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.
Oct
15

Halloween Crafts!

Here are some more great crafts from Whats Up Moms. These are activities are all Halloween themed. The ghost mud is great for sensory play. It will open your child up to a new and gooey texture while staying clean at the same time. Who doesn't love a craft that is fun and clean! Just make sure to do the activity outside or have a drop sheet on the ground for easy clean up! The spider web craft is great for enhancing fine motor skills while being festive for the holiday at the same time. Your child will be so excited to make decorations to hang up for everyone to see that they won't even realize they are doing an activity that is a source of therapy. I hope you enjoyed these activities. Happy Halloween!
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3092 Hits
Aug
27

Making the Back-to-School Transition a Little Smoother

Back to School! By: Tara Karen, M.S. Ed, BCBA, LBA
Achieve Beyond-Director of Behavioral Services

With September fast approaching, we are all anxiously awaiting the first day of school! The beginning of the school year brings on a host of challenges for both children and parents alike: obtaining school supplies, scheduling after-school activities, checking homework, making friends, strict bedtimes, and meeting new teachers. These all will cause some anxiety for children and parents. When a child has a disability, these challenges may become overwhelming for children and their parents, which may lead to an increase in “problem behaviors.” Below are a few of the strategies we can use in order to relieve the stress of back-to-school and make the transition easier for our kids and for ourselves.

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3254 Hits
Aug
27

Tummy Time

Back to School! By: Sheryl K. Goncalves, DPT, PT
Achieve Beyond-EI Clinical Director

Tummy time, tummy time, tummy time! Parents hear it and are aware of it but only some practice it with their little ones. There is no magic number of times to practice tummy time throughout the day but the more the better. For example, incorporating time throughout your daily routines such as after every diaper change.

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4416 Hits
Aug
25

Misunderstood

Larry was misunderstood his whole life. At the age of eight years old he was believed to be severally mentally retarded, and was ultimately institutionalized. Unable to speak to anyone he used art as his own therapy to survive the physical and mental abuse that he endured while living in the institution. Once his sister was able to, she moved Larry home with her. He discovered he was able to communicate with others through computer communication. Finally Larry was recognized as non verbal autistic. His whole world changed. He still creates his beautiful art to express the emotions he feels. His story is so inspiring to everyone, especially those who are misunderstood.
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2781 Hits
Jul
15

Cool down with these Ice Games

It is summer, and hot! What's Up Moms share some great ice activities to do with your kids to help you cool down. The first activity is basically a sensory bottle much larger and frozen! Roll up your sleeves and make one of these for your child and they will be occupied trying to get those little toys out. 
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3064 Hits
Mar
31

The Autistic Me

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BBC did an amazing documentary on the transition from childhood to adulthood when having autism. They shared the daily life and struggle of three men. It also shows how this struggle does not only effect the individual, but their family as well. Documentaries like these help those of us that are not effected by autism, understand their lives. Knowledge is power, and with knowledge comes understanding.

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3867 Hits
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:
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3917 Hits
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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3313 Hits
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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4184 Hits
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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3253 Hits
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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4153 Hits
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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3326 Hits
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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4909 Hits
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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3500 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.

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19650 Hits
Jan
24

Movies Featuring Characters on the Autistic Spectrum

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Temple Grandin movie cover
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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...
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7624 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...
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12555 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.

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13243 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...
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18679 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...
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