weekly header

November 5, 2011
Issue 34, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy November!  Boy I can't believe its time for the holiday season already.

Are you going to ASHA in San Diego??  We will be there and can't wait to meet you!  Please visit us at booth #924 to say 'Hello!'  As usual, we will have free Toobaloos for all booth visitors, while supplies last!

We continue to be thrilled with the feedback on our Pinterest Site.  We are up to nearly 3500 followers already and have 72 separate boards of ideas and resources.  Our staff is receiving all kinds of nice messages from therapists (and even parents) who have found great tools for specific children that they see.

This past week, we received a request for an Auditory Processing/Discrimination board, which we have created.  We have broken up our Phonomic/Phonological Awareness board into three separate boards to make it easier to browse.  We have also added an Introductory Board for newcomers to explain who we are and what the site is all about.  Our staff will continue to build and fine tune the site.  Pinterest is having growing pains like Twitter had in the early going, but we are firmly convinced that this is the best networking tool available for therapists and teachers on the entire net.    Please contact us through Pinterest or via email with your suggestions.  

This week we are featuring our board of Thanksgiving ideas.  It is of course, still growing and has 316 pins at this writing.   Please ENJOY.

In closing we have a quick procedural issue:  We had a uncommonly low 'open rates' for the both the October 21st issue and the October Monthly issue.  It appears that there was a national problem regarding Constant Contact (our email server company) emails being blocked inadvertently by one of the Internet Service Providers during mid October.  Based on more typical numbers for last week, the problem appears to be fixed.  If you did NOT get any of our recent issues, please grab them HERE from our archives.  We do apologize for any inconvenience.

News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • JigZone Online Jigsaw Puzzle Site
  • Disability Scoop 
  • Activity of the Week: Sidewalk Chalk Fun and Games 
  • Pinterest Pinboard of the Week: Therapy Activities (and Treats) for Thanksgiving 
Upcoming Events
  • ASHA Convention and Conference 

Articles and Blogs

Feel free to contact us with any questions about our openings or items in these pages. Have you discovered our RSS feed? Click on the orange button below to subscribe to all our openings and have them delivered to your Feed Reader!  Don't have an RSS Feed Reader set up? Sign up at
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

The Career Center

The links to the right are "live" and reflect the most recent SLP, OT, PT and related assistant jobs, and ALL our Bilingual and School Psychology Jobs. 
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ADHD in the News:  ADHD Drugs Don't Raise Heart Risks for Kids

[Source:Yahoo News via the Associated Press]


Ritalin and similar medicines that millions of children and teens take to curb hyperactivity and boost attention do not raise their risk of serious heart problems, the largest safety study of these drugs concludes.

Heart attacks, strokes and sudden death were very rare and no more common in children on the drugs than in kids not taking them, the federally funded study found. That was true even for children and young adults with a higher risk of heart problems - a group doctors have long worried about when prescribing these drugs.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog

More ADHD in the News: Parent Training Is Low Risk And Effective For Treating Preschoolers With ADHD

[Source:  Medical News Today]


A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows that formal training in parenting strategies is a low-risk, effective method for improving preschool-aged children's behavior who are at risk for developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whereas using medication for children below the age of 6 years shows less evidence.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog

Autism in the News: NY Mandates Insurance Coverage for Autism
[Source:Albany Times Union]


Following years of debate and false starts, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Tuesday requiring insurers to cover screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism.

"The children will get the help, the families will get the support," Cuomo said before signing the measure, which was passed by lawmakers last session.

The law could save families with autistic children tens of thousands of dollars, although it will likely contribute to an increase in health insurance premiums in the state. The law takes effect on Nov. 1 of next year.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Cerebral Palsy Research in the News:  Scientists Prevent Cerebral Palsy-like Brain Damage in Mice
[Source:Medical  XPress.com]

Using a mouse model that mimics the devastating condition in newborns, the researchers found that high levels of the protective protein, Nmnat1, substantially reduce damage that develops when the brain is deprived of oxygen and blood flow. The finding offers a potential new strategy for treating cerebral palsy as well as strokes, and perhaps Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases. The research is reported online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Under normal circumstances, the brain can handle a temporary disruption of either oxygen or blood flow during birth, but when they occur together and for long enough, long-term disability and death can result," says senior author David M. Holtzman, MD, the Andrew and Gretchen Jones Professor and head of the Department of Neurology. "If we can use drugs to trigger the same protective pathway as Nmnat1, it may be possible to prevent brain damage that occurs from these conditions as well as from neurodegenerative diseases."

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Development in the News: At Ten Months Old Infants Are Able To Understand Thought Process Of Others

[Source: Medical News Today]

New research from the University of Missouri indicates that at 10 months, babies start to understand another person's thought process, providing new insights on how humans acquire knowledge and how communication develops.

"Understanding other people is a key factor in successful communication, and humans start to understand this at a very young age," said Yuyan Luo, associate professor of developmental psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science. "Our study indicates that infants, even before they can verbally communicate, can understand the thought processes of other people - even if the thoughts diverge from what the infants know as truth, a term psychologists call false belief."

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism Research in the News: Slow Brain Growth Could Explain Autistic Behaviors
[Source: Disability Scoop]

Kids with autism often think and act differently than their peers. Now researchers say they may know why.

Using brain scans, researchers from University of California, Los Angeles say they found that important connections between areas of the brain that control language and social skills grow more slowly in children with autism. The delayed development extends into adolescence, according to the study published online this month in the journal Human Brain Mapping.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Upcoming Event : ASHA Annual Convention & Conference
Its nearly November and that means it's time for the American Speech-Language Hearing Conference and Convention to be held this year in sunny, San Diego from November 17-19th!

