CNS Newsletter - 2008-07

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Children's Neurotherapy Services

Busy Summer Months
Volume 1, Issue 3
It is summer time and the kids are out of school and you are wondering what to do with them. This issue will provide you with several activities that you can do with your children outside and inside. The newsletter will also offer some ideas to keep your children entertained while you are traveling in the car for those long trips.

Newsletter Date July 2008
Inside this issue:
Employee of the Quarter New Employees Activities for Infants, Toddlers
You can also read how our speech therapist are using American Sign Language and baby signs during therapy sessions to encourage children to communicate. If you have any information or know of things happening within your community that other parents would be interested in, please contact Jennifer Carpenter by email at [email protected] or by calling the office at 267-1688. We would be glad to share any information that would benefit other parents and professionals.



CNS continues to grow. We have added several new employees at both the Hickory and Lenoir offices. There are also several physical therapy and occupational therapy students completing their internships with us this summer. You can find out more information about the new employees and students in the newsletter.

Baby Signs Program Homemade Finger Paint Backyard Activities Traveling with Children Rainy Day Activity





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OT and PT Students
CNS Clinic currently has two occupational therapy students from Lenoir-Rhyne College, Katie Spencer and Alisha Baker. They are in their 3rd year of Graduate school working towards their master’s degree in occupational therapy. They began their fieldwork on May 12th and will be with us until July 31st. They anticipate graduating in May 2009. CNS has also had several other students from Lenoir-Rhyne who have been completing their Level I fieldwork. These students have only been with us for a week or two at a time. We expect to have a few more Level I students before the summer is over. As mentioned in the last newsletter, we have several Doctor of Physical Therapy students interning with us throughout the year from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. We currently have LeeAnn Kemp with us until August 22. After that Bekah Caldwell Aulbaugh will be with us from August 25-October 17, then Marisa Ball from October 27December 19. This is an invaluable part of their learning experience. Please make them feel welcome.

KidSenses CNS Spirit Week

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Employee of the Quarter
The Employee of the Quarter is determined by all the employees at CNS Clinic. Everyone votes for the coworker whom they feel is the best team player for that quarter. The chosen employee receives a gift card and a certificate containing comments their co-workers wrote. The Employee of the Quarter is Keisha Phillips, Office Manager in Lenoir. Comments written about Keisha were that she helps everyone with a good attitude; she goes above and beyond her job duties and has a way of making parents feel very comfortable and important; she is a blessing; she is always willing to help others no matter how busy she is; always has a positive attitude; has been a team player by keeping a great attitude under pressure and having lots of patience when new employees are “learning the ropes”; and she does it all. Keisha has been with CNS since December 2007. She graduated from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting in 1995 and from Catawba College (Salisbury, NC) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management in 2004. She is currently attending Gardner-Webb University where she is completing a Master’s Degree in Business Management and Health Care Management with an anticipated graduation date of May 2009. Keisha is the mother of three adopted children: Tyler, Sadie, and Mollie.

New Employees
We are excited to have the following new employees join our team. Annabeth Covert, SLPA, treats children out of both the Hickory and Lenoir offices. She graduated with honors in May 2007 from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s SpeechLanguage Pathology Assistant program. She currently lives in Hudson with her husband Barry. She has five “furry children”, Jack, Leo, Pippi, Mr. Stripes, and Greyboy. Annabeth enjoys attending music concerts, reading, and traveling in her spare time. Caley Kuenzel, MS, CCC-SLP, treats children at the Lenoir clinic. She graduated with both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Clarion University of Pennsylvania (where she met her husband). Caley worked for Speechcenter, Inc for 3 1/2 years targeting the pediatric language and dysphagia populations. She resides in Lower Creek with her husband of 5 years, Bob, her 2year– old daughter Jadyn and her Norwegian Elkhound, Ellie. Caley is expecting her second child and is due January 4th. Her favorite activities include spending time with family, church family and friends, eating, shopping, and going to the beach. Caley is thrilled to be working for CNS and really enjoys her new colleagues, reduced amount of paperwork, flexibility, and FRIDAYS OFF! Brenda McConnell, is the new Scheduling Coordinator at the Hickory office. She lives in Lincolnton with her husband, Steve, and son Joshua. Joshua just graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Brenda and Steve will be celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary on July 26th. She also has her Real Estate Broker License and works part-time with Marc 1 Realty in Denver. Brenda enjoys church activities and going to pottery shows. Judith Turner, OTR/L, treats children in both the Hickory and Lenoir offices. Judi graduated from Gannon University in Erie, PA in 2007 where she earned a master’s degree in occupational therapy. She recently moved here with her husband, Mark, from Houston, Texas. Dru Powell, is working as a Community Based Rehabilitate Services worker in Burke and Caldwell County. She completed her undergraduate in Elementary Education K-6 and Early Childhood K-4 at Appalachian State University. Dru then went on to complete her Masters in Special Education. BEH, LD, MH, B-K, VI at University of North Carolina of Charlotte. She taught at Broughton Hospital for 6 years and for Hickory City Schools at Ten Broeck Hospital for 6 years. Dru started Governor Morehead Preschool in Morganton in 1992. She has one son, Brett, who was married in August 2007. He taught History, coached football and baseball at East Burke High School for three years and this year will transfer to the new Daughn High School where he will teach History, coach football and baseball. Dru enjoys traveling, shopping, and antiques– especially when she can combine all three! Heather McCabe, MS, CCC-SLP, is working parttime in the Hickory office as a speech therapist for the summer.

