Jan
23
2014

I like to call it the “quarter-life crisis”. Out of college & in the “real world” for a few years, and suddenly panicking about whether the job you have now – the one you worked so hard in high school and college to land – will lead to a fulfilling and gratifying life-long career.

Studying towards my Masters in Developmental Psych. at Teachers College, Columbia U., I was certain that my passion was to work with children in some capacity, but I found myself at a crossroads, with 2 outstanding career opportunities – a very fortunate “problem” to have! Children’s Media or Speech and Language Therapy? Although they seem like wildly different professions, they are actually quite intertwined.

Exposed to several Language Development & Speech Therapy courses in my program at Teachers College, I decided to explore the SLP profession in the actual field. I was privileged to meet with Speech & Language Therapist, Lauren Turk, M.S., CCC-SLP, who kindly allowed me to shadow a few of her therapy sessions in school settings.

Ranging in ages from 3-16 years, and with a variety of different speech & language disorders, her clients did have 1 important aspect in common: the comforting & motivating environment that Lauren carefully established. It was inspiring to see how a speech therapist can really make an impact on a child to live a better, more fulfilled life.

TherapyfindRThere has been a greater awareness about the importance of early identification of speech, language, swallowing & hearing disorders in young children, but people may not necessarily know who to approach, or how and when to get treatment. Luckily, Lauren Turk has devised a new website, TherapyfindR, which enables parents to search for qualified therapists by zip code. Search results display profiles of therapists with their personal description, credentials & specialty so the family can carefully select the therapist that is right for them. The site is a FREE service to help you find the right therapist for your child’s unique situation and needs.

 

Daniel TigerAs for me, I simply could not leave the children’s media world (Have you seen how cute that Daniel Tiger is??). My work as Associate Producer at Out of the Blue enables me to enrich children’s lives, & particularly their communication skills, in a slightly different way, but I feel that my (brief) exposure to the SLP career has shaped the way I view educational children’s television: While I feel I am able to reach and make an impact on many more kids at once, it is important to keep in mind that each and every child behind the screen has distinctive strengths & weaknesses and comes from a unique family & school environment.

 

Thanks again to Lauren Turk for opening my eyes to the significant field of SLP, and make sure to check out her new site at www.TherapyFindR.com!

 

Alexandra Cassel is Associate Producer at Out of the Blue Enterprises, LLC. She is completing her M.A. in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. Alexandra received her B.A. in Psychology and Media Studies from Colgate University.
Dec
11
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

Esnow1Like everyone these days, not only does this Dad’s plate overfloweth but I haven’t caught a glimpse of the plate in weeks! So when my girls had a snow day yesterday, the old man in me grumbled something about pushing much of my to do list to yet another day.

 

Though my 10 year old couldn’t hold back from getting into her winter gear, she quickly learned that her older sister didn’t share that sentiment.

Needless to say, she was not happy with that..at all.

Esnow2

I’m not sure if my youngest thought the duo’s sleigh riding reign was officially over, but she was certain that she had reached “THE WORST day of her life”.

Esnow3

Far be it from me to allow her to believe such, so on went my ski pants and out the door we flew. Today, my to do list is just as long as it was last week, but I’ve got a ten year old that went to sleep with a big smile on her face.

Calvin & Hobbes illustration by Bill Watterson

 

Nov
13
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Good Use of Media, Stuff We Love

I know, I know. When you blog, 1 of the top Golden SEO Rules of Social Media is DO NOT EVER leave your post.

I left my post..

as it wondered “Where is she?” in my absence.

Nothing scheduled..

no new interactions to be had..

(insert maternal guilt here)

Yes, we’re all busy..but..but

I know. Excuses are like smiles..everyone’s got one.

 

So I’ll spare you the excuses and leave you with a few photos to fill you in on what we’ve been up to over the past month. Ughh! Has it truly been that long?!

Who knows..perhaps we’ll have a lengthier post about one or two of them down the road?

I really am a good friend..no, really.

