September 30, 2011
Issue 9, Volume 5 
It's All About the Choices!     

Hello and Welcome to our September Monthly Newsletter, chock full of articles, news, and resources for pediatric and school-based SLPs, OT, PTs, and School Psychologists.   Have a great weekend and enjoy!

News Items:
  • Research: Increasing Investment In Early Childhood Development Programs Is Highly Cost-Effective
  • Combining CBT With Medication For Childhood OCD Improves Symptoms 
  • A Sensory Lab in the News  
  • Children with Autism Benefit from Early, Intensive Therapy  
  • Interview with Maurice Sendak: 'Children's Books Aren't Wild Enough'  
  • New Brain Imaging Study Suggests Dyslexia Independent of IQ 
  • Discounts for Friends of PediaStaff on CEUs, Books and More! 
Tips, Activities and Resources:
  • Make a Plastic Face Toy from Recycled Materials
  • Skills and Relationship to School Performance 

  • Pinterest Therapy Resource of the Week: Kids Learning Station / All Kids Network
Articles and Blogs  
  • SLP Corner: Targeting Speech Sound Disorder Through Phonological Awareness Intervention
  • PT Corner: Musculoskeletal Disorders in Down Syndrome
  • OT Corner:  Choosing a Therapist for Hippotherapy 
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Top 10 "Do's and Don'ts" of Providing Therapy in the Home
  • Focus on Bilingualism:  Why Conceptual Scoring? 
  • Guest Blog:  Achieving Everyday Milestones - Potty Training
  • Guest Blog: Autism on the Playground: Lessons from the Parenthood Episode
  • Worth Repeating: The Developmental Stages of Humor
  • Also Worth Repeating: Expert Offers Ways to Distinguish Between Picky Eating and a Pediatric Feeding Disorder

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 
Early Childhood Programs in the News: Raising Investment In Early Childhood Development Programs Is A Highly Cost-Effective Strategy Research Shows

[Source: Medical News Today]


According to new research, raising investment in early childhood development programs is a highly cost-effective strategy, potentially providing considerable returns, promoting long-term growth and significantly reducing inequalities in low and middle-income countries.

According to Patrice Engle from California Polytechnic State University in California, USA, who is one of the lead authors of a new Series on child development, published Online First in The Lancet:

"The estimated benefit of investment in improving just one component of early childhood development, preschool enrolment, suggests that increasing preschool attendance to 25% could generate US$10.6 billion while a 50% increase could generate US$33.7 billion, with a benefit-to-cost ratio estimated to range from 6.4 to 17.6 (depending on the projected percentage of children attending preschool, 25% or 50%)"*.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Psychology in the News - Combining CBT With Medication For Childhood OCD Improves Symptoms

[Source: Medical News Today]


A report in the September 21 issue of JAMA suggests that, children and teens who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who received some benefit from therapy with medication had a considerably larger reduction in OCD symptoms when treatment was combined with cognitive behavior therapy.

According to background data in the report:


"Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects up to 1 in 50 people, is evident across development, and is associated with substantial dysfunction and psychiatric comorbidity. Randomized controlled trial findings support the efficacy of pharmacotherapy with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), cognitive 


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Sensory Processing in the News: How a Sensory Lab Helps Elementary Students Learn
Thanks to our friends at Your Therapy Source for the Heads up on this article!

[Source: Rapids Press]

Tiffany Warren sunk deep into a pit of colorful plastic balls like a warm bubble bath. Across the room, a trio of boys jumped on an inner-tube. Another fourth-grader swayed on a platform swing.


To most, it looked like these Shawmut Hills Elementary students were just having fun in a cool indoor playground. But they weren't playing with toys - there were tools to enhance their ability to learn.


The new Sensory Lab, courtesy of a $40,000 Meijer Good School grant, contains specific types of equipment and material aimed at sensory development. Typically, such labs or rooms are associated with special needs students, but educators and occupational therapists say they benefit all students.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on Our Blog
Autism in the News: Children With Autism Benefit from Early, Intensive Therapy

[Source: Science Daily]


A primary characteristic of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is impairments in social-communication skills. Children and adolescents with social-communication problems face difficulty understanding, interacting and relating with others. University of Missouri researchers found that children who receive more intensive therapy to combat these impairments, especially at early ages, achieve the best outcomes.


