By: Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
We are finally emerging from the snowiest season on record! I don't know about you, but I was sure that spring would never come! Now that we can feel the warm sun and hear the birds chirping, it's time to get serious about your child's speech and language development. A lot of people make a New Year's Resolution to finally have their child seen by a speech-language pathologist due to concerns about development. If you are one of those people, now is the time! Below is a list of “Red Flags” for speech and language development.
Signs of a language disorder
• Doesn't smile or interact with others (birth–3 months)
• Doesn't babble (4–7 months)
• Makes few sounds (7–12 months)
• Does not use gestures (e.g., waving, pointing) (7–12 months)
• Doesn't understand what others say (7 months–2 years)
• Says only a few words (12–18 months)
• Doesn't put words together to make sentences (1½–3 years)
• Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2–3 years)
• Has problems with early reading and writing skills—for example, may not show an interest in books or drawing (2½–3 years)
Signs of a speech sound disorder
• Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (1–2 years)
• Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (2–3 years)
• Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2–3 years)
Signs of a fluency disorder
• Struggles to say sounds or words (2½–3 years)
• Repeats first sounds of words—"b-b-b-ball" for "ball" (2½–3 years)
• Pauses a lot while talking (2½–3 years)
• Stretches sounds out—"f-f-f-f-farm" for "farm" (2½–3 years)
Signs of hearing loss
• Shows lack of attention to sounds (birth–1 year)
• Doesn't respond when you call his/her name (7 months–1 year)
• Doesn't follow simple directions (1–2 years)
• Shows delays in speech and language development (birth–3 years)
Information obtained from www.asha.org
If you are concerned about your child's speech-language development, contact a speech-language pathologist today to find out if therapy is warranted.
To schedule a screening or assessment please contact Golden Speech Therapy today.
Golden Speech Therapy
Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
Earlier in March, Cape Cod Moms held the first ever Mom Night Out. We were extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work with Alex, of Dot to Dot Art Workshop in Harwich, in order to facilitate a relaxing evening out for moms on the lower Cape. There were nine local moms in attendance for the event and we really had a great time.
Alex came up with a great spring craft to help get us in the mood for the snow-free days ahead. We created butterfly branches out of various paper and every single one was unique and beautiful just like the women in attendance.
The craft was just a bonus, because the real magic was in the moms meeting other moms. For me personally it was truly amazing to finally put names with faces and to get to know some of these beautiful women a little better.
I learned that Rachel and Amanda were huge fans of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, like myself! We had quite the conversation over those shows, debating who was the dreamiest man. I was able to finally meet the extremely dedicated Rita, who helps run the Lower Cape Mom event calendar and runs art workshops in the area for the local community! I also finally met Betsy, whose Wildtree newsletter I have been reading for over a year. I met Chanelle, whose husband works for the Coast Guard and I found out just how much she loves living here on the Cape. Their friend, Rachel, who attended with them was full of positive energy. You could clearly see how great a friendship she has with Chanelle and Betsy (their kids even all play together!) I had a great conversation with Alex about how she decided to leave teaching in the school system to be able to cultivate her love of art by sharing it with the community. Lauren, a fellow Upper Cape mom, made the trek to Harwich to join us for a much needed break. She even brought one of her twins with her. He was well-behaved and quite the charmer of the ladies!
The evening was a success in my book. I was so thrilled to be able to meet some other local moms and just enjoy a quiet evening out. It is really hard in this day and age to find the time to slow down and put yourself first. As women and mothers, we often are the ones who take the proverbial backseat, while we put our families, jobs and everything else before ourselves. Unfortunately, there is also the underlying competition that we often see taking place between moms, especially in the virtual world. In the day and age of constant communication and "Facebook", we often feel the subliminal prodding of guilt and competition that comes from the updates online. I know sometimes I feel guilty when I see posts about super-healthy meals, moms in super shape, activities that other parents are doing, posts from my stay-at-home mom friends or even working ones. I sometimes feel as if I can't quite measure up to this perceived ideal that society has created of the "perfect mother". But after this recent evening out, I realized that it's is all in my head, a virtual reality created by the Internet and this constant need to stay connected. When we come together in person, all those feelings of competition and guilt disappear. It was a nice reminder that we need this time every so often. We need to unplug every once in a while and actually meet up in the physical world. When we come together, we begin to realize that despite coming from all different walks of life and having different opinions on things, we are actually all pretty similar. We also realize that we're all in this parenting thing together, sharing the same parenting struggles, never to be prepared for what's next and just trying to do our best, hoping that it's good enough. It takes a village, and we all need to support one another. I, for one, am looking forward to more of these events where we can unplug and come together to share these struggles, goals, and hopes for the future.
By Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Lamperti Counseling & Consultation
Somewhat of a hobby of mine is the study of the Founding Fathers of this country, for we have much to learn from the way they learned. Whether they were walking many miles for a book to read, or copying the 110 Rules of Civility because they themselves were less than civil, we can learn a lot from their fortitude.
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “self-esteem is certainly not a virtue, for it ends up esteeming only itself.” So how is it that the culture, probably mostly spurred on by the pioneers in my profession, we have come to hold up this concept of self-esteem as being the key to success?
Unfortunately, what those in my profession have done is say that “IF the adults so this, THEN the child will feel this. Too often, this looks like, “IF I issue a consequence (dare I say, “punishment”) for X behavior, THEN, the child’s self-esteem will suffer.” Or, “IF I use these words to praise him, THEN the child’s self-esteem will soar.” Too much, or too little of this or that and you will have destroyed your child’s “self-esteem.” Or even worse, the child’s rotten, awful “other” parent will destroy their self-esteem, so I need to interceded for the sake of my child’s innermost self.
Well, let me just say, that children are MUCH more “able” than we give them credit for. Since everyone seems so afraid of damaging the child’s “self-esteem” we rob the child of important life lessons and set them up with a mindset that the step-sisters of Cinderella had. Cinderella wasn’t spared of the tough stuff and neither was Pollyanna, and look how they turned out.
For anyone who might be feeling a bit angry about what I am saying, relax. I’m not talking about abuse. Some “discipline” is abusive and children need to be protected from abuse. Expecting a 3 ½ year old to use the potty and taking away their pull up and being consistent about it, could look like a tragedy. It’s not a tragedy and children will rise up to the occasion when boundaries are clear. Expecting a 1 ½ year old to drink their drink at the table, in your lap or in a chair, rather than crawl around the floor with a ”bubba” between their teeth or a sippy cup that gets tossed, picked up, tossed, picked up…is not abuse and will not damage their self-esteem.
But fine, let’s say that it is a necessary ingredient for success, and let’s say that it is a measure of how a person values themselves. How can we foster an environment where children gain a good, positive self-esteem, not too low and not too high?
Babies – Praise, praise, praise!!! Snuggle, comfort, love! Be calm, consistent and meet their needs. Begin to assist even babies in learning to meet their own needs in time. In time and learning their cues, adapt your own behavior to accommodate for their new skills. The number of parents who refer to their 2, 3 and even 4 year olds as “the baby” always takes me by surprise.
Toddlers – Develop expectations. Teach them that you, the parent, are the structure and are in control. Seeing 2 and 3 year olds crawling around the floor with a bottle hanging out of their mouth, or cheerios all over the place is a clear indication of the next state, when a child won’t sit at the table with the family for dinner, or any meal for that matter.
Young Children – Don’t go overboard with praise for every new accomplishment. You could get away with that, and it was even helpful in earlier states, but your child needs to gain a sense now of their own abilities, rather than the reaction that they can get from you. After the first couple of times of putting toys away, this should no longer get a “yippee-hooray!” from you, for if they require such praise for this task, the next task, toilet training, will also require a huge song and dance from you. The great big awesome feeling needs to come from what they accomplished, rather than what they made you do.
Elementary Age – Help your children to become observers. Help them to see good in others and qualities and skills in others that they think are cool…EVEN if they can‘t do it themselves and EVEN if the other person who can do it is a peer. How many people who you see complimenting others seem to have a poor self-esteem? Teach children that if others can do it, they can too, and they can learn something from those that can. Teach them if they can’t do it, they have another gift, maybe yet undiscovered, that they CAN do just as well.
Middle School Age – This is when school work becomes more challenging even for very good students. It is a time to assist children with time management. They, in fact, are likely to need to spend more time completing school work, and they will need more time to complete the daily chores that you have assigned for them;-). Yes, in fact they can vacuum out the car, and they actually can learn to make scrambled eggs and a piece of toast.
