Dress for Fall

Fall is officially upon us!  Crunching leaves, cooler air, pumpkin spiced everything.  There’s no denying it, Fall is here! For those who appreciate a cup of hot cocoa, the changing of the leaves and busting out the sweaters and long pants, your time has arrived.  Living in Northeast Ohio poses some issues when it comes to predicting Fall weather. We experience Spring, Summer and Heat Wave all in span of 3 days. Adjusting our wardrobes to match this  temperature roller coaster can also create issues for those who don’t understand what is going on with Mother Nature or those who are very sensitive to what they wear.

The “battle of the outfit” does not have to be a daily event. Using simple materials around your home, you can focus less on getting your loved one in  clothes to match the weather. These techniques not only bridge the gap of the daily runway, but promote vocabulary growth, inferencing, and reasoning.

Materials you will need to gather:


Pictures of (at least 2 copies of each): 

  • Long sleeved shirt & short sleeved shirt                
  • Long pants & shorts
  • Sweatshirt or sweater
  • Socks and shoes
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Lightweight Jacket
  • Heavier jacket/winter jacket


  • Fliers from department stores and catalogues are great resources
  • Free icons @ www.flaticon.com
  • Free icons @ www.do2learn
  • Images from the internet


Pictures of weather/temperature:

  • Sun (3)
  • Cloudy (3)
  • Rain (3)
  • Warm (3)
  • Cold (3)



Blank week calendar (large enough to hold 2-3 pictures)



Glue, scissors, velcro or funtack, blank paper/cardstock


Around the house (or in the ‘junk drawer’)

The overall goal is for the adult to indicate the weather and temperature on a specific day (using the weather temperature pictures) as well as the type of clothing needed for that day (using the clothing pictures).  Eventually, the individual may want to fill in the calendar with the corresponding pictures, but initially, this is intended to be a visual cue to decrease misunderstandings, etc. Too often the beautiful sun is shining but it’s nowhere near a day for flip-flops and shorts.

Please feel free to discuss creating this type of visual cue for your loved one with your Speech-Language Pathologist. If you would like more information, please feel free to call us at Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy

Friday Night Lights

Friday night lights! High school traditions!  Go Team!

Fall is the time of year to grab your favorite sweatshirt and enjoy an evening of high school football.  “Enjoy” – that’s the difficult part especially for some. The many sounds and smells as well as the number of people all in one place can cause loved ones with integration issues difficulty in large  crowds. There are a number of proactive steps families can take to help loved ones adjust to these situations.

Paint a picture of what the individual will experience during their time at the game.  For example:

  • We are going to park the car in the parking lot (or, in some instances, the – field, street, etc.)
  • We will walk to the gate or entrance of the field.
  • We will have to stand in line to get our tickets.
    • Note: if available, please consider purchasing tickets ahead of time.  Less time anxiously waiting, the better.
  • There will be a lot of people around us; you will hear them talking and shouting.
  • We will walk to our seats
  • We will walk up or down the stadium steps
    • Note: if the stadium steps are open (meaning you can see the ground below) you may want to consider sitting in an area closer to the ground or where the steps are solid.
  • We will sit in our seats
    • Note: if the individual is sensitive to pressure – consider bringing a blanket or stadium chair to decrease the sensation of the ‘hard’ stadium bleachers.
  • Etcetera
    • Don’t forget to include what will be
      • heard (band, horns, cheering, etc.)
      • seen
      • smelled

Carry an ‘important tools’ bag.  This bag should contain items that calm the individual, items that may distract attention from an unpleasant sensation and items that will help to diminish non-preferred sensations. The bag may include noise canceling headphones, headphones and a music source,ear plugs, fidget toys, extra blankets, weighted blankets, etc.

Plan your arrival and departure around preferred events.  If the individual loves watching the marching band, but is bothered by all the whistles during the game, arrive at the game 15-25 minutes late. If the individual does not appreciate the marching band, make arrangements for an activity or get special permission to leave and re-enter the the stadium during halftime.  If the individual does or does not like the mascot, plan your seats in the location accordingly.

Give your loved one a voice during the game.  Pre-record a cheer or a special message on a voice recorded switch.  No need to get too high tech, this is a high energy exciting time, it’s more important to get the message out! If a device is not an option, make a sign that shares the message or use a horn or bell for the individual to be part of the roaring crowd.  If you need more information or ideas, please do not hesitate to ask any speech therapist at Lakeshore Speech.

