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By : A.E. Hart, 01-11-2017
The Westchester Therapy Center Changing Lives

Sensory Stepping Stones, an occupational therapy center in Mount Kisco, New York, help individuals and families reach their full potential by offering a variety of traditional and innovative treatment programs. Click here to learn more. 

The Westchester Therapy Center Changing Lives

In a room at the Sensory Stepping Stones center in Mount Kisco, New York, a group of students are working together to train a therapy dog. Together, the students have to figure out how to teach the dog certain tasks and in doing so, they themselves have to figure out how to work as a group, communicate with one another, plan, and develop interpersonal relationships. This is one small program among many which help special needs students learn at the Sensory Stepping Stones center, where a holistic approach to treatment is the main focus instead of medication, and the environment avoids feeling or looking like a traditional school.

 School Teacher

The alternative programs offered by the Sensory Stepping Stones center help those with attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), nonverbal learning disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brain injuries, developmental delays, executive functioning delays, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and many other similar disorders through a variety of programs specifically designed for a student’s maximum benefit.

Sensory Stepping Stones' programs are often used for children in grades preK through high school, but they can also be used with adults. According to Executive Director Melissa Bianchini, a former social worker who founded the business in 2011, the center has treated people from age three to ninety-three.

“At the end of the day, it’s about getting a person to a better place,” Bianchini says.

 Testimonials on the website from previous clients attest to this success.

The Sensory Learningsm Program has been informational. As a school psychologist by trade it has made me much more aware of the importance of the dominant ear & how important it is to know what ACTUAL information is sent to the brain. The first notable difference was my son’s ability to carry a tune. He has been much more aware of other’s feelings and spontaneously saying ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’. These things did not come easy to him,” writes the parent of an eight-year-old with sensory processing issues.

 “After the Sensory Learningsm Program I have noticed that my daughter takes notice of more of her surroundings (larger field of vision). She is also much more inquisitive about people and places. She is using more sentence structure and engaging in more conversation. She is able to communicate her feelings more,” comments the parent of a six-year-old child with developmental delays.

 “The Sensory Learningsm Program has changed my life for the better. I’ve been given the opportunity to be a better person and follow through on the goals I’ve set. Before this program, every and any interruption prevented me from getting through daily tasks and clouded my better judgment. This would drain me mentally and physically. It is amazing having a second chance to a better life. Sensory Stepping Stones has allowed me to have this, drug-free. I am forever grateful!” adds a thirty-eight year old with ADHD and anxiety.

Stationery

Bianchini’s background in psychology, neuroscience, anatomy and physiology got her interested in  neurological processing and sensory integration, which in turn found her working as the Educational Director at a sensory integration clinic in Arizona, before moving to New York to open one of just thirty such centers in New England.

 “I wanted to be hands on,” she explains. Her strong background in brain processing lead her to starting post graduate work at Arizona State University in neuroscience, anatomy and physiology, but she found her calling working with people.

“The brain interested me, but helping people interested me even more,” she says. “If there’s a problem, there has to be more than one solution.”

With a staff of trained professionals including social work and occupational therapy (OT) services, graduate level assistants, and between four and five undergraduate and graduate students, the Sensory Stepping Stones center is able to address many issues traditional school programs can’t, and all of its programs are backed up with clinical studies showing their effectiveness.

 “We expect everyone to just ‘get it’ and it just doesn’t work that way,” Bianchini explains.

 By using a variety of components specifically aimed at a student’s needs, the student learns how to improve him or herself. There is no other program like it in the New England area. “When we work the program, we really try to push the neuroplasticity of the brain for noticeable changes,” Bianchini explains.

Those solutions can be found in the variety of holistic programs, which do not focus on medication, offered by the Sensory Stepping Stones center, including:

  • Sensory LearningSM, an intensive multi-modal intervention addressing auditory, visual, and movement issues in students with conditions including dysfunctional sensory integration, sensitivities to light, sound or motion, delays in motor skills, irregular sleep/activity patterns and sensory processing issues. The program does require some inpatient training and has different plans for adolescents and adults. 
  • Interactive Metronome, which uses game-like programs designed to use helps students with conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism, auditory processing disorders, and reading disorders increase their ability to focus and control impulsivity and aggression. Participants learn to filter out visual and auditory distractions and increase body awareness and mental focus. 
  • Cognitive/Memory Training, used to improve skills including attention, reasoning, memory, self-esteem, listening skills, eye-hand coordination, impulse control, and quick processing speed. This type of training is aimed at students who have cognitive impairments including, but not limited to, ADHD/ADD, brain injuries, psychological disorders, learning delays, and schizophrenia. 
  • Neuro/Bio/Educational Feedback, used to improve focus, attention, academic performance, social interaction, and behaviors like hyperactivity and and ADHD with both peers and family. 
  • Reading Development utilizing both phonics and reading comprehension presented in a hierarchal structure that addresses different issues as the student gains mastery. 
  • Peak Performance Training, aimed at athletes. According to the website, “When participating in the Peak Performance Training program, the individual can receive a complete and specifically designed training program encompassing visual tracking, sport specific balance/coordination, sensorimotor integration, mental and muscular endurance and neuropsychological functioning.”

