December 2, 2011
Issue 11, Volume 5 
It's All About the Choices!     

Wow, what a great month!  We had the ASHA convention, Thanksgiving with our families, and now we back at it until we get another break for the Holidays!   Big issue for you today.   Enjoy and have a great weekend!

News Items:
  • Playful Behavior Of Young Chimps Develops Like That Of Children 
  • Technology for Speech in the News 
  • Brain Enlargement Seen In Boys With Regressive Autism, But Not Early Onset Autism 
  • Feel Good Story of the Week: 2 Girls with Cerebral Palsy Part of Joffrey's 'Nutcracker' Ballet
  • Autism in the News (Scientific American) 
  • Are Color-Filtering Lenses: Better Reading for Children with Dyslexia?
  • Sign Language for Autism in the News   
  • Baby with Down Syndrome Takes the Modeling World by Storm   
Tips, Activities and Resources:
  • Book Review:  Apps for Autism
  • Therapy Resource of the Week:  Predictive Cluttering Inventory 

  • Pinterest Holiday Pin of the Week - Hand Santa Falling Down the Chimney 
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week - More Ways to Modify Candyland 
Articles and Blogs  
  • SLP Corner: Articulation Therapy Through an RTI Model 
  • OT Corner: Developing a Tripod Grasp for Handwriting
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Art Makes Sense - Sensory Art Therapy 
  • School Psychology Corner: Social Stories: An Emerging and Effective Intervention
    for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • Editor's Corner: Sharing a Mom's Perspective on Person First Language 
  • Guest Blog: Helping Children with Autism Deal with Transitions
  • Guest Blog: Music Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology - A Collaboration (Parts 3 & 4)
  • Food for Thought:  Person-First Language: Why It Matters (The Significance of Semantics) 
  • Worth Repeating: The Picky Eaters Club
  • Also Worth Repeating: Strategies to Reduce Paperwork for School-Based SLPs

Please note: Much of our content here is provided by wonderful contributing authors and organizations. Please support our contributors and visit their websites. Links and bios are featured on each article! 

Have a great weekend and see you next month!
Heidi Kay, Newsletter Editor  

The Career Center

The links to the right are "live" and reflect all open jobs with PediaStaff.  To further narrow your search by state use the drop down menus on the search page to select a specific state.   If a particular search is returning no hits it is Girlpossible that we do not currently have openings
for you in that state.

If any of your information (geographic, population or setting preference) has changed since we've last spoken, please let us know.   See an opening that interests you?  Just apply to that job and one of our staff will contact you right away.  

Remember, one of the things that makes PediaStaff unique is that we will actively "market" your skills to prospective employers of pediatric and school based therapists, so if you don't see a position that interests you make sure you let us know what you are looking for.
Speech Language Pathologist and SLPA Jobs
Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 
Physical Therapist and PTA Jobs 
School Psychologist Jobs

Bilingual Therapy Jobs 
The Nature of 'Play' in the News: Playful Behavior Of Young Chimps Develops Like That Of Children

[Source: Medical News Today]


Playful behavior is widespread in mammals, and has important developmental consequences. A recent study of young chimpanzees shows that these animals play and develop much the same way as human children. The work, to be published in the Nov. 16 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE, can therefore also shed light on the role of human play behavior.


The authors of the study, Elisabetta Palagi and Giada Cordoni, of the University of Pisa in Italy, found that chimpanzee solitary play peaks in infancy, while the time spent in social play was relatively constant between infants and juveniles. However, the type of social play


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Technology for Speech in the News: Speech Buddies in the News 
[Source: Smart Planet/CBS]

Thanks Alexey Salamini for sending us this video featuring Speech Buddies in the News on CBS, Smart Planet website !  So glad to see you are getting press!

Watch this Video on our Blog
Autism Research in the News: Brain Enlargement Seen In Boys With Regressive Autism, But Not Early Onset Autism

[Source: Medical News Today]


In the largest study of brain development in preschoolers with autism to date, a study by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers has found that 3-year-old boys with regressive autism, but not early onset autism, have larger brains than their healthy counterparts.


