"Appy" Holidays!

Thursday, Dec 21, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Read More

Topics: Marie Arrington, C&FD Educational Services

Multidisciplinary Feeding Clinic at C&FD

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Child and Family Development is pleased to expand our services to include: Multidisciplinary Feeding Evaluations & Clinic Services 

This specialty clinic offers both multidisciplinary evaluations and treatment services for children, ages 4-16 years old, with feeding disorders and/or extreme picky eating. This service is appropriate for children or adolescents who have been formally diagnosed with Avoidance/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (AFRID).

This clinic occurs at our Pineville office with an expert diagnostic team including: 

• psychologists and counselors 
• occupational therapists
• speech therapists  

Feeding problems are characterized by:

• A restricted range or variety of foods, usually less than 20 items
• Resistance to adding new foods
• Refusal of categories of food textures, temperatures or appearance
• Long feeding/ meal times (more than 30 minutes)
• Frequent gagging or vomiting
• Taking a few bites and then refusing more food

The Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Approach™ (SOS) model will work to expand children’s food repertoire, improve oral motor skills, and develop socially acceptable feeding behaviors. It is designed to help increase a child’s comfort with eating both in the home and community. The focus of treatment will be on food exploration in a comfortable and sensory supportive environment and will also include a parent education component. Many of our speech therapists and occupational therapists have specialty training in both the sensory and motor aspects of a feeding or swallowing problem. Treatment for feeding disorders can help a child become a functional eater. Treatment strategies include work on oral sensory awareness, motor execution and motor planning tasks, social modeling, structured meal and snack times, positive reinforcement and home programming. These services are designed to provide parents with the training they need to target their child’s eating strategies outside of the clinic and produce positive outcomes. 

EVALUATIONS: The evaluation would include an examination of the structures and movements in the mouth, observation of feeding behaviors, observations of the influences of respiration and posture, and informal assessment of nutrition. Food and drink trials are often included in an assessment. Review of medical history form and other records which are shared prior to first appointment. Standardized behavioral questionnaires are provided for parents and teaching/daycare staff to gain information on skills in the home/school settings and to identify any psychological symptoms which warrant specific treatment (e.g., anxiety). Consultative time is an essential portion of this specialty service and is an out of pocket expense.

• Intake 1-hour diagnostic interview with psychologist for parents only
• Testing Session: 1 ½ hour evaluation with both speech therapist and occupational therapist. This allows comprehensive observation of skills and represents a best-practice approach to evaluation services for feeding therapy.
• Interpretive Parent Conference (IPC): 1 hour appointment with parents and members of the diagnostic team during which parents are able to thoroughly understand their child’s development and feeding therapy plan. A written report includes findings, diagnostic impressions and recommendations.

Estimated evaluation cost: $2,381.00 (partially billable to insurance); may be billable to insurance ($1,205.00) and out-of-pocket only ($270.00). 

FEEDING CLINIC SERVICES: The clinic starts with a parent interview with a psychologist or counselor to review the child’s medical history and gather detailed information about the child’s feeding history, mealtime environment, and related behaviors. A behavioral questionnaire is provided to parents and teachers/childcare providers to gather information from both settings. The feeding clinic provides a 12 week structured curriculum to provide parents with all of the skills and knowledge they need to continue to produce positive outcomes after the clinic ends.

The clinic services are a 2-pronged approach that provides individualized intervention. Parents meet with psychologists and counselors without their children present to learn detailed strategies that work to change their child’s behaviors and approach to food (approximately 8 sessions). Parents and children also participate in several joint sessions to learn effective interventions to learn coping strategies and reduce anxiety (approximately 4 sessions).

Children work 1:1 with a feeding therapist using the (SOS) model with a focus on safe food exploration in a comfortable and sensory supportive environment. This evidence-based program includes a comprehensive parent education component, and parents are expected to participate on all feeding sessions in order to understand their child’s feeding behavior and effective management interventions.

A parent only summary session is provided at the end of the 12 week course with both feeding therapist and psychologist/counselor to review progress and provide a specific plan for next steps.

Both rehabilitation and psychological treatment is billable to insurance. Psychologists and counselors are in-network with Aetna and BCBS. Deductibles and copays apply. An out of pocket charge is included in the registration for services which covers consultative time for treatment team members to meet to discuss each case in detail.

