Words of Inspiration:
It takes rare gifts, talents and rare personalities to be real pathfinders in this work. There are no royal roads. It is all a problem of being true to ones natures and opportunities. And to teach others to do the same with themselves. -Adolf Meyer, OTR/L     I will walk the road however hard it is, because only on the road can you see that yesterday lies behind you and tomorrow waits on the path ahead. The road measures life in distance. The further you travel, the longer you live. -Ma Jian     It is not the way you fall, it's how you get up. -Michele Kwan     It takes courage to show your dreams to someone else. -Erma Bombeck     Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it turned into a butterfly. -Anonymous     Thank you to all my friends. -Christina Bellini-Zaher
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News Articles and Press Clips

The Momo Challenge: A Terrifying New Internet Trend

March 2019

Over the past few weeks, you may have heard your children and their friends whispering about a creature called “Momo.” What started out as a harmless, yet unsettling, sculpture in a Tokyo art gallery has now evolved into a sinister game that all parents and guardians should be aware of. Read more »


Back to School Newsletter 2018

Welcome to the Therapy Center for Children Summer 2018 E-Newsletter! In this issue:
- Wednesday, September 26 is National School Backpack Awareness Day!
- Preparing for School and Relieving School Anxiety
- Ways to Prepare for School

Read newsletter »


Tummy Time and Handwriting

March 2018

Did you know that, after to sleeping and eating, tummy time is perhaps the most important activity in which your newborn can participate? What many parents don't realize is, in order to have refined control of their hands, children must also have good control of the larger muscle groups (torso and shoulders). This is best accomplished through Tummy Time activities, which help children develop head control, spinal musculature, arm strength and sensory development. It has also been proven to reduce the chance of SIDS. These physical abilities are important for the achievement of the many developmental milestones that are to come in the next months. Read more »


Wintertime Memories

January 2013

When I think of winter, some of the best memories of holidays and sleighing with my kids come to mind, as it is a great time of year for snowball fights, making snowmen and cuddling by the fire with hot chocolate! However, along with those memories are the cute little runny noses my kids have, which may at times feel like they will last all winter long. Getting sick can’t always be avoided, but here are a few things you can do to help lessen the spread of germs and make your winter season more enjoyable. Read more »


Therapy Center for Children, LLC Offers Tips for Celebrating the Holidays with Your Child

December 2012

The holidays are all about being with family and enjoying the festivities, but the holidays can also be a very stressful and busy time of year as well. This can be very difficult for any child. To alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with the holidays, The Therapy Center for Children, LLC offers the following tips: Read more »


Children with Visual Impairments

November 2012

For many children, vision is their primary mode for learning about and exploring the world around them. If a child has limited or no vision, you can help them use other modes such as listening, exploring with their hands and using their senses of smell and taste. Read more »


Child Development & Toys

October 2012

There are many toys and games that can help your child with their development. Here, we express some ways your child can develop and also tell you about a great toy that can be used with children. Read more »


Picky Eaters vs. Feeding Problems

May 2012

As a parent, having your child getting nutrients and eating is a crucial part of their lives. A lot of children are picky eaters and that can be very difficult to deal with. It can be very emotional for a parent when their child isn’t eating their food. If you add a child that has special needs to that, mealtime can be overwhelming. Some children do have feeding problems and this should not be confused with them being a picky eater. Most children with feeding problems start as newborns. Read more »


Transferring to Preschool-Related Services

April 2012

If your child is between the ages of three and five years of age and you currently have concerns for the way they speak or use their words to communicate, walk, jump, climb, navigate the playground, hold their crayons, complete puzzles, or socialize with their peers, then this article can help! Read more »


Bullying: Know the Facts!

January 2012

Most people would be surprised to learn that bullying can start as early as preschool. Sadly, teasing is a part of growing up. Hopefully, it is in good fun with family and friends for the most part, but words can cause pain in any circumstance. Read more »


Therapy Center for Children Offers Tips to Make the School Year FUN and SUCCESSFUL

October 2011

Going back to school can be a stressful time for any child, parent, and teacher. Therapy Center for Children, LLC is offering parents tips to help make their child’s return back to school — and the rest of the school year — more enjoyable and fun. Read more »


Beach Time Fun for the "Out of Sync" Child

Summer 2011

The “out of sync” child may appear
• Over sensitive to sensation such as touch, movement, sight, or sound.
• Under responsive to touch, movement, sight, or sound. Read more »


Therapy Center for Children Presents “Praxis: Evaluation and Treatment of the Clumsy Child”

February 2011

On February 25-26, The Therapy Center for Children, LLC will present “Praxis: Evaluation and Treatment of the Clumsy Child.” The two-day conference will be held at the Holiday Inn, 3845 Veterans Memorial Highway, Ronkonkoma. Read more »