High School Age – Is so much about beginning to assist our children in following their dreams. While they are building on the skills you have fostered in them over the last 12-14 years, it is now time to encourage them to dream and begin to build their foundation for when they graduate from your full-time care.
George Washington realized that he had some very bad tendencies. There was no DSM diagnosis for him and certainly no psychotropic meds, there was a wealth of rules of civility and decent behavior that he “regularly reminded himself of.”
My recent studies come from, Our Country’s Founders, A book of Advice for Young People, edited, with commentary, by William J. Bennett.
Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Lamperti Counseling & Consultation
We have been asked to offer a 20% discount to our readers for the A+ Interactive Math Program! We currently have a local mom reviewing this program so stay tuned for our review!
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British Soccer Camp is the most popular camp in North America - 150,000 campers! With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, British Soccer Camps provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert's right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!
"Enroll your child in a British Soccer Camp today and receive a Free British Soccer Jersey - Sign up during Early Registration and we will immediately ship you a great looking British Soccer Jersey! PLUS - enter code FMG15 and we will include a bonus Challenger water bottle."
Cape Cod Area Camps located in Plymouth and Wareham.
By: Gary M. DellaPosta, CPA
Confused about which credits and deductions you can claim on your 2014 tax return? You're not alone. Here are six tax breaks that you won't want to overlook.
1. State Sales and Income Taxes Thanks to last-minute tax extender legislation passed last December taxpayers filing their 2014 returns can still deduct either state income tax paid or state sales tax paid, whichever is greater.
Here's how it works. If you bought a big ticket item like a car or boat in 2014, it might be more advantageous to deduct the sales tax, but don't forget to figure any state income taxes withheld from your paycheck just in case. If you're self-employed, you can include the state income paid from your estimated payments. In addition, if you owed taxes when filing your 2013 tax return in 2014, you can include the amount when you itemize your state taxes this year on your 2014 return.
2. Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Most parents realize that there is a tax credit for daycare when their child is young, but they might not realize that once a child starts school, the same credit can be used for before and after school care, as well as day camps during school vacations. This child and dependent care tax credit can also be taken by anyone who pays a home health aide to care for a spouse or other dependent--such as an elderly parent--who is physically or mentally unable to care for him or herself. The credit is worth a maximum of $1,050 or 35 percent of $3,000 of eligible expenses per dependent.
3. Job Search Expenses Job search expenses are 100 percent deductible, whether you are gainfully employed or not currently working--as long as you are looking for a position in your current profession. Expenses include fees paid to join professional organizations, as well as employment placement agencies that you used during your job search. Travel to interviews is also deductible (as long as it was not paid by your prospective employer) as is paper, envelopes, and costs associated with resumes or portfolios. The catch is that you can only deduct expenses greater than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Also, you cannot deduct job search expenses if you are looking for a job for the first time.
4. Student Loan Interest Paid by Parents Typically, a taxpayer is only able to deduct interest on mortgage and student loans if he or she is liable for the debt; however, if a parent pays back their child's student loans that money is treated by the IRS as if the child paid it. As long as the child is not claimed as a dependent, he or she can deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest paid by the parent. The deduction can be claimed even if the child does not itemize.
5. Medical Expenses Most people know that medical expenses are deductible as long as they are more than 10 percent of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for tax year 2014. What they often don't realize is what medical expenses can be deducted, such as medical miles (23.5 cents per mile) driven to and from appointments and travel (airline fares or hotel rooms) for out of town medical treatment.
Other deductible medical expenses that taxpayers might not be aware of include health insurance premiums, prescription drugs, co-pays, and dental premiums and treatment. Long-term care insurance (deductible dollar amounts vary depending on age) is also deductible, as are prescription glasses and contacts, counseling, therapy, hearing aids and batteries, dentures, oxygen, walkers, and wheelchairs.
If you're self-employed, you may be able to deduct medical, dental, or long term care insurance. Even better, you can deduct 100 percent of the premium. In addition, if you pay health insurance premiums for an adult child under age 27, you may be able to deduct those premiums as well.
