Being Able to Adjust Keeps Adult Program Going Strong

Dec. 7, 2020 1:51 pm

By Susan Rodd

A day in the Adult Day Services (ADS) program is typically full of busy activity; clients and staff moving through the hallways, chatting and hanging out.

But like many organizations and businesses, that all changed last March when COVID-19 made itself known in Northeast Wisconsin, and we quickly realized we needed to adjust. Providers like CP must always be prepared to adapt and reimagine their programs to better align their offerings with the needs of our clients always in mind. And that is exactly what we did, albeit gradually.

While we were all safe at home in March and April, our instructors created impromptu videos to share on Facebook and CP's website so clients could stay engaged. Topics included making guacamole and stress balls, to important stretching exercises. Some even shared updates on projects classes were working on prior to Safer at Home. It wasn't much, but it was a start and served as a way to remain connected to clients who rely on CP for activity and socialization each day.

Our ADS team never imagined that we would need to revamp our programming with so much safety in mind in order to reopen. But our team was up for the challenge if that meant we could allow clients to return to programming. We spent weeks developing new policies and procedures and determining needs so when we did reopen at the end of May, we were ready.

Those new changes meant that the schedule for our Green Bay site needed to completely change. Instead of holding our typical morning and afternoon classes as usual, we decided to form "pods" to allow the same 15 clients and 4-5 staff to stay together for classes, lunch and any personal care needs throughout each day. Keeping groups together, while really different for us, went a long way to ensure the safety of clients and staff.

To form pods, our team looked at everyone's current classes and grouped clients who shared similar interests. They also considered client social wellbeing, ensuring everyone had a few friends within their pods, too. Our goal was to keep everyone safe within their pods while causing the least disruption.

CP always strives to make programming individualized for each client. And what feels like 137 months later, we feel that we're still offering quality programming and keeping the clients' best interest in mind, while maintaining everyone's safety. In fact, the pods have really been working well and everyone has adapted well to their classes. A few clients have even discovered some new classes they never thought they would enjoy.

After pods were well underway, we looked for other ways to expand programming, especially to those clients who needed to stay at home. So, in August we began offering opportunities where a few clients were able to join a class virtually. Most recently, we introduced more structured, 8-week group virtual classes, to include even more clients that are still safe at home. Classes include Fitness Champions, Virtual Tours-Around the World in 8 Weeks, Once Upon a Story, Games Galore and Craft Junkies.  We're excited to see everyone that we haven't seen in while and the social interactions have been just as meaningful as the actual activities.

While all of these new ways to hold classes - from quick Facebook videos, to instructor lead virtual programming - have been key in continuing to serve our clients, we are very much looking forward to the day when we can welcome everyone back at CP.

Susan Rodd is the Manager of Curriculum Development at CP.



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7 Tips to Help with the Holidays and a Picky Eater

Nov. 16, 2020 7:33 am

By Jessica Getter

Let's face it, the holidays can be stressful for all of us. As a parent of a child who is a picky eater, you may feel like you just can't win when it comes to holiday meals. Here are some easy, straight forward tips to making it through a family gathering during the holidays with your picky eater in a way that will make both of you feel successful.

Tip #1: Stay Calm and Stay Positive

When picky eaters are pressured to eat food that they perceive as a challenge it triggers a stress response. This response causes the release of hormones that will reduce their appetite, thus having the opposite effect of what parents are trying to achieve. Remain calm and encourage family members to do the same. Focus on the small victories such as your child being able to come to the table or having a small portion on their plate. The positive energy that you emit will make your child feel less stressed about the meal situation. 

Tip #2: Even adventurous eaters are stressed during the holidays

New smells, new foods, changes in routines, a house full of people...the list goes on as to the stressors that affect all of us during holiday gatherings. For even the best eaters, all of these factors can affect appetite and how well (or not well!) they eat for the holiday meal.

Tip #3: Stick to normal meal and nap times

Obviously, this can be a big challenge for the holidays. We know that kids do best when things are predictable and routine. Overtired kids who have been snacking all day will not make the best meal time companions and getting them to eat a good meal will be difficult.