Data was collected from more than 1,000 children and adolescents with ASD. The researchers measured fifteen social-communication skills, including facial expressions, gestures, language comprehension, sharing enjoyment and appropriate social responses.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Literacy in the News: Interview with Maurice Sendak: 'Children's Books Aren't Wild Enough'

[Source: The Guardian]


Author of Where the Wild Things Are says he's observed 'a going back to childhood innocence that I never quite believed in'

Children's books today are too safe, according to Maurice Sendak, author of the classic picture book about childhood rebellion, Where the Wild Things Are. 

Speaking to the New York Times, Sendak said that modern children's books are not always "truthful or faithful to what's going on with children".

"If there's anything missing that I've observed over the decades it's that that drive has declined," said the 83-year-old author, who admitted that he "hadn't kept abreast" of children's books and didn't see that many. "There's a certain passivity, a going back to childhood innocence that I never quite believed in. We remembered childhood as a very passionate, upsetting, silly, comic business." Max, the wolf-suited star of Where the Wild Things Are, "was a little beast, and we're all little beasts", Sendak said.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Dyslexia in the News: New Brain Imaging Study Suggests Dyslexia Independent of IQ

[Source: MIT News via Reading Rockets]


Brain-imaging study suggests that reading difficulties are the same regardless of overall intelligence - and that more children could benefit from support in school.

About 5 to 10 percent of American children are diagnosed as dyslexic. Historically, the label has been assigned to kids who are bright, even verbally articulate, but who struggle with reading - in short, whose high IQs mismatch their low reading scores. On the other hand, reading troubles in children with low IQs have traditionally been considered a byproduct of their general cognitive limitations, not a reading disorder in particular.

Now, a new brain-imaging study challenges this understanding of dyslexia. "We found that children who are poor readers have the same brain difficulty in processing the sounds of language whether they have a high or low IQ," says John D. E. Gabrieli, MIT's Grover Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience, who performed the study with Fumiko Hoeft and colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine; Charles Hulme at York University in the U.K.; and Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, also at MIT. "Reading difficulty is independent of other cognitive abilities."

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
 Teen Psychology in the News: National Geographic Feature Article on the Teenage Brain

[Source: National Geographic]  


Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? Viewed through the eyes of evolution, their most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults.

Although you know your teenager takes some chances, it can be a shock to hear about them.

One fine May morning not long ago my oldest son, 17 at the time, phoned to tell me that he had just spent a couple hours at the state police barracks. Apparently he had been driving "a little fast." What, I asked, was "a little fast"? Turns out this product of my genes and loving care, the boy-man I had swaddled, coddled, cooed at, and then pushed and pulled to the brink of manhood, had been flying down the highway at 113 miles an hour.

"That's more than a little fast," I said.

He agreed. In fact, he sounded somber and contrite. He did not object when I told him he'd have to pay the fines and probably for a lawyer. He did not argue when I pointed out that if anything happens at that speed-a dog in the road, a blown tire, a sneeze-he dies. He was in fact almost irritatingly reasonable. He even proffered that the cop did the right thing in stopping him, for, as he put it, "We can't all go around doing 113."


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Special Discount Just for Friends of PediaStaff : CEUs, Books, DVDs and More! 
Jolene Fernald, PediaStaff's own SLP Clinical Coordinator is doing a series of on-demand webinars on Selective Mutism for  OT-Advantage.    The first one is titled:  "Assessment and Treatment of Children with Selective Mutism," is self-paced, 2.5 hours, and is offered for .25 AOTA CEUs.   The first 50 folks who redeem the coupon code below get a $20.00 discount off the course which is regularly priced at $45.00.  A second course for parents, called "Selective Mutism: Your Guide to Understanding a Child with SM," is also available.  A third will be offered later in the year called:  Documentation, Advocacy, and Communication for Childhood Anxiety.