Child using tablet (Stock photo)

Additional therapies offered include: 

  • Clinical Canine Intervention, described above. When the therapy dog, provided and overseen by Heidi Bonorato, founder of Giving Retriever, LLC, is trained, the dog goes to a family whose members have impairments or physical disabilities. 
  • Speech, language and feeding/swallowing disorders treated by Speech and language therapist Laura R. Bacon, M.S., CCC-SLP. 
  • Social skills and processing groups using small groups of three to eight children at a time to target behaviors including taking turns, cooperation, communicating effectively, problem solving, awareness of personal space, active listening and conversational skills, understanding other’s emotions, understanding one’s own emotions, conflict resolution, anger management, and dealing with teasing and bullying. 
  • Parent support groups and programs give parents the support and information they need to understand their child and his or her issues. One support group includes a therapy dog. The Sensory Stepping Stones center also offers free monthly informational meetings for parents. These meetings are run by specialists or center staff. 
  • Timocco, “a cutting-edge virtual motion gaming system that accelerates the development of motor and cognitive skills including bi-lateral coordination, crossing the midline, hand-eye coordination, attention, posture, visual discrimination, early learning, communication, short-term memory and teamwork skills.” 
  • The Listening Program, an at-home program using sound stimulation auditory training to improve active listening and auditory perception for those with auditory processing issues. 

Smiling young girl

Diet is another important aspect of the programs at Sensory Stepping Stones center. Bianchini explains, “We work with nutritionists and other specialists. What we put in us affects our reactions.” She encourages parents to make healthier choices, and if they need additional help, directs them to additional resources.

The center’s Pinterest has boards for sensory room ideas, food, kid’s activities, parenting tips, books, and tools and toys for kids. Their Twitter feed provides encouraging messages and informational links.

In addition to Bianchini, Bonorato, and Bacon, the Sensory Stepping Stones staff includes Audrey Curley, a licensed and registered pediatric occupational therapist; and Irvine, a Golden Retriever therapeutic dog that knows over ninety different skills to help the disabled. Irvine had previously worked with the Wounded Warriors in the Service Dog Training Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The most common question Bianchini gets from potential clients and parents is about the research behind the range of different programs used by Sensory Stepping Stones. When clients and parents meet with Bianchini, she provides them with packets documenting the research. “I want them to get comfortable with the research and the facility,” she explains. There are also links to the programs used on the website.

The most rewarding part of starting and running Sensory Stepping Stones is, “When a family member comes back and is now excelling in school and sports when they couldn’t before,” Bianchini says.

The center is a private, fee-for-service business, which means they are unable to work regularly with local schools. They depend on word of mouth to attract new clients, and sometimes a leap of faith from potential clients not familiar with the center’s holistic practices.

Tim Fitzgibbons, who has a son with sensory issues and step-son with special needs, said, “I would recommend it, depending on what (parents) have already tried and what they can afford and the other circumstances in their lives.”

He added, “There’s certainly many ways to reach kids who are in the areas they're interested in and (the center is) one of of them. I don’t know if that would work for everyone, but it might work for some people.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Sensory Stepping Stones, please contact them directly. You can reach them on (914)-244-4101 or by emailing info@sensorysteppingstones.com.  They pride themselves on getting back to you within twenty-four hours and will do a complete assessment to find out which programs will benefit you or your family member best.

Looking for another type of business? Try posting a free request on EZBZ for what you need and where you need it, and we'll get you quotes from providers in your area. Try it out today at myezbz.com.

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By : Michael Whitehouse, 12-30-2016
Why Can

A question I get quite often is "Why do I need EZBZ? Can't I just use Google?" Most people do not realize that they spend nearly a week out of every year looking for businesses to provide the products and services that they need. That's right, you can spend 3 hours looking to fill a single need, and if you find you have a need every week, then you're looking at 156 hours a year. A week is 168 hours.

What would it mean to you to have an extra week of free time every year?