Tip #4: Offer some familiar foods

Plan ahead. If it's a potluck, bring something to serve that you know your child will eat, even if it's non-traditional. If you think other family members will be offended by your child not trying their traditional recipes, have a conversation ahead of time and remind them to stay calm and positive when you all arrive. If your child likes dipping their foods, bring the dip along and you might be surprised that your child may experiment with dipping other new foods, too!

Tip #5: Do a practice run

A few days or weeks ahead of time, do a practice run. Talk about what foods will be there and which people will be there. Together with your child, prepare and cook a few of the traditional foods that may be at the holiday gathering. This will allow your child to experience new foods in a safe, familiar environment. We know that repeated exposure is key for picky eaters and this technique will allow them to become acquainted with holiday foods ahead of time.

Tip #6: Keep serving sizes small

The goal when offering new foods is to underwhelm (not overwhelm!) your child. A heaping scoop of mashed potatoes may look like a mountain of a challenge to your child and they will quickly avoid and refuse to explore. Offer 1-2 teaspoons of new foods and this may trigger their curiosity.

Tip #7: Encourage self-serving and family-style serving

If your child is old enough, allow them to go through the line on their own if serving buffet-style. When given the control, they may surprise you as to what choices they make and the new foods that may make it on their plate. If serving family-style at the table, again allow your child to serve themselves or others; this will allow for exposure to the sights, smells, and textures of various foods without the stress of having to eat it. (Remember, repeated exposure!)

Use the tips that work best for you and your picky eater to make holiday meals enjoyable and fun for the entire family! Happy Holidays!

Jessica Getter is an Occupational Therapist at CP

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Being an Adult Instructor at CP

Nov. 9, 2020 8:19 am

During November, CP is highlighting our Adult Day Services staff. You can see who we are focusing on and learn about what our team does by checking out our Instagram stories.

During all of the busyness of "a day in the life" of staff at CP, we were able to get Ted Huebbe, an adult instructor, to take a moment and answer a few questions about what he does at CP, and more importantly....why. 

CP: What do you do at CP?

TH: As an Adult Instructor, I work directly with the clients in the Adult Day Services(ADS) program. I lead and organize the classes that CP offers. I have worked at CP for almost two years now. 

CP: What interested you about working at CP and in the Adult Program?

TH: I had previously work as a transport driver, and through that job I met a lot of the CP clients, and drove the busses for CP outings. I realized what great people the clients and staff at CP were, and wanted an opportunity to work in that environment.

CP: What's a typical day in ADS like?

TH: There are two scheduled class times, morning and afternoon, with a variety of topics, from game classes to arts and crafts, kitchen classes, swim sessions, exercise classes and many others.  I also help get the clients settled in the morning, assist at lunch time, and get them ready to go home at the end of the day. 

CP: What's your favorite part about working in ADS?

TH: So many of my personal interests are relatable to class topics at CP, so whether it's gardening, cooking, games, photography, world cultures and customs, arts and crafts or music, I find that I have some level of knowledge to share with the clients, and to help keep the clients engaged with the class.

CP: What have you learned by working in the Adult program?

TH: Especially after the last 7 months with COVID, where all of our lives have been upended and changed, I have come to realize that our clients at CP are deeply affected by the social distancing imposed on them by their diagnosis. CP gives these folks a chance to come together, socialize, go on outings and be challenged by new experiences. We should all have a sense now of how important that feeling of community and togetherness is.

CP: When people ask what it's like to work at CP, what do you say?

TH: I have found CP to be a family of people, both the clients and the staff. Everybody greets each other so enthusiastically each morning and shows genuine interest and concern for each other during the day. This is a place of positivity.

Does CP sound like a place you'd like to work? If so, check out our open positions and apply today. 

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Being Thankful All November Long

Nov. 2, 2020 8:41 am

It's November, a time of year where people turn their focus to what they are thankful for. I think it's safe to say that, given what 2020 has become, we are all putting a bit more thought into what or who we are giving thanks for - our families, friends, community and where we work.