The second discount is from our friends at the Future Horizons, online Autism Bookstore - a leader in books, DVDs and conferences on Austism and Asperger's Syndrome.


All purchases that you make on their site with the special PediaStaff coupon code will give you FREE Shipping and an additional 15% off!


Access the Coupon Codes for Both Promotions on our Blog 

Therapy Activity/Resource of the Week: Make a Plastic Face Toy from Recycled Materials

It is easy to make a plastic face out of laundry detergent bottles. Young children learn about facial features as they attach eyes, nose and mouth with Velcro. Large holes at the top help children develop eye-hand coordination as they make hair. Earrings made out of shower curtain rings add the final touch. Show your child or therapy client how much fun it is to create something out of nothing!

Therapist Resource of the Week - Skills & Relationship to School Performance Handout for OTs

Special Thanks to Toni Shulken of Pathways for Learning for this Week's Therapy Resource of the Week. She has created a nice PDF handout listed skills and their relationship to school performance.


Download this excellent handout Through a Link on our Blog 

Pinterest Therapy Resource of the Week: Kids Learning Station / All Kids Network

Thanks to our Pinterest follower @nohomii for the lead on our Pinterest Resource of the Week, Kid's Learning Station and the All Kid's Network!


The sites feature worksheets and activities for fine motor work, word work, language, phonics, visual perception, sequencing, sorting, matching, handwriting, pre-handwriting, themed and holiday crafts, and more!

Check out this Great Site Through a Link on our Blog

Speech Language Pathology Corner: Targeting Speech Sound Disorder Through Phonological Awareness Intervention
By: Yvonne Wren, PhD, CertMRCSLT, Senior Research Speech & Language Therapist, Frenchay Speech & Language Therapy Research Unit, Bristol, UK.

Many approaches to intervention exist for speech sound disorder (SSD). One such approach is phonological awareness intervention. This article describes what we mean by phonological awareness and how it is used in intervention for children with SSD. In addition it refers to the evidence which supports the use of phonological awareness intervention with some types of children with SSD and concludes with a case study of a child who received input based phonological awareness intervention using clinician controlled computer software.

What is phonological awareness?
Phonological awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate sounds in spoken words and is widely recognised as a key skill required for developing literacy skills (Gillon, 2004; Wagner & Torgeson, 1987;

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
PT Corner: Musculoskeletal Disorders in Down Syndrome
By: Len Leshin, MD, FAAP

Almost all of the conditions that effect the bones and joints of people with Down syndrome arise from the abnormal collagen found in Down syndrome. Collagen is the major protein that makes up ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bone and the support structure of the skin. One of the types of collagen (type VI) is encoded by a gene found on the 21st chromosome. The resulting effect in people with DS is increased laxity, or looseness, of the ligaments that attach bone to bone and muscle to bone. The combination of this ligamentous laxity and low muscle tone contribute to orthopedic problems in people with Down syndrome. While these conditions are more common in people with DS than in the general population, it is worthwhile to note that the majority of people with DS will not have any of the disorders I'm discussing in this essay.

In this essay, I'll discuss conditions categorized by body sections.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
OT Corner:  Choosing a Therapist for Hippotherapy
By: Barbara Smith, OTR/L

Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement and indeed the entire equine environment to achieve functional outcomes such as increasing bilateral hand skills, sitting balance or vocalizations. It is used by registered occupational (OT), physical (PT) therapists and speech-language pathologists (SLP) who may also have specific hippotherapy credentials depending on any given facility's requirements. Although hippotherapy is an increasingly popular area of specialization, there are a limited number of facilities and experienced therapists available.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog 

Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Top 10 "Do's and Don'ts" of Providing Therapy in the Home

By: Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP and Sarah Castro, MSPT

For many speech, occupational and physical therapy providers, conducting treatment sessions in patient's homes is part of their daily routine. Whether you are an Early Intervention or homecare provider or work in private practice, there are unique opportunities and challenges that arise from working in the home setting. Because most in home therapy providers often work independently, there can be questions about what to do (or not do) in various situations. While the clinical aspects of working in the home setting are often clear cut, some of the social aspects can be a bit unclear and ambiguous.


