Female speech therapist helps young blonde girl with learning to speak

What Is The Difference Between Speech and Language?

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on September 22, 2021

  There are major differences in the areas of speech and language. However, both areas are equally important.  Speech is how we produce words and sounds. Language refers to how we use these words in order to communicate our wants and needs.  There are three different areas to consider when talking about speech: articulation, voice, and fluency.   What is Articulation? Articulation refers to how we make speech sounds using our tongue, lips, and mouth. …


Young boy pushes away bowl of soup at lunchtime.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Child’s Eating Habits: How to Deal with Picky Eaters

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on September 15, 2021

  Have you ever felt as if your child is a picky eater?  Maybe your child will only eat certain tastes or textures, or maybe your child won’t even sit at the dinner table with the rest of the family.  Some people will tell you that your child will “grow out of it” but sometimes there is more to picky eating than meeting a milestone. Often, there are underlying sensory concerns, social-emotional issues, or motor …


Black mom reads to daughter pointing out words and pictures in playroom

Language Development Activities to Encourage Speech & Language Development at Home

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on September 7, 2021

  Children begin learning language skills from the moment they are born and continue learning throughout their lives. Speech and language development is an important part of development in young children, and there are ways that parents can help encourage these skills at home. When thinking about ways to encourage speech and language development at home, it is important to remember that words are not the only way children learn to communicate. Non-verbal communication plays …


School-aged girl and boy with backpacks wearing masks on the first day of school

Back to School: Preparing Students for the New School Year

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on August 18, 2021

    It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of year again to get your child back into their school routine. Many children can often feel anxious about returning to school, even under typical circumstances, however, it has been especially difficult the past year with all of the changes, and new protocols. For parents and students alike, the transition back into a more typical school routine after extended periods at home may be …


Female pediatric speech therapist worths with young child on speech techniques

Does My Child Have a Speech Sound Disorder?

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on August 4, 2021

  All children are unique, and develop speech and language skills at their own pace. No two children will ever be alike. When children are learning new sounds and words, there will often be errors in the way that they produce these sounds.  This is expected, and often children will correct these speech sound differences on their own. However, sometimes these errors can continue, and may be a sign that the child has a speech …


Young woman communicates with a hand on an elderly woman's shoulder

Communicating with Dementia Patients

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on July 27, 2021

  Patients with dementia may have difficulty understanding or communicating verbally, communicating when you have dementia, or know a loved one with dementia, can be challenging. There are a variety of ways that you can help yourself or a loved one to communicate more effectively.  Non-Verbal Communication Non-verbal communication is one method of communication that is effective with dementia patients who find conversation too difficult. Non-verbal communication is communicating without the use of spoken words. …


Adult hands make a paperclip chain with large handful of colored paperclips

Hand Therapy Activities to Improve Hand Control in Adults at Home

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on July 13, 2021

  Hand control and fine motor coordination are imperative for everyday self-care and household tasks as well as for play activities. Quite often, when a loved one has had a stroke or other neurologic event, brain injury, or condition, these abilities are diminished. Sometimes, these skills can even be delayed in children. Here are a few hand therapy ideas that are easy to implement at home for improving fine motor coordination and hand control in …


Female physical therapist wearing blue scrubs helps a male patient with shoulder mobility

Fascial Counterstrain Therapy Pain Management Treatment in Erie, PA

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on July 6, 2021

  Fascial Counterstrain (FCS) is a form of strain/ counterstrain that was originally developed by Dr. Larry Jones and modified by his last student, Brian Tuckey. It is a passive manipulation of the body’s deep fascia to reduce sympathetic hyperactivity and reduce inflammation and protective muscle spasm of the sympathetic nervous system.   What Makes Strain-Counterstrain Therapy so Different from Traditional Exercise-Based Therapies? While traditional therapies focus on muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments, Fascial Strain-Counterstrain looks …


Bird feeder made by children out of a used paper roll

Sensory-Friendly Summer Activities in Erie, PA: How to Build a Bird Feeder

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on June 30, 2021

  Are you looking for a sensory-friendly activity to do with your child this summer?  With over 26 common backyard birds sighted throughout the summer months in Pennsylvania, why not make a bird feeder? To build a bird feeder that will attract birds all summer long and provide an engaging, simple activity that will delight your kids only requires a few household items: An empty toilet paper roll; peanut butter; bird seed in a dish, …


Young boy runs on a dirt road

Running Gait in Children: My Kid Runs Funny, Should I Be Concerned?