Volume 1, Issue 3

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Activities for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers
While very young babies cannot paint or make up a poem, they actively engage in playful exploration of their environments. They explore with their senses as they look, listen, feel, and test their influence. That must be Daddy’s face; it always makes Daddy’s voice. Mmm, this blanket smells like Mommy__ I can sleep here. I smile, she smiles. Does that always work? I think this is my hand. I wonder if I can make it touch that. “Lurdle lurdle lurdle,” I have a talking voice, too! To promote the openness to experience that underlies and expands playful exploration, try holding or “wearing” your infant in a soft carrier (such as a sling, a front carrier, or a traditional baby wrap worn on the back). The pre-mobile infant will have a new and dynamic point of view. He will not only have more experiences than in a seat or swing, but will also feel the caregiver’s own emotional responses to those experiences through the adult’s heartbeat, breathing patterns, skin temperature, and muscle tension. Assuming a confident, competent adult is holding him, he learns openness to a variety of experiences. As babies mature, they employ their physical mode of exploration on a larger environment, and their emerging language skills produce unique pronunciations and combinations of words. Toddlers can focus almost exclusively on their processes of exploring places, combining materials, and trying out ideas. What parent isn’t bursting with stories of their toddler’s creative exploits? Just fill a sink with water, add some bubbles and a cup or two, and watch what a toddler does. He or she explores the properties of the substances itself, the laws of physics, mathematical rules, cause and effect, and associated language. The toddler’s natural, playful exploration fills her or his brain with new ideas. Play may be both instinctive and necessary just as chimpanzees’ play in the forest happens to let them know about sources of food. Play gives animal young a way to make sense of their world and their resources in it. Toddler humans, who are acquiring culture knowledge, often imitate adults. This is a form of play where they try on other ways of acting and being in the world. It is fun to copy Daddy while he brushes his teeth, even if you have only two. It is fun for both the mimic and the mimicked. Imagination grows dramatically during the preschool period, bringing greater freedom to try out new ways of being in the world. Alone or with others, preschoolers spend hours in worlds created entirely in their minds and from their hearts. This imaginary play is sometimes based on actual experiences. You may observe preschoolers re-enacting something but changing the scene or ending. They are practicing social skills and trying out different ways of acting in the world. Imaginary friends express children's creativity in action. Consider, for example, a preschooler whose real friends from preschool inspire for her an entire cast of imaginary friends at home. These companions are playmates, rivals, and often creative solutions to preschool problems. For example, there is “real” Jamie (the preschool friend), the there is Little Jamie who is “a toddler and she’s little and she plays with us every day,” and then there is Big Jamie who “doesn’t come to my school but she sleeps in my bed with five blankets and five pillows and five stuffed animals.” Demonstrating a preschooler’s increased planning skills, she can now argue that she needs to sleep with her parents because her own bed is too crowded.

This information was obtained from PBS Parents online at You can find more information about development and activities you can do with your child.