6. Bad Debt If you've ever loaned money to a friend, but were never repaid, you may qualify for a non-business bad debt tax deduction of up to $3,000 per year. To qualify however, the debt must be totally worthless, in that there is no reasonable expectation of payment.
Non-business bad debt is deducted as a short-term capital loss, subject to the capital loss limitations. You may take the deduction only in the year the debt becomes worthless. You do not have to wait until a debt is due to determine whether it is worthless. Any amount you are not able to deduct can be carried forward to reduce future tax liability.
Are you getting all of the tax credits and deductions that you are entitled to? Maybe you are...but maybe you're not. Why take a chance?
Gary DellaPosta is a CPA and founder of the firm: Gary M DellaPosta, CPA's & Business Advisors. A graduate of Bryant University, he is a member of the American Institute of CPA's as well as the Massachusetts Society of CPA's. In addition to providing accounting, tax and advisory services to individuals and businesses, he also provides litigation support to attorneys and has been recognized as an expert in numerous Massachusetts' courts. Mr. DellaPosta serves on the Board of the Barnstable County Mutual Insurance Co., where he serves on the audit, investment and employee benefit committees. He is a Director at The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod and is a former director of Eastern Bank and Plymouth Savings Bank. He also serves as the Treasurer of the Community Health Center of Cape Cod and is a trustee of Heritage Museum & Gardens
Join us for our second Cape Cod Moms Night Out event and first ever Upper Cape event! These events will be held a minimum of quarterly on both the Upper and Lower Cape Cod regions.
This event is being co-sponsored by a local Cape Cod Mom business called Pixie Vacations! They will be giving a short presentation on tips for booking your family vacations and more! Owner, Jessica has quickly become very popular with the family vacation crowd on Cape Cod! Jessica helps families plan vacations to all Disney destinations including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and aboard all major cruise lines and to thousands of resort destinations around the world. Her services are free and by utilizing Jessica, you not only get concierge level service including itinerary design, fastpass and dining reservation assistance, price monitoring, one on one vacation customization and support, but you are also privy to her booking incentives as well! These incentives include GIFT CARDS, custom tote bags, phone chargers, and so much more!
Co-sponsor Wicked Restaurant & Wine Bar, will feature a fun tasting menu for our attendees showcasing some of their famous pizzas! Wicked Restaurant & Wine Bar was created by local, New England born owners Robert and Sheri Catania. A family run company that now includes their 4 children and nephews. A team of chefs create the menus and oversee the preparation of creative entrees, hand-crafted artisan pizzas, salads and burgers. Everything is made in house from scratch daily. Innovative dinner and fish specials are offered each evening. They use only hormone and anti-biotic free meats and as many organic ingredients as possible including our fully organic pizza dough.
This is an amazing opportunity to come join us for the evening and take a break from the regular routine and put YOURSELF first! Come see have some fun with us and enjoy some quality time with friends new and old. We hope to see you there!
Date: March 24, 2015
Location: Wicked Restaurant & Wine Bar (private room)
680 Falmouth Rd
Mashpee, MA 02649
Sponsor: Pixie Vacations & Wicked Restaurant & Wine Bar
Cost: $7 per person & ShopLocal Members are FREE
Description: Enjoy a sampling of pizza, and a special tasting menu from Wicked Restaurant while you enjoy making new friends, good company, and great food. Our special guest for the evening will be local Cape Cod Mom Jessica Hayes from Pixie Vacations who will give us a short presentation on planning an affordable and fun vacation with your family.
***Cash bar. This event is limited to 42 people.
Signups to ShopLocal Members open 2/19/15. Signups for non members open on 2/21/15.
(If the event reaches capacity, priority will be given in this order: 1.) ShopLocal Members 2.) People who register and pay in advance 3.) People who register 4.) Walkin's. We will also let you know the day of event if there are still spots left for walkin's.)
We love Playdoh in our home. We use it almost daily and we love it. However, the one thing that constantly drives me crazy is that tiny pieces go everywhere and it can get messy.
We found this amazing 2 ingredient playdoh that we tweaked a bit and added some glitter for color. The result was the best smelling, softest playdoh ever plus it was super easy to clean up! See below for how to make this and a few tips!
To make the Playdoh I started with:
1/2 cup of corn starch
1/2 cup of hair conditioner
Combine them equally in a mixing bowl and stir until the consistency starts to become more smooth. Depending on the conditioner that you use you may have to add a little more starch or conditioner.