Helpful Tools to Prevent a Cold for Your Child

February 2011

The winter can be a great time of year for children and families. Between the holidays, snowball fights, sledding, making snowmen and winter break, it’s hard to slow down and realize that this is the season when most people, especially children, are exposed to cold and flu germs. Getting sick can’t always be avoided, but here are a few things you can do to help lessen the spread of germs to make your winter season more enjoyable. Read more »


Tummy Time: The Merits of Putting Baby on His Belly

January 2011 | Parent Guide | Melissa Silvestro, OTR/L

With feedings, dirty diaper changes, getting babies dressed and soothing their discomforts, parents are busy people. But what some parents fear, or might forget about, is giving their newborns tummy time. Read more »


Tips for Celebrating the Holidays with Your Child

December 2010

The holidays are all about being with family and enjoying the festivities, but the holidays can also be a very stressful and busy time of year as well. This can be very difficult for any child, especially for a child with special needs. Parents may find the following tips helpful for yourself and your child. Here are some tips for celebrating the holidays with your child... Read more »

Newsday.com Article: Parental Guidance: Keep Holidays Stress-Free »

Pennysaver Article: Celebrating the Holidays with Your Child »


Backpack Awareness is Important to Preventing Injuries

September 2010

On Wednesday, September 15, occupational therapists nationwide will participate in National School Backpack Awareness Day. Studies cited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) show that six out of 10 students 9-20 years of age reported backpack-related back pain. Read more »


Preparing for School and Relieving School Anxiety

August 2010

School is the beginning of an amazing adventure of learning and discovery, the first step on your child’s educational journey. To help make the transition as easy as possible, take some steps ahead of time to prepare your child. Many children experience anxiety about starting pre-school and kindergarten, and it’s mainly because they aren’t quite sure what it’s all about. Read more »


Ways to prepare for School

August 2010

Play “school”: Playing “school” is a great way to help your child understand how school works and what will go on while she is there. Try to cover small details as well, such as having her hanging up her coat and backpack. Read more »


New Guidelines Seek to Reduce Repeat Caesareans

July 22, 2010

Most women who have had Caesarean sections can safely give birth the normal way later, studies have shown, but in recent years hospitals, doctors and insurers have been refusing to let them even try, insisting on repeat Caesareans instead. The guidelines aim to help women who had Caesarean sections find doctors willing to allow vaginal births.
Read more »


People with Asperger's less likely to see purpose behind the events in their lives

May 29, 2010

Why do we often attribute events in our lives to a higher power or supernatural force? Some psychologists believe this kind of thinking, called teleological thinking, is a byproduct of social cognition.
Read more »


Delaying or Forgoing Childhood Vaccines Offers No Neuropsychological Benefit Down the Road

May 27, 2010

Delaying childhood vaccinations, or not getting immunized at all, does not provide any neuropsychological benefits for children at 7 to 10 years of age and might even result in poorer outcomes on some measures, a new study suggests.
Read more »


Speech Pitch More Variable in Autistic Children Than Typical Children

May 27, 2010

Contrary to a common impression of monotonic speech in autism, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were found to have a significantly greater variability in pitch compared with controls, according to a study presented here at the 9th Annual International Meeting for Autism Research. Thus, increased pitch variability may be a marker for ASD among children who can speak.
Read more »


Urgent Continued Action Needed - The Legislature has Come Up with its Own Deficit Reduction Package (DRP) - Governor Paterson Says Cuts are Still Not Enough

December 1, 2009

Governor Paterson issued a press release yesterday in which he has stated that Legislature's Deficit Reduction Package of $2.8 Billion is insufficient. The Governor is trying to exercise his authority and is battling with the Legislature.
Read more »


Early Intervention For Toddlers With Autism Highly Effective, Study Finds

November 30, 2009

A novel early intervention program for very young children with autism – some as young as 18 months – is effective for improving IQ, language ability, and social interaction, a comprehensive new study has found.
Read more »


With Autism, Diet Restrictions May Do More Harm Than Good

July 27, 2009

Children with autism do not have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal problems than other children, a new study has found. However, autistic children do have a higher rate of constipation and eating issues, such as eating the same foods over and over, according to the study. But any number of factors, including medication, could cause these issues, the researchers said.
Read more »


New Genetic Study of Asperger Syndrome, Autistic Traits and Empathy

July 17, 2009

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have identified 27 genes that are associated with either Asperger Syndrome (AS) and/or autistic traits and/or empathy. The research will be published tomorrow in the journal Autism Research. This is the first candidate gene study of its kind.
Read more »