CNS Speech Language Pathologists Use Baby Signs Program
The Baby Signs Program is a sign language communication program for hearing babies. These are “baby friendly” forms of American Sign Language (ASL) that allow children to communicate before they talk or while your child is learning to speak. The signs are gestures that resemble the words, activities, or emotions they represent, such as bringing the fingertips to the mouth for “eat”. This program was developed by Linda Acredolo, Ph.D and Susa Goodwyn, Ph.D, child development experts. CNS Speech Language Pathologists use ASL and baby signs in conjunction with many therapy activities to encourage your child to increase the understanding of words, ideas and concepts (receptive language development) and to encourage word and sound development (expressive language development). Benefits include reduced frustration, enhancing infant self esteem and confidence, jump start language learning and create a bond between parent and child . If your child is in speech therapy, and you have questions about Baby Signs Program or any other therapy technique , please discuss this with your speech language pathologist.

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Homemade Finger Paints
All kids enjoy finger painting but you may not always have it laying around the house. Now it is easy and inexpensive to make from scratch. Materials: 1 cup of cold water 1/4 cup of cornstarch 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup Washable, nontoxic tempera paint Bowls Finger-paint paper or freezer paper Masking tape 1-Before you begin: Spread out a plastic tablecloth, keep wipes handy, and wear a smock or old clothes. 2-In a small saucepan, stir together the cold water and cornstarch. Whisk the mixture over low heat for about 5 minutes until it thickens and clears– this will happen all at once. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup, then divide the mixture into bowls and stir a squirt of tempera paint into each one. 3– After the paint has cooled, scoop blobs of it onto finger-paint paper (taped to your table) or let your kids scoop it out themselves-whichever they prefer– and commence smearing. Leftover paint can be stored in sealed containers in the fridge for a day or two. Tips: Getting Started with Creative Projects for Little Hands 1-Keep it safe. Make sure supplies are labeled nontoxic and are not chocking hazards. Discourage kids from putting supplies in their mouth. 2-Set it up. Designate an art area in your home with an easel or a low table where young artists can stand to work. 3-Don’t’ rush. Make sure you allow plenty of time for setup, exploration, and cleanup. 4-Don’t stress over mess. Set things up so cleanup is easier for you, then try to relax and let your child have fun. Obtained from

Backyard Activities
Here are some activities to keep your children busy and active this summer. Bean Bag Toss: Make an easy Bean Bag Toss using a double layer of poster board glued together and a large box. Use the large box as a base, and attach the poster board to one side of it. Before attaching the poster board, paint a design on it, allowing for one or more holes. You can make bean bags if you sew. Scavenger Hunt: Hide items in the yard and have the kids try to find them. This can be as easy or elaborate as you chose. Rather than encouraging competitiveness , have the children work together to find all the items. Duck, Duck, Goose: Don’t forget this classic although you need at least five friends to make this game a lot of fun. Sit in a circle and have one child walk around patting each child on the head saying, Duck, duck, duck” and finally “goose.” The child deemed “goose” stands up and runs around the circle in the opposite direction from the other child. Whoever gets back to the spot and sits down first wins the spot and the other child starts again with the “Duck, duck, goose.” Simon Says: An oldie but goodie. If your child has a favorite character, substitute “Simon” with a character from the theme. Children should listen carefully and only do what “Simon” Says. Charades: Give a child the theme or group of animals then have them act out what the animal does. You and the kids can try to guess the name of the animal. Freeze Tag: One child is chosen as being “it”. The chosen child tags the other children by catching up to them and touching them. Once tagged, the child must remain frozen until another free child goes through their legs. When all the children are frozen (except the one who was chosen as being “it”) with no one to set them free the game is over and you can start again. Balloon Bust Relay: Purchase large balloons, stuff with a prize such as a whistle, then inflate and tie. You will need one balloon per player. Divide children into two teams and place each team behind the start line. At the other end of the room are balloons. On your mark a child from each team runs to the other end of the room, grabs a balloon and sits on it, bounces on it, lays on it, anything they can do to make it pop. When the balloon pops they collect their prize and run back to their teammates. The game continues until every child has retrieved their prize. If one team falls behind parents are allowed to help. If you don’t have time for a relay yell, “GO” and let every child grab a balloon at the same time and try to pop it. Make sure to carefully clean up the balloon remains, as they are choke hazards for young children. Wits and Consequences: Blow up balloons with questions, written on strips of paper, inside and place balloons in Bag “A”. Let each guest reach in and pull out a balloon on their turn. If they answer correctly they stay in the game for another “round”, if they answer incorrectly they pull a balloon out of Bag “B”, pop it and have to do what it says… “rub your tummy and pat you head at the same time.” If they complete their task, they can return to the game. If not, they can cheer on the remaining players. When all questions are answered the game is over.

