visual motor and visual perceptual skills. With 54 different drawing activities -- everything from mazes, coloring, drawing, and freehand -- the app has six primary colored markers and an eraser. Plus, patients can save their creations; you can also screenshot them for reference outside of the app! 
Learn More & Download


Suggested Book for Fall

The Very First Thanksgiving

By Rhonda Gowler Greene

Age Range: 3 - 6 years
Available on