Estimated clinic services cost: billable to insurance – 12 weekly therapy sessions for both psychology and rehab services and self-pay only - $ 336.00

Read more about the C&FD multidisciplinary feeding clinic here

Read More

Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Psychological Services

Clumsy or Dyspraxia? Read more from C&FD physical therapists

Monday, Dec 18, 2017 by Child & Family Development


Many moms and dads who contact Child & Family Development report that their child is “a little clumsy”.  In many instances, it can be difficult to recognize if this is simply part of development and adjusting to a growing body or an area to be explored more specifically. The explanation may be developmental dyspraxia.


The physical therapy team provides this explanation. 


Developmental dyspraxia is a motor learning difficulty that can affect planning of movements and coordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body. 


Do you describe a child in these ways?

·         Bumping into things all the time, or accident-prone

·         Inability or difficulty with skipping, jumping rope or climbing

·         Strong but not very coordinated

·         Falling out of chairs, knocking things over or messy

·         Awkward or difficulty walking or running

·         Difficulty playing, participating, or insecurities with sports or games


Children with dyspraxia have particular problems learning new motor skills and activities and coordinating the upper and lower limbs of the body. To efficiently move through the environment and learn new skills, the body relies on sensory systems- tactile (touch), vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (how muscles perceive actions). If these systems are not properly integrated, a child appears clumsy.


Some characteristics of developmental dyspraxia are:

·         Awkward gait movement

·         Decreased sense of body awareness

·         Emotional lability, sensitivity or appears distracted

·         Difficulty judging distances

·         Difficulty imitating body positions 

·         Poor balance

·         Poor sequencing of activities

·         Poor short and/or long term memory

·         Slow movement planning and reaction times in both fine motor gross motor 


Even if only a few of these characteristics are noted in a child, an evaluation could be the first step to address the issue. While there is no cure for dyspraxia, a trained pediatric occupational therapist or physical therapist can assist the child in learning ways to improve their motor planning abilities and becoming more successful with gross motor learning and performance.


Current data notes that 6% of all children ages 5-11 have a developmental coordination disorder. It is important to note that motor difficulties are likely to coexist with several other diagnoses, including:

·         Auditory Processing Disorder

·         Executive Function Disorder

·         Hypotonia

·         Low Birth Weight

·         Sensory Processing Disorder


There are treatment options for developmental dyspraxia.  There are several types of praxis (movement) that may be addressed in therapy. These types include: oral, sequential, postural, constructional, and praxis on verbal command. 


Research shows that a combination of strength and coordination goals, as well as work on specific functional skills (climbing stairs, skipping) is most effective. A therapist can, through play and exploration of new motor activities, address the affected area(s) of praxis and improve overall motor planning and abilities. 


Advanced training and techniques are used in treatment of developmental dyspraxia:

·         E-Stimulation (E-Stim) 

·         Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT)™

·         Sensory Integration

·         Total Motion Release (TMR)®


Read More

Topics: Amy Sturkey, Jessica Turchin, C&FD Physical Therapy Services, Erin Krueger, Gail Fennimore, Katie Eggleston, Blake Templeton

Crawling: Good for the Body and the Brain

Thursday, Dec 14, 2017 by Child & Family Development

A child’s first steps bring a lot of excitement.  It is a huge developmental accomplishment and certainly should be celebrated.  Often times, parents see walking as the first big milestone, The physical therapists and occupational therapists at Child and Family Development know that there are many important motor skills that infants should learn and do long before they walk.

One of these important pre-walking milestones is independent crawling.  Sometimes, when babies skip crawling, it seems as if they are “advanced.”  The truth is that crawling first is strongly preferred since it provides important input to the entire body with long-lasting benefits. Here are some of the main reasons why it is important to encourage and allow a child to crawl:

Crawling works on coordinating the two sides of the body:

  • When a baby crawls, it is the first time they are required to coordinate the two sides of their body to move in a different way.  Crawling activates both hemispheres of the brain in a balanced and reciprocal way.
  • The first time that a baby is able to independently move in a forward direction is during crawling.  The eyes must scan the environment and in order to do so, the baby must look across the mid line of their body.  This helps to develop eye-hand coordination. 

