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Month: May 2020

Considering E-Learning Summer School? Find success with 3 simple tips!

Did you have trouble juggling your kids’ e-learning, your job, and the other many responsibilities that come with being a parent? Well, you’re not alone.  Do you want your child to do summer school but don’t know if you want to commit to more e-learning?

Here are 3 easy tips to help you and your child maximize the benefits and your time while completing E-learning activities. 

1. Start off your day by making a realistic schedule for what you want and need to accomplish. And don’t forget to let your kids help! 

  • Allowing your kids to have a say in what their day will look like will give them a sense of ownership, making it more likely for them to stick to it. Depending on the child, it can be as vague or detailed as you’d like. 
  • This schedule will set the expectations for what you and your kids will accomplish but also provides a set of boundaries. 
8:00 am

9:00 am

11:30

12:15

1:003:304:00 5:15 6:30 
Breakfast / free playE-learning with movement breaks includedOutside time / free playLunchE-learning with movement breaks included Go for a walkLast E-learning activities of the day!Help mom & dad with dinner / Free playDinner


2. Set up your environment for success for e-learning!

  • Pick 1 place in your house where school work will take place every day. This way your kids’ brain knows when it’s time to work and when it’s time for a break. No one wants to be thinking about their math homework while watching their new favorite show on Netflix. 
  • Provide proper seating that creates a productive posture for learning! Hips, knees, and ankles should be at 90-degree angles. 
  • Try to pick a place that offers natural light! Place the light behind the workspace so the light isn’t distracting. 
  • Minimize distraction by turning off the phone or placing it on airplane mode. 

3. Take a movement break! Lots and lots of movement breaks!

  • Movement breaks are extremely valuable. Scientists have found that the average learner needs a movement break every 20-30 minutes. 
  • The area in our brain responsible for memories is known as the hippocampus. The hippocampus processes information and creates long term memories, but this can take time! Movement breaks give our brain a chance to process what we just learned and turn that information into a long term memory. Without breaks, our hippocampus can get overwhelmed and miss out on information that we intended to remember. 
  • Physical activity increases oxygen to the brain, which in turn enhances our ability to focus and learn. 
  • Movement breaks can reduce stress, anxiety, and offer a quick sensory break allowing our kids the time and space to regulate their mind and bodies.

What might a movement break look like for e-learing? 

  • Set a timer to go off every 20-30 minutes
  • Start a new timer for 3:00-5:00 minutes (This app is a hit)
  • Pick your exercises
  • Turn up the music and get to moving!

*You can add challenges to make it more difficult such as doing the movement backward, faster, or slower.

Example:

Break #1Bear walks & Jumping Jacks
Break #2Crab walks & Somersaults
Break #3Sit-ups & Bunny hops
Break #4Frog jumps & Log rolls
Break #5Free dance! 
Break #6 Wheelbarrow walk & wall push-ups

Struggling with E-learning

E-learning is new for everyone, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it isn’t going as smoothly as you anticipated. Implement these 3 tips to maximize the benefits of your E-learning experience!  If you want some additional ideas, specific for your child, please schedule a free screening with one of our therapists!

Written by: Katie Estey, OTR/L

Why Tummy Time is Important

Why Tummy Time is Important

Tummy time is important for your baby’s development. Here are the top 7 reasons why you should be incorporating tummy time into your baby’s routine.

1.  Strength

Spending time on her belly is important because it strengthens the neck, back, shoulders, hips, arms, and hands.  It will help to increase the range of motion / stretch tight muscles in the neck, hips, and abdominals. 

2.  Coordination and Body awareness

Your baby will learn about her body in a different position and experiment with how to work with and against gravity.  She will learn to pivot (reaching and pivoting are precursors to crawling), balance, and increase postural control.  By increasing coordination and body awareness, your baby will also initiate hand-eye coordination with reaching, hand grasp and release.

3.  Prevent of flat spots

The more you baby is on her tummy, the less likely the back of your baby’s head will develop flat spots (positional plagiocephaly).

4.  Acquire gross motor skills 

The more waking hours spent on their tummy, the earlier babies will roll over, push up on arms and crawl (Dr. Karen Adolph, director of the NYU Infant Action Laboratory). Tummy time also strengthens extensor muscles which will lead to better sitting skills and postural control of your baby. 

