Chatter Box Newsletter (Issue 5, Fall 2014)

Autumn Greetings from Chatty Child. Chatty Child Now Has Two Occupational Therapists -- Welcome Jennifer Willard, Chatty Child Welcomes Speech Therapist Colleen Rogan, MA, CCC-SLP, TSSLD; Fall Activities for Children; News to Know; Fall Book Suggestions; Apps of the Month

Issue 5 | Fall 2014

Autumn Greetings from Chatty Child

We want to wish all of our former and current clients a happy and wonderful fall.  We hope that everyone is enjoying the cooler weather -- and their new teachers, schools and/or classes.  

Fall is a wonderful time of year where you begin ANEW!  Fall is a great time to get your children organized for the year, and to start off the year on happy and organized feet. 

Here are some ideas to get your children ready for following day at school!

Great Things To Do
As A Night Time Routine

  1. Have your children pick out the clothes they want to wear the night before (saves time in the morning!) 
  2. Have your children pack their backpacks the night before (by themselves -- it builds independence!) 
  3. Have your children make lunch requests before they go to bed (so there is no complaining the next day!) 
  4. Fall is also a great time to start a chore chart.  Select a few chores for your child to do after school to help around the house. This builds responsibility, independence, and confidence. 
  5. Read them a favorite bed time story.  This helps close the day and allows them to achieve a relaxed state. It's a great activity to help them wind down from their day before they go to sleep. 

Bedtime Story Suggestions

  1. Good Night Moon 
  2. Good Night Bear 
  3. Three Little Bears 
  4. Jack and the Beanstalk 
  5. Three Little Pigs 


Chatty Child Now Has Two Occupational Therapists -- Welcome Jennifer Willard

Jennifer Willard, OTR/L, CIMI is an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with over 10 years experience working with infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout New York City. Her diverse background includes working in hospitals, private homes and within the NYC public school system where she still works full time. Jennifer has experience working with children with a variety of neuromotor and sensory based disabilities with resulting functional delays in the following areas: fine motor skills, visual perceptual and visual motor skills, sensory integration and regulation, motor planning and self-care skills. Her training in multiple techniques allows her a well-rounded approach to addressing these areas. As part of her holistic treatment protocols, Jennifer is diligent in educating families on ways they can best support their children in the home (and school environment when applicable) for maximum ability and functional independence. This may include using remediation activities, as well as compensatory strategies.

Jennifer also teaches Infant Massage as an adjunct service to families for children with disabilities. She has a particular interest in teaching the parents of children with Down syndrome and parents who have adopted children -- two populations for whom infant massage has particular therapeutic value. Benefits include supporting bonding, attachment and trust, decreasing colic, relieving gas and constipation, supporting improved sleep patterns, improving appetite, improving the ability to self-calm and integrate sensory information and to support more functional muscle tone and motor development.

Jennifer is now providing comprehensive services at Chatty Child Speech Therapy, including evaluation, treatment and consultation through her own private practice, First Connections Count. She also accepts children with RSA’s from the DOE (outside of District 2) and children mandated for center-based occupational therapy through the NYS early intervention program.

Jennifer graduated with awards from Columbia University’s Master of Science Program in Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) and Infant Massage USA (IMUSA).


Chatty Child Welcomes Speech Therapist Colleen Rogan, MA, CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Colleen Rogan is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in both New York and New Jersey. She holds the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP) and is a certified Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). Colleen graduated with high honors from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences, and then continued on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Colleen’s experience includes evaluating and treating the adult and pediatric population with varying diagnoses. Colleen has gained skills in many therapeutic settings including early intervention homecare, acute rehabilitation centers, sensory gyms, private practices and schools. Her special interests include early language development, developmental apraxia of speech, expressive and receptive language, articulation, sensory feeding and pragmatic language skills. Regardless of a child’s needs, Colleen uses a holistic and child-centered approach to build a dynamic therapeutic relationship. She strives to maintain a positive and effective treatment plan for each child.

Colleen is PROMPT Level 1 certified and has distinct training in DIR/Floortime approach, sign language, and sensory integration disorder.

Fall Activities for Children

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

Go Apple Picking!  
As you are apple picking encourage your child to describe the color apples they are picking, the size apple they are picking, and have them count the number of apples that they picked.  As a follow up activity you can have your child write a story about the day trip. 

Go Pumpkin Picking!  
As you are pumpkin picking encourage your child to describe the color, size and shape pumpkins that they are picking.  You can also introduce vocabulary such as bumpy, smooth, big, little, and medium.  As a follow up activity you can have your child write a story about the day trip. 

Write a Scary Story
Help your child create their own spooky story. Encourage your child to create characters, a setting, a problem, and a solution to the problem -- while writing their own scary story.  This will help them learn the fundamental skills for writing a creative story. 

Here are some OT activities for the fall season:

Paper Bag Tree


  • A brown paper lunch bag
  • tissue paper in fall colors (brown, red, orange, yellow)
  • scissors
  • glue


  1. Open the paper bag so that it can stand by itself. Carefully hold the bottom of the bag and twist just above the seam/fold several times.
  2. Use scissors to cut strips from the top of the bag down to the twisted section.
  3. Gather three strips at a time and twist together to form the branches. Continue twisting three strips until you run out of strips to twist. If you end up with an uneven amount, twist four together or two together at the end.
  4. Tear or cut small pieces of colorful tissue paper and glue a few on here and there as leaves for the branches.

*NOTE: The twisting and tearing of paper works on strengthening fingers and hands.