At CP, we have a lot to be thankful for every day. But right now, we are truly thankful for our staff. Like many nonprofit organizations, since we reopened after Safer at Home back in May, our team has had to ebb and flow with the changes COVIDbrought. This is especially true with the team in our Adult Day Services program in Green Bay, Fox Cities and Lakeshore, where so much of the day is spent interacting with clients in classes, helping with personal cares and transfers, and just overall daily interaction.

Classes got smaller, masks and PPE became a priority and our team needed to find a way to adapt programming so that it was still effective to help clients gain skills to meet their personal goals.

We had to separate clients and instructors into "pods" to help mitigate the risk of exposure, which means social interaction hasn't been what we are used to.

But through it all and despite the ups, downs and challenges, our team has come through big. In an ever changing environment, our ADS team has been doing what they can to bring some normalcy back to CP and to their clients through new class projects and adaptive activities to keep everyone socially distanced. Not to mention that for some clients, just seeing the friendly face of their instructor is really all they need. For that, CP is truly thankful.

All through November we'll be highlighting our ADS team on CP's Instagram page and giving you a glimpse into what our staff does... and maybe a little bit about who they are. It's kind of like a takeover - and with this group, you just never know what is going to happen.

You'll meet Ted, Tiffany and Whitney later this month, but we kick it all off with Jenna, a Core Program Supervisor. She's awesome with the clients, caring, can make a mean salsa and, apparently, has a lot of shoes (we'll get to the bottom of that later).

And if you follow us through the month and think that CP would be an awesome place to work, feel free to drop us an application and we'll take it from there. We'd love to hear from you.

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Get Out and VOTE!

Oct. 27, 2020 9:17 am

While 2020 is a year many of us are looking forward to saying goodbye to, there are still a few important events taking place that we can't forget. One of those is voting on Tuesday, November 3.

And if you or a loved one has a disability, understanding your rights and options on how to vote are extremely important. In Wisconsin, there are several invaluable resources that can help ensure every vote counts. 

Everyone who has the right to vote should have an equal chance at voting on Election Day. In fact, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, all polling places in Wisconsin must provide accessible voting equipment. If you are unable to physically go inside your polling place due to a disability, curbside voting from your car should also be available. This video from Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition explains it rather well.

Voting Resources

In addition to the video, the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition is a great resource full of information to help educate on topics including the rights voters with disabilities have, how to register to vote, how to safely vote during COVID-19, absentee voting and how to make your voting plan.

If your voting plan includes in person voting on Election Day, in Brown County, the Aging and Disability Resource Center offers a list of transportation options to help get you safely to your polling place.

Voting is an important right, and some say that voting in 2020 is more important than ever. So, make it a point to exercise your power to vote on Election Day. If you do, take a photo or send us a note to We'd love to see it!

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How To Support a Nonprofit During COVID

Oct. 19, 2020 10:16 am

We are seven months into this, people, and it's safe to say that COVID fatigue has clearly settled in. We are all just tired of being tired. Tired of sitting at home. Tired of things not being 'normal' and we totally get it.  

So how do brush off some of that COVID weariness? Do something that makes you feel good; something that makes a difference. Help a nonprofit.

Why? Because nonprofits are a strong part of our local community, providing services, programming and a voice to important causes. Nonprofits help your neighbors, friends and quite possibly, even you. So, how can you help?

Donations are Always Needed

A simple donation is always helpful as many nonprofits are feeling the pressure of COIVD and the financial impact. Making a small $10 or $20 online donation really does make a difference. Or, if you are already a donor, consider switching up to a monthly gift option. 

Follow on Social Media

Help spread the nonprofit's message by following them on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to engage by liking and sharing posts and leaving comments.


This one might be tricky as lots of nonprofits are limiting volunteers, but maybe there is something you can do from home that can help. It doesn't hurt to ask, so give them a call and find out.

Support a Fundraising Event

Despite COVID, nonprofit organizations still need to hold their fundraising events and had to make major adjustments to transition to a virtual platform. For many, funds raised from events are critical to the continued success of the organization.

