Skip to main content

Listening Time — 55:52

For children with special needs, playtime can often be therapy -- helping develop fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, and social skills, not to mention confidence and independence.

In this episode, bloggers and mothers Ellen Seidman and Jennifer Byde Myers discuss their experiences raising children with special needs, including the role of physical therapy in their children's development. Joan Bohmert, PT, MS, provides additional advice, and the panel weighs in with toy buying tips for the holidays.

Download the podcast on iTunes or listen below:

Read more about buying toys for children with special needs.

Joan Bohmert, PT, MS, is a full-time clinician with Anoka-Hennepin School District in Anoka, Minnesota, with a focus on pediatrics and neurology. She has worked with pediatric and young adult clients for more than 25 years incorporating the concepts of patient-centered evidence-based practice into patient management, clinical instruction, and clinical research. She also is an adjunct faculty member for the University of Minnesota, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

Jennifer Byde Myers is a writer and editor, and the parent of an autistic child. She has been writing since 2003 at, chronicling her family's journey from diagnosis to daily living with her son's special needs. She is a founder and editor of The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. Her writing has been featured at, Autism Speaks,, and in several books including My Baby Rides the Short Bus. Jennifer has been interviewed on NPR, on Forum with Michael Krasny, by Autism Women's Network, and on the Coffee Klatch. She is a Must-Read Mom and a regular contributor at Dandelion. She lives on the San Francisco peninsula with her supportive husband, two wily children, and a dog named Gus. Follow her on Twitter at @jennyalice.

Ellen Seidman is a blogger, magazine editor and writer, and proud mom of two. She writes Love that Max, an award-winning blog about kids with special needs who kick butt. One of Babble's Top 100 Mom Blogs, it's been featured on,, The Huffington Post and Ellen also writes blogs for and Babble. A magazine editor by day, she's held senior positions at Glamour, Redbook, Good Housekeeping and Child and freelance-edited for SELF, American Baby, People StyleWatch and Martha Stewart Living. She also consults with sites on content, including Disney's BabyZone,, and Her writing has appeared in Real Simple, Good Housekeeping and Redbook. She's currently at Health magazine. In her spare time, she likes to breathe.

Is this content helpful?

Thanks for the feedback!

Thank you. Your feedback has been sent.

You Might Also Like...


Toys and Tips for Raising Children With Developmental Disabilities

Dec 9, 2021

Play is a vital part of physical therapy for children with autism, cerebral palsy, or other developmental disabilities. Two moms and bloggers discuss raising


Alzheimer’s Disease: Physical Therapy’s Role in Preserving Physical Function

Nov 11, 2021

Many of us have seen the sad, steady march of Alzheimer’s disease in friends or loved ones. Can people with advancing dementia benefit from physical therapy


Paralympic Swimmer Alyssa Gialamas Sheds Light on Living With a Disability

Sep 2, 2021

Paralympic swimmer Alyssa Gialamas may have seemed unlikely to become a world-class athlete when she was born with arthrogryposis that causes affected