Education Resources Blog

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

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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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Pediatric Gait Discussion Group

The team at Education Resources is excited to announce the launch of our 

A venue for therapists to discuss any clinical challenges or tips with other colleagues

We have received overwhelming feedback asking for a place to pose clinical questions, receive advice from other therapists and discuss the latest advancements related to pediatric gait. We are creating a forum to serve these needs.


Thank you!

Please stay tuned for our new online course offerings that will help you develop your differential diagnosis skills – Launching soon!

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 courses. 508-359-6533 ● 800-487-6530

Please Click Here to Join Our Mailing List

Posted in News, Pediatric Gait, Professional Development | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Lose The Socket – How Osseointegration May Improve Outcomes For Amputees

Post from Distinguished Faculty Member; Inger Brueckner, PT

Rehabilitation for patients with limb loss or limb difference is undergoing a huge transformation. The new technology available is changing all the time and can be difficult to keep up. Insurance coverage for new technology is also very challenging.
As someone who works with these patients, the advances that excite me the most are the surgeries. The physicians of The Limb Preservation Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center feel that the limb loss population is under-served.
Osseointegration(OI) of 2 lower limb patients was performed at P/SL on 02/21/2017.

The main concern about OI is infection risk. If the device needs to be removed due an infection, then the residual limb may have to be shortened, and that can be devastating to function.
What makes the OI performed in Denver unique is the porous coating of the OI implant. After over a decade of research, Dr. Ronald Hugate MD has come up with a design that will allow soft tissue to grown into the metal bringing blood supply to limit the infection risk.
Suspension systems can create skin issues, neuromas and lead to limited mobility and inconsistent control. Removing the socket interface can solve many skin problems. The direct skeletal attachment offers greater sensory feedback through osseoperception. When the limb loss patient moves the residual bone, they have to move through the soft tissue to contact the hard socket and energy is lost. Patients can also have difficulty with fit by gaining or losing as little as 5 pounds, which is a significant problem.

Double Amputee Takes First Steps With Permanent Leg Implant

This advancement is only one of many being performed around the world. Because these medical advances improve function, this is a very exciting time to work with such a deserving population.

Thank you Inger!

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Inger speak:

Amputee Rehabilitation Across the Continuum of Care using Evidence Based Practice
June 10-11, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA
October 7-8, 2017 –  Minneapolis, MN
November 3-4, 2017 – Decatur, GA


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Winner of OT Scholarship Announced

Willa Overland

OT Scholarship Winner 

CELEBRATING OT MONTH and OT Centennial Year 2017

Willa receives free tuition to a 2 day live course, a $435 value.

Click here for full details of this scholarship.

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Bobbi Pineda Recognized for her Clinical Research in the NICU

  • Nomination Criteria:
    • The nominee must be an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or speech language pathologist.
    • The nominee must be a current Member of NANT. 
    • The nominee’s published research has contributed to the body of evidence that supports the underpinnings and practices of neonatal therapy.

Roberta Pineda

Bobbi Pineda: I am a research scientist committed to developing interventions that optimize neurodevelopmental outcomes in high-risk newborn infants, specifically infants born prematurely. I have more than 20 years of experience as a NICU-based occupational therapist and 10 years of clinical research experience in the NICU at St. Louis Children’s and Barnes-Jewish Special Care Nursery. From my previous work, I have a successful track record of publications documenting the effects of environmental factors such as room type (open ward compared to private room), parent presence and holding, neonatal positioning, stress related to medical interventions, sensory based interventions in the NICU, the auditory environment of the NICU, and early therapy services in and outside of the NICU.  

My group has identified a developmental disadvantage among infants in the NICU private room compared to the open ward. Subsequent studies identified significant differences in the sound environment in open wards compared to private rooms.  Currently we are engaged in work to implement an intentional amount of positive sensory exposures each day of hospitalization and to measure the effects of such positive, parent-delivered sensory exposures.  We also have published findings related to feeding, one of the most important occupations of infancy. More recently, we have developed a new feeding assessment, which is now available for research and clinical applications.  The Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment is a developmental feeding assessment for use with preterm infants during the neonatal period.  I have also received funding to build a prototype of a new infant bottle, the Preemie Pacer, which aims to address issues of poor suck-swallow-breathe synchrony, which is a common problem in preterm infants as they start to orally feed. 

Finally, other 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 I am able to mentor OT graduate students on neonatal therapy and aid them in conducting clinical research that can impact the lives of those who start their lives in the NICU.  In addition, many of these students are inspired to go on to practice in the NICU and make their mark on the field. 

My long-term goal is to optimize outcomes in high-risk infants so that they can go on to lead productive and fulfilling lives.


There are just a few opportunities left to hear Bobbi speak in 2017:

Assessment and Intervention with the High Risk Infant in the NICU and During the Transition to Home
June 3-4, 2017 – Danbury CT
October 7-8, 2017 – St. Louis, MO
November 18-19, 2017 – Portland, OR
Please click her for detailed information to download a brochure or to register

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