5.  Sensory exposure 

Lying on their tummy lets babies feel different textures on their arms, hands, and cheeks.  This helps grow their touch sense and helps develop movement and balance (vestibular sense).

6.  Vision 

Your baby will experience the world from a different perspective during this time.  It allows your baby to see things both near and far.  It also helps them develop eye and hand coordination.

7.  Aids in digestion and reflux.

Sometimes despite your best efforts, babies continue to resist spending time on their tummy. History of reflux, a slightly misshapen head, muscle asymmetries such as torticollis, and other challenges may require additional problem solving to improve tolerance to being placed on the tummy.  Don’t give up! This position is critical to developing and achieving motor and cognitive milestones. We can help you figure out how to improve tummy time. Try our free Infant Massage Classes or call for a free screening to see if there is more we can do to promote healthy infant mobility. 

If your child resists tummy time, is developing a flat spot, is unusually fussy, often looks to one side, or holds his head to one side, or you have any other questions about development, don’t hesitate to give us a call.  BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy offers free screenings and consultations through Telehealth or at one of our child-friendly therapy gyms in Orland Park and Aurora, IL

 

Starting Potty Training

Ready to start potty training your child? Are you unsure of where to begin? Do you feel hesitant to jump in without more information? Here are 6 ideas to do before you start the process of potty training. 

#1 READ! 

A great introduction to potty training for your child is to read books to increase the child’s understanding of what potty training means! There are numerous books available for your child’s understanding featuring their favorite TV characters, book characters, and many more. Some examples include A Potty For Me by Karen Katz, The Potty Book (one for boys and one for girls) by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, and Potty by Leslie Patricelli.

#2 BATHROOM SET UP

Next, make sure your little one’s feet are stable. Putting feet on a stable, flat surface, like a step stool, puts their pelvis in a perfect position to make going potty easier for the GI system.  It also helps kids feel safe and stable enough to relax and let things flow.

#3 EXPLORE THE BATHROOM 

Encourage diaper changing in the bathroom to help kids begin to associate that potty stuff happens in the bathroom, making the transition to the toilet easier!

#4 DRESSING

Have your child practice pulling pants and underpants up and down so they feel confident to remove clothing when an urgent need arises. Dress your child in easy to manipulate clothing so they can quickly undress themselves. 

#5 UNDERSTANDING SENSORY

If your child is sensitive to sights, sounds, or smells, the bathroom may be overwhelming. Remove any unnecessary visual distractions like excessive toys, decorations, or toiletry items that may clutter the room. Limit the use of air fresheners, scented soaps, or perfume. Reduce sounds by closing the doors and windows. If possible, dedicate one bathroom to use for potty training. 

#6 MAKE A ROUTINE

It a great idea to have a daily schedule and routine for how often your child should go to the bathroom.  You can make a routine with steps the child needs to perform. A visual schedule of all the steps a child needs to complete can help them visualize what is next and reduce anxiety since they will know the expectations. 

Example Routine: signal to use the bathroom, goes to the bathroom, pulls down clothes, sits on the toilet, urinates or defecates, grabs toilet paper, wipe, flush, pull up clothes, wash and dry hands, leave the bathroom. 

Toilet training is a complex task to master! When your child understands what is expected of them during the potty training process, your child will feel confident. If you have attempted to potty train your child several times in the past and you feel like you have hit a roadblock, BDI Playhouse offers free screenings with an occupational therapist to provide additional strategies and interventions to assist with potty training. 

Written By: Megan Wilkison, Occupational Therapist

Understanding Your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for Pediatric Therapy

Understanding your Explanation of Benefits: Understanding your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for Children’s Speech, Occupational or Physical Therapy is important to ensure that your insurance is working. And above all, to eliminate surprises that result in unexpected expenses.

Keeping track of denials: Many times the insured (you)  gets the EOB in the mail before the provider (BDI). Therefore, if you see something that doesn’t look right, you can call your insurance or your pediatric therapy billing office right away, before you accumulate a large bill you might not be prepared for.