Daniel Tiger castDaniel Tiger’s Neighborhood cast party in Toronto with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’s Addison Holley (Miss Elania), Jake Beale (Daniel Tiger), Amariah Faulkner (Katerina Kittycat) and Stuart Ralston (O the Owl).

HalloweenHalloween traditions continue with Auntie extraordinaire, Dr Aunt Alice!

DailyShow

The Daily Show‘s Jason Jones and Samantha Bee took time out of their busy schedules to lay down some vocals for us. The best :) :) voice over team in the business! Our incredible Executive Producer, Wendy Harris, is always there to assist.

 

iQSmartParent

I hosted another episode of WQED’s iQ: smart parent (Tots & Tech) which explored current research & practical considerations of exposing children to media during the early childhood years. Our next show will be Nov 19th if you’d like to attend our live taping.

 

Creative Galaxy animatic

Amazon Studio’s Creative Galaxy is becoming more creative every day..

CGip

 ..and it’s oh so scrumptious!!

JoanRogers

Mister Rogers’ wife, Joanne, finally got to meet my hubbie & one of my daughters at The New School’s CREATIVITY & THERAPY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a tribute to Mister Rogers. I was honored to be on their panel that evening.

 

Jason Priestly
..and I essentially became “besties” with this, Jason Priestly, guy. I see potential there.
But honestly..thank you Jason, for getting involved in a project for your kids & for being a fan of my shows.

And thanks again for your patience everyone!

xo

Angela

Sep
26
2013
by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Parenting

robot“I don’t need you anymore Dad.”

Seriously. That’s what my (newly) 10 year old told me yesterday afternoon! I was, according to her, “too busy” when she returned home from school.

Working from home has allowed me to be privy to the overall snapshot of my girls’ school day, the daily dish of drama or, at least, allow me to assist with their quiz/test preparation. But after today, that’s all in the past.

A mere memory of a time long ago.

Apparently vocab review no longer resides within my job description. Surely I get sidetracked and the five or thirty minutes I took to check on some files I had to ftp, was not sufficient grounds to take away some of my parental rights. Or perhaps she too, is on that dark and lonely independent course, journeyed by her older sister. A road that used to be less traveled, in which there’s no need for the big guy to get bogged down in the minutiae of their lives.

I should now assume that their “Don’t worry Dad. I did it. It’s in my bag” is all the interaction necessary when it comes to anything within the confines of academia. I’m okay with that..no, really.Bookbag

 

I walked into the kitchen. Though I presently can’t seem to remember what exactly I was looking for, I saw her there. Doing her work at the kitchen table. I then learned that it wasn’t that I was obsolete, BUT I was being replaced!

Normally that wouldn’t sit well with me, especially since she’s my youngest! But what I saw made me smile.

My daughter had typed her entire list of words and definitions into my iPhone. This, I understood as Siri read each word aloud. My daughter continued to go through the words one at a time, pausing Siri after each word to deliver her answer, only to unpause to check if her answer was correct.

siriI’m not out of the game yet. But when I am, my replacement’s gotta be at least version 9.o!

Sep
23
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Conferences, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, PRESS
adWeek

On Tuesday I have the privilege of speaking at the 10th Annual Ad Week 2013 (Liberty Theater-Time Square).

 

Tara Sorenson

The Amazon Leadership Breakfast: Kidsourcing: Turning Feedback into Great Entertainment panel will be moderated by Amazon Studios Head of Kids Development Tara Sorensen.

 

ALiceThe Amazon Leadership Breakfast will also include Amazon Studios Educational Advisor Dr. Alice Wilder. We’ll be discussing the importance of harnessing feedback from our customers, old & especially young, in our ongoing mission of creating quality media.

 

We’ll be sharing who our two key customers are and not only why our formative research process is so unique in this business, but why we feel it’s integral for us to pay such strict attention to it.

 

While this particular leadership breakfast is by invitation only, I’ll be sure to share the details later this week..I’m good like that :)