Education Resources Blog

Latest NICU News from Renowned Clinician and Research Scientist Bobbi Pineda

Neonatal therapist week - Education ResourcesWe would like to share this newsletter from our popular speaker; Bobbi Pineda. Her work in the Washington University OT NICU lab centers around bridging the gap in services from NICU to home, so that infants can continue to receive quality and continuous therapy services to improve health and well-being.  The OT NICU lab is part of Washington University, where she mentors OT graduate students on neonatal therapy and aids them in conducting clinical research that can impact the lives of those who start their lives in the NICU.  

NICU LAB SPRING 2017 Newsletter

Currently, the lab is working on the pilot phase of the Supporting and
Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE) Project and looking to jump
straight into the randomized control trial. This project involves providing positive
sensory experiences for infants in the NICU as well as educating parents on how
to provide for their child’s sensory needs every day of NICU hospitalization.
When parents do not engage in the NICU, a sensory support team addresses the
infant’s sensory needs. The sensory support team is made up of OT graduate
students who provide positive sensory exposures to infants in the NICU at the
bedside. We thank the University Research Strategic Alliance and the Betty and
Gordon Moore Foundation for their support of the SENSE project.

We are excited to have been awarded an SBIR grant from NIH for the
development of a new bottle technology, the Preemie Pacer. The goal of this
bottle is safe oral feeding through paced feedings during a time when suckswallow-
breathe coordination is suboptimal. The first phase of the grant involves
prototype development, laboratory testing, and focus groups.

Baby Bridge started as a pilot program in January of 2016 in order to address a
gap in therapy services for infants following discharge from the NICU. Since the
onset of the program, Baby Bridge has seen 70 infants in the NICU and in their
homes. Baby Bridge has seen many changes in the past year and now provides
treatment for infants born preterm as well as others who are eligible for First
Steps early intervention programming and live in the immediate St. Louis area
and surrounding counties. We welcome Elizabeth Heiny as our newest
occupational therapist in the OT NICU lab, who serves as the Baby Bridge

The development of the Neonatal Eating Outcome (NEO) assessment was
completed September 2016, and now the tool is available to the public for
research and clinical practice. The NEO is a developmental feeding assessment
of oral motor and feeding skills, designed for preterm infants prior to and at term
equivalent age. It attempts to gauge normal versus abnormal progression of
feeding across differing postmenstrual ages (PMA). It can be used with breast or
bottle-fed infants. Reliability and validity have been assessed. RASCH analysis
and other psychometrics continue.


Education Resources is offering multiple opportunities to hear Bobbi speak in 2017 and 2018

Assessment and Intervention with the High Risk Infant in the NICU and During the Transition to Home
October 7-8, 2017 – St. Louis, MO
November 18-19, 2017 – Portland, OR
January 27-28, 2016 – TBA
February 10-11, 2018 – Temple, TX
June 9-10, 2018 – Hollywood, FL
July 28-29, 2018 – TBA
October 6-7, 2018 – TBA
November 16-17, 2018 – Robbinsdale, MN
Please click her for detailed information to download a brochure or to register

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Welcoming Amber Valentine – Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Specialist

Amber Valentine

Amber Valentine

Amber Valentine is a Speech-Language Pathologist who graduated from the University of Kentucky with her MS in Communication Disorders.  She is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.  She worked for Baptist Health Systems, Inc for 8 years before moving to Florida where she worked for Wolfsons Children’s Hospital and Mayo Florida.  She is now back in Kentucky working for Baptist Health Lexington.  She has experience in adults and pediatrics with feeding and swallowing difficulties including:  bedside swallow evaluations, Modified Barium Swallow studies, FEES, and pediatric feeding evaluations including NICU.  She has provided guest lectures for the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville on feeding and swallowing topics. She has presented at the hospital level, local, state, national, and international levels on pediatric feeding/swallowing and breastfeeding

We are excited to offer her course:

Treating Complex Feeding Problems: Infants, Toddlers, Preschooler
This course will focus on clinical decision making and treatment strategies to manage complex feeding and swallowing disorders in infants, toddlers and preschoolers across multiple settings including the NICU, Early Intervention/home, and outpatient settings. Participants will enhance their skills in assessment and integration of medical history when developing and implementing a plan of care. Focus will include specific treatment interventions as well as how to develop realistic programs for parents and for generalization across settings. Clinical reasoning skills will take into consideration current research, knowledge of outcomes and priority setting. Detailed discussions of medically fragile infants including treatment strategies for specific etiologies such as lip/tongue tie, Down Syndrome, IDM, cleft lip/palate, neurologic diagnoses will also be involved. Infant feeding information will include evaluation and treatment for both breast and bottle fed infants.  Discussions of more complex case histories will be provided during course to allow participants brainstorming and practice. 