Handprint Tree


  • Brown, red and orange acrylic paint
  • Card stock or construction paper
  • Paint brushes or sponge brushes


  1. Use a sponge or paint brush to apply brown paint to one hand and press firmly on paper.
  2. Fill in the gaps between fingers and create the trunk using a paint brush. Let dry before making the leaves.
  3. Dip fingers in red and orange paint and dot around the limbs to create the leaves.
  4. Let dry for 1-2 hours before displaying.

*NOTE: Working on isolating fingers for strengthening. Help you child count the leaves (finger tip dots) as she applies them.

Pumpkin Slime


  • White Glue
  • Liquid Starch
  • A Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Pie Spices


  1. Cut the top off of a pumpkin and scraped out the insides.
  2. Separate the seeds.
  3. Put about half of the pumpkin guts in a mixer and add about 1/2 cup liquid starch. (Substitute starch for a little water, if you prefer, then add the starch when out of blender. If starch does go into blender, wash well with soap and hot water after blending.)
  4. Pour the pureed pumpkin mixture and into the hallowed out pumpkin
  5. Add about 1/2 cup of white glue to mixture. (aim for equal amounts of starch and glue.)
  6. Add about three tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice. Optional. (The liquid starch has a strong scent, a lot of spice is needed to make it smell like pumpkin pie.)
  7. Add the pumpkin seeds to the slime mixture for a unique texture
  8. Let it sit for about ten minutes.
  9. Set up an area to get messy and let your kid enjoy!

*Note: Sensory Play can activate different areas of the brain for learning. And is so much fun!


News to Know

News of Interest for Caregivers and Families

To Siri, With Love: How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri
Source: The New York Times (October 17, 2014)
Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF. Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms -an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them. After a while I heard this...

25 Ways to Ask Your Kids 'So How Was School Today?' Without Asking Them 'So How Was School Today?'
Source: The Huffington Post (August 29, 2014)
This year, Simon is in fourth grade and Grace is in first grade, and I find myself asking them every day after school, "So how was school today?" And every day I get an answer like "fine" or "good," which doesn't tell me a whole lot. AND I WANT TO KNOW A WHOLE LOT!!!!

Can ADHD Mask Sensory Processing Challenges?
Source: My Special Needs Network (September 1, 2014)
On the NIMH website you will read that “ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).”

New Research Suggests Possibility of Common Underlying Biology in Children Who Develop Autism
Source: PBS Newshour (March 27, 2014)
Let’s turn to some new findings on autism, especially research showing brain changes happening in the womb. Scientists compared the brain tissue of children who had autism and died with those who didn’t have autism. They found that kids with autism had disorganization in regions of their brain essential for social functioning, emotions and communication, a conclusion drawn from discovering disruptions in these sections of the brain.

Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney
Source: The New York Times Magazine (March 7, 2014)
In our first year in Washington, our son disappeared. Just shy of his 3rd birthday, an engaged, chatty child, full of typical speech -- “I love you,” “Where are my Ninja Turtles?” “Let’s get ice cream!” -- fell silent. He cried, inconsolably. Didn’t sleep. Wouldn’t make eye contact. His only word was “juice.”

Follow Chatty Child

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Did You Know???

*NEW* Jennifer Willard, Occupational Therapist, infant massage trained

Sonya, Occupational Therapist, is a Level 1 certified Handwriting Without Tears specialist. Astronaut Boards trained.

Heather is PROMPT 2 trained

Colleen is PROMPT 1 trained

Natalie is PROMPT trained

Anne is NDT trained

Heather is certified in Yoga for
Special Needs children

Anne is HANEN trained

Natalie is Floortime trained

Colleen is Floortime 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 Fall Classes**
Wednesdays 5.00p - 6.00p

Other groups offered:

  • Handwriting
  • Drama & Theater
  • Turning 5 Talks

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

Apps of the Month

The Berenstain Bears Go on a Ghost Walk

By Oceanhouse Media
Designed for children ages 4-8. Join the Berenstain Bears in this interactive book app as they prepare for the Bear Country School's Halloween ghost walk! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Will Papa Bear get carried away with all his frightening ideas and turn the most haunting night of the year into a Bear's nightmare?
Learn More & Download

Forestpals Autumn
By GriN Multimedia
Forestpals is a series of four apps for children between 2 and 5 years old. To create this High Quality Educational Series we worked closely with a major educational publisher for content validation. The result? A nice mix of story, games and music, cute animals and the seasons. For endless tablet fun, at home or in the classroom.
Learn More & Download

The Monster at the End of This Book...starring Grover!
By Sesame Street
The Monster at the End of This Book enhances the classic Sesame Street book with a completely immersive experience that draws children right into the story. Join lovable, furry old Grover as he tries his very hardest to tie down pages and build brick walls -all to keep readers away from the monster at the end of this book. The all-time favorite you loved as a child comes alive for today's young readers with interactive play, plus touch-point animation.
Learn More & Download

Another Monster at the End of This Book...Starring Grover & Elmo!
By Sesame Street
In this sequel to the Monster at the End of This Book app, Grover invents silly, giggle-worthy ways to prevent young readers from getting closer to another monster hiding at the end of this story. But an ever-curious Elmo asks for your help to slip past Grover every time.
Learn More & Download

Fall Book Suggestions

Apple Farmer Annie
By Monica Wellington

Age Range: 3 and up
Available on

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Available on

Little Ogres Surprise Supper
by Timothy Knapman

Age Range: 3 and up 
Available on Amazon

Curious George Goes to a Costume Party
By Margret Rey & H.A. Rey

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Available on Amazon

Fall Leaves Fall!
By Zoe Hall

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Available on Amazon

Go Away Green Monster
By Ed Emberley

Age Range: 3 - 6 years
Available on Amazon

When The Leaf Flew In
By Steve Metzger

Age Range: 3 - 5 years
Available on Amazon