Crawling helps to develop trunk and extremity strength and flexibility:

  • One of the requirements of crawling is for a baby to be able to hold their body off of the ground against gravity for an extended period of time.  This requires a lot of core strength!  Crawling is definitely a full body strengthener- it helps to build the muscles of the neck, the stomach, the back, the arms, and the legs.

Crawling provides the ability to see the environment in a different way:

  • Crawling enables exploration and manipulation of the environment.  The eyes are required to look in all directions to scan the environment.  All of this exploration and discovery leads to brain development, and can help to improve cognition.

Crawling works on the development of the arches in the hands and strengthens the wrists and shoulders:

  • When babies crawl, it is the only time they are naturally bearing the weight of their body through their arms.  This is important for developing strength in the shoulders, wrists, and hands.  As a child gets older, they will need hand strength in order to use utensils and to hold a pencil to write.  One of the first questions our occupational therapists ask when a child comes in for an evaluation due to poor handwriting is “did the child ever crawl?”  Lots of times poor handwriting can be due to weakness in the hands and wrists, and crawling helps to strengthen all of these muscles in preparation for the development of fine motor skills.

Crawling can help to integrate sensory information that is coming into the body:

  • Crawling provides lots of tactile (touch) stimulation through both the hands and the feet.  This kind of stimulation helps improve body awareness, or the ability to recognize where the parts of your body are in space without having to look at them. As babies continue to grow, it becomes more and more important to be able to move the parts of the body without having to look to see where they are.  Being able to experience different sensations coming into the brain from the arms and legs helps the child to integrate sensory information.

Although crawling is not the only skill that helps to develop all of these areas, it is unique because it provides the many benefits all at once.  Encourage crawling and  enjoy it while it lasts.  You can feel confident in the fact that it is good for not only the body, but also for the brain!

Read More

Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services

Holiday Ideas!

Thursday, Dec 14, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Here are 10 stocking stuffer ideas to help fill your kid’s stockings full of educational goodies!

Read More

Topics: Marie Arrington

Sensory Storytime

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Read More

Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Educational Services, C&FD Psychological Services

Speech & Language Social Skills groups

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017 by Child & Family Development


Kristin Lyman MA CCC-SLP is pleased to offer SPEECH & LANGUAGE SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development. Speech therapists work with kids and teens to improve social skills. When there are shared goals, groups can be formed to expand opportunities for practice and friendships.

Objectives Social skills groups are for children who struggle during interactions with others. Participants focus on practical conversational skills, such as:

  • Greetings
  • Turn-taking
  • Expressing yourself
  • Initiating and maintaining conversations
  • Social awareness
  • Emotions
  • Reading nonverbal language from others
  • Problem solving difficult situations

In the group setting, speech therapists facilitate the interactions to help children understand how to navigate various social situations. Sessions involve a variety of activities including lessons, turn-taking games, social stories, and role-playing for application of skills.  Groups are typically formed by age, but communication skills are considered too:

  • 6 years old and under
  • 7-14 years old
  • 15+ years old

Here's what some parents say about these groups:

  • “<My child> has achieved a refreshing confidence and a fearless daring spirit in his language skills.”
  • “<Our teen> has not only increased his speech abilities substantially, he has made a great friend!”

Scheduling These groups are ongoing, so new clients may join in at anytime. Typically, up to 4 participants are in a group.   

Cost Families may use available insurance benefits. Regular deductibles and co-pays apply. Prior Authorization, medical necessity approval and evaluations are required, as applicable by funding source. Families may also pay privately. Group services are $54/ session.      