Why Can

A question I get quite often is "Why do I need EZBZ? Can't I just use Google?" Most people do not realize that they spend nearly a week out of every year looking for businesses to provide the products and services that they need. That's right, you can spend 3 hours looking to fill a single need, and if you find you have a need every week, then you're looking at 156 hours a year. A week is 168 hours.

What would it mean to you to have an extra week of free time every year?

OK, so how does it work? Let’s consider a few different industries that you might be searching in, because EZBZ is a highly versatile platform. You can find almost anything on EZBZ, but we’re going to talk specifically about home improvement and finding a car.

Although we are focusing on these two areas, EZBZ can be a powerful tool to help you save time finding any number of things from business services like printing, web design, and professionals to personal services like massage therapy, magicians, and movers.

Home Improvement

When we first talk to people about EZBZ, they often think about home improvement services because there are a few other web sites that are dedicated those specific searches.

If you are looking for a general contractor without EZBZ, you have three options. You could use Google or some other general search tool like Yellow Pages; you could use a home improvement services site; or you could ask your friends.

Google

Google is a great service. You can find any information that you want there. Airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? Answer in seconds. Why is the sky blue? It can answer that with ease.

But what if you need a contractor? You can ask Google, and it will give you an answer. It looks like this:

Google response to contractor search

Business name. category, phone number, what town their office is in. All good stuff, but you don’t have a contractor. You have a list of contractors who you can now begin to call. Your three hours begins now. You start calling, maybe you get someone who can help you. More likely, you get someone who can take a message and have the foreman or sales manager or whoever get back to you. Or, maybe you just get an answering machine. Alternatively, you can visit their web site and fill out the contact forms. I’m sure that you’ve seen the forms I’m talking about. If you have ever tried to get quotes for a major project like this, you probably still see these forms in your dreams.

Contact form

When I was looking for the screen shot for this blog, it actually took my 5 minutes just to find a contact form that I could use. You fill out the contact form with your information, sharing your name, contact information, maybe address, and the nature of the job. You pass the test at the bottom to prove that you are a human and not a robot, and you hit send.

Your data zooms off at the speed of light to their server, and instantly, faster than the blink of an eye, one very important thing happens. Your email address is immediately added to their customer newsletter list. You will now start to receive emails and newsletters from this business. You may or may not receive a quote, but you will definitely get their emails.

Fill out 10 contact forms? Now you are on 10 email lists.
You are now on all the email lists

And after all this, you haven’t gotten a quote yet. You’ve spent time on the phone, spent time on web sites, and spent time unsubscribing from newsletters, but still have not found what you are looking for.

Home Improvement Sites

But there’s an alternative. There are web sites that are built just for your need. They can help, right? Absolutely! They can help to make sure that your phone number, email address, and home address get to a dozen or so firms with large enough marketing budgets to pay them for your contact information. Most of these services follow a pay to play model. The business pays for leads or for a subscription service. Most are paying between $25 and $75 per lead. This means that the service is selling your contact information to these companies for an average of $60, and they will sell it to as many companies as they can. That’s their business model.

Of course, if a business pays $60 for your phone number, they’re going to call you. All 10 of the businesses that buy your number will definitely want to call you, and they will want to keep calling because they spent a lot of money to get your number.

Everyone will call you. Forever.

Are you getting calls from the best companies for your job? Maybe. Remember that the selection process is that you are connected with the businesses willing to pay the price of admission to get your number. That’s the qualification. Most of these services do have some kind of vetting process, but that generally means that they have checked to make sure the business has proper insurance and licensing and that their credit card clears the charges for their subscription.

Remember, now, that the businesses paid about $60 to get your number and email. Think you’re going on their email list? You bet you are. Think they’ll hold onto that phone number to give you a call next year and the year after to see if you might need anything else? It’s quite possible.

Friend Recommendations

You could ask your friends. The average person knows 250 people, and a few of them probably know a business that you are looking for. Thanks to Facebook and social media, it’s easier than ever. You can post to Facebook what you are looking for and you will probably get some responses.

But, where do those responses come from.

Your friend from high school that you haven’t seen in 7 years refers a contractor, who just so happens to be owned by her brother-in-law.

Your co-worker’s cousin suggests a business owned by a guy that she met at a party last year. She hasn’t actually worked with them, but she thinks she has a friend who did and is pretty sure he was happy with them.

Your former neighbor who moved away last year suggests a place that was good. Or he thinks it was good. It might have been the other one who was good? Who can remember.