October 14-15, 2017 – Brideville, PA
December 9-10, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV


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Education Resources, Inc. eligible to offer Category A CEUs for Athletic Trainers  


Education Resources is proud to announce that we are offering Category A CEUs for Athletic Trainers for both live and online programs. This continued participation in the BOC Approved Provider Program means that athletic trainers can participate in our courses and receive CEUs.

We offer live courses on concussion management, vestibular and balance issues, taping, TBI, and other outpatient and rehab diagnoses.
Please click here for a listing of our relevant courses

We will be launching an online concussion course shortly!

If you are an athletic trainer we want to hear from you!

Please call or e-mail us to request a particular topic and/or location for a course.

We can list any of our courses in the BOC directory and thus provide AT attendees with CEUs.


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How do you deal with Professional Burnout?


Now more than ever is the time for us to invest in strategies to combat professional burnout and stress and take care of ourselves.  Healthy living and self-care are popular with not only millennials but also older generations of working health professionals.        

The question is: What are you doing for self-care and what else can you do to remain client-centered and compassionate at the same time?  It’s time to invest in yourself so you can keep doing what you are good at- taking care of others!


Personal: Self-awareness & Presence

  • Spend time with family & friends
  • Jump on the mindfulness train: Take up yoga, meditation, or prayer (Go with a buddy!) Check out tips on getting started here: Getting started with mindfulness
  • Add more recreation & time-off to your calendar
  • Exercise, especially out in nature! Here’s why!
  • Participate in support groups & engage in health self-talk
  • Laugh

Work: Professional Resilience & Enrichment

  • Maintain professional identity- attend conferences!
  • Ask questions – be curious!
  • Use humor
  • Seek case consultation & dialogue with peers
  • Eat lunch with colleagues or walk outside for breaks during the day (That nature thing again…)
  • Diversify work load & responsibilities
  • Set good boundaries with everyone It’s important!

 Moving Forward

 Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do I restore my energy when away from work?
  • What do I already do in terms of self-care?

There are many ways to incorporate a few strategies to avoid burnout and practice self-care- even one will get you started on the right track!  Try one a week and see which one fits you best.  You and your patients will both benefit.


  1. Lawson, G. & Myers, J.E. (2011). Wellness, professional quality of life, and career-sustaining behaviors: What keeps us well?  Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(2), 163-171.
  2. Wicks, R.J. (2008).The Resilient Clinician. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


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Speaker Spotlight – Jessica Minahan

Jessica Minahan

We are thrilled to announce that Jessica Minahan M.Ed, BCBA will be one of our keynote speakers at our Annual Therapies in the School Conference coming up in November.

Jessica is a licensed and board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), author, special educator, and consultant to schools internationally.  Since 2000 she has worked with students who struggle with mental health issues and challenging behavior in public school systems.  She specializes in training staff and creating behavior intervention plans for students who demonstrate explosive and unsafe behavior. She also works with students who have emotional and behavioral disabilities, anxiety disorders, or high-functioning Autism. Her particular interest is to serve these students by combining behavioral interventions with a comprehensive knowledge of best practices for those with complex mental health profiles and learning needs.

She is a blogger on The Huffington Post, the author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, with Nancy Rappaport (Harvard Education Press, 2012), and author of The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (Harvard Education Press, 2014).

She holds a BS in Intensive Special Education from Boston University and a dual master’s degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Wheelock College. She has a certificate of graduate study (CGS) in teaching children with Autism from the University of Albany and received her BCBA training from Northeastern University in Boston. She is sought-after internationally to speak on subjects ranging from effective interventions for students with anxiety to supporting hard-to-reach students in full-inclusion public school settings.