The study is published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. It was led by Christine Wu Nordahl, a researcher at the UC Davis MIND Institute and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and David G. Amaral, Beneto Foundation Chair, MIND Institute Research Director and University of California Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on Our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week - 2 Girls with Cerebral Palsy Part of Joffrey's 'Nutcracker' Ballet

[Source: Chicago Tribune]


Sophia Jablonski used to sit in her wheelchair and dream about taking dance classes, just like her younger sister, Stephanie.


"I wanted to be like her," said 11-year-old Sophia.


Sophia, who has cerebral palsy, eventually realized her dream and so much more. She started taking dance lessons at age 8, and this month she made her stage debut as an evil witch in the Children's Performance Company's ballet version of "Hansel and Gretel." Next month, she will hit the stage in Chicago when she dances in the Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker."

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News - Autism Article in Scientific American

[Source: Scientific American]

What intelligence tests might be overlooking when it comes to autism - The hidden potential of children with autism

by Rose Eveleth


When I was in fifth grade, my brother Alex started correcting my homework. This would not have been weird, except that he was in kindergarten-and had autism.  His disorder, characterized by repetitive behaviors and difficulty with social interactions and communication, made it hard for him to listen to his teachers. He was often kicked out of class for not being able to sit for more than a few seconds at a time. Even now, almost 15 years later, he can still barely scratch out his name. But he could look at my page of neatly written words or math problems and pick out which ones were wrong.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Dyslexia in the News: Are Color-Filtering Lenses: Better Reading for Children with Dyslexia?
[Source:  ABC]

Specially tinted lenses originally developed for color blindness are helping some U.S. dyslexics read faster and see words more clearly, confirming the claims of the lenses' British inventor and the company that started selling them here in September.


As soon as Max Klinger, a Miami first-grader recently diagnosed with dyslexia, got glasses with the special lenses, "all he wanted to do is read," his mother Michelle Klinger said. "He told me the letters stopped moving; they stopped popping out for him. He went from a child who hated reading to asking, 'Can we go buy chapter books?'"


Read the Rest of this Article and Watch Video Through a Link on our Blog
Sign Language in the News - Sign Language for Autism

[Source:  Asbury Press via The Autism News]


More than two decades ago, Marilyn Daniels began researching the benefits of sign language - not just for deaf people, but for hearing children and babies and those with learning disabilities and autism.


Several books and many seminars and classes for parents and educators later, the studies by Daniels and others have proven true. Today, ASL (American Sign Language) is taught in colleges, universities, preschool and elementary schools and is the third most used language in the United States.


"It's more popular than ever," partly because learning the manual language creates anatomical changes in the brain, Daniels told a group of parents and teachers during an October presentation called "Sign to Speak" at the Spring Lake Library.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Another Feel Good Story of the Week - Baby with Down Syndrome Takes the Modeling World by Storm

[Source: The Blaze]


Taya Kennedy isn't your average baby model. The 14-month-old has a beautiful smile and a twinkle in her eye, which is why it's no surprise that she's been a major success in the kid-modeling world. But it is the fact that she has Down Syndrome that separates her from other young models her age.

There's simply something unique and inspiring about Taya.


"Taya is an incredibly photogenic, warm and smiley child, and that shines through in her photographs," explains Alysia Lewis, the owner of Urban Angels, the UK modeling agency that signed the child.

Lewis explains that the agency only selects a few new children to work with each season. With standards remaining quite high, Taya was one of about 50 kids who were inevitably selected from a pool of about 2,000 applicants.


According to Lewis, the fact that Taya has Down Syndrome didn't play a role in the company's decision to take her as a model. "She was just what we were looking for," Lewis explains.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Book Review: Apps for Autism by Lois Jean Brady 
Book Title:  Apps for Autism
Author:  Jean Lois Brady
Published by:  Future Horizons
Review by:  Barbara Smith, the Recycling Occupational Therapist

Speech therapist Lois Jean Brady has written a timely and essential guide to choosing "apps" that help children with autism learn and communicate.  Perhaps this book is partly a way to pay homage to the late, great Steve jobs, but as the subtitle states this is "A must-have resource for the special needs community!"   


