Reach For The Stars Pediatric Therapy Blog

Reach For The Stars with this pediatric therapy and autism services blog by the national early intervention company Achieve Beyond serving CA, CT, FL, MD, NJ, NY and VA continuing to expand. This blog features stories about special needs children, professional therapists and editorials for special needs parents.
Mar
11

What is Autism?

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A 22 year old boy in the UK, Dwaynne Way, made a video about Aspergers. He himself has Aspergers, and wanted to reach other young people and help them to understand how autism changes your life. 

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Mar
11

ASD and Me

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The mother Donnie, age 7, wanted to find a better way to explain to children what Autism is. She decided to write an illustrate her own book. This is a preview of the book.

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Feb
11

20th Anniversary!

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February 11, 2015, we celebrated our 20th year in business! Here is a message from Dr. Trudy Font Padron, Founder & Programs  Executive  Director: For 20 years, Achieve Beyond has remained true to our mission of offering qualitatively strong services and evaluations. We teach using current, empirically proven interventions and work collaboratively with family members to ensure excellence and results. At Achieve Beyond, we also work tirelessly to ensure compliance with regulations. Our clinical supervision program, including teaching ABA techniques, is exemplary and we remain committed to maintaining the highest standards of performance in the future.
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Dec
02

Opening a Door to Dental Care

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Mrs. Brown struggled to find a dentist that would clean her daughter Camryn's teeth. Camryn has autism, and going to the dentist set off many sensory triggers that made this process difficult. Then she found Dr. Luedemann-Lazar who worked with her daughter and is now able to do a full 25 minutes cleaning in one sitting. This story is inspirational and opening a door to dental care for children with special needs.

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Nov
11

I am NOT a number


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  A gifted high school student with autism at Pickerington North, in Ohio, received a low score on a test. In response to this, his teachers in the special education department decided to make a statement about this. "We just want to spread the word that every single person has value, and it is unfair to place people into labels and boxes. The world needs to move from judging to loving, and we wanted to contribute to that movement. That is basically our heart behind the video." - John Silfies  
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Oct
27

Autistic Child Speaks for the First Time After Accident

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Watch the video below about an incredible young man who was diagnosed with autism and did not speak a word until the age of 8. After a drunk driver ran his car into Nikko's bedroom one evening and brought him to near death, he miraculously spoke his first sentence. Since then, he has not stopped talking.

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Aug
14

The New Look of Achieve Beyond!

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If you have not noticed, we have a new website! We’re really excited about it, and we hope you are, too. A lot of thought and planning was involved. Our goal being simply to provide you with the best “user experience” possible. If you have any questions having to do with the website please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Otherwise, enjoy roaming through our new design!
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Feb
13

Arts and Crafts Ideas for Special Needs Children

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy and Autism Services provides special needs children with the services they need to stop developmental delays from occurring. Arts and crafts are a great way for special needs children to support and encourage children to express feelings, enhance their social skills and cognitive functioning, resolve frustrations they may have, fosters coping skills, and increases their use of sensorimotor skills including hand-eye coordination and sensory stimulation. Here are 5 great arts and crafts ideas that would make great activities to do with special needs children. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments sections below. We hope you enjoy these arts and crafts ideas and share them with your friends and family.

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Jan
24

Movies Featuring Characters on the Autistic Spectrum

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So many people enjoy watching movies that Hollywood produces and releases year to year. There have been many documentaries, made for TV and smaller scale films on autism that will not be listed here. Achieve Beyond pediatric therapy lists some of the more well known films that have elements and characters with Autism Spectrum Disorders in them. We hope you enjoy this posting on films with characters on the autistic spectrum. If you have more great films on autism to suggest please do so in our comments section below. Happy viewing everyone. I Am Sam (1998) Starring: Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michele Pfeiffer The story of an autistic man living independently and functioning well in the real world until his life changes drastically when he becomes a father and is left to care for his small child.               Temple Grandin (2010) Starring: Claire Daines...
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Jan
16

