We’re All in This Together: How Music and Singing Benefits Trauma-Affected Children

By Marc Bermann, Recruiter/Trainer
312.673.2755

With the summer months upon us and our thoughts turning to summer fun, it's important to revisit one of the simplest and most meaningful of human activities: music and singing.

Music is everywhere: on the radio, in movies and television shows, and as a backdrop when people shop or celebrate holidays and other milestones. Music is an integral part of cultures all over the world. Music can express emotions not otherwise easily communicated. It also provides a sense of community and belonging and can help unite divided people and sooth the stresses of everyday life.

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May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Autism is one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States.  With 1 in 68 children now estimated to have autism spectrum disorder, community support is critical. During May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month, the speech-language pathologists at Integrated Pediatric Interventions encourage people to use this as an opportunity to consider how they communicate and interact with people with autism.

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Leveling Up What Gaming Means for You and Your Child

By Amelia Yu, M.A., Pre-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Intern, Psychological Services

Children and adults have been playing games since recorded history. With advances in computer and mobile technology, and the widespread availability of Internet access, electronic gaming has become an increasingly mainstream leisure activity for children and adults alike. This meteoric rise of gaming popularity has generated mixed reactions from parents who are concerned about the impact that gaming can have on children.

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Keep Your Child Happy and Healthy This Winter

By Ingrid Kenron OTR/L, Integrated Pediatric Interventions at JCFS

The colder air and gloomy winter skies can sometimes cause children to be temperamental.  An inconsistent schedule due to holidays, weather delays and school closings may also spike anxiety and onset challenging behaviors. Occupational therapists can help create tools such as social stories and visual supports to help children understand these changes. Here are some simple ways to keep your child happy and healthy this winter season.

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We're All in This Together: Six Phrases More Important Than 'I Love You'

by Marc Bermann, JCFS Foster Parent Recruiter and Support Specialist

1)  "I Appreciate You"......We often take friends and family for granted, especially when things are going well and we're not in a crisis. Where our children are concerned, both bio and foster, it's important to catch them doing something good and acknowledge how good we feel about that. Nothing makes children feel better than knowing they are appreciated by the people who are caring for them.

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Handwriting Without Tears

In this technological age, it’s easy to overlook the importance of handwriting. Pen and paper are no longer the primary means by which most people write. Instead, we favor keyboards and touchpads to communicate. While these modes are certainly less messy and more convenient, studies show that children who do most of their reading and writing on the computer have a harder time retaining and processing information. (American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2006). For this reason, educators and occupational therapists alike are encouraging children and their parents to make building handwriting skills a priority.

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Caring for a Bipolar Child

by Talia Rudkin, B.A., Psychological Services Diagnostic Extern

Pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) has been given a considerable amount of attention in recent years.  Even though pediatric bipolar disorder has yet to find its individual place in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM), there has been a recent influx in the number of children and adolescents being diagnosed with bipolarity.  This can be an alarming diagnosis for parents, as it is one that is often given to adults.  In fact, bipolar disorder is so much more common in adults that the DSM-V does not distinguish adult-onset from pediatric-onset symptoms of bipolar, despite clinically significant differences in the presentation and duration of symptoms(3,5,6,7).  However, a growing interest in this topic has led to an increase in research and treatment options for how to best care for a bipolar child. 

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A Camper's Heartfelt Experience

by Miles Allan, Firefly Camper

I attended Camp Firefly every summer since 2010.  After six years of going to camp, it's safe to say that it was the best experience of my life. I don't really think there was a second of camp that I didn't enjoy. Everything about it was amazing; from the great friends I've made to the fun camp activities. It was an unforgettable experience, to say the least.

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