Once the consistency became smoother, we added a bit of glitter for color to make it fun and then it was time to play!
Once you are done, your hands and the kids will smell amazing. The dough is very soft and easy to work with!
I have read that typically people experience a lot of drying out of the dough with this recipe however we HIGHLY recommend that when you are done playing, simply roll it into a ball while making sure you get as many air pockets out of the dough as possible. Then tightly wrap the dough in saran wrap. Finally store the saran wrap dough in a sealed container and it will last a long time. We made this recipe a month ago and we are still using the same one and it hasn't dried out yet!
By Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
Lamperti Counseling & Consultation
We were lucky enough to attend one of Adviser Lamperti's Intro to Essential Oils classes hereon Cape Cod and we learned so much. Tracy was nice enough to share some of the amazing benefits of working with essential oils. Check it out! For more information please visit Adviser Tracy Lamperti's Essential Oil site.
Nutritional Help for Children
· NingXia Red-Super high in Anti-Oxidants, freeze for a fun healthy treat
· Balance Complete-High in fiber, great for digestion
· Super C-great tasting chewable vitamin
· KidScents Mightyzymes, Mightyvits
· Life 5- if you have given your children anti-biotics (mix with yogart, applesauce or in a smoothie)
· MultiGreens-if you child doesn’t eat enough leafy green veggies (mix in a smoothie)
Toxin Free Cleaning
· Thieves Cleaner-cost effective, cleans everything from granite, toilets, wood floors to fruits and veggies, car seats, training potties
· Lemon Household Scrub-for extra cleaning power
· Diffuse oils-plug ins, air fresheners, candles are FULL of chemicals that disrupt brain function
· Purification-diaper pails, cloth diapers
· Thieves Spray-must have for mommies! Spray on shopping carts, public restrooms, changing tables, great for sore throats.
For more information please visit Adviser Tracy Lamperti's Essential Oil site.
By: Rebekah Thomson, Pediatric Sleep Coach
Today’s post will come as good news to many of us who are sick of being buried in snow and/or coping with our children’s early rising. Daylight saving time starts this weekend. At 2:00am on Sunday, March 8th, 2015, we will turn our clocks ahead one hour. The start of daylight saving time assures us that spring is indeed on the way, even if it is still 17 degrees outside.
What does this mean for our children’s sleep? Generally speaking, it’s a good thing. Children who were waking up at 5:30am will now be waking at 6:30am, a far more civilized hour. However, those with late sleepers, may need to rouse their child so they don’t sleep the morning away.
What should we do in anticipation of the time changes? We’ve got two options. One is to do absolutely nothing. Just go with it. On Saturday night, put your child to bed at the usual time and allow her to wake at her usual time (though of course, the clock will read an hour later – i.e. 8am instead of the usual 7am). For the next few days, naps and bedtime may all feel a bit too early. For example, if your child’s bedtime is 7pm, you will be putting her to bed at the “new” 7pm, which is really 6pm. However, with a consistent bedtime routine and other good sleep habits, she will adjust within the week. This is a great option for families with early risers.
Alternatively, you can gradually adjust your child’s internal clock to the time change. Put her to bed 15-20 minutes earlier each night over the next few nights. For example, if her bedtime is 7pm, put her to bed at 6:45pm Monday and Tuesday nights, 6:30pm Wednesday and Thursday, and 6:15 on Friday and Saturday. Naps and meal times will need to be adjusted in the 15-minute increments as well. This method is usually recommended for young babies and children with already early bedtimes and/or struggling with naps.
Regardless of what approach you opt for, exposing your child to morning sunlight (if you can find some!), focusing on good naps, a predictable and calming bedtime routine (without screen time), room darkening shades and/or white noise, and following your child’s sleepy cues will make the transition smoother all around.
Also remember that if your child was waking early due to another reason (nap deprivation, too long of a wakeful window between nap and bedtime, etc.), it’s likely that the early rising will return in a few weeks. If so, take a look at this piece I wrote for Cape Cod Mommies a while back. Hopefully it will help you identify and tackle the root cause.
More tips for helping your infant’s sleep coming soon!
Sweet dreams and happy (almost) spring,
Cape Cod Moms