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Listening Time — 52:46

Boy and mom play together pushing cars

Dec. 9, 2021: For children with autism, cerebral palsy, or other developmental disabilities, playtime is a vital part of physical therapy. Playing helps children develop fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, and social skills. It also helps them build confidence and independence.

In this episode, bloggers and moms Ellen Seidman and Jennifer Byde Myers discuss raising children with different abilities. They share ways they extend therapy into everyday life at home using toys that encourage movement through fun, not "work."

Physical therapist Joan Bohmert provides further advice. The panel also weighs in with toy buying tips just in time for the holidays.

This “best of” episode first aired in 2012.

Download the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Play, or listen below.

Read more about buying toys for children with special needs .

Jennifer Byde Myers is a writer and editor, and parent of a child with autism. Since 2003, she has been writing at about her family's journey. She is founder and editor of "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 by Autism Women's Network and on the Coffee Klatch. She is a must-read mom and a regular contributor at Dandelion. 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. Once one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Blogs, it's been featured on,, The Huffington Post, and Ellen also writes blogs for and Babble. She's held senior positions at Glamour, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Child, and has done freelance editing 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 executive editor at HGTV Magazine.

Joan Bohmert, PT, MS, is a physical therapist whose practice focuses on pediatrics and neurology. She has worked with pediatric and young adult clients for more than 30 years using patient-centered evidence-based practice in patient management, clinical instruction, and research.

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