For those of you who , like myself are novice to the world of i products (pads, pods and phones), the term "apps" refers to the more than 425,000 computer applications-or programs that are available free, for less than a dollar and sometimes more than a hundred from the Apple company's  itunes store.  With that said, the author has obviously spent countless hours researching, using, evaluating and analyzing the best way to present a glut of i information that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog
Therapy Resource of the Week: The Predictive Cluttering Inventory
Thanks to our friends at Heaman Comunication for reminding us of this great resource, David Daly's Predictive Cluttering Inventory (PCI)

Pinterest Holiday Pin of the Week - Hand Santa Falling Down the Chimney
I fell in love with this one the minute I saw it, and while it might not be the very most repinned Pinterest pin of the week it is certainly quite popular and definitely the cutest!   We f0und it from Holly Garner, and it was originally found on a website called "," (and renamed to be more child appropriate!)

See Hand Santa on our Blog

Pinterest Pin of the Week - More Ways to Modify Candyland
This is the second modified version of Candyland we have seen since joining Pinterest, but this one seems even more popular than the first.   I think we have had 75 repins for it so far!   We started brainstorming over here and realize that it is the sheer flexibility of this game that makes it so perfect for speech and occupational therapy!

 Read How to Modify Candyland for Speech and OT

Speech Language Pathology Corner: Fast Paced Articulation Therapy Through an RTI Model
By: Tamara Truax and JoAnn Tuttle

For decades the traditional once-weekly 30 minute group therapy model has been the most common way of treating sound errors in a school-based setting. However, if you ask therapists working on articulation what they think of this model, many will agree that it may not be the most effective way to remediate sound errors. Often, students with different sound substitutions and distortions are grouped together, making it difficult to address the specific therapeutic needs of a child within the group setting.

In recent years, a shift in school budgets and expanding caseloads has lead to a re-evaluation of the traditional school model. The implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) has further impacted how speech services are delivered within a school-based setting. In many schools, speech therapy for the remediation of single sound errors, such as w/r substitutions and lisps, has been eliminated and

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Occupational Therapy Corner: Developing a Tripod Grasp for Handwriting 
By: Loren Shlaes, OTR

In order for a child to be able to control his pencil successfully and to be able to write without pain, it's important to develop a good pencil grasp. The standard grasp is called a dynamic tripod. It consists of the pencil being held between the tips of the flexed thumb and the forefinger, with the middle finger resting behind. The reason it is referred to as dynamic is because in this position, the fingers are able to move freely while holding on to the pencil.

The key here is that the thumb web space remains open, as if you are making an "OK" sign. There are a few variations on this grasp, like a quadrupod, which is essentially the same grasp with the ring finger added for extra support.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Pediatric Therapy Corner: Art Makes Sense - Sensory Art Therapy
By: Pamela Ullmann, ATR-BC, LCAT

Creative art making can offer unique ways for children to gain a sense of control and mastery of their environment, grow in self expression, self awareness and self-esteem. This holds true for children with special needs, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and other developmental issues as well. However, these children very often have "sensory" issues or sensory integration disorder which can affect their responses to various art materials.

That is why it is important to have a trained and credentialed art therapist or related professional assess the child and create a customized program that can help the child with sensory issues while at the same time engage in creative expression.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
School Psychology Corner:  Social Stories: An Emerging and Effective Intervention for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
By: Lee A. Wilkinson, PhD, NCSP

Over the past decade social stories have shown promise as a positive and proactive classroom strategy for teaching social skills to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They continue to be widely discussed, reviewed, and recommended as an effective and user-friendly behavioral intervention. Social stories allow the child to receive direct instruction in learning the appropriate social behaviors that are needed for success in the classroom setting. The simplicity and utility of social stories make them a popular choice for use in both general and special education settings.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog 

Editor's Corner:  Sharing a Mom's Perspective on Person First Language
By: Heidi Kay, PediaStaff Editorial Staff

So I was pinning away on Pinterest, looking around for items to put in our Autism pinboard, when I happened on a pin of this item available for sale on Cafe Press.

One of the pinners followers had written in the comments section, "This is sooo perfect!!! Wish I found this for Mac!"