This was the case with CP and our annual auction, Rooted, which typically draws a huge community crowd. Instead of meeting in person, we've transitioned to a complete virtual experience this year in order to keep everyone safe while still holding the event.

Speaking of the CP Auction, you can check out what's up for bid on our website. Bidding is open now through October 23rd. There are also some amazing raffles you can purchase tickets for. Raffle winners will be announced on October 22.

Whether you have COVID fatigue, or just need something new to do, consider supporting a local nonprofit. Helping where you can will make all the difference and ensure our local nonprofits will be here long after COIVD has gone.





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A Sensory Friendly Halloween

Oct. 12, 2020 12:56 pm

Halloween is a day many kiddos look forward to each year. Yet for a child with special needs, such as a sensory processing issue, the holiday can be a bit tricky to navigate. But, that doesn't mean a lot of fun can't be had on the spookiest night of the year!

But first, the costume!

Halloween may look different this year, but the fun of dressing up doesn't have to change. In fact, due to COVID restrictions in some communities, dressing up may be the center of the day. The good news is that there are more costumes available than ever before for children with special needs:

Target has a fun sensory line of Halloween costumes with a good selection to browse.

Etsy is a great place to shop around for a wide variety of ideas that is sure to engage your child. Just search for adaptive Halloween costumes and you'll find lots of options.

If your child is into Disney, the company has a pretty extensive line of costumes to browse. If your child has a favorite character, this may be a website you can't miss.

If your more of a creative type, look no further than sites like Pinterest to spark the imagination.

Sometimes parents get so worried about finding the right costume to accommodate the needs of their child, they forget to make sure the child has input into what they would like to dress up as. It's supposed to be fun after all! Spend time brainstorming together by making a list of possibilities or coloring pictures of potential costumes. Make the decision making process fun and you'll be sure to come up with a costume idea that you are both excited about.

Celebrating Halloween

We all might be limited in partaking in traditional Halloween festivities due to COVID. If that is the case in your community, consider these sensory friendly ideas that will still make the day fun.

Spooky Dinner

Make a Halloween themed dinner with your child's favorite foods. Work together to plan the menu, go shopping and help prepare the spooky treats the entire family can enjoy.

Walk the (Black) Catwalk

If you have other little goblins in the house, consider holding a costume fashion show. Everyone can get dressed in their costumes (even mom and dad) and take turns walking the "runway" with the rest of the family cheering on.

Halloween Movie Night

A great idea for after your spooky dinner. Get the family together for a Halloween themed movie night. Curl up in your costumes, grab some popcorn and watch a few family friendly Halloween movies. It's a low key way to enjoy the holiday together.


If you live in a community where Trick-or-Treating will be taking place, it might be a good idea to practice trick-or-treating at home a few times before heading out. Practice knocking on the door, saying "trick-or-treat" and "thank you."

No matter how you spend Halloween, the important thing is that you are together as a family and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the process, get creative and have fun. It will guarantee everyone has a great time!

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Just What Does a Physical Therapist do at CP?

Oct. 5, 2020 9:32 am

Comprehensively, CP Therapy Servicesfocuses on occupational, physical and speech-language therapy for infants, children and adults. But in October, we are singling out our physical therapy team because its National Physical Therapy month, an annual opportunity to highlight CP's PT program and our team. And there is a lot of good stuff to share.

Here are some things to note about our PT team:

  • Team of 5 (one just new to the team about only a few weeks ago!)
  • Currently serving 128 clients, children and adults
  • Our PT's have held 3,007 appointments so far in 2020 (through 9/5)
  • That's 135,315 minutes spent with clients. This doesn't include paperwork or client prep!

And just what have those minutes been spent doing?

Evaluating and creating individual treatment plans for each client and family.

Working with clients on things like range of motion, balance, coordination and stretching in the pool and in the therapy gym...

...and also on a trampoline, on a scooter, while riding a bike in the hallway...

...while doing puzzles, playing kitchen, or making up their own game. Anywhere and any way to make it work.

Meeting with parents to discuss progress.