Friday night lights shine brighter when everyone is involved.  Go Team!

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC.

Getting out the door in one piece

A new school year, a new therapy schedule, just the time to create some new habits for a smooth transition.  Being pulled in a million different directions is enough to make anyone harried . You and your family’s stress levels do not need to be off the charts.  Help yourself and those you love create a game plan that is sure to score big this Fall.

Organizing tasks, managing time and executing a plan are all executive functioning skills.  Skills we all (no matter the age) continue to polish and refine throughout our lives. Executive functioning skills are not innate to some, butare skills that need to be taught and practiced.  When executive functioning skills begin to mature and become second nature, the stress decreases significantly.

Your game plan to create an environment that supports and teaches executive functioning skills does not have to be elaborate.  Try a few of these suggestions and see the difference for yourself. .

  • Under 5 years old
    • Specific area or tub or bin where favorite toys are kept
    • Diaper bag filled and ready to go – this bag should be kept in the same location (ie: hook, shelf) at all times so it is easy to find and grab while you are running out of the door.
    • Keep an emergency bag/bin in the car at all times – stock with snacks, diapers, change of clothes (for your child and yourself), wipes, etc.
  • School Age
    • Backpack, coat, boots, etc. all have a specific location.  This does not have to be elaborate. Grab a few empty cardboard boxes, have each child (and adult) decorate the box, arrange boxes near the entrance door. Elminiates the “trail” of belongs going through the house when your children return from school.
    • In/Out Boxes/bins for school papers.  Inevitably, your child will have a ‘home’ folder and/or school papers that need your attention.  Make a simple In/Out box system using gift boxes (reinforced with tape) to ensure these important papers do not get lost in a pile. Work with your child in getting the home folder out of the backpack and into the In/Out box.  You won’t have to worry about losing the papers and can get to them when you have time to focus your attention.
    • “Everything has a place and every place as a thing.” Words to live by!  
      • Key hooks
      • Shoe mats
      • Lunch box baskets
      • Home information Centers
      • School clothes dresser drawers vs play clothes dresser drawers
    • Simple after school “To Do” list :
      • Put folder in IN/OUTBox
      • Change clothes
      • Get a snack
      • Start homework

Your family’s unique style will dictate the creative ways in which you discover to better manage executive functioning skills.  Do not hesitate to consult with a Speech-Language Therapist for specific techniques not only for the entire family, but for specific members who could use individual attention in this area.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC

Love of Learning

Labor Day, the holiday of the working women and men in our country, a holiday honoring us for what we do day in and day out. When what you do everyday is something you love and are passionate about, it’s hard to consider it ‘work’.

The anonymous quote, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” holds more true today than ever before.  In this fast paced world, with the use of computers and smartphone technology, getting ‘away’ from work is almost impossible. Finding the balance between work and the rest of one’s life at times can seem impossible, but is definitely made easier when the ‘job’ doesn’t feel like a job at all.

It’s equally important to ensure our children’s’ ‘jobs’ are loved as well.  Children’s jobs? You might be asking yourself what jobs can a 2 year old, 6 year old, 10 year old possibly have.  The job children have day in and day out is learning….learning is the job every child holds. Loving the job of learning will take children to places we have yet to  imagine.

Helping a child to love learning can be trying, but knowing when to push a little more or step back can really alter the how a child perceives learning. Challenges are adventures that need careful navigation.  Becoming a partner in discovery of these adventures helps a child realize challenges can be overcome and are not insurmountable. Those easy “lessons” are opportunities for the adult to step back and follow the child’s lead.  These opportunities help to build independence and practice leadership skills. Those lessons that keep reappearing can be looked at as steps and with every time the child get to practice her/his skills building confidence and positive self-esteem. And let’s not forget the lessons that do not result in the intended or anticipated outcome.  These lessons provide the opportunity for child and adult to reevaluate the strategy and prove that we are all human. The less than perfect lessons help a child realize it is okay to not be perfect and in that imperfection is beauty. These are the lessons that are sometimes most important.

The love of learning will span a child’s lifetime and influence every decision.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC