Courtney’s Corner: Improving Leg Strength

Continuing my focus on increasing strength and endurance to enable your child with NF1 to participate in sports and other activities, this month I will be taking things from the core down to the ground. If the core is solid, the next place for strengthening to improve balance and agility are the legs. The legs can be […]

Washington University NF Center Summer 2015 Newsletter

Check out the summer 2015 newsletter for some of our most popular research articles, recommendations to improve your child’s ability to participate in sports and other activities, details about upcoming events this summer and more! Some of the highlights in this issue include: Human Skin Cells Help Researchers Understand Learning Problems in NF1 Courtney’s Corner: Improving Strength […]

Courtney’s Corner: Focus on Core Strength to Increase Participation in Activities

Many of the parents I speak with at the NF Clinical Program report similar struggles, “Participating in sports is really difficult for my child; why can’t my child keep up?”  Unfortunately, this question is not easily answered. In the last Courtney’s Corner, I introduced trends we have seen in children with NF1, including decreased strength and […]

Courtney’s Corner: Improving Gross Motor Skills in Children with NF1

“Sports seem really hard for my child.” I often hear this comment from parents in the Washington University NF Center Clinical Program, and each time I feel frustrated that I don’t have a good recommendation to alleviate this concern. After observing the gross motor skills of over 100 children with NF1 in our clinic, I have […]

Courtney’s Corner: Staying Active This Winter

After the excitement of the holidays ends, the winter months can begin to feel somewhat daunting, especially in St. Louis, where the cold weather can last well into March. As my two children spend more time indoors, they become easily aggravated with each other – often fighting over nothing, and I find myself turning to […]

Courtney’s Corner: Holiday Shopping

As the holidays near, I always begin to panic. Not about putting up decorations or hosting a holiday meal, but about having an influx of gifts in the house, which ultimately create more clutter and often go unused. Each year, I try to take a step back and come up with a list of gifts that my […]

Courtney’s Corner: Studying Gait, Balance & Hip Strength in Children with NF1

The kids are back in school, fall sports are in full swing, and Halloween is right around the corner – where does the time go? The last few months have been busy for me because we recently started recruiting patients to participate in a new study. The study was designed to determine whether a relationship […]

Courtney’s Corner: Evaluating Your Child for Orthotics

As a physical therapist, I spend a lot of time looking at feet. I observe children’s feet during walking, running and jumping activities, as well as when they are sitting. I do this to evaluate their arches, strength and range of motion. In general, children are born with very flat and chubby feet, but by […]

Courtney’s Corner: Making Moments Matter

As the school year begins, it can feel as if the pace of life switches to fast forward. Work schedules, school schedules, activities, sports and homework all need to fit in a finite amount of time. If you are also coping with school struggles, whether it is with social interactions, academics, attention or motor skills, […]

Courtney’s Corner: Back to School Shoe Shopping

As the kids head back to school, new shoes often top the shopping list. With the cost of new shoes sometimes reaching upwards of $100, we want to pass on some basics regarding shoe selection from a physical therapist’s perspective. First, shoes for early walkers are primarily for protection. Shoes are not required to learn […]

Courtney’s Corner: Encouraging Physical Activity

As we hear more and more about the importance of activity to combat childhood obesity, we need to encourage our children to remain active. Increasing a child’s activity level can be challenging, especially when competing with video games, iPads, and other on-screen entertainment options. For children with NF1, we have an even greater challenge because […]

Washington University NF Center Summer 2014 Newsletter

Check out our Summer 2014 newsletter! Inside this issue: Governor Nixon and Mayor Slay Proclaim May 2014 NF Awareness Month New Study Uses the Fruit Fly to Understand NF2 Gene Function Courtney’s Corner And More! Check out our previous newsletters as well!

Courtney’s Corner: Age Appropriate Chores for Children

As summer approaches, parents may feel like their time is stretched to the limit between work, having the children home from school and going to and from daily summer activities. With everything going on, it is easy to give your child access to an iPad or the TV as a source of entertainment while you […]

Courtney’s Corner: Promoting Your Child’s Sleep Hygiene

As the sun stays up later and summer nears, bedtimes often become much more difficult to enforce.  Compound this fact with emerging data that children with NF1 display increased rates of poor sleep patterns and you have a recipe for nightly battles and sleepy children. Children are naturally curious and full of energy; however, with […]

Courtney’s Corner: Learning to Ride a Bike

The weather is finally starting to warm up and Spring is right around the corner! That means it’s time to start thinking about outdoor activities like riding bikes. Learning to ride a bike can be challenging for any child, but it might be especially frustrating for children with NF1. Children with NF1 tend to experience […]

Courtney’s Corner: 31 Days of March Motor Madness!

It’s the time of year for March Motor Madness! March is an exciting time at the Washington University NF Center. Each year we play March Motor Madness, a branch of NF physical fitness, with our children. Our game involves having our children complete daily activities that help develop skills that are often delayed in children with NF1. Each […]