Fun Winter Activities for Kids with Special Needs


When winter hits there are still lots of fun activities for special needs children. It doesn’t matter what level your children are at, you can find something fun and creative to do together. Help them to grow both mentally and physically and create great memories together in the process. Make the winter season a memorable time of the year. Feel free to share other exciting winter activity ideas in the comments section below. Sensory Snow – Playing in the snow is a great sensory activity. Children can make snowballs, snow men, snow angels, forts, go sledding and more. It is one of the most enjoyable activities during the chilly winter months. Playing in the snow is a great activity, but have you ever tried painting it? All that is needed are squirt bottles filled with food colored water. This activity is a great winter activity that is loads of fun...
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Apr
15

10 Autism Quotes For Special Needs Parents

Ten autism quotes for special needs parents - Achieve Beyond BlogAchieve Beyond serves children on the autistic spectrum nationwide on a daily basis. We believe that quotes are a very memorable way to get powerful messages across that leave a lasting impression. We have compiled some of our favorite autism spectrum quotes to share with you from unknown authors, to Autism activist Temple Grandin to brilliant minds like Albert Einstein.

We hope these quotes inspire you enjoy these quotes and please feel free to share more with us in the comment section below or share this post on your favorite social network like Facebook or Twitter as well.

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Mar
29

What To Observe On A Child Who Might Have A Diagnosis Of Autism

A child receiving Pediatric Speech Therapy from an SLP at Achieve Beyond.
As Speech Language Pathologists we need to be aware of some behavior/signs that children on the Autism Spectrum might have. It does not mean that every child with Autism will present these behavior/signs, but most of them will prompt us to make an accurate observation on the child's responses to make the proper referral for an evaluation which can lead to an appropriate diagnosis. As Linda Watson, Ed.D.,CCC-SLP Associate Professor from the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC wrote in different articles familiarity with the literature about the early development of children of Autism will improve the ability of professionals to appropriately diagnose and intervene young children who may have a form of autism. In her article "Toddlers with Autism, Developmental Perspectives", she presented the development of young children with Autism by discussing the developmental domains of affective development, sensory processing...
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Mar
01

Developmental Guidelines: What Most Babies Do at 2 Months

Developmental guidelines for children at two months of age - Achieve Beyond Blog
Social and Emotional Begins to smile at people Can briefly calm himself (may bring hands to mouth) Tries to look at parent Language / Communication Coos, Makes Gurgling Sounds Turns Heads Towards Sounds Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Pays Attention to Faces Begins to follow things with eyes and recognize people at a distance Begins to act bored (cries, fussy) if activity does not change Movement/Physical Development Can hold head up and begins to push up when lying on tummy Makes smoother movements with arms and legs Red Flags For 2 Month Old Babies Does Not Respond to loud sounds Doesn't watch things as they move Doesn't smile at people Doesn't bring hands to mouth Can't hold head up when pushing up when on tummy Have a question? Want to learn more? Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will do our best to follow up...
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Mar
01

Developmental Guidelines: What Most Babies Do at 4 Months

Developmental guidelines for children at four months of age - Achieve Beyond Blog
Social and Emotional Smiles spontaneously, especially at people Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling and frowning Language/Communication Begins to babble Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Lets you know if she is happy or sad Responds to affections Reaches for toy with one hand Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it Follows moving things with eyes from side to side Watches faces closely Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance Movement/Physical Development Holds head steady, unsupported Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface May be able to roll over from tummy to back Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys Brings hands to...
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Mar
01

Developmental Guidelines : What Most Babies Do at 6 Months

Developmental guidelines for children at six months of age - Achieve Beyond Blog
Social and Emotional Knows Familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger Likes to play with others, especially parents Responds to other people's emotions and often seems happy Likes to look at self in mirror Language/Communication Responds to sounds by making sounds String vowels together when babbling ("ah", "eh" , "oh") and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds. Responds to own name Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with "m", "b") Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Looks around at things nearby Brings things to mouth Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach Begins to pass things from one hand to the other Movement/Physical Development Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front) Begins to sit without proper support When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce Rocks back...
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Mar
01