Jessica’s sessions are titled:

Reducing Anxiety in the classroom
With up to one in four children struggling with anxiety in this country, overwhelmed adults are in need of a new approach as well as an effective and easy-to-implement toolkit of strategies that work.
Through the use of case studies, humorous stories, and examples of common challenging situations, participants will learn easy to implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, work engagement, and self-monitoring.


Strategies to Reduce Anxiety and Related Problem Behaviors in the Classroom
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four thirteen to eighteen year olds have had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school.
As a result of this workshop participants will be able to easily implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for increasing work engagement, initiation, persistence, and self-monitoring, as well as ways to reduce oppositional moments in students.

Find out more details here.  A full schedule will be posted shortly

Join our mailing list to ensure you receive up to the minute information

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Tips to encourage language and problem solving during play

Great blog submission from a member of our community: Brooke Andrews M.A. CCC-SLP.

Please share your thoughts below.

Speech therapy with young children can sometimes looks like “just playing.” That’s because play and language go together. In addition to play being the primary vehicle for learning in early childhood, let’s talk more about how play and language go hand in hand.

A word is a symbol for the object it represents. Children’s play skills are intimately related to their understanding of symbols. If a child uses a towel as a “blanket” and playfully pretends to go to sleep, they are using that towel as a symbol for the blanket. Other examples include pretending a “block” is a phone or a “stick” is a car. This understanding of the use of symbols develops alongside the understanding that words are symbols for objects and ideas.

Between 18-24 months, children produce simple sentences. As children learn more about the world, they discover more about the relationships between items, places, and people. Using word combinations give toddlers a way to express these relationships (ex: “sock on,” “more crackers,” etc.) As children combine more words, more complex relationships are reflected through their play. For example, a child may feed their baby doll, burp her, put her pajamas on, then put her to bed.

During pretend play, children will often “take on the roll” of a character. Researchers have found that during play, toddlers duplicate the way adults talk to babies and the way babies talk to adults. When toddlers play the role of the “mommy,” they increase their pitch and talk in shorter sentences. They also talk more and ask more questions. Similarly, when toddlers pretend to be the “baby,” they talk less and use high pitched voices. This ability to use language to stand for make-believe relationships is another sign of your toddler’s increasing language and play skills.

Play and language are interconnected. Children’s pretend play is often the origin of their earliest “narratives” (Golinkoff & Pasek, 1999). Engaging in pretend play with your child gives them the model and structure for telling a story. These stories help them develop early literacy skills. Remember to follow your child’s lead and become a “partner” instead of a “director” during play. Here are some tips to follow when engaging in pretend play with your little one

• Balance your turns- Don’t make all the suggestions or do all the talking. Balance turns with your child.

• Create “problems” during play – Pretend the tea for your tea party is “too hot” and encourage your child to come up with a solution (blow on it, pretend to throw ice cubes in the cup “clink!”). Good stories have conflicts that need a resolution. Practice early versions of this during pretend play.

• Wait – Before offering a suggestion for what to do. Give your child a chance to come up with an idea on their own.

• Expand your child’s play – You can “partner” with your child by expanding on the play scene they are interested in.

• Have fun- Use funny voices and fun noises. Kids are already doing this. Join in the play and don’t be afraid to get silly!

Next time you are having a tea party with your little one, keep in mind all that they are learning about language, literacy, and problem-solving. All while having fun and getting to spend time with you!

Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (1999). How babies talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life. New York: Plume.

“Play with Language and Speech.” In Child Discourse, edited by S. Ervin-Tripp and C. Mitchell Kernan , 24-47. New York: Academic Press, 1997.

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NEW e-Learning Program – Pediatric Toe Walking Series Now Available Online

Toe Walking Online SeriesWe are thrilled to announce the launch of our new pediatric toe walking online course series.

Enhance your differential diagnosis skills to guide more effective treatments; learn new tools to address the sensory and motor aspects that underlie toe-walking, and recognize red flags to help determine the appropriate professional for referral.

