Adventures and Memories

In the midst of sorting through your Black Friday deals and your Cyber Monday steals, you may be interested in some Winter Holiday activities in the greater Cleveland area.  This list is just the start of all the area has to offer; please share via Facebook or email if you find others that provide you and your family some fun adventures and treasured memories.

Remember most city centers (especially downtown Cleveland at Public Square – ) have lovely light displays as well as many neighborhoods.  

 Share adventures and build memories!

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC

Holiday Prep – Part II

In a few days we will gather with family and friends to be thankful for all we have our lives. The days leading up to Thanksgiving (or any holiday) can be exciting, yet filled with anxiety, which could result in unexpected behaviors and reactions for some of our loved ones.

We talked about making changes in the actual celebration to better support your loved ones.  We need to focus on preparing them for what they might experience – the different smells, sounds and expectations – during the Thanksgiving celebration.

Social Stories:  These tools help by creating a simple straightforward explanation of what will happen during or leading up to an event, as well as behavior expectations.  Ideally social stories should be reviewed multiple times prior to an event and directly before. Bring the social story to the event and reread it in a quiet place. This may help to decrease the stress and refocus behaviors.  Please feel free to print and use these social stories or you may find some free by searching the web.

Visual Schedule:  Enjoying a relaxed unscheduled day may sound perfect, however your loved one may need to ‘see’ his/her day to decrease anxiety and unexpected behaviors.  A visual schedule may prove to be the needed tool. Visual schedules are helpful for all family members. You can use actual photos, simple stick-figure drawings or icons to depict your daily events.  You may choose to split the day by listing the AM schedule first and then changing it to the PM schedule at a natural break. You may choose to list the entire day and have your loved one remove the icon/picture as each part of the day is completed. Please feel free to print and use these icons to create a visual schedule of your loved one’s day.

First-Then cards: First-Then cards may be a new tool in your toolbox.  These cards use the same icons or pictures as a visual schedule, however are presented two at a time.  This tools gives your loved one a focused message of the immediate expected event or behavior and what will directly follow.  You may consider following a non-preferred activity with a ‘break’ or ‘leisure choice’ to increase his/her attention to the non-preferred activity.  For example, First: eating dinner – Then: going outside to swing. Please feel free to print and used these materials to create a First-Then card for your loved one.

Remember to take a moment to step back and truly see all the beauty that surrounds you.  Cherish your time with family and friends. We at Lakeshore Speech Therapy are thankful for our Lakeshore families.  We wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving day filled with laughter and happiness.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC

Holiday Prep – Part I

The weather reminds us the season of Holidays is at hand. Cooler days and nights, leaves and snowflakes falling.

While your are prepping your house for the Holidays, don’t forget to prep your friends and family as well. Earlier this year, we suggested ideas for making your loved one’s time celebrating the 4th of July more enjoyable. Now is the perfect time to begin preparing for you and your family to create an environment during these Holidays that supports your loved one as much as possible.

Location of celebration. While your family may have always celebrated the Holidays at Aunt Millie’s house, is it really the best place? Does Aunt Millie’s house have enough room so your loved one can comfortably participate in the festivities? Does Aunt Millie’s house have a place where your loved one might be able to ‘escape’ the whirl of activity? You may need to suggest a different venue for the Holiday celebration, a venue that better supports your loved one. If a venue change is not possible, you may need to suggest or abridge the time you spend at Aunt Millie’s to a time frame that better supports your loved one.

Time of celebrate. Is there a law stating all Holidays must be celebrated at dinner time? This year you may need to suggest a different time of day to celebrate the Holidays, a time of day when your loved one is at her/his best. Holiday brunch? Holiday lunch? Holiday snack time? You know your loved better than anyone. When she/he is at their best, YOU are able to relax and enjoy the festivities as well.

Timing of events. Is the best part of the celebration held for later in the day or evening? Can the highlight of the day be the first thing that happens? Relieving the anticipation of the highlight will decrease unexpected behaviors, which better supports your loved one.

This is not a finite list of considerations.  These are examples to get you thinking of the best plan for you and your family. These are examples to begin your prepping for the Holidays to best support your loved one so ultimately everyone can enjoy being together for the Holidays.


Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC.

Press Pause

The clock is beginning to tick….loudly!  Time to pack up the Halloween decorations and get ready for the mad dash of the Holiday season!  There is no escaping the hustle and bustle of the Seasons.

Typically, we share information to help to improve a loved ones communication or self-regulation; this week we are focused on Y.O.U. – the caregiver, the superperson, the parent, the great juggler of all! Why would we spend a week thinking about YOU?  The answer is simple….YOU are just as important and need to be cared for as much as everyone else in your world.

Take 5 more minutes after you read this blog to focus on the person that keeps all the gears of your family’s life running smoothly – YOU!  We realize this is easier said than done. Let’s get to work before your 5 minutes is up!

Where do/can you find a quiet moment? At the grocery store? At line at the bank? On break at work? Sitting in the waiting room at Lakeshore Speech? When we say a moment, we mean it.  We aren’t talking about a 2 hour massage (while that is a great thing in itself) or a 1 hour meditation session. We are talking 5-10 minutes. Don’t brush this step off, think about it, really think about it.

What helps calm you? What re-centers you? What makes you smile? Does listening to a certain song bring a smile to your face? Does looking at pictures of vacation lower your blood pressure? You know immediately what brings you calm. Keep those items close at hand, especially during the busy days ahead.

Now put it all together on your schedule – DAILY.  Reserve those moments for yourself. Make an appointment with yourself every day….. every day! Use your time not to plan for what will happen later or what you have to purchase or what you need to wrap, but to calm and rejuvenate yourself.  

Those few moments may make the difference in creating a less stressful, more joyous Holiday Season.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC.