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
16

Easter Bunny for Special Needs

b2ap3_thumbnail_easterbunny.jpg Autism Speaks partnered with Simon Property Group, Inc. and the Noerr Programs Corporation on their Caring Bunny program. This program bring a controlled and friendly environment for children with special needs to meet the Easter Bunny. It is also a great oppourtunity for special needs families to meet and socialize with one another. The Caring Bunny program is active throughout the United States. To get a full list of the dates and times go to the Autism Speaks website. Here are the dates that are within the states that Achieve Beyond services:
Continue reading
  3615 Hits
3615 Hits
Mar
11

What is Autism?

b2ap3_thumbnail_autism.jpg

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. 

Continue reading
  3066 Hits
3066 Hits
Mar
11

ASD and Me

b2ap3_thumbnail_asdandme2.jpg

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.

Continue reading
  3892 Hits
3892 Hits
Feb
11

20th Anniversary!

b2ap3_thumbnail_20-years.gif
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.
Continue reading
  2928 Hits
2928 Hits
Dec
02

Opening a Door to Dental Care

b2ap3_thumbnail_dentist.jpg

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.

Continue reading
  3899 Hits
3899 Hits
Nov
11

I am NOT a number


b2ap3_thumbnail_blog_video.jpg
 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 
Continue reading
  3015 Hits
3015 Hits
Oct
27

Autistic Child Speaks for the First Time After Accident

b2ap3_thumbnail_video_img.jpg 

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.

Continue reading
  4602 Hits
4602 Hits
Aug
14

The New Look of Achieve Beyond!

b2ap3_thumbnail_new-website-banner.jpg
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!
Continue reading
  3213 Hits
3213 Hits
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.

Continue reading
  19300 Hits
19300 Hits
Jan
24

Movies Featuring Characters on the Autistic Spectrum

I Am Sam movie cover
Temple Grandin movie cover
Rain Man movie cover
Mozart and the Whale movie cover
The Boy Who Could Fly movie cover
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 Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman's perseverance and...
Continue reading
  7322 Hits
7322 Hits
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 and...
Continue reading
  12179 Hits
12179 Hits
Apr
15

10 Autism Quotes For Special Needs Parents

Ten autism quotes for special needs parents - Achieve Beyond Blog

\Achieve 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.

Continue reading
  11296 Hits
11296 Hits
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 and attention, praxis...
Continue reading
  18407 Hits
18407 Hits
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 EmotionalBegins to smile at peopleCan briefly calm himself (may bring hands to mouth)Tries to look at parent Language / CommunicationCoos, Makes Gurgling SoundsTurns Heads Towards Sounds Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving) Pays Attention to FacesBegins to follow things with eyes and recognize people at a distanceBegins to act bored (cries, fussy) if activity does not changeMovement/Physical DevelopmentCan hold head up and begins to push up when lying on tummyMakes smoother movements with arms and legsRed Flags For 2 Month Old Babies Does Not Respond to loud soundsDoesn't watch things as they moveDoesn't smile at peopleDoesn't bring hands to mouthCan't hold head up when pushing up when on tummyHave 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 with you. About Achieve Beyond: Achieve Beyond is an agency founded by Dr. Trudy Font-Padron in 1995 and remains...
Continue reading
  6767 Hits
6767 Hits
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 EmotionalSmiles spontaneously, especially at peopleLikes to play with people and might cry when playing stopsCopies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling and frowningLanguage/CommunicationBegins to babbleBabbles with expression and copies sounds he hearsCries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tiredCognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving)Lets you know if she is happy or sadResponds to affectionsReaches for toy with one handUses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for itFollows moving things with eyes from side to sideWatches faces closelyRecognizes familiar people and things at a distanceMovement/Physical DevelopmentHolds head steady, unsupportedPushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surfaceMay be able to roll over from tummy to backCan hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toysBrings hands to mouthWhen lying on stomach, pushes up to elbowsRed Flags For 4 Month Old BabiesDoesn't watch things as they moveDoesn't smile at peopleCan't...
Continue reading
  4854 Hits
4854 Hits
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 EmotionalKnows Familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a strangerLikes to play with others, especially parentsResponds to other people's emotions and often seems happyLikes to look at self in mirrorLanguage/CommunicationResponds to sounds by making soundsString vowels together when babbling ("ah", "eh" , "oh") and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds.Responds to own nameMakes sounds to show joy and displeasureBegins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with "m", "b")Cognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving)Looks around at things nearbyBrings things to mouthShows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reachBegins to pass things from one hand to the otherMovement/Physical DevelopmentRolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front)Begins to sit without proper supportWhen standing, supports weight on legs and might bounceRocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forwardRed Flags For 6 Month Old BabiesDoesn't try to get things that are in...
Continue reading
  4480 Hits
4480 Hits
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 EmotionalMay be afraid of strangersMay be clingy with familiar adultsHas favorite toysLanguage / CommunicationUnderstands "no"Makes a lot of different sounds like "mamamama" and "bababababa"Copies sounds and gestures of othersUses fingers to point at thingsCognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving)Looks around for things he sees you hidePlays peek a booPuts things in her mouthPicks up things between thumb and index fingerMovement/Physical DevelopmentStands holding onCan get into sitting positionSits without supportPulls to standCrawlsRed Flags For 9 Month Old BabiesDoesn'tbeat weight on legs with supportDoesn't seem to recognize familiar peopleDoesn't sit with helpDoesn't look where you pointDoesn't babble ("mama", "dada", "baba")Doesn't transfer toys from one hand to anotherDoesn't play any games involving back and forth playDoesn't respond to own nameHave 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 with you. About Achieve Beyond: Achieve Beyond is an...
Continue reading
  4160 Hits
4160 Hits
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 EmotionalIs shy or nervous with strangersCried when mom or dad leavesShows fear in some situationsHands you a book when he wants to hear a storyRepeats sounds or actions to get attentionPuts out arm or leg to help with dressingPlays games such as "peek-a-boo" and "pat-a-cake"Language/CommunicationResponds to simple spoken requestsUses 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 sayCognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving)Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging and throwingFinds hidden things easilyLooks at the right picture or thing when it's namedCopies gesturesStarts to use things correctly; for example drinks from a cup, brushes hairFollows simple directions like "pickup the toy"Movement/Physical DevelopmentGets to a sitting position without helpPulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture ("cruising")May take a few steps without holding onMay stand aloneRed Flags For...
Continue reading
  5294 Hits
5294 Hits
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 EmotionalLikes to hand things to others as playMay have temper tantrumsMay be afraid of strangersShows affection to familiar peopleMay cling to caregivers in new situationsPoints to show others something interestingExplores alone but with parents close byLanguage / CommunicationSays several single wordsSays and shakes head "no"Points to show someone what he wantsCognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving)Knows what ordinary things are for; for example telephone, brush, spoonPoints to get the attention of othersShows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feedPoints to one body partScribbles on his ownCan follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sites when you say "sit down"Movement/Physical DevelopmentWalk aloneMay walk up steps and runPulls toys while walkingCan help undress herselfDrinks from a cupEats with a spoonRed Flags For 18 Month Old BabiesDoesn't point to show things to othersDoesn't gain new wordsCan't walkDoesn't have at least 6 wordsDoesn't know what familiar things are forDoesn't...
Continue reading
  4514 Hits
4514 Hits
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 EmotionalCopies others, especially adults and older childrenGets excited when with other childrenShows more and more independenceShows 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 gamesLanguage/CommunicationSays sentences with 2 to 4 wordsRepeats words overheard in conversationKnows names of familiar people and body partsFollows two-step instructions such as "Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet"Points to things in a bookCognitive (Learning, Thinking, Problem-Solving)Finds things even when hidden under two or three coversBeings to sort shapes and colorsCompletes sentences and rhymes in familiar booksPlays simple make-believe gamesBuilds towers of 4 or more blocksNames items in a picture book such as cat, bird or dogMovement/Physical DevelopmentStands on tiptoeKicks a ballBegins to runClimbs onto and down from furniture without helpWalks up and down stairs holding onMakes or copies straight lines and circlesRed Flags For...
Continue reading
  4647 Hits
4647 Hits