Recommendations from friends feel good because they have a personal connection, but you know how much attention you spend when you are on social media. You shoot off whatever is at the top of your mind, and you move on. And even when you do have the recommendations, you are not in touch with the business. You just have a link to their web site, or maybe a phone number. Now the process of calls and contact forms begins. You’re not busy for the next three hours, are you?

EZBZ

How is EZBZ different? The first step of the process is just as simple as a Google search. You just type what you need into the concierge box that you find at www.myezbz.com. You can even upload an image of what you are looking for if needed.

One easy online request

EZBZ then sends out your request, along with your town and first name, to all the businesses that serve your area that might be able to help you. No pay to play here. Every business in the area gets to see your request. That means that depending on your location and the nature of the request, it could be sent to over 500 businesses, giving you the best possible chance to find the right business for you.

If a company feels that they are a match for the job, they can reply by paying between $1 and $3. That’s not a typo. We only charge them one to three dollars to respond. This lets them respond through the EZBZ system. The business does not get your contact information until you decide to give it to them. No email lists. No endless phone calls. Just a message through the EZBZ messaging system, which you’ll be notified of by text or email or by app notification.

For simpler jobs, that first message can include a quote. For something more complex, like building an expansion on your house, they’ll probably have to come out and give an estimate, but either way, you are much further along in the process, and all you had to do was type what you need into the concierge box.

When you get responses, the response will show the company’s information as well as reviews aggregated from 9 web sites, plus reviews posted on EZBZ. Users can also vouch for businesses, a system which is linked to their Facebook account, so no anonymous vouching. Only real people, and very soon we will add the functionality to be able to show you businesses that your friends have vouched for, giving you that personal connection.

As you can see, it’s a lot easier to type a request once than to have to make dozens of phone calls.

Car Shopping

I talked about what happens when your contact information gets into the hands of businesses around town in terms of home improvement, but controlling your information is much more important when car shopping.

I sold cars for a number of years when I was younger, and I learned two very important things. First, most people are not looking for a specific car like a 2012 Honda Civic LX with 22,000 miles. They are looking for a car under 4 years old, with less than 25,000 miles and more than 30 MPG for less than $12,000. Second, once a car dealership gets their hands on your email and phone number, they will reach out to you until they receive notarized confirmation of your death, and maybe they’ll still call a couple more times.

I don’t blame car dealerships for being tenacious. It’s a difficult and highly competitive business, and those leads cost money.

Most of the car search sites give you the ability to specify exactly what you are looking for, right down to colors and accessories. This lets the dealership know exactly what kind of car to tell you they just sold yesterday before they sell you the car that is in stock right now.

You don't always walk out with what you walked in to find

When you spec out that car, the site will ask you for your contact information. Phone, email, address, and all the rest. They will then take this contact information and the kind of vehicle you are looking for and sell it to every car dealership in town who is willing to pay for it. Usually between $20 and $40 per lead. The email goes onto the email list, and the phone number goes to the Business Development Center, or Internet sales guy.

They will get in touch, you will buy a car from someone.

A year later, your number is floating around at about a dozen dealerships. Maybe it’s a little slow on a quiet Tuesday in June at Larry Motors, and the sales manager wants to get some action going, so he prints out a list of old leads and distributes it to the sales people. Larry Motors didn’t have the car you were looking for last year, and they certainly don’t now, but that’s not going to stop them from calling and seeing if you might have a need now.

If you thought an elephant never forgot, you will learn that the elephant has nothing on the car dealership contact database.

EZBZ

How is EZBZ different? Just like the car web sites, it lets you specify the kind of car you want. Like the car sites, it sends your requests out to many dealerships.

Unlike the car web sites, it sends your request to every dealership in your area to find a match. Most importantly, unlike the car web sites, EZBZ does not give your contact information to anyone unless you want to. You may choose to give your number to one or two who seem promising, or you might just call them and not let them call you. They can respond to you through the EZBZ system, giving you links to inventory, specs of cars in stock and other information you are seeking, but they can only communicate through the EZBZ portal, not through your personal number and email, unless you want them to.

You are totally in control. The power is yours.

You still get to communicate with dealers who can help you, but on your terms, not theirs.

Conclusion

EZBZ makes your life easier. You certainly can find the businesses that you find through EZBZ with other services, but EZBZ makes it faster, easier, and more convenient.

Could you just Google it. Sure, if you don’t mind spending an extra week finding everything you are looking for. That’s what EZBZ does for you. It saves you time and an effort, leaving you energy for the things that are really important in your life like family, hobbies, and work.


EZBZ is a free service, so why would you go anywhere else?

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I agree
This is very true! I love this post
Waqqas Anwar
03-10-2017
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By : Brendan Mitchell, 03-14-2016
How to Get More Reviews for Your Business
Reviews are important to the sucess of your business. They can make or break you. Click here to learn how you can increase the number of online reviews for your business.
How to Get More Reviews for Your Business

It doesn’t matter whether you are a contractor, pet groomer, or a restaurateur, if you own a small business the chances are you’ve already realized how important online reviews are to your business.

In an era where so many consumers are researching businesses on the Internet before they buy – on websites like Yelp, EZBZ, and Facebook – it’s vital that your company has a good reputation online. Recent studies show that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 78% of internet users between the ages of 18-64 said that online reviews strongly influenced their decision-making process.

Here are some simple steps you can take to get more reviews of your business online:

Ask for Them (and make it easy)

Make it easy for customers to leave reviews

This may seem obvious, but unless you ask your customers to leave a review, most of them aren’t going to actively try to review your company. It’s an unfortunate aspect of human nature, but typically if a consumer goes out of their way to leave a review, it’s a negative one.  Taking every effort to encourage all your customers to leave reviews means that when you do receive a (often inevitable) bad review, it does not have as much impact.

If you regularly email your clients or send out a newsletter, include a call to action that encourages them to review your business. When a customer shares with you a positive experience they had with your business, be sure to ask them to share their thoughts in the form of an online review – most customers understand the importance of reviews, and if they had a positive experience, will be willing to help you out by sharing their feedback. It’s important to ask as soon as possible though; if a patron is going to review your business, it will typically occur immediately after their experience. 

Reward Your Reviewers (But don’t bribe them)

Reward customers that review your business

There is a fine line between incentivizing your customers to leave reviews, and buying a good review. If you’re worried that the product or service you provide is unlikely to garner many good reviews, focus on improving your product. Then, encourage all your customers to leave reviews. If the product or service is good, the majority of your reviews are going to be positive.

A monthly giveaway where you select one of your reviewers (at random) to receive a prize is a great way to increase your online reviews, without looking like you are paying people to review your business. You’d be cutting it close to the line, but some businesses also give away their product for free to popular blogs or review websites in exchange for an honest review.

Turn a Bad Review in to a Good One

Turn a bad review in to a good one

You might not feel like engaging with a reviewer who was less than impressed with your business, but these are the customers you should be focusing on the most. A bad review is a great opportunity for your business to learn how it can improve, and show customers that you are trying. Responding to a customer that had a bad experience with positivity and understanding will also help them feel heard – they might even give you a second chance to change their mind.

Use ReviewMe
ReviewMe

ReviewMe is a widget that you can place on your business website that allows your customers to post one review across multiple sites simultaneously. It’s a great way to ensure all your online business profiles receive the same review, making it easier for you to keep a consistent rating across the web. Check it out here: www.plsreviewme.com.

Reviews are important for every business, and they can easily make or break your business. By taking the steps above, you can build an online consensus of positive reviews for your business – that is, of course, assuming that the majority of your reviews are going to be positive. Ensuring you receive a good review starts with you, the business owner, and the quality of the product or service you are providing. Once you’re confident your business is worthy of a good review, you should do all you can to make sure you receive as many of them as possible.

Reviews are just one aspect of your business profile. Log in to your EZBZ business profile today and add images of your work, a description, and references to make your business stand out.
4 COMMENTS
Great customer service
Deliver great service to your customer and ask for review every time. Thta's the best fastest way to build online reviews for your business. http://www.ykrealestate.com
Yuliya Kachko - ONE Sotheby's International Realty
08-14-2016
Respond to all reviews - positive or negative
Ashburn Pro Roofing responds to all reviews whether positive or negative. If your positive is "invisible" to your customer's feedback on your site or others then it's bad. We also publish our reviews from our Google Business page and Facebook directly on our website, here's an example: http://ashburnproroofing.com/roofing-company-ashburn-va-2/
Ashburn Pro Roofing
11-21-2016
Long island Tree service
I agree reviews is the best step trusted by consumers Visit this website http://www.findlocaltreeservice.com/
New York & Long Island Tree Removal Services
12-28-2016
Good Customer Service
Reviews - the hope of future for the consumers. Do visit www.adaalo.com online classifieds websites
Ramesh Chandramowli
04-07-2017
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By : Elizabeth Humbal, 09-14-2015
How to Properly Plan a Drug Intervention for Your Loved One
There's nothing scarier than the thought of losing a loved one to addiction. If you're planning on staging a drug addiction intervention for someone you care about, there are certain measures to help you receive the most positive outcome possible. Speaking and establishing trust with the affected person will enable you pass your point across more efficiently rather than blaming and being unprepared.
How to Properly Plan a Drug Intervention for Your Loved One

There's nothing scarier than the thought of losing a loved one to addiction. If you're planning on staging a drug addiction intervention for someone you care about, there are certain measures to help you receive the most positive outcome possible. Speaking and establishing trust with the affected person will enable you pass your point across more efficiently rather than blaming and being unprepared.

Gather Loved Ones

While these meetings are not supposed to be done with a full house, it's important that the affected individual hear the same message from more than one person. Limit your team from four to eight people: you want to avoid appearing to gang up on the person, but you also need to echo the same message many times over. When picking these friends and loved ones, make sure no one is uncomfortable telling the truth. Only involve people who can clearly communicate that there's a serious problem that needs to be solved. Anyone who may waiver should be excluded for best results. The team needs to provide a unified front. 

Prepare the Space and Discussion Points 

Before bringing the person in front of your team of loved ones, make sure the space where you'll hold your drug intervention is comfortable and inviting. It's also important to list the points you want to cover during the meeting. Emotions run high in these proceedings, and it can be easy to lose track of what you wanted to communicate. That being said, don't prepare an extremely long list. It's essential to arrive to the point concisely and quickly. Rambling on will only gives the addict more material to argue with.

Control Your Emotions

This sounds easier than it actually is, but you must keep in mind you're confronting the disease, not the person. Any negative comment, insult, or tantrum is the disease lashing out, not your loved one. Your meeting will be more likely to end positively if everyone can remain calm and collected. 

Be Firm 

The point of a drug intervention is to relay that the tipping point has been reached. Whether you're declaring that you'll no longer financially support them or speak to them or whether you have some other conditions in mind, it's important this person knows that a choice must be made. Offer them the chance to get help or relay to them the consequences (jail, no family contact, etc.) if they continue down this path. It's extremely important to set this boundary in stone and communicate that there will be no exceptions.

Have Help Ready

This will involve seeking assistant from a professional. If your loved one agrees to seek treatment for their addiction, it's vital that no time be wasted. More time between this decision and the first day of treatment only offers an addict more chances to back out of treatment. Even if you don't believe your loved one will agree to treatment, it's always a good idea to have a place ready to accept them before holding your drug intervention. Even when the situation seems dire, there is always hope. Being prepared, loving, and firm will help the chances of your drug intervention ending in success and a commitment to treatment. 

If you need assistance finding an intervention professional or rehab center, you can always submit a free request to www.myezbz.com

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By : Karen Lasser, 09-03-2015
Hiring a Mediator to Assist in High Conflict Family Issues
Many writers have stated that change is the only thing that is constant in life. Change can come about in different forms. Sometimes certain aspects in an individual's life may change for the better while some my change for the worse. Whenever significant changes take place in a family set up, conflict is bound to occur, Such conflict arises from the fact that people react differently to new occurrences. Some people will take the new circumstances positively, while some take time to accept the changes.
Hiring a Mediator to Assist in High Conflict Family Issues
Many writers have stated that change is the only thing that is constant in life. Change can come about in different forms. Sometimes certain aspects in an individual's life may change for the better while some my change for the worse. Whenever significant changes take place in a family set up, conflict is bound to occur, Such conflict arises from the fact that people react differently to new occurrences. Some people will take the new circumstances positively, while some take time to accept the changes.

People's reactions can be unpredictable in high conflict situations. The divorce of a couple that has been married for a number of years is one such change that would elicit varied emotions among family members. Other similar situations include the linking up of families as a result of marriage, diagnosis of a family member with terminal illness, death or the division of the estate of a loved one. 

People of the same group rarely react the same to high conflict family problems. Every member brings their own experience and perspective and has a legitimate right to react differently. However, in order to resolve the situation amicably, or at least relatively so, everyone needs to have the opportunity to express their feelings and concerns. This is when a mediator can be of greatest assistance. When there is a clash of opinions and reactions, a mediator can act as a neutral party to balance the concerns of all involved, in a calm and non-emotional manner.

The task of a mediator is to assist family members to express their emotions through words in a manner that doesn't destroy relationships. A mediator brings a voice of reason to a situation filled with different emotions. The expert assists parties on different sides to communicate effectively with each other without having to fight. A mediator tries to pass across a message from one side to the other in a peaceful and friendly tone. In essence, a mediator opens up communication channels between conflicting parties while attempting to help them solve the problem at hand.

Obtaining the services of a mediator is a great step towards preserving treasured relationships during high conflict times in life. Additionally, such an expert would provide a buffer between parties that cannot meet to talk. A mediator is actually a neutral party in a family undergoing a rough patch. Having a neutral party around brings a lot of hope into desperate situations. 