Volume 1, Issue 1

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Traveling with Children
Traveling with children can often be challenging and fun. Here are some tips to help you be prepared on your next road trip. Have several activities in mind that you can introduce as you need them. The good news is that traditional travel games are still as much fun now as they were when you played them as a child. Brush up on old favorites so that you can teach them to your child: Counting Cows, license plate games, Twenty Questions, I Spy, Rock Paper Scissors, Slug Bug, and any others you can remember. Next, gather materials for additional activities that will engage your crew, such as travel-sized board games, music, and books. Many items can be printed from your computer such as scavenger hunt lists, car bingo, tic tac toe, hangman, coloring pages, and battleship. Toddlers in particular tend to be better with actual materials they can manipulate. Try aluminum foil modeling, drawing boards, sewing cards, and magnetized activity sets or felt boards. Keep in mind that old adage, “Getting there is half the fun.” Cop a new attitude that the adventure starts in the driveway as you begin your trip —not once you arrive at your destination. Traveling together provides you an opportunity for hours of uninterrupted time to spend with each other. A great way to start is by playing a simple game such as “Playing Favorites”. Ask each person their favorite color. Then take turns and have everyone think of a different “favorite” quest for the group—What’s your favorite… movie, flavor of ice cream, song, game, toy, place to visit, restaurant, book, animal, website or teacher..? Be creative with your questions. You are going to learn things about each other, surprising things, that you didn’t know before. Remember to give yourself a break. It’s not always going to be sing-alongs, happiness, and giggles. You are not a failure if the kids get whinny, or your toddler has a screaming meltdown. Give yourself permission to go “off road” and change your plans or to switch the activity if things aren’t working out. Try these activities for keeping your kids happy on long trips. feel in charge .

Find fun new uses for common objects —aluminum foil can be molded into jewelry and shapes. Kids love to use tape to make funny faces or sculpt fast food drinking straws into instant art. Create your own drama, or comedy, by using air sickness bags and performing a puppet show. Bring puppets with you and perform a show or use them to playfully “bite” or “kiss”. You can make puppets with paper bags or socks and a marker. Perform familiar stories like Three Pigs. Get books or books on CD from the library before you leave that you can read to them or that can be read on CD.

Snacks– bring old favorites and try a few new items. Why not try some of the “forbidden” snacks? Get the kids involved— give them a map and teach them how to use it along with road signs. Let them keep track of the journey so they’ll know exactly “how much farther” it is and

Hopefully you will find these suggestions helpful. If you would like more information about traveling with children, check out This information was obtained from an article Traveling with Children: Are You Having Fun Yet? By Laurel Smith on experts/

Rainy Day Activity
A favorite rainy-day project is the newspaper fashion show. But you don’t need a rainy day to play; set it up outside and set up the video camera to document your family’s creativity. All you need is newspaper, scissors, and masking tape. Start by giving each person or team a stack of newspapers and a pair of scissors. Tip: Roll sheets of newspaper into tubes, flatten them, and tape them together for sturdy base pieces and accessories, such as waistbands, hat bands, belts, suspenders, and more. Once outfits are created, have each person take turns striding the catwalk to show off their fashions. You can even award prizes for “Most Creative,” “Funniest,” and other silly categories. Activity obtained from

Children's Neurotherapy Services
Children's Neurotherapy Services 1087 13th St. SE Hickory, NC 28602 Phone: 828-267-1688 Fax: 828-267-1690 Lenoir Clinic 144 SE Tremont Park Drive Lenoir, NC 28645 Phone: 828-754-5550 Fax: 828-754-5558 Email: [email protected]

CNS Spirit Week CNS is having spirit week the week of August 11th– 14th. Each day the therapist will be dressing funny and would like for all our friends to join us. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday August 11th August 12th August 13th August 14th Pajama Day Backwards Day Mismatch Day Team Spirit Day

We look forward to seeing everyone dressed up this week.

Would you like to take your children somewhere different for a daily outing? Then try KidSenses. It is located in Rutherfordton, NC. Their exhibits and special workshops are specially designed to stimulate the imagination and educate the mind. Children and adults experience hands-on as they play, learn and create together in this exciting environment. They offer daily programs or let you explore the museum on your own. They also offer birthday parties and mini summer camps. KidSenses is open Tuesday thru Sat-

urday from 9 am to 5 pm and on Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm. General Admission for all guests is $5 per person. Annual Memberships are available. Check out their website at to see pictures of the museum, view the calendar of events, and get directions. Or call 828-286-2120, to get more information.

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