Kristin Lyman, MA CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, 704.372.9653 ext. 213

Click here to view and print the information page.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist

Read More

Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services, Kristin Lyman

Multidisciplinary developmental evaluations at C&FD

Friday, Dec 8, 2017 by Child & Family Development

We are pleased to expand our services to include: Multidisciplinary Developmental Evaluations for children ages 24 months-4 years

Our multidisciplinary infant-toddler diagnostic team offers these specialty evaluations at our Midtown Child and Family Development office. The diagnostic evaluation assesses domains for language and communication skills, early cognitive development, adaptive functioning, play skills and symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Expert diagnostic team:
Psychologists, Ashley Kies PhD or Devon Redmond PhD
Speech-Language Therapist, Melinda Schatz MA CCC-SLP

Usual and customary tools:  
• Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2®)
• Autism Spectrum Rating Scales (ASRS™)
• Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (Bayley-III®) 
• Preschool Language Scales, Fifth Edition (PLS-5™)
• Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Third Edition (Vineland-3™)

Estimated cost: $2,381.00 (partially billable to insurance)

Read more about multidisciplinary evaluations. 

Read More

Topics: Melinda Schatz, Devon Redmond, C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD Psychological Services, Ashley Kies

Learning Disabilities: info from our educators

Thursday, Dec 7, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Reading disorders or learning disabilities, and specifically dyslexia impact approximately 20% of the population. The NC and SC public school systems have resources in special education to identify individuals with learning disabilities however, procedures and guidelines are such that most children are not identified with learning disorders until 2nd or 3rd grade and in order to be identified their delays must be significantly impacting their educational performance. Therefore, many children with mild delays simply “fall through the cracks” as their mild delays turn into moderate and severe delays without appropriate intervention. Research indicates the children make the greatest gains in learning to read in grades K through 2nd. Research has also shown that if the reading gap is not remediated by the 3rd grade, it is very hard to close. Therefore, it is imperative that professionals in the medical field collaborate with parents and educators to help identify individuals with learning disabilities.

Learning Disability sub-types:

  • Dyslexia is a phonological based reading disorder which shows in an “unexpected difficulty” with reading tasks such as fluent word recognition, reading decoding, spelling and likely reading comprehension.
  • Dyscalculia is a mathematics disorder in which functioning in either arithmetic calculation; math concept formation and/or speed of execution are substantially below a student’s expected level for age, ability and educational experience.
  • Dysgraphia is a developmental written expression disorder in which the complex set of motor skills and information processing skills required to produce writing are delayed in handwriting, spelling and the organization of the written word on paper.
  • Nonverbal Learning Disability Is not presently a diagnostic condition but rather refers to a syndrome characterized by significant deficits in motor, visual spatial and social skills resulting from an individual’s difficulty interpreting nonverbal information. 

Pre-academic/Pre-school Warning Signs of Learning Disabilities:

  • Late speech development
  • Late development with learning alphabets letters and sounds (late is considered by 5 to 5 ½ years)
  • Inconsistent development and learning of the alphabet and sounds
  • Poor rhyming skills
  • Avoiding drawing/coloring, pre-writing tasks
  • Weak fine motor skills
  • Late established hand dominance
  • Immature or muddled speech (says aminal for animal)
  • Difficulty with word retrieval (says ummm and thing)
  • Advanced vocabulary in comparison to development of reading skills
  • Late color recognition

Warning signs for school aged children:

  • Oral reading is slow or labored
  • Reads with substitutions, adds words or guesses at words
  • Poor decoding skills (not able to properly “sound out a word”)
  • Poor spelling skills (often individuals with dyslexia will spell words correctly on a spelling test ,but are not able to generalize into other day-to-day writing assignments)
  • Poor fine motor skills, handwriting
  • Trouble with recall or retrieval of math facts, especially quick retrieval
  • Writes or reads letters and/or numbers reversed
  • Doesn't enjoy reading and/or writing

Often, teachers do not pick up on signs of learning disabilities until later grades as letter reversals and poor handwriting are often times viewed as developmental concerns. However, if a parent has any concern it is best to at least speak with an educational specialist and psychologist to determine the need for evaluation. Early intervention is the key.

Click here to read more about educational testing and tutoring services at Child and Family Development. 

Click here for a printable page about learning disabilities.

Read More

Topics: Mary Froneberger, Marie Arrington, Jessica DeLing, C&FD Educational Services

Dislecksia: The Movie

Thursday, Dec 7, 2017 by Child & Family Development

The John Crosland School recently held a community wide event to show the documentary, Dislecksia: The Movie. Our very own Mo Froneberger, lead the discussion after the film. According to the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, Dyslexia affects 20 percent of the population and represents 80–90 percent of all those with learning disabilities. If you have questions about Dyslexia, our educators can help.