Whenever your family is in a situation that bears the potential of tearing you apart, consider hiring a mediator to offer some assistance. A mediator will assist your family in formulating viable solutions to all your problems. Your high conflict situation may be so easily transformed into a very minor issue by an expert mediator. Do not shy away from engaging these professionals in your conflict resolution efforts. You will be amazed at how big a burden can be lifted from your shoulders when you engage such a professional every time you experience high conflict.

If you need assistance finding a mediator in your area, submit a free request to www.myezbz.com.
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By : Brendan Mitchell, 08-11-2015
Starting Your Company Blog - Content Marketing
So, you’ve decided it’s time your company had its own blog. Firstly, relax. This could actually be one of the easier, and more fun aspects of building your company’s brand. The best part about blogging is that there aren’t many rules, and it’s a great way to inject your brand with personality. The stronger your brand’s personality, the more consumers can relate with and eventually trust it.
Starting Your Company Blog - Content Marketing

So, you’ve decided it’s time your company had its own blog. Firstly, relax. This could actually be one of the easier, and more fun aspects of building your company’s brand. The best part about blogging is that there aren’t many rules, and it’s a great way to inject your brand with personality. The stronger your brand’s personality, the more consumers can relate with and eventually trust it.

It’s important to remember that you’re not creating the Wall Street Journal; your articles can be opinionated, passionate, even dramatic. Of course, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid – opinionated and passionate can easily be interpreted as ignorant and stubborn – but if you already have a basic understanding of marketing and journalism, you should be fine.

After you relax, you should probably decide how and where your blog will exist. If you have a company website, your blog should probably be integrated in to it, if only for the SEO benefits. If your blog is completely separate from your company website, it is quite difficult for the two of them to share traction. If they are integrated (i.e. share a domain), any attention your blog gets will be shared by your company website, and vice versa.

Your blog can be manually designed and hosted through your initial website, although this obviously requires some developer skills. You can also use a CMS (Content Management System) such as Wordpress to help you create a blog within your website. This means you would author your blog using Wordpress, but host it on your own website. If you’re a smaller operation, this is the easier way to go. Wordpress actually offers fairly basic instructions on how to do this, which you can read here. Similar CMS services that can also be used include Typepad and Blogger, a Google-owned CMS.

But deciding where and how to host your blog is not the hardest part. In my opinion, the real challenge is making sure your blog is relevant, interesting, and kept up to date. 

Keeping it at least somewhat related to your company should be fairly straightforward – for example, nobody wants dating advice from an accountancy firm - and when it comes to upkeep, daily posts are best. When you’re first starting out, however, you may want to start slow and give yourself a target of three to five articles per week. Giving yourself a lower target means you can work harder on making sure the blog is delivering quality content to your audience, whoever they are.

My final piece of advice would be to keep it short and sweet. Blog-readers have short attention spans, and anything over five hundred words is creeping on too much. As I wrote earlier, this isn’t the Wall Street Journal… Even if your articles are addressing a sensitive topic, being succinct is the best approach. If you’re a natural at blogging, you’ll quickly learn not to waste words, and start writing articles that reach five hundred words exactly… But don’t set your sights too high at first.

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By : Margaret Hansen, 08-07-2015
The Benefits of Foreign Language Study
While over 50% of the world's population can speak more than one language, in the US, only 25% of the population is multilingual. Learning a language can be time consuming, hard, and frustrating, and perhaps that is why there are not more people who can speak more than one language. However, the benefits of foreign language study far outweigh the negative aspects. Learning a foreign language can make you more hireable, sharpen your mind, and improve your academic and professional performance.
The Benefits of Foreign Language Study
While over 50% of the world's population can speak more than one language, in the US, only 25% of the population is multilingual. Learning a language can be time consuming, hard, and frustrating, and perhaps that is why there are not more people who can speak more than one language. However, the benefits of foreign language study far outweigh the negative aspects. Learning a foreign language can make you more hireable, sharpen your mind, and improve your academic and professional performance.

Foreign language study and mastery of another language can improve your chances of getting hired, and even drive up your starting salary. In this global economy, many employers looks for employees who are bilingual. Some positions pay more if you have are fluent in another language, and some open jobs may only be available to bilingual prospects.

Your location and your field of work will have a lot to do with what language will benefit you most professionally. In some locations, a conversational grasp of spanish will help you communicate better with many clients. This will make you seem more desirable to employers, and can even tip the scales in your favor when comparing your application with similar applicants who only speak one language. However, for business professionals who must travel for their work, learning a language such as Mandarin may be more beneficial. A language learned specifically for your profession will definitely make you a more attractive option for prospective employers.