  • Look for accuracy: It is in your best interest to watch your EOBs from your insurance to verify services are accurate. Noticing an error can be brought to your provider’s attention sooner so it can be corrected immediately.    
  • Reading an explanation of benefits (EOB) from your insurance for your child’s pediatric therapy can be a little confusing at times. Some pediatric therapies use the same or similar codes for treatment. These are called CPT codes. A CPT code is the code assigned to the therapy to describe the type of therapy your child had.
  • The office will bill a set rate (or charge) to your insurance for those CPT codes. If our company has a contract with your insurance; a discount might be offered and included on your EOB. Based on your benefits, you would be responsible for any unmet deductible, coinsurance, or copay

1-What services were performed.

2-The amount that was billed to your insurance.

3-Your insurance allowed this amount for that service, based on our contract with them, if any.

4-The amount your insurance paid the company based on your policy benefits.

5-Name of the organization that was paid for the service (BDI, or Bautz Developmental Intervention)

6-What your financial responsibility is for this date of service based on your policy benefits. (This would be deductible, copay or coinsurance portion.)

7-The reason for any non-payment or adjustment (reduction in payment) that was made. 

Our goal is to make funding for your insurance as stress-free as possible. If you need additional help, we are only a phone call or email away! Our patient families can reach us at office@bdiplayhouse.com or 708-478-1820.

Written by:

Ann Marie Johnson

BDI Playhouse Insurance Billing Specialist and Assistant Office Manager

Woman trying to understand EOB

The Difference Between Co-pay, Co-insurance, Deductible and Out-of-Pocket

Understanding the difference between co-pay, co-insurance, deductible and out-of-pocket costs on an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for Pediatric Therapy can be confusing. Your insurance should provide guidance, but this may help you sort it out.

It’s likely that you have questions such as:

  1. What is a co-pay?
  2. What is the difference in co-pay and co-insurance?
  3. Who do I have to pay for my deductible?
  4. Will, I ever not have to pay co-insurance?
  5. What is the difference between in and out of the network?

A Co-payment (co-pay) is a fixed amount your insurance determines to be your portion to pay per visit. This payment can also be different based on what type of visit you are having. Such as office visits, specialist visits, ER visits, etc.  Pediatric Therapy is considered a specialist visit. Co-pay usually does not apply to a deductible. 

Co-insurance is the percentage your insurance has agreed is your financial obligation to pay. Your insurance plan will pay a percentage of covered expenses, and you would pay the remaining percentage. This amount can vary depending on whether or not your provider is in or out of network with your plan. Your insurance company will start applying charges to your co-insurance once your deductible is met.

Your Deductible is the portion of your medical expense that you would be financially responsible to pay PRIOR to your insurance paying their portion of your co-insurance. Deductibles typically start over at the beginning of the year, but that can vary from plan to plan. Pediatric Therapy claims applied to your deductible are your full responsibility. Your deductible amount may be different based on whether your provider is in-network or out of network with your plan. If a covered claim is applied to your deductible, you would pay the provider for the amount your insurance deems is your responsibility.

An Out-of-Pocket maximum is a pre-determined amount your insurance company deems to be the most you have to pay per year for medical expenses. When you reach this amount, your insurance will begin to start paying your allowed medical expenses at 100% for the remaining portion of the benefit year. 

In and out of Network: Your insurance may provide a smaller deductible and smaller co-insurance portion if you choose to see a provider the insurance company has a contract with. This can be large cost savings for you. For example, if you were to have Pediatric Therapy with an in-network clinic, you may have a $500 deductible, with 90% co-insurance (you owe 10%) and a $2500 out-of-pocket max.  If that treatment is provided at a clinic that is NOT contracted with your insurance, you may see that your deductible is now $1500, and your co-insurance is now 70% (you are responsible for 30%) with a $5000 out-of-pocket max. 

Understanding your insurance benefits can be an overwhelming task. Above all, one of the most important things to know when you make appointments for services, such as Pediatric Therapy, is to ask your insurance company if the clinic is in or out of network with your plan, as you may have a much larger portion that is your responsibility to pay if they are out of network than you had thought. 

BDI Playhouse offers support with understanding your pediatric therapy benefits. Our knowledgeable office team provides information and guidance to streamline and support processes to save your precious family time.

Written by:

Ann Marie Johnson

BDI Playhouse Insurance Billing Specialist and Assistant Office Manager