Read More

Topics: Mary Froneberger, C&FD Educational Services

CFD Welcomes a New Speech Therapist!

Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017 by Child & Family Development


Read More

Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services

Looking for therapy services near Uptown?

Monday, Dec 4, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Looking for therapy for children, adolescents and young adults near Uptown Charlotte? 

Child and Family Development- Midtown office is centrally located:  

  • across the street from Park Road Shopping Center
  • about 3 miles from South Park Mall 
  • about 4 miles from Uptown

Our offices are inviting places. The 7000 SQ Midtown space is casual and family-friendly. We want you to feel welcome and comfortable. The lobby is cozy.  The therapy rooms are private and fun.  We’ve found the balance of a professional office and an enjoyable place for all!

 Our multidisciplinary clinic has been helping children and families since 1980. The team of experienced therapists can assess and treat a wide range of childhood concerns, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities or special needs.  Multidisciplinary services include:

The Contact Us tab on our website will link you to our address and a map. 


Read More

Topics: C&FD Office Locations

Psychoeducational evaluations at Child and Family Development

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Child and Family Development psychologists and educators offer comprehensive evaluation services.  

Read More

Topics: Aleksandra Liss, Gretchen Hunter, Chris Vrabel, Mary Froneberger, Marie Arrington, Jessica DeLing, Brandyn Street, Devon Redmond, C&FD Psychological Services, Shavonda Bean, Ashley Kies, Trisha Dyer, Kelsie Salmen, ed

Making Sense of Sensory Processing

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 by Child & Family Development


Ever know a child who seems to fall, trip and bump into things more than peers?  Many skills must be in place to support good balance and proprioception. Adequate sensory processing skills, range of motion, and strength are foundational skills required for balance and knowing where you are in space.


The Vestibular System:

  • Tells us where our heads and bodies are in relation to the surface of the earth
  • Tells us whether we are moving or standing still and whether objects are moving or motionless in relation to our body
  • Tells us about the direction in which we are moving and how fast we are moving
  • Lays a foundation for visual input
  • Without good information coming from the vestibular system, sights and sounds in the environment don’t make sense.

The Visual System:

  • Our eyes should work together in a teamed fashion with smooth movements to scan our environment and notice how close or far things are from our body to help us maneuver through space.

The Proprioceptive System:

  • Proprioceptive input receptors are in the muscles and joints and give information to the brain about the amount of stretch in each muscle and pressure on each joint.
  • This provides an accurate picture of the body’s position in space without the use of vision.  
  • Proprioception provides feedback for grading muscle movements and for how much force is needed to interact with an object or person in the environment.


Balance Expectations by age:

  • 3 year old - balance on 1 foot for 3 seconds
  • 3 year old – use alternating feet when climbing stairs
  • 4 year old - hop on 1 foot
  • 5 year old - balance on 1 foot for 10 seconds

Red Flags for Balance Difficulties

  • Child trips/falls/bumps into things often
  • Child who is fearful of movement
  • Child who seeks out movement
  • Child who appears to have good balance while moving, but poor balance when expected to stay still
  • Child who has difficulty moving through dynamic environments
  • Child who has difficulty walking across different or dynamic surfaces


  • Information from these body systems is processed and combined in order for a person to adapt and react to a changing environment.


Contact an occupational therapist at Child and Family Development for a standardized assessment of motor and sensory skills. Treatment modalities may include:

  • Sensory Integration
  • Core/Postural Strengthening
  • Postural Control and Stability Training
  • Balance Strategies Training
  • Visual-Motor Exercises
  • Oculomotor Training
  • Therapeutic Listening ®

Click here to read more about our occupational therapy services.

Click here for a printable page about sensory processing.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

Read More

Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Psychological Services

BENEFITS OF A BOOK CLUB for typical or struggling students: have fun

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Follow us throughout November as Marie Arrington MAT, Educational Specialist shares the benefits of her Navigating Through The Novel services, especially framed around a HOLIDAY BOOK CLUB

Holidays are one of the busiest times of years! Between parties, days off from school and other festivities that seem to fill the calendar, it is hard to keep up! However, one thing that does not have to get “lost in the mix” is your child’s reading routine. Marie is offering a holiday book club series to help ensure your child does not skip a beat when it comes to their regular reading routine, for school or pleasure, while on their holiday breaks! 

Benefit #4: It’s fun! The unique thing about a book club is that it is run by someone who can hopefully make the reading and the discussions fun! And that is just what we do! Each assignment is unlike any typical assignment from school; however, the assignments focus on all of the essential reading strategies that make your child involved, comprehensive readers.

Students can use a recommended book or one from their list.  Read more about Child and Family Development Navigating Through The Novel services here.   

Contact Marie at 704-372-9652 ext. 216 to develop a customized plan for your student. 

Read More

Topics: Marie Arrington, C&FD Educational Services

C&FD therapists use Total Motion Release (TMR)

Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017 by Child & Family Development

3 members of our pediatric therapy team are trained in Total Motion Release® (TMR).

  • Marion Wilm, OTR/L, occupational therapist
  • Jessica Turchin MPT ATRIC, physical therapist
  • Erin Krueger DPT ATRIC, physical therapist

Per the TMR website, this approach brings the body back into balance in a slightly different way than what is traditionally thought of for therapy.  TMR identifies fascial restrictions within the body.  Often times range of motion restrictions are not strictly due to muscular tightness.  By addressing the fascial restrictions, new range of motion may be freed, allowing for improved alignment for increased functional abilities.

To learn more about this approach, call us to schedule a free Intake appointment with one of these therapists.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Schedule a free phone consultation with:  Physical Therapist Occupational Therapist Speech Therapist

Read More

Topics: Jessica Turchin, Marion Wilm, C&FD Physical Therapy Services, Erin Krueger, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services

BENEFITS OF A BOOK CLUB for typical or struggling students: social skills

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Follow us throughout November as Marie Arrington MAT, Educational Specialist shares the benefits of her Navigating Through The Novel services, especially framed around a HOLIDAY BOOK CLUB

Holidays are one of the busiest times of years! Between parties, days off from school and other festivities that seem to fill the calendar, it is hard to keep up! However, one thing that does not have to get “lost in the mix” is your child’s reading routine. Marie is offering a holiday book club series to help ensure your child does not skip a beat when it comes to their regular reading routine, for school or pleasure, while on their holiday breaks! 

Benefit #3: Book clubs offer a safe, friendly place for your child to meet new peers. The social component is critical because as I previously highlighted, it not only provides a format for children to share their thoughts on a book, but it also teaches certain social skills. Through the book clubs, we practice turn-taking, how to have an appropriate reaction to another person’s different belief, and many other skills. The skills we practice and learn in this setting can then be applied to other group settings (i.e., the classroom). 

Students can use a recommended book or one from their list.  Read more about Child and Family Development Navigating Through The Novel services here.   

Contact Marie at 704-372-9652 ext. 216 to develop a customized plan for your student. 

Read More

Topics: Marie Arrington, C&FD Educational Services

Stuttering or Developmental Dysfluency? Info from our speech therapists

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 by Child & Family Development


As much as 80% of children have dysfluent speech during early childhood. It is not uncommon for kids to go back and forth between periods of fluency and dysfluency, especially when excited, tired or rushed. Usually, this is developmental dysfluency and will often disappear as a child masters articulation and communication skills.

For others, dysfluency will remain or will return in a more severe and long-lasting pattern called stuttering. This occurs when the natural flow of speech is interrupted. Usually, stuttering begins between the ages of 2-5, with a gradual onset. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is often genetic and a result of difficulty in coordinating the speech muscles in the presence of certain external demands. Risks and symptoms include:

  • Prolonging sounds
  • Inability to make certain sounds
  • Difficulty repeating sounds


  • Affects about 1% of the world’s population
  • 4 times more common among boys than girls
  • Stuttering usually begins in childhood
  • Stuttering behaviors develop and vary throughout the lifespan
  • Many people report significant variability–sometimes stuttering a lot, sometimes a little
  • Stuttering can feel like out-of-control speech that is intermittent and unpredictable. This can cause embarrassment, anxiety and fear.


  • Don’t show a child if you are upset about his/her speech.
  • Look at a child when he/she is speaking and show by your expressions that you are interested in what he/she is saying.
  • Don’t supply words or interrupt. Let a child get his/her words out independently.
  • Don’t force a child to hurry by suggesting they talk faster or get to the point.
  • Don’t ask a child to stop and start over when he/she stutters.
  • Notice and minimize times of emotional tension when stuttering may be more severe.
  • Model a relaxed manner of speech. Remain calm, unhurried and reassuring.
  • Talk openly about stuttering if he/she expresses a desire to do so, but do not make a big issue about it.


  • Seek a qualified and experienced speech-language pathologist with expertise in this area.
  • Seek help as early as possible to educate both you and the child in the therapeutic early interventions that are most effective.
  • Under public law, stuttering is considered a disorder for which public schools are required to provide competent assistance to a child.

Click here to read more about speech therapy services at Child and Family Development. 

Click here for a printable page about stuttering and dysfluency.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Speech Therapist 

Read More

Topics: C&FD Speech Therapy Services

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction & Physical Therapy with Gail Fennimore

Friday, Nov 17, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Gail Fennimore, PT PCS is one of the most experienced and tenured physical therapists at Child and Family Development.  In addition to her pediatric clinical specialist (PCS) certification, Gail has specialized training in pelvic floor dysfunction training and offers evaluation and treatment for related conditions.      

There are specific treatment protocols for children with urinary and fecal incontinence with conditions including:

  • Daytime wetting
  • Urinary frequency
  • Withholding urine
  • Constipation
  • Nighttime wetting
  • Urinary urgency
  • Incomplete emptying
  • Fecal incontinence

Gail collaborates with physicians to offer a unique family centered approach to intervention that includes:

  • comprehensive evaluations
  • 1-hour individual appointments on a regular or consultative basis
  • play-based exercise programming
  • toileting sessions
  • customized patient and caregiver training
  • available consultations at the physician offices

In addition, other members of our multidisciplinary clinical team, including psychologists and occupational therapists, may be available for case coordination and patient care.

Specialists, such as urologists and gastroenterlogists, as well as pediatricians, might recommend an evaluation and treatment.  Also, families can to call our office to get started.    

For more information about the benefit of physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction, contact:

Gail Fennimore PT PCS C/NDT, gfennimore@childandfamilydevelopment.com, 704-372-9652 ext. 112. 

Read more about Gail's expertise here 

Read More

Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, Gail Fennimore

Looking for therapy services for kids and teens near Waxhaw?

Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Looking for therapy services near Waxhaw?  The Child and Family Development Pineville office is less than 5 miles from the border and easily accessible from I-77 and the 485 loop.

Our multidisciplinary team has been helping children and families since 1980. 

Our assessment and therapy services include:

Our experienced therapists assist families with a wide variety of concerns and questions. Extended education and training enables us to help many people in extraordinary ways. We work with children and young adults of all ages-- from newborns to kids to teens to college aged young adults.

Families visit us for variety of reasons. Often, a pediatrician or teacher identifies a concern. Other times, a parent has questions about a child’s abilities and development. Some families have concerns about specific diagnoses, such as ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and sensory processing difficulties. Others have questions about typical developmental milestones, school readiness, academic achievement and learning style. We are prepared to assist you.

Our mission statement says it all- to provide comprehensive, quality and integrated service to you.


The Contact Us tab on our website will link you to our address and Mapquest.

Read More

Topics: C&FD Office Locations

follow us


insights is a helpful blog brought to you by Child & Family Development

Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.



  • 4012 Park Road, Suite 200
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.332.4834
  • 10516 Park Road
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.541.9080

latest news

The information contained in this website is intended to provide general educational information and client education on certain topics only and is not intended to offer healthcare/medical advice. This information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice from a licensed healthcare professional. Child and Family Development is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information or services you obtain through this website. If you have, or suspect you have, a health problem you should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical attention because of something you have read on this website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek advice, see your healthcare professional immediately.

Links from our website to other websites are provided as a service to help users find appropriate information. Absolutely no responsibility is taken by Child and Family Development or its employees for the accuracy of the information you may receive from any of the referred links. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek medical advice, contact your healthcare professional.