International expert Liesa Persaud, PT, DPT, PCS, CKTP
teaches the series through case studies, demonstrations, extensive directed lab practice and lecture

Utilizing the ACT (Assessment Criteria for Toe Walking)
and Outcomes and Footwear Modification to Improve Outcomes


 The Role of Vision and Reflexes

 Red Flags for Referral and Intervention Strategies

Register for the complete online series for $229
Register for individual sessions
Includes downloadable handouts & access for an entire year

Recommended for healthcare professionals who have a basic knowledge of the following areas: 
biomechanics of normal gait, characteristics of equinus gait (toe walking), and kinesiology of the lower extremity.
Recommended for those who have taken the two day course from Liesa Persaud and want to supplement your learning.

Please visit our FAQ Page and CEU Page  for more information 

 Education Resources online courses are the next best thing to attending live:

  • Engaging CEU’s on demand
  • Learn at your convenience – access the courses for a full year
  • Advance your skills
  • Expand your knowledge
  • Learn from leading experts

The team at Education Resources is also excited to announce the launch of our 
a venue for therapists to discuss any clinical challenges or tips with other colleagues

We continue to strive to meet your needs as you develop your skills to meet the ever changing demands of health care and education. We welcome your suggestions for future online courses.

Please Click Here to Join Our Mailing List

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Education Resources Inc. Announces New Awards Program for School Based Therapy

We are excited to announce that for the first time Education Resources Inc. is opening nominations for two new awards to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of school based therapy. 

We will be honoring two unsung heroes.
One for his/her significant contribution to evidence based practice in the field of school based therapy, and one for his/her significant contribution to therapy practice in the field of school based therapy. 

Please click on the links below to send in your nominations:

Excellence in Evidence Based School Practice Award
This award will be given to a therapist or therapy assistant whose research has contributed to the body of evidence that supports the underpinnings and practices of school based therapy. 

Excellence in Creative School Based Therapy Award
This award will be given to a therapist or therapy assistant who has excellent assessment and intervention skills, uses those skills to meet students’ needs in unconventional and unique ways, and collaboratively engages teachers and staff within the students’ team. 

Award recipients will also demonstrate the core values of collaboration, leadership, integrity, and a passion for improving the lives of his or her students. 

Deadline for Submission is August 16, 2017.

The award recipients will be announced and honored at the
Eighteenth Annual Therapies in the School Conference (November 16-17, 2017)

November 16-17, 2017
Framingham, MA

we are thrilled to bring you an optional Pre-Conference: 
The Zones of Regulation® 
A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control

Wednesday November 15, 2017
Framingham, MA

Register for Therapies in the School (2 days) and the pre-conference and save!

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Therapies in the School 2017 with Zones of Regulation Pre-Conference


We listened to your input – thank you!

We are excited to share with you the now completed outline for our popular annual school based conference, coming to Massachusetts in November:

November 16-17, 2017
Framingham, MA

We hope to see you at this year’s conference. Limited Availability so Reserve Early!

we are thrilled to bring you an optional Pre-Conference: 

The Zones of Regulation®
A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control

Wednesday November 15, 2017
Framingham, MA

Please register early to avoid disappointment

Register for Therapies in the School (2 days) and the pre-conference
and receive a saving of $65

The Zones of Regulation® preconference presentation provides teachers, therapists and parents with hands-on knowledge on the nature of self-regulation and strategies for improving self-regulation and emotional control in individuals of all ages

This year’s conference focuses on collaborative approaches to supporting instruction in the classroom with related services, the functional but struggling child, how to support fine motor skills, and what is realistic for the moderate to severely involved child. In addition, the conference will highlight mindfulness, movement and music, therapeutic implications of our current knowledge of how the brain works, motor issues in ASD, and visual processing as it affects learning. 

Posted in Professional Development, School Based Therapists | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Schedule your CEUS Now With our Spring Coupon – $50 Discount


 Thank you for allowing Education Resources fulfill your professional development and continuing education requirements 

As a THANK YOU from us we would like to offer a
$50 discount 
toward any conference fee     

Register now through June 19, 2017 
Apply code: Spring2017
Not to be used in combination with other discounts or course credits.
Non-Transferable. Only one discount may be used per conference.
Must be applied at time of registration, not for conferences previously registered for. 
Not for online courses. Not for one day courses.

If you have any questions or would like to register,
please call, email or visit our website
Thank you
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