Learning about new techniques, technology and equipment to bring only the best ideas, options and solutions to clients.

Thinking on their feet and adapting as necessary to get the most out of each session with every client.

Making sure parents are involved - it's a family affair!

Cheering on successes, and rolling with it when the kiddo just isn't having a good day.

Singing. So. Many. Songs.

Making suggestions to parents about equipment, resources and activities that can be used at home.

Working and collaborating together to do what's best for the client.

Adjusting to bring PT to clients through TeleHealth because...COVID.Why do they do it?

Because there was an injury or a complication, or perhaps a milestone missed and they knew they could help.

To see a smiling face on a client when they did something they weren't able to do the day before.

To help each child, each adult, meet their goals and go beyond what they thought possible.

There has been a lot of time spent doing really good things for clients and a community that has trusted CP and its services for more than 65 years. Well done PT team!

We've only just kicked off the month, so be sure to check out CP's Facebook and Instagrampages throughout October as we continue to highlight CP's physical therapy program and our team.

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Wheelchair Etiquette 101

Sept. 21, 2020 10:47 am

Generally speaking, people tend to have a sense of uneasiness around something that is unfamiliar or different from what they know. Imagine trying a food you never have before. Do you take huge bite or a tiny sample? What about starting a new job? It's likely that your biggest worry on the first day is finding your way around a new office space.

These are just small examples of the awkwardness we can feel when doing something that challenges our comfort level. So now think about meeting someone who uses a wheelchair for the first time. Chances are, similar feelings of uneasiness come into play and common questions bubble to the surface: How do I act? What do I say? What do I do?

The reality is that it's not that hard, because at the end of the day, it's just another person. But to help, we've come up with the top three things to keep in mind when you meet someone who uses a wheelchair.

1. Speak directly to the person

Speak to the person in the wheelchair directly, not the people or caregiver they are with. You'd be surprised on how much this happens. Just because someone is in a wheelchair doesn't mean they can't hear you, understand you or communicate with you.  

2. Be respectful of the wheelchair

For some people, their wheelchair is an extension of themselves. Because of that, touching or leaning on the wheelchair can been seen as an invasion of personal space. Only touch or lean in if you are invited to do so.

In addition, you should always ask permission or let the person know if you are going to move them while they are in their wheelchair. Doing so allows the person to give direction and remain in control of their independence.  

3. Ask if they need help before helping

It's great that you want to be helpful; it's a natural tendency. Most of the time it is appreciated, but you need to ask first. People who use a wheelchair are capable of doing lots of things on their own, it may just take a bit longer, or be accomplished in a different way using adaptive equipment.

By asking if help is needed, the person maintains their independence and leaves the decision on whether they need additional assistance up to them to determine.

Keep these easy, but often overlooked, tips in mind when first meeting someone who uses a wheelchair and you'll do just fine. If you are unsure of something, just ask what the person would prefer and go from there. Before you know it, you'll be less worried about doing something wrong and more focused on getting to know someone new. 

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Keeping Spirits High During the Pandemic

Sept. 14, 2020 8:15 am

During a time when there seems to be a cloud over just about everything, it's easy to feel down.

The fact is that we are mourning the year and all of the activities that come with it. First it was graduation season, then summer events and vacations, then back to school and fall sports and now discussions about Halloween are on the table. Who knows what the holidays will bring! We haven't been able to get past this doom and gloom feeling because we are still in the COVID year of firsts.

So just how do you keep your spirits up during a pandemic?

CP put the question to our experts - our clients in Adult Day Services - and asked them the question: What makes you happy?

Swimming keeps Bobby happy.

Desi likes to paint and be with friends.

Bobby is just happy to be out of the house!

The lesson out of this short exercise is that the answer can be something quite simple. What makes you happy right now could be a morning cup of coffee, playing with your kids, exercising or just learning something new. In order to keep our spirits high, we need to remember there is still fun to be had, even in the smallest of things. What a great reminder, right?

So what is making you happy during these pandemic days? If you can't think of one right away, that's a sign that you should maybe stop and find something. Once you do, take a moment to share - CP's clients would love to hear your answers!

