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.
Apr
08

Children & Technology


Our children are born in a world where television shows can be watched any time they want on multiple devices around the house. Tablets, computers, & smartphones are accessible to even the most economically challenged families. The overwhelming options can be difficult for parents to navigate as they raise their family. Risks of too much media & technology use include negative health effects on weight & sleep, exposure to content that is inappropriate & issues of confidentiality. According to the American Association for Pediatrics, families should avoid digital media use (except video-chatting) in children younger than 18 to 24 months. For children ages 18 to 24 months of age, if you want to introduce digital media, choose high-quality programming & use media together with your child. Avoid solo media use in this age group. For children 2 to 5 years of age, limit screen use to 1 hour per day...
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Mar
18

Therapist Vlog - NET teaching

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Feb
20

Identifying language delays in young children

Children develop language skills at different times. Language development can also depend on a variety of factors including: their natural ability to learn language, other skills that they are learning at the same time, how much talking they hear during the day and what kind of response is given to when they do speak or attempt to speak ("Late Blooming or Language Problem?")

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), there are several risk factors to consider when analyzing a potential learning delay

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Feb
12

Promoting Independence

Independent Child

Independence is a valuable part of our daily routines and significantly enhances the quality of life. Even at young ages, a child should be encouraged to develop independent living skills . As a children’s motor and cognitive skills increase, their ability to complete these tasks also increases. By fostering independence in a child’s early years, parents can help make daily living skills become part of a routine rather than a difficult chore. To accomplish this goal, parents can encourage their children by creating opportunities, providing choices, and reinforcing behavior.

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Jun
23

Fundraiser for PeerPals.org & the NSASA on August 6th!


We would love to see you at our fundraiser for PeerPals.org & NSASA on August 6th at Croxley's Ale House in Farmingdale. There will be raffle prizes, a 50/50 raffle, children's entertainment and $5 draft beer specials from the Croxley's favorite list. 
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Mar
15

Tactile Sensory Processing

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What is it?

The tactile system receives information from the environment around us through receptors on our skin that receive touch. Our body then is able to interpret this information and decide how to respond to it. Tactile sensory processing is necessary to develop skills needed for daily activities and social relationships. When the brain has difficulties understanding and responding to tactile information it may be expressed as hyperrosponsiveness or hyporesponsiveness.

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Oct
15

Toys as Learning Tools

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With the holiday season around the corner, many families will be thinking about new toys for their toddlers and preschoolers. Toys have the opportunity to be learning tools and can help grow speech and language skills. However, for these toys to support language, caregivers must facilitate the language. Below are some of my favorites, along with skills your child can learn from playing with these toys. Mr. Potato Head: One of my all-time favorites. Mr. Potato Head (and Mrs. Potato Head) offer expressive language opportunities such as requesting (I want mouth) as well as receptive language opportunities like pronouns (Give the nose to her). Mr. Potato Head is perfect for learning body parts and clothing as well. Farm Set: The farm set is great for learning animals and the sounds they make. It offers opportunities to practice answering ‘wh’ questions (Where is the cow? Who is eating? What animal says...
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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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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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Jun
17

On the Radio

Kristin Harris, BCBA, MS EdJoin “Special Needs Long Island,” the radio program focused on the Special Needs Community,
as we feature Kristin Harris, Director of Behavioral Services, Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy and Autism Services

Listen to us at 540 AM WLIE and streamed at WLIE540 am

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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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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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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
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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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Dec
12

What exactly is Modern Day ABA?

800x600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 By: Gina M. Ballone, MS, BCBA, LBA - When you hear the phrase “Applied Behavior Analysis,” what is the first thing you think of? Most people would say “autism” or “a type of therapy”. The main reason for writing this article is to debunk any misconceptions or myths about ABA and explain how it has evolved over the years. The first myth is that it is a “therapy”. ABA is a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior, which focuses on objectively defining observable behaviors of social significance (Cooper, Heron & Howard, 1987). The principles of the science, or rather field of study, are applied in an ABA therapy program. The reason it’s important to point out that it’s a science is to give it significant credit as “empirically based”. There have been over 550 studies published,...
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Nov
27

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy California Contracts with Autism Services Group

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy California- https://www.achievebeyondusa.com – is proud to announce its’ new contract with Autism Services Group.   Autism Services Group covers and administers Behavior Therapy services for Aetna, MHN, College Health IPA, and Healthnet.       Achieve Beyond is now able to provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children with Autism and other developmental delays that are covered by these insurances.   Achieve Beyond is excited to provide ABA services, in addition to high quality of Speech, Occupational and Physical therapy services. Achieve Beyond’s goal is to be able to provide the full spectrum of comprehensive care to families throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, services are provided...
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Nov
27

10 More iPad Apps for Children with Autism

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy and Autism Services serves children with special needs nationwide on a daily basis. With the invention of the iPad and rise of tablets in general many apps have been created to aid in developmental therapies of children on the Autistic spectrum. Here are 10 more apps that come highly recommended by Applied Behavior Analysts, BCBAs and special needs parents. If you have an app that has been beneficial to a child with special needs please feel free to post links to these apps below. Feel free to share these apps on your favorite social networks as well.    1. Go Go Games Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} Go Go Games is an app consisting of multiple games specifically designed for...
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Jun
12

10 Great Toys for Children with Autism

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy and Autism Services serves children with special needs nationwide on a daily basis. While devising individualized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy programs for these children many toys are used to aid in these programs. There are many toys out there that benefit children with Autism, but these are 10 great ones that have been highly rated and proven to help children on the autistic spectrum. Please feel free to add more toy suggestions in the comments section below and to share this article on your favorite social networks as well. We hope you enjoy this list.   1. Tangle Therapy by Tangle Tangle Creations Tangle Therapy: This twistable therapy device is a new ergonomic approach to stress relief, as well as a manipulative for hand therapy. The Tangle Therapy is more than your classic Tangle toy. Larger than the original tangles, this is a twisty and...
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Jun
12

10 iPad Apps for Children with Autism

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy and Autism Services serves children with special needs nationwide on a daily basis. With the invention of the iPad and rise of tablets in general many apps have been created to aid in developmental therapies of children on the Autistic spectrum. Here are 10 that come highly recommended by Applied Behavior Analysts, BCBAs and special needs parents. If you have an app that has ben beneficial to a child with special needs please feel free to post links to these apps below. Feel free to share these apps on your favorite social networks as well.    1. AutisMate Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} AutisMate's is a great app for children with Autism because of it’s comprehensive approach that encourages users...
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Jun
12

10 Signs Your Child Is Ready for Toilet Training

Toilet training is one of the most challenging acts for parents and especially for special needs parents with children on the autistic spectrum. One of the most important aspects is recognizing when the child is actually ready for this training to begin. If the child is not showing the signs of readiness for toilet training, they will not learn successfully. This usually happens in children anywhere between 18-24 months, but can vary depending on the child. Children with special needs may take up to a year longer than others to have the readiness for toilet training. Below are 10 signs that your child is most likely ready for toilet training. All of these criteria do not have to present to start training, but these signs show that the child most likely possesses the independence and understanding of going to the bathroom necessary for success. If you have any toilet training...
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