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on June 17, 2021

  It is no secret that children, especially very young children, don’t start out running or even walking with grace. Children tend to look very ungainly when they run and walk, flailing feet, arms, and legs alike. Children differ in the innate ability to learn and execute different skills, such as learning to walk, run, and participate in other gross motor activities. While running gait may differ from one child to the next, some children …


Woman relaxes listening to headphones with ocean in the background

Can Music be Therapeutic? How to Use Music as Therapy to Improve Mental Health

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on June 9, 2021

  Music has a connection to every area of our brain. It can relax us, decrease our anxiety, improve our attention, and also keep us moving. We often connect to different songs or styles of music in different ways. Music can be extremely therapeutic in different ways. Music involves using a person’s connections and responses to music to encourage improvement to a person’s mood and overall well-being. Using music for therapy can range from creating …


Infographic explaining F-A-S-T stroke signs

4 FAST Identifiers of a Stroke and Stroke Rehabilitation

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on May 17, 2021

  May is National Stroke Awareness Month. The best way to prevent a stroke is to understand exactly what a stroke is and how to identify if someone is showing signs of a stroke. A stroke is a type of brain injury that occurs due to an interruption of the brain’s blood supply. A stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. The effects from …


Open planner for goal setting.

Mental Health Improvement Techniques, Be SMART: How to Get Back into a Healthy Routine After 2020

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on April 30, 2021

  Everyone has had an unexpected year, some more than others. It’s hard to get back to “normal” after our world was flipped upside down during the previous year. For many, mental and physical health have both been greatly impacted. Many are wondering, where do I begin and how can I start to feel like me again. Setting timely and realistic goals will help get you back on track without the additional stressors. Using the SMART …


Young girl in blue dress walking on tip toe

Toe Walking Treatment for Idiopathic Toe Walking in Children

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on April 13, 2021

Toe walking is when a child walks on the balls of their feet without their heels touching the ground. Children under the age of 2 often experiment with walking on their toes but will typically outgrow it quickly and use a heel-to-toe gait pattern. In some cases, toe walking in children may be a sign of underlying medical conditions, but in most cases the cause is unknown. Idiopathic toe walking refers to toe walking in children …


Two young boys ride bikes to the playground.

10 Child Physical Therapist Recommended Outdoor Activities to Improve Gross Motor Skills

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on March 23, 2021

Gross Motor Skills and Child Development During the course of an average day, we don’t give gross motor skills much thought, but they are integral to activities such as maintaining balance, walking, sitting upright, jumping, and throwing objects. Gross motor skills require the use of large muscle groups that coordinate body movements, and can be critical to child development. Gross motor skills are building blocks to other abilities, including physical strength, reaction time, coordination, and …


Dealing with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the Winter

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on May 7, 2019

Many people are already aware that heat often worsens symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). But for some, colder temperatures can be just as problematic. While excess heat exacerbates certain symptoms of the disease, lower temperatures can increase muscle cramping, stiffness/tightness, spasticity, fatigue, and even decrease mood, leading to increased levels of depression.  Here are some ways to combat cold intolerance – Stretch – Stay mobile to reduce stiffness. Yoga is a great way to stretch, …


Orange shovel stuck in the snow

Tips to Stay Safe and Prevent Injury when Shoveling Snow

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on May 7, 2019

It’s beginning to look a lot like….. Winter in Erie, PA. Keep these tips in mind when clearing the snow in order to decrease your risk of injury and stay safe during this “Season of Snow”. Don’t let it Stick – Before going out, spray your shovel with cooking spray. This prevents the snow from packing up on the shovel, which weighs it down. The snow will just slide right off. Stay Hydrated – Despite …


Three young girls in snowsuits play in the snow

10 Fun Gross Motor Activities That Will Have Your Children Outside Enjoying the Snow

Posted by Niagara Therapy, LLC on January 28, 2019

Yes, that time of the year is almost upon us…winter weather season. While we may be dreading the snowy commutes to work and tuning up the snow blowers, there’s no reason to stay stuck inside every day when the snow flies. Beat cabin fever with these 10 gross motor activities and games that the whole family will enjoy: 1. Make snow angels: Lie back in the snow and move your legs apart and together as …


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