The following list of "do's and don'ts" to consider is a collaboration between a Physical Therapist working in Early Intervention and Speech-Language Pathologist working in private practice.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Focus on Bilingualism: Why Conceptual Scoring?
By:  Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and Alejandro Brice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Understanding the whole language system of children who understand and speak two languages is a challenge for a number of reasons. First, we cannot get the whole picture by looking at only one language. Second, every bilingual has a unique profile of proficiency levels in their two languages and strengths in different topic areas. Third, the children who make up the normative samples for English tests are overwhelmingly if not completely monolingual. Conceptual scoring is an approach that allows evaluators a view of the language system as a whole, rather than two separate systems (Kester & Pe´┐Ża, 2002; Pearson, Fernandez, & Oller, 1992, 1993).


Why we cannot get the whole picture through one language
A number of studies have demonstrated that bilingual children understand and use different vocabulary and concepts in each language. This is a result of their different experiences in their two languages. It

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: Enabled Kids, SLC Therapy     
Achieving Everyday Milestones - Potty Training:  By: Natan Gendelman

For any child, development is a gradual process that happens step-by-step. Every action that a child learns builds on the one before it, and a child will start to apply these skills as he slowly interacts with his surroundings and discovers the world around him. For a child with Down syndrome, this is no exception since the severity of each child's condition will vary from case to case.

What we need to keep in mind is that every child is unique, with his own set of strengths and areas for improvement. Therefore, what will play a key role in his development is our approach, and our ability to recognize the potential of what a child is able to achieve. By addressing his individual needs, we can then successfully guide him to reach everyday milestones. This is how we can help a child reach independent function, and develop to the best of his abilities.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Autism on the Playground: Lessons from the Parenthood Episode:   By: Landria Seals Green, M.A.., CCC-SLP

This week was the season premiere of one of the shows I have a like/love relationship with: Parenthood on ABC. My love relationship is because its good TV. My like relationship is because I can't stop being a therapist when I watch it. So true to form, I must provide lessons and strategies for playground success.


Truth be told it is a challenge for the person with social language deficits (whether its ADD, ADHD, Autism, Aspergers) to navigate the unwritten rules of the playground. More than that, therapists/coaches/psychologists teaching social skills groups must think about HOW they are teaching these skills. As a parent reading this, you would probably be shocked at how many hands do


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Worth Repeating:  The Developmental Stages of Humor
By: Danette Schott, M.A.

[Source: Social-Other-School]

Many children with special needs have problems with friendships. The problems can surround not understanding nonverbal communication, to not being able to identify emotions, to confusion over humor and more. One thing we know for sure is that a life without friendships and human connections is a very lonely life.

Humor is something that can bring two people together. Laughter signifies that people are having fun and is good for a healthy relationship. Sharing jokes and funny stories provides a connection between two people. 

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

Also Worth Repeating: Expert Offers Ways to Distinguish Between Picky Eating and a Pediatric Feeding Disorder
Source:  Kennedy Krieger Institute and Newswise

Catering to a child who is a picky eater is like being a short-order cook: chaotic. Dinnertime becomes a war zone, leading to hopeless battles fought over vegetables and macaroni and cheese.

Picky eating is as normal as potty-training, a right of passage in childhood development. Taste buds evolve and food preferences expand in these early years. Even the best of parents can have a difficult time getting their child to eat. In fact, picky eating is one of the most common occurrences in children, often outgrown as the child reaches adolescence. But if eating behavior inhibits normal developmental and physical growth processes, it could be something much more severe - a pediatric feeding disorder.

"The difference between a fussy eater and a child with a feeding disorder is the impact the eating behavior has on a child's physical and mental health," Peter Girolami, Ph.D., Clinical Director of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland - a leading program that was one the first of its kind in the United States and the largest in the world to treat pediatric feeding disorders.


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. 

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