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CP Auction Keeps You Rooted at Home

Sept. 9, 2020 7:50 am

2020 has been called many things. A whirlwind. Unpredictable. Crazy. And a personal favorite - a dumpster fire. If this year is teaching us anything, it's that it's best to roll with the punches and do our best to appreciate what we have. We're still moving forward, just in a different way.

Like many nonprofit organizations, CP has implemented its share of changes and we've had to adapt in order to provide services as safely as possible. From taking temperatures and wearing face masks to Zoom meetings and working from home, we've found our way to keep moving ahead even during an unpredictable year.

So when it came time to talk about plans for the Annual CP Auction, we found ourselves rethinking what this popular community event would look like through 2020 glasses. Instead of dwelling on the fact we couldn't hold the event in person, we looked at it as an opportunity to do something different.

So, as you read on about the details of what we think will be an amazing virtual auction experience, we also hope you keep in mind that your support is not only appreciated, but is very much needed. It's through events like Auction that CP is able to help people from all over Northeast Wisconsin hit milestones, reach goals and go beyond what they thought possible.

Rooted | CP Annual Auction Details

Join us online for this year's CP Auction at the place you are Rooted. Home.

Celebrate the CP Auction, presented by Keller Inc., from the comfort of your couch. Dress up or dress down. Eat in or order out. Invite friends or party solo. This year, it's up to you.

?In the coming weeks, we'll be adding amazing items to the online auction and we'll share some Event Essentials that will help ensure your Auction experience is one of a kind. Bidding begins October 19 and closes on October 23rd.

We'll Bring the Party to You!

For $50, you can be one of 100 virtual guests to receive a HOUSE PARTY, delivered to your front door, the morning of October 23rd. ($150 value). 

We can't tell you all of what's inside, but we can say it will add some fun to your Auction night experience!

Looking for Something in Person?

Safely browse auction items in person while enjoying a cocktail and bite to eat at the Festival Foods MVP Deck at Lambeau FieldDoors will be open from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. This is a FREE option, however, we ask that you kindly RSVP.

Be sure to check the Auction Facebook event for additional event details, raffle reveals and so much more.

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Help with Back to School Anxiety

Aug. 31, 2020 1:56 pm

As the school year kicks off, the normal first day jitters have been magnified by the fact that school just won't look like it should. It's a stressful time for families, and for those kids that struggle with anxiety, it can seem like an overwhelming challenge. But it doesn't have to be.

Occupational therapy helps people develop the skills needed to complete daily living skills. This includes fine and gross motor skills, cognitive skills and self-care tasks like brushing teeth and getting dressed. But an OT also teaches skills children can use to help with challenges you may not be able to see, like anxiety.  

Children with anxiety often find it difficult to manage everyday tasks and situations which can lead to them getting upset, worried and distant. Occupational therapy can help by teaching children techniques they can apply to help lessen and manage their anxiety.

If the shift in how the school year will go is challenging for your family, consider the following:

Avoid the Morning Rush

After living in a relaxed summer schedule (longer, actually!), it can be quite a shift to get back into a morning school routine. There just never seems to be enough time in the morning, so talking about a routine and practicing it with your child will set everyone up for success.

For younger kids, this can be done by creating a visual schedule. Find images online or take actual photos of all the tasks your child needs to complete each morning (going to the bathroom, getting dressed, brushing hair/teeth, eating breakfast) and put them in order on a chart using Velcro or clothespins. Once your child completes a task, they can remove the image from the list and start working on the next one. For older kids, writing tasks out as a list can also be effective.

Be sure to post the schedule or list where it can be seen easily, or consider posting a few in key areas of the house like the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. By having a list of tasks your child knows they need to complete can help everyone get ready in the morning with less stress and get them ready for learning in the classroom or online.

Keep Talking

Whether kids are starting school online, in the classroom, or a combination of both, there are going to be big changes to get used to. Continue the conversation about how school is different, and that's okay. We are living in a time of uncertainty where things can change quickly. Keep having open dialogue with your child about changes to schedules so they can prepare and share how those changes make them feel.

