A child's development does not progress with therapy alone. Parental support is an integral part of the process. We, at FIRST STEP, want you to enjoy your child and celebrate his/her individuality. There are many ways to support the therapeutic process through interaction and play. Here are some suggestions:


Talk, Talk, Talk
Children imitate, so if you talk to them, they will listen and speak.

Reading Books
It is never too early to start and there are never too many books to read. Vary the experience. Change your tone. Make it interactive. Have your child point to pictures and label things. Have him/her talk about the pictures and the story and describe what people are feeling. Ask your child to come up with a new ending.

Sing Songs, Tell Stories and Read Poems

Parallel Talk
Watch what your child is doing and describe it:
"Jack, you're building a tower really high".
"Jane, you're eating all of your cheerios".

Label Things and Expand the Language
When he/she says something simple, respond by adding words:
all done.. Oh Jack, you're all done with your snack.
go bye bye. Yes, Daddy and Jane are leaving the store.

Responding Techniques
If your child is pointing to a cookie you may try to ask, "Do you want the spoon? No. Do you want the napkin? No. Oh, you want the cookie". And if your child points and says cookie or an approximation for cookie, give it to him immediately, describing the action.


Gross Motor skills: At home
Practice climbing stairs, encourage jumping, march around your house and dance! Play catch with a ball.

Gross Motor skills: At the playground
Outdoors is a wonderful place for your child to experience physical challenges. Climbing the ladders of a slide has its built in rewards (going down the slide). Encourage the next challenge. Over time, you will see strength, coordination and balance grow. Most importantly, you will see your child's confidence grow.

Fine Motor Skills: At home
Encourage fine motor development with different activities. Spend time creating art projects with your child. Take out the finger paints, play dough, stickers, writing and coloring implements. Try stringing beads, baking cookies, etc. Encourage using a spoon and fork.


Dramatic Play - Children's make-believe play encourages imagination and enhances abstract thinking.

Sorting - Playing with blocks or plastic containers encourages and categorization and patterning.

Puzzles and Matching Games - These activities teach concepts such as same/different, parts of a whole, problem solving and classification. They also enhance children's memory skills.


Model Appropriate Social Skills
Children learn through observing and they naturally imitate. Be the best role model. Say "please" and "thank you." Be aware of your body language. How you handle anxiety and stressful situations?

Engage in Dramatic Play with your Child
You can role play with your child. Create various situations and reduce fears by engaging in pretend play with dolls.

Help Develop Coping Strategies
Playing a game while waiting on line or singing a song when scared of a loud noise will help a child deal with stress and anxiety.

Encourage Independence
Allow your child to make choices (when the situation is acceptable to you). "Jack, you have to wear sock so which do you want, blue or red?" Keep things reachable so children can make their own selections and develop personal preference. For example: designate a low book shelf or a drawer in the kitchen with your child's cups, plates and plastic ware. Encourage participation in family chores by allowing your child to participate in daily chores. Let your child napkins on the table, put his/her own dishes in the sink and throw out the garbage.

Developmental milestones

By 3 Years of age does your child:

  • Feed himself ?
  • Hold a glass in one hand ?
  • Hold a crayon ?

Contact & newsletter

If you have any question please do not hesitate to contact us at 718.431.0115

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