Another reason to learn another language is the fact that it sharpens your mind. Some studies show that individuals who are bilingual or multilingual tend to be less likely to develop Alzheimer's or dementia. Studies have also indicated that foreign language study improves your memory, as the complex process of learning a new system of rules for grammar exercises your brain. Another way that studying another language can benefit your mind is that it can improve your ability to make complex decisions. Learning another language typically also improves the speaker's first language, making you more conscious of its rules and structure. 

It has also been shown that foreign language study can improve academic performance for students, and on the job performance for professionals. In one study, students were provided with 25 minutes of Spanish instruction per day, while a control group of students continued to study their regular curriculum. As a result, the students who received foreign language instruction subsequently received higher scores in both math and grammar than the control group. These results have since been repeated in numerous studies, and the same proves true for working adults. Adults who speak more than one language overall experience higher performance in the workplace.

Foreign language study can be time consuming and difficult, but it is certainly rewarding. Learning another language has so many benefits for an individual, at any stage of life. It can improve your brainpower, increase your hireability, and sharpen your performance in academics and at the office. Beyond that, mastering another language opens up the world. It makes people more receptive to other cultures and ideas, and may open up travel opportunities and experiences you never thought possible.

To find a foreign language program or tutor near you, submit a free request to EZBZ's online concierge service.
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By : Victoria Reynolds, 07-22-2015
The Importance of Childhood Socialization
Why the playdate? What activities are best for children? These are questions that all of us parents seem to ask ourselves at one point or other. Should the kids be in sports, classes, play groups, or something else? Two of the most common activities for parents, especially those with toddlers and early elementary students, are the playdate and the "mommy and me" class.
The Importance of Childhood Socialization
Why the playdate? What activities are best for children? These are questions that all of us parents seem to ask ourselves at one point or other. Should the kids be in sports, classes, play groups, or something else? Two of the most common activities for parents, especially those with toddlers and early elementary students, are the playdate and the "mommy and me" class. Why is that, though? Why can't the children just play in their own neighborhood like we did as kids? Why do we need to have special "dates" set up for them? I never went on a formal playdate when I was growing up, and I was always so busy! It felt like kids were always around to play with. Well, things sure have changed since those days!

It takes only a small glimps of the news and mommy blogs to realize our neighborhoods don't feel safe anymore, with all of the crimes against even the smallest of kids, its easy to feel the need to be with our children at all times to protect them. But, this gets difficult to accomplish while still getting our own work done and responsibilities taken care of. Too often, busy and tired parents respond to this conflict by plugging the child into the TV, Xbox or the computer. While these can be educational and entertaining, they lack opportunities for in-person socialization, something that has been proven as critical for development. It seems that everyone has heard of the child who wasn't socialized. You know the one -- the kid who won't share, who doesn't know how to play with other kids at all and who needs to be with mommy or daddy all the time. Childhood socialization is a way to avoid those things. This is true for only children as well as those with siblings. Children who are in daycare are more exposed to socialization lessons and opportunities than their stay-at-home peers, but it is still much like interactions with siblings. The best way, in this writer's experience, to give a child a well-rounded socialization experience is to vary the children that he or she plays with. 

Why vary the playmates? We all know how comfortable we can become with our best friends and those that we interact with regularly. We do not stretch our experiences until something new is in our world. For our children, this is playmates, and the best way to approach playmates that most parents are comfortable with is the playdate, or the "mommy and me" class. The next question to come up is how to find and set up these interactions. Many of the playdates that evolve tend to be with classmates, or the children of parents' friends. These are usually things that the children are asking, or nagging, for, which makes it easy to remember, as long as the parents have contact information for one another. Mommy and me classes are not usually as easy to find, but to the parent who is looking, they are still many places. The value of a class over a playdate is that the class is organized to teach the child and the parent a skill or a topic, and there often exists a fluidity of other family involvement, meaning that it is not always the same participants. The child (and the parents) are always meeting new families to interact with.

Childhood socialization is a facet of childhood that follows every person into their adult life and helps to "color" how the adult version of the former child will interact with others. Those who were at home and with parents and siblings with very little outside interaction learned well to interact with that select group of people, but are often unable to form more substantial bonds with those that they come across in later life. We need to help our children to socialize, and it is best to start at a young age. Two of the "safest" ways to encourage this, as well as to be able to choose those that the child socializes with are through playdates and "mommy and me" classes. Try it! You will probably like it!
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