If talking is a struggle, consider asking your child to draw pictures of how they are feeling or what they remember from their day of school. Drawing will help lower anxious feelings and provide an opportunity to talk by using the drawing as starting point for the discussion.

Create a Quite Space

With the future of the school year feeling like the ups and downs of a roller coaster, your child's anxiety may be just as varied. Consider establishing a quite area of your house or your child's room where they know they can go when they are feeling anxious. Items in the quite area might include a comfy beanbag chair, books, noise cancelling headphones, relaxing music and any other sensory items that usually help your child feel calm. Establishing a quite space can go a long way in helping your child learn how to manage their anxiety on their own.

The school year may be uncertain, but helping your child manage their anxiety doesn't have to be. Planning ahead, having ongoing conversations and creating an environment for them to feel comfortable in will go a long way to ensure a successful school year.

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TeleHealth Providing Therapy Safer at Home

Aug. 24, 2020 10:32 am

When COVID-19 became a reality, just about everyone was impacted. Some in small ways, some in even manageable ways. We learned to adapt, rework and triage. But for others, the arrival of COVID presented a more difficult challenge. This was the case Emily, Michael and their two your old son, Henry.

Henry has myotubular myopathy, which causes muscle weakness and low muscle tone. Emily and Michael brought Henry at CP to start occupational and physical therapy just over a year ago to work on building his strength. "We saw Henry do more and more each time his therapy team set new expectations," Michael recalled. "He just blossomed and made so much progress." Emily and Michael were thrilled when Henry starting reaching goals, however, not long after, Henry got sick and spent the next few months at Children's Hospital. While there, Henry was restricted in his movement and wasn't able to participate in therapy.

After being sidelined for that long, Emily and Michael were anxious to get back to CP and start Henry's therapy again. About a week after returning, life threw the curve ball no one saw coming: COVID-19. When CP made the decision to temporarily close its facility, Emily and Michael were worried that the progress Henry had made would roll back without consistent therapy. They were unsure of the next steps to take. "We didn't want to see Henry lose anything he had gained and worked so hard for, especially since we lost the time when he was in the hospital," Emily said.

Then CP sent an email offering TeleHealth visits. It was a way to still connect with clients and continue therapy while everyone stayed safer at home. Emily and Michael quickly got Henry enrolled.

Now they were the driver's seat, having to help their son complete exercises at home while Henry's OT and PT provided coaching and consulting (and cheering!) through Zoom at CP. "Our first few sessions were really about the therapy team asking us what we needed to feel prepared to start therapy in a new way, " Emily said. "We didn't feel like we were thrown into anything."

It wasn't easy, but after getting the hang of it, Henry started to make additional gains. "We have a whole new appreciation for the therapists at CP and what they do in the clinic," Michael said. "We didn't realize how much goes into just making sure Henry's posture is aligned in order for him to do things the right way."

Even with CP back open, Henry continues his therapy through TeleHealth since he has a compromised immune system. "To achieve everything Henry has through TeleHealth has been amazing," Emily noted. "Henry isn't just back on track, he's surpassing goals."

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The Importance of Play in a Child's Development

Aug. 13, 2020 10:43 am

Although much recent attention has been focused on back to school plans, it's important to remember there is still some summer left! For little kiddos, summer means plenty of outside play time, exploring and having fun.

But it seems as if play has taken a back seat to technology and more structured activities. Days are programmed instead of offering time for free play. And with many parents facing the reality of online learning, how can you make sure that play is a part of your child's day with all of that screen time? First, it's worth noting why play is so important.

Play helps with development 

Play helps children learn physical, cognitive and social skills, all of which are critical to their development. It's also believed by some experts that play may actually contribute to the structural design of the brain; that play can create a brain that has more potential for learning throughout a person's life.

 Play teaches discovery

Play is one of the first opportunities children have to explore their surroundings and investigate how things work, sound and move. This type of play helps children use their brain in lots of different ways as they explore the meaning of things. Play surrounding the use of the imagination, or "playing pretend," also assists with promoting self-expression, creativity and self-confidence.