Autistic Disorder: Early Interventions Can Improve Outcomes

July 15, 2009

All children should be screened for signs of abnormal development at ages 18 months and 24 months. Studies have shown that early diagnosis of AD and appropriate intervention can significantly improve outcomes. In addition, early intervention allows for a more indepth investigation and preconception counseling regarding the risk for AD in future pregnancies.
Read more (PDF) »
Read more »


The Stress of Autism

July 14, 2009

Raising a child with any developmental disability or behavior problem is difficult. But is there something uniquely stressful about autism? That is the question researchers at the University of Washington Autism Center tried to answer in a study of mothers of children with developmental disabilities. I spoke with Annette Estes, associate director of the center, about the research and how it might make a difference for parents of children with autism. Here’s our conversation.
Read more »


PEERS Autism Program: Child-To-Teen Transition

January 26, 2009

One in 150 children born in the United States has autism. What happens when all these children grow up to be teenagers? A unique program here in Southern California helps them adjust to life in middle school and beyond. The teenage years are when kids start to form their own social circles and learn to become independent. This class focuses on coping and making life richer for high functioning autistic teens and their families during this crucial time.
Read more »


Law on Flu Vaccinations May Be Tested

January 2, 2009

The state’s new law requiring young children attending licensed pre-school and child care centers to get flu vaccinations will be tested this week when thousands of children return to classrooms and playrooms after the long holiday break. New Jersey, the first state in the nation to require flu shots for young schoolchildren, set a Dec. 31 deadline for parents to obtain flu vaccinations for their children. It was part of a new policy requiring a total of four additional immunizations for schoolchildren over the objections of some parents who worry about possible risks from vaccinations.
Read more »


Coping With An Autistic Brother: A Teenager's Take

January 1, 2009

Each year, approximately one child in every 150 is diagnosed with autism. Eleven-year-old Andrew Skillings is one of those children. He has Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism. For Andrew's older sister Marissa, her brother's diagnosis has affected every aspect of her life from the time he was born. She was almost 5 and shared a room with Andrew. Marissa says she remembers those first few weeks he was home.
Read more »


Obama's Education Pick Failed Special Education

December 22, 2008

On December 16, 2008, President Elect Obama introduced Arne Duncan, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, as the Secretary of Education designate. Locally, and nationwide, Duncan has earned a reputation as a school reformer in the area of general education.
Read more »


DDI Shines A Light On Issues Facing The Adult Population With Autism

December 17, 2008

Following up on the success of last year’s conference, the Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) collaborated once again with two other leading Long Island-Metro based agencies dedicated to serving individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, Eden II Programs and Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism (NSSA), to present a groundbreaking conference that educated nearly 300 attendees to the intrinsic issues of a population growing older with autism.
Read more »


10 Common Sense Tips When Vaccinating Your Child

While vaccines are essential to our children's health, our vaccine schedule is unfortunately compromised. There has been little to no testing on what kind of affects our current government suggested schedule has on children.
Read more (PDF) »


Autism Speaks Announces New International Research Collaboration

September 25, 2008

Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization, today announced a new international collaboration to study Rett Syndrome. In partnership with the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) and the newly formed Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT), the group will build on previous studies to explore the correlation of Rett symptoms to specific brain regions.
Read more »


Post-marketing studies finding adverse events in drugs used in children

September 2008

The Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA, 1997), designed to stimulate more drug safety studies in children, has resulted in more than 130 label changes since its inception nearly six years ago, according to researchers at Duke Children's Hospital. Pharmaceutical companies were given a six-month extension of their exclusive marketing rights on a drug if they performed clinical trials requested by the FDA to determine the drugs' safety, dosing, and efficacy in children.
Read more »


Inaugural Issue of Autism Matters

Spring/Summer 2008

I am pleased to provide you with a copy of the YAI/NIPD Network's inaugural issue of Autism Matters. At a time when ASD has reached epidemic proportions and many families and professionals find themselves searching for information and guidance, we hope that you will find Autism Matters a useful and unique resource.
Download Issue of Autism Matters (PDF) »


California Data Do Not Support a Link Between Thimerosal in Vaccines and Autism

August 7, 2008

The authors' hypothesis was that if thimerosal were a contributor to ASD then children born and vaccinated after 2002 should have decreased rates of ASD diagnosis, and this would be reflected in decreased numbers of referrals (ie, decreased prevalence) to California DDS.
The authors did not find a dip in referral rates; their data did not reflect a change in ASD prevalence. In fact, the prevalence of ASD was increasing before 1991 and continued on roughly the same slope throughout the 1990s and 2000s, regardless of age group evaluated.
Read more »