PediaStaff will be there of course with a free Toobaloo Fluency Device for all booth visitors while supplies last!  


Stop by booth #924 and say hi!   Our team is looking forward to meeting you face to face in the exhibition hall!.  We will also have a representative of our newsletter team there as well, so please stop by and tell us of your ideas to make this weekly publication even better!   

Therapist Resource of the Week: JigZone Online Jigsaw Puzzle Site
Thank You to Barbara Smith of the Recycling Occupational Therapist for her lead to this great web tool for clients!

Jigzone is an online jigsaw puzzle site (and sister site of the JigZone Puzzle Shop) where you can create and complete your own jigsaw puzzles online. Puzzles can have as few as six pieces, as many as 247 and there are several "cuts" available in addition to the most familiar "classic cut."


There are many hundreds images to choose from in categories such as Animals, Art, Flowers & Garden, Holidays, Ocean, Sports, and more.   Users can time themselves on completion, email a puzzle to a friend, or even embed a puzzle into a website or blog page. You can also upload your own photo to create a custom puzzle with your clients' own image!


Learn More About and Check out Jigzone Through a Link on our Blog 


Resource of the Week: Disability Scoop 
As I was posting a news item today, I realized that while I cite plenty of articles and studies that we have found on Disability Scoop, that I have never actually featured them as a 'Resource of the Week!'

Disability Scoop is an EXCELLENT website and is definitely, like their site claims, 'the premier source for developmental disability news.'


The site features sections on special education, health & behavior, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, autism and more.  Hot topics are featured on their home page.  They have an email list to get regular news updates.   I read their posts through an RSS Feed Reader.


If you put together a resource list for the parents and guardians of your clients/students, this would definitely be a good one to share!

 Visit Disability Scoop Through a Link on our Blog 


Therapy Activity of the Week: Sidewalk Chalk Fun and Games

This is a sample activity from the book, Sidewalk Chalk Fun and Games. This activity encourages gross motor skills, motor planning and muscle strengthening in the hands. Great pediatric OT activity.


Video provided by  Your Therapy Source 

Check out this Great Activity on our Blog
Pinterest Pinboard of the Week:Thanksgiving Themed Therapy Activities and Treats

The word on the street is that our readers very excited about our thematic pinboards on Pinterest.   I would like to thank all of you that email me (and blogged about) our Halloween Pinterest Pinboard.  

That said, let's move on to Thanksgiving!


Please enjoy our compilation (growing by the day) of great Thanksgiving Themed Therapy Activities Pinboard on Pinterest.  At this writing there are over 300 items!  


Learn More About and Visit our Thanksgiving Themed Therapy
Activities Pinboard on Pinterest

Guest Blogs This Week: Speech Gadget, Uncommon Sense  
First Sound Series Books - By:  Deb Tomarakos, SLP-CCC

This blog is titled Speech Gadget and my goal is to spread the word about various gadgets, software and web sites that promote speech/language development. There are times, however, when I might want to share a product that does not fall into my "gadget" category. Today is one such time, as I want to talk about the First Sound Series set of books.

This is a series of children's books that use repetition of functional vocabulary and familiar phrases while targeting early acquired speech sounds. The series was created by two Prompt Certified SLP's, Lavinia Pereira, M.A., CCC-SLP, PC and Michelle Solomon, M.A., CCC-SLP, PC. Currently the series includes books that target the following sounds: /k, o, g, p, b, m, h, a, t, d, n/.  


Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog
For the Therapist, From the Mom - by Dana Nieder

It's been over 2 years since we started therapies. We are lucky to have a spectacular team of therapists who love Maya dearly, and I consider to be surrogate family members. But we went through a few others before we had our perfect team, and before I forget what the beginning was like, I thought that I should write this stuff down. So, here are my thoughts for the therapists, from the beginning.

Come on in, stranger. 


Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Thoughts on Prognosis From a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)
[Source: Thinking Person's Guide to Autism]

By: Jordan S. Sadler, MS, CCC-SLP

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sometimes ask, "What is my child's prognosis?" and that is understandable. As a parent, it is likely that I'd be asking it myself. However, it may be as difficult for therapists to answer as it is for parents to ask. For one thing, what do parents mean by "prognosis"? Does it simply mean, "What will the outcome be for my child after all this therapy? What will his future look like?" Or is it a way of asking, "How close to typical do you think my child will become? Will he eventually blend in with his peers more?"

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - 30 Speech and Language Goals for the Thomas the Train Table
Editor's Note: Thomas the Tank Engine is still a hot commodity with the kiddie set.    Last week Mattel bought Hit Entertainment for almost $700 million dollars!!   So, I guess the cheeky little engine and his friends will be around for a while.   That said, check out this great article on how you can meet speech and language goals with this popular toy.by: 

By: Rebecca Eisenberg, MS CCC-SLP,  
[Source: Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists]

After working in home-based early intervention for many years, one of the most common and challenging toys I have worked with has been the Thomas the Train™ Table. Children consistently gravitate to the table, and it has been a struggle at times to work on activities that do not involve it.

Recently, I decided to write speech and language goals that I could target with the Thomas the Train Table. After writing the goals, my therapy with this activity became clearer and more focused. These goals may be helpful for other therapists who work in the home and for parents to carry over goals the therapist is working on with their child.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog  
Also Worth Repeating - Classroom Strategies for Choral Reading
Source: Reading Rockets

Choral reading is reading aloud in unison with a whole class or group of students. Choral reading helps build students' fluency, self-confidence, and motivation. Because students are reading aloud together, students who may ordinarily feel self-conscious or nervous about reading aloud have built-in support.

Why use choral reading?

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
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