 Play helps children grow emotionally 

We all can think of a time when we've set a goal, worked hard to reach it and felt a sense of accomplishment. Play for children can present the same feeling. A child might be nervous about making it all the way across the monkey bars, but they work at it, make it across and have a feeling of pride. The fear melts away and is replaced with a booted self-esteem. It is instances like these that occur during play that contributes to a child's emotional growth.  

Getting Your Kids to Play

Facilitating play doesn't require expensive toys or manuals to read. It's simply letting your child safely explore their world.

Consider using things you already have to help promote play. Items like cardboard boxes, plastic food containers, milk carton caps, pillows, scratch paper, art supplies and blankets can all be turned into something with a little imagination. Really, the sky is the limit.

Soak up the remainder of the summer by getting your kids outside to play. Here are few ideas to consider:

 Outdoor options for play

  • Play games like tag or sack races. Better yet, make up your own game!
  • Give outdoor yoga a try.
  • Explore your local park or nature preserve. Count the birds or see how many colors you can find.
  • Give your child a small garden shovel and see what they dig up! Or, if you have a family garden, give them an area in your yard to create their own imaginary one.
  • Make an obstacle course - who can be the most creative?

 Don't let the rain get the best of you! Rainy day indoor play ideas may include:

  • Play dress up
  • Build a fort and see where the story takes you
  • Art projects with paint, clay or blocks
  • Play kitchen or restaurant using pots and pans
  • Have a dance party

Remember that play is all about having fun. It's entertaining, sometimes messy but always an adventure. Give your child the opportunity for more free play and let the summer end on a high note.

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What Do Nonprofit Organizations Do?

Aug. 4, 2020 2:57 pm

Living in uncertain times has made a lasting impact on people and the communities they live in, from the smallest child to the seasoned senior, and from small businesses, to big box stores. And somewhere in all of this lives the nonprofit.

When you think of nonprofits, you probably tend to think of the ones that are quite visible to the community like food pantries, animal shelters or ones that deal with disease or illness. But there are many that you don't see, all working for their cause or mission, with the goal of serving, advocating and making the community better.

With the uncertainty of the past several months, nonprofit organizations, now more than ever, are being asked to do more with less. But, just what do nonprofits do?

The role of the nonprofit in your community

It's important to note that nonprofits come in all shapes and sizes. From national organizations with local community chapters, to those with a regional reach, to a small, one-person show.

  • Nonprofits, while serving a specific cause, also contribute to the greater good:
  •  Nonprofits provide critical services, goods and resources to meet the needs of their immediate community.
  • Nonprofits serve as a voice for the people they serve and can act as agents of change regarding local and state policy development.
  •  Nonprofits contribute to the area economy and provide jobs.
  •  Nonprofits build community by bringing together people they serve with staff, volunteers and donors, creating advocates and new leaders.

Let's go back to the notion mentioned earlier regarding the fact there are many nonprofits people probably aren't even aware of. It's not for a lack of interest or education, but simply, there are just a lot of nonprofits to get to know. In fact, according to GuideStar, a nonprofit reporting agency, there are close to 1,000 nonprofit organizations in Green Bay alone, and nearly 40,000 throughout the state.  

Chances are you have already been impacted by a nonprofit group. Have you ever visited a thrift store? Donated blood? Were you a Boy Scout or Girl Scout? Have you traveled to a state park? Yep, all of those services and programs are run or maintained by a nonprofit organization. There are even nonprofits that you may not need now, but may need later in life.

Challenges Ahead

No matter the size, many nonprofits have either seen a recent surge in the need for services and they are unsure of how to meet the demand, or on the flip side, they have seen a decrease in services, leaving the future unknown. Either way, it's clear that our area nonprofits need our help.

Whether it's through a donation, offering to volunteer, or even sharing news from their social media channels with your friends, nonprofits are in need of community champions right now. Take a moment to touch base with your favorite nonprofit, or perhaps research one that might have special meaning or interest to you and ask how you can get involved.

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