Autism and culture

August 5, 2008

Immigrants often feel caught between two worlds after a diagnosis
Learning your child has autism is hard for any parent -- especially if you're an immigrant adjusting to a new medical culture in the U.S., while fighting prejudices back home that your child might be cursed. Mariame Boujlil, a native of Morocco who now lives in Charlotte, struggled with that three years ago when her son Zachary, then 2, was diagnosed with autism. In Morocco, talking about autism is taboo, she said. She knew she couldn't ignore the problem as people in her home country do. But she didn't trust the American approach that often calls for prescription drugs.
Read more »


Measles -- United States, January 1-April 25, 2008

August 4, 2008

Measles, a highly contagious acute viral disease, can result in serious complications and death. As a result of a successful U.S. vaccination program, measles elimination (i.e., interruption of endemic measles transmission) was declared in the United States in 2000.[1] The number of reported measles cases has declined from 763,094 in 1958 to fewer than 150 cases reported per year since 1997.[1] During 2000-2007,* a total of 29-116 measles cases (mean: 62, median: 56) were reported annually. However, during January 1-April 25, 2008, a total of 64 confirmed measles cases were preliminarily reported to CDC, the most reported by this date for any year since 2001.
Read more »


District Shakeup May Fail Special-Ed Kids

August 3, 2008

Officials are planning an overhaul of the district that serves more than 20,000 of the city's most disabled students - a move that could put many more special-ed kids in regular classrooms. The effort stems from an independent report that proposes ending the decades-long segregation of District 75 by merging its data, funding and oversight and, especially, more of its students with those of the 32 traditional community school districts.
Read more »


Flying Can Be a Rough Ride for Autistic Children and Families

July 25, 2008

With heightened security regulations and frequent delays, airplane travel can be an unpleasant ordeal for anyone. For a child who becomes anxious in close quarters, may have trouble communicating and is sensitive to loud noises, it can be terrifying. Those are common characteristics of autism, a developmental disability that affects about one in every 150 American children and one in every 94 boys, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read more »


A Master's in Self-Help

April 20, 2008

LAURIE DUDDY thought she was on top of things when her toddlers, Tommy and Alex, were diagnosed with severe autism. She knew that early, intensive therapy was the twins’ best hope of learning simple skills, acquiring language and mastering out-of-control behavior. So at great financial sacrifice, she hired certified therapists to work with them privately for 40 hours a week using applied behavioral analysis (A.B.A.), the therapy of choice for the growing ranks of children with autism. She moved from district to district, seeking the best educational services when they reached school age, and eventually joined a group of parents in starting a private school of their own that would offer state-of-the-art behavioral treatments.
Read more »


Training People with Autism to Recognize Faces

April 18, 2008

Researchers might have gained insight into why people with autism have difficulty remembering faces and distinguishing facial emotion. In an ongoing study, Dr. Nim Tottenham, assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, is examining how normal and autistic brains behave when viewing a face.
Read more »


The Next Attention Deficit Disorder?

December 2007

With a teacher for a mom and a physician's assistant for a dad, Matthew North had two experts on the case from birth, but his problems baffled them both. "Everything was hard for Matthew," says Theresa North, of Highland Ranch, Colo. He didn't speak until he was 3. In school, he'd hide under a desk to escape noise and activity. He couldn't coordinate his limbs well enough to catch a big beach ball.
Read more »


Therapy Center for Children - Early Intervention and More

December 2007

Christina Bellini-Zaher is the owner and founder of The Therapy Center. She has been privileged to work directly with many of these exceptional providers and has great confidence in both their practical as well as interpersonal skills.
Read more (PDF) »


Bearded Man in Red Looks Scary

December 17, 2007

I want my daughter to enjoy a visit to Santa, but when I take her to the mall to sit on Santa's lap, she is petrified. She hides behind me and doesn't want to tell Santa what she wants for Christmas. How can I make this fun for her?
Read more (PDF) »


Levy, Suozzi press for preschool aid

December 8, 2007

Long Island's two county executives joined others in urging the state to assume the full cost of preschool programs for disabled children, which threaten to hike property taxes next year because of a slowdown in sales-tax collections and other revenue.
Read more (PDF) »



Meet TCC - Read Staff Bios

About Therapy Center for Children

Founded by Christina Bellini-Zaher, MS, OTR/L, The Therapy Center for Children is a "placement agency" composed of licensed and experienced pediatric physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and special educators.

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Testimonials - What TCC Clients are Saying

Therapy Center Testimonials

By far the most happiest & proudest mother in the world!! From holding his straw cups to rolling about on the floor & now holding up a stand for several seconds! Although there is a long & rough journey ahead to come, I know only the best could come out of him...

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