I was fascinated that the pinner, (Rosie Sonnier) liked the bag so much given that the creators of the bag did not write in 'person first' language.   So, being curious and friendly, I commented on the pin, that "here at PediaStaff, we are very sensitive to always use 'person first' language," and that I was surprised she liked the bag given the amount of passionate opposition that we see and hear regarding this term.


Rosie wrote a lovely response that she asked me to share with you here:



Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog 

Guest Blogs This Week: Pediatric Occupational Therapy Tips, Explore Music Therapy    
Helping Children with Autism Deal with Transitions:  By: Dr.  Anne Zachry

Autism is a term that describes a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). "The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified), Asperger Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders" (Autism Speaks Website).

It is estimated that one child in every 110 will be diagnosed with Autism, with the diagnosis being 3 to 4 times more common in boys than girls. A large number of Autistic students are referred for school occupational therapy services. I have discovered a number of techniques that are quite effective when working with these students and I'm going to be sharing some of them with you.


 Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Music Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology - A Collaboration (Parts 3 & 4):   By: Rachel See Smith

Using songs that focus on enunciation and articulation can contribute to the patient's phonological awareness and provide them with many opportunities to practice the phonemes on which they are focusing in their speech therapy sessions. For instance, if the patient is working on articulating the phoneme /b/, then the music therapist may choose a song such as, "Bubbles" (see link below) - a tune that focuses on /b/ in the initial position. Embedded within the song are many repetitions and, therefore, opportunities for the patient to say and practice

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Food for Thought: Person-First Language: Why It Matters (The Significance of Semantics)

by: Lydia Brown 

At the Adult Services Subcommittee's final meeting in late July, much to do was made about semantic disagreements - "ASD individual" versus "individual with ASD," and of course, the dreaded "person with autism" or "person who has autism" versus "autistic person." These issues of semantics are hot button issues, and rightfully so.


Words and language are powerful tools by which an individual can express ideas, whether abstract, actionable, or concrete. As a writer and editor, I know firsthand that language and the meanings we attach to words very much impact, influence, develop, and change the attitudes that we have toward the subjects of discussion. That is why people are easily insulted or upset by word choices. Changing a phrase - even if it holds the same literal meaning - alters the subtle connotations and nuances of the speech, and communicates a different meaning and context than the original phrasing.

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
Worth Repeating:  The Picky Eaters Club
[Source: Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists]

by Jason Mosheim

Their jaws drop when the vegetables on their plate collide with their meat and mashed potatoes. They frown at the mere mention of lathering up their chicken with barbeque sauce. They demand to know the origins of this food or that. Living on one food such as macaroni and cheese for weeks at a time is no big deal and is often preferable to the smorgasbord of food that is put before them three times a day.

Welcome to the world of picky eaters. Chances are if you don't know one-and those chances are slim-then you are one yourself. However, there are ways to coax these children to eat properly with a smile on their face.

Read the Full Text of This Article Through a Link on our Blog

Also Worth Repeating: Strategies to Reduce Paperwork for School-Based SLPs

[Source: ASHA]


This document includes information that can be used to advocate for reduced or streamlined paperwork for school-based speech-language pathologists. The document provides:


an explanation of the federal requirements for paperwork under IDEA;
suggestions for how to advocate for changes in paperwork forms or procedures;
time-saving tips from members; and  sample forms and procedures that you can use in your school setting.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
The PediaStaff Website - is "Not Just for Job Searching Anymore"
If you haven't been to the our website lately you are in for a treat.  Not only have we completely redesigned it and added a whole lot of great information about our company, services and philosophy but we are stuffing it jam packed with fantastic pediatric and school based therapy resources for you and your staff to use everyday.  

There you will find links to resources, organizations and websites on topics in pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapy including dozens of articles and videos.  Topics are organized by therapy discipline and include Stuttering, Bilingualism, Autism, Down Syndrome, Pediatric Stroke,  Oral Motor Issues, Speech Language Delay and much more.   All articles and videos are resident on our site.  No abstracts, no fees.  

We hope you enjoy it!  It is still very much a work in progress, but we think there is enough there to suggest that you check it out at your earliest convenience. 

Visit our Resources Pages

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