Developmental Guidelines: What Most Babies Do at 9 Months

Developement guidelines for children at nine months of age - Achieve Beyond Blog
Social and Emotional May be afraid of strangers May be clingy with familiar adults Has favorite toys Language / Communication Understands "no" Makes a lot of different sounds like "mamamama" and "bababababa" Copies sounds and gestures of others Uses fingers to point at things Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Looks around for things he sees you hide Plays peek a boo Puts things in her mouth Picks up things between thumb and index finger Movement/Physical Development Stands holding on Can get into sitting position Sits without support Pulls to stand Crawls Red Flags For 9 Month Old Babies Doesn'tbeat weight on legs with support Doesn't seem to recognize familiar people Doesn't sit with help Doesn't look where you point Doesn't babble ("mama", "dada", "baba") Doesn't transfer toys from one hand to another Doesn't play any games involving back and forth play Doesn't respond to own name Have a question? Want to...
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Mar
01

Developmental Guidelines : What Most Babies Do at 12 Months

Developmental guidelines for children at twelve months of age - Achieve Beyond Blog
Social and Emotional Is shy or nervous with strangers Cried when mom or dad leaves Shows fear in some situations Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story Repeats sounds or actions to get attention Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing Plays games such as "peek-a-boo" and "pat-a-cake" Language/Communication Responds to simple spoken requests Uses simple gestures, like shaking head "no" or waving "bye-bye" Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech) Says "mama" and "dada" and exclamations like "uh-oh" Tries to say words you say Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging and throwing Finds hidden things easily Looks at the right picture or thing when it's named Copies gestures Starts to use things correctly; for example drinks from a cup, brushes hair Follows simple directions like "pickup the toy" Movement/Physical Development Gets to a sitting...
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Mar
01

Developmental Guidelines : What Most Babies Do at 18 Months

Developmental guidelines for children at the age of eighteen month old - Achieve Beyond Blog
Social and Emotional Likes to hand things to others as play May have temper tantrums May be afraid of strangers Shows affection to familiar people May cling to caregivers in new situations Points to show others something interesting Explores alone but with parents close by Language / Communication Says several single words Says and shakes head "no" Points to show someone what he wants Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Knows what ordinary things are for; for example telephone, brush, spoon Points to get the attention of others Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed Points to one body part Scribbles on his own Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sites when you say "sit down" Movement/Physical Development Walk alone May walk up steps and run Pulls toys while walking Can help undress herself Drinks from a cup Eats with a spoon Red...
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Mar
01

Developmental Guidelines: What Most Babies Do at 24 Months

Developemental guidelines for children at twenty four months of age (2 years) - Achieve Beyond Blog
Social and Emotional Copies others, especially adults and older children Gets excited when with other children Shows more and more independence Shows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to) Plays mainly beside other children but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games Language/Communication Says sentences with 2 to 4 words Repeats words overheard in conversation Knows names of familiar people and body parts Follows two-step instructions such as "Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet" Points to things in a book Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers Beings to sort shapes and colors Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books Plays simple make-believe games Builds towers of 4 or more blocks Names items in a picture book such as cat, bird or dog Movement/Physical Development Stands on tiptoe Kicks a ball Begins...
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Mar
01

Developmental Guidelines: What Most Babies Do at 36 Months

Dervelopemental guidelines for children thirty six months of age (3 years) - Achieve Beyond Blog
Social and Emotional Copies adults and friends Shows affection for friends without prompting Takes turns in games Shows concern for crying friend Understands the idea of "mine" and "his" or "hers" Shows a wide range of emotions Separates easily from mom and dad Language/Communication Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps Can name most familiar things Understands words like "in", "on", and "under" Says "I", "me", "we", "you" and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats) Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Can work toys with buttons, levers and moving parts Plays make-believe with dolls, animals and people Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces Understands what "two" means Copies a circle with pencil or crayon Turns book pages one at a time Builds towers of more than 6 blocks Screws and unscrews jar lids or turns door handle Movement/Physical Development Climbs well...
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