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January 20, 2012
Issue 3, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     

Hello and Happy Friday to everyone.  We have another big issue for you today.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!  

News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources

Articles and Special Features 

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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

The Career Center

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Recent Speech Language Pathologist and SLPA Jobs
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School Psychologist Jobs 
Cerebral Palsy/Stem Cell Treatments  in the News:  Stem Cell Fraud: A 60 Minutes Investigation

Editor's Note:  We thought this was very interesting and scary, but also very one sided, as they didn't interview anyone who has had success with these treatments at reputable, experimental programs in the US.  Please let us know your thoughts through comments.   


[Source: CBS]


Dr. Dan Ecklund claims he can treat dozens of diseases using stem cells. But there's a problem. Ecklund is a disgraced doctor whose medical license was revoked in 2005. That hasn't kept him from founding a company and a website that offer hope where science cannot. Scott Pelley investigates the lucrative business of miracle stem cell "cures." It's 21st century snake oil being peddled to desperate people, including the parents of one young boy, Adam Susser, who has cerebral palsy and is blind and quadriplegic.


Watch this Story Through a Link on our Blog
Help Some Grad Students:  Please Forward this Parent Survey on ACC for Autism 
We were contacted yesterday by grad students at Eastern Washington University  who are looking to learn more about the perspectives of caregivers who have children with autism.  Specifically, they want to know what parents think about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).   Please forward the following survey link to the parents and guardians of children with autism that you think might be interested in participating

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Down Syndrome in the News: Child Model with Down Syndrome (from Target Ad) Featured on NBC Nightly News

[Source: NBC News]

Ryan Langston has everything a casting director would want in a child model: charisma, a hip haircut and a knockout smile. This 6-year-old also has Down syndrome - and it is that fact that has daytime talk shows, international newspapers and news networks all wanting to tell Ryan's story.


His appearance in a Nordstrom catalog this summer, and a Target ad this month created the kind of buzz marketing directors dream of - because of what the ads do not do. They don't emphasize or point out that Ryan has special needs. He's just a good looking kid in an ad, appearing alongside other good looking kids about the same age.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Language Development in the News:  Babies Learn to Speak by Lip-Reading, Could Offer Autism Clues

[Source:  MSNBC.com]


For years, the conventional wisdom was that babies learned how to talk by listening to their parents. But a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that our little angels are using more than their ears to acquire language. They're using their eyes, too, and are actually pretty good lip readers.


The finding could lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention for autism spectrum disorders, estimated, on average, to affect 1 in 110 children in the United States alone.

In the study, researchers from Florida Atlantic University tested groups of infants, ranging from four to 12 months of age and a group of adults for comparison.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Transplantation for the Disabled in the News: Claim: Girl Denied Transplant Because She's 'Mentally Retarded'

Editor's Note:  We first became aware of this story through a pin on Pinterest.   You can read her story as told by her mom, as well as view/sign her petition through our blog.   


[Source: Disability Scoop]


A Philadelphia hospital is taking heat after reportedly telling one mom her daughter would not be able to receive a kidney transplant because the 3-year-old has an intellectual disability.

Chrissy Rivera wrote about her daughter's experience at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in a blog post last week. Since then, more than 18,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the hospital to reverse course.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Medical Mystery in the News : 12 Teenage Girls in NY Stricken with Sudden Onset of Stuttering and Tics
[Source:  NBC News]

High school cheerleader and art student Thera Sanchez  took a quick nap one day last October, and when she woke up, the life she had known was gone.


In its place, she was plagued by uncontrollable body movements, tics and verbal outbursts, similar to Tourette's syndrome. It turned out Sanchez was not alone, as she is one of 12 girls from LeRoy Junior-Senior High School in upstate New York who has been exhibiting symptoms of a mysterious condition that has baffled doctors.


"I'm very angry,'' Sanchez told TODAY's Ann Curry during an interview Tuesday. "I'm very frustrated. No one's giving me answers.''

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD in the News: Activity Program Helps Kids with ADHD

[Source: Psych Central.com]


Although it may seem paradoxical, a new study finds that a structured physical activity program can help children who suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  

Children with ADHD often struggle with hyperactive impulses and have trouble maintaining attention.

Researchers discovered performing defined physical exercises helped children improve muscular coordination and motor skills, and enhanced their ability to process information.  

The study is discussed in the recent issue of the Journal of Attention Disorders.


Read the Rest of this Article Through Links on our Blog

Autism in the News: Is Birth Weight Related to Autism?

[Source:  Science Daily]

Although the genetic basis of autism is now well established, a growing body of research also suggests that environmental factors may play a role in this serious developmental disorder affecting nearly one in 100 children. Using a unique study design, a new study suggests that low birth weight is an important environmental factor contributing to the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

"Our study of discordant twins - twin pairs in which only one twin was affected by ASD - found birth weight to be a very strong predictor of autism spectrum disorder," said Northwestern University researcher Molly Losh. Losh, who teaches and conducts research in Northwestern's School of Communication, is lead author of the study that will be published in the journal Psychological Medicine and is now available online.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Cochlear Implants in the News: Kids Do Well With Two Cochlear Implants 
[Source: Reuters Health]

Deaf children who already had one cochlear implant had improvements in speech, hearing and related quality of life measures after a second was implanted in the other ear, researchers from the Netherlands reported this week.

And the degree of improvement didn't depend on how old kids were when they got their second implant, according to the study, published in the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery.  

An improved quality of life after a second implant "is not surprising," said Betty Loy, who studies deafness and cochlear implants at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
DSM-V Changes in the News: Word of Drastic Changes to DSM-V Autism Definitions Reaching the Mainstream Press

[Source: New York Times via MSNBC]


Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and may make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, a new analysis suggests.


The definition is under review by an expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association, which is completing work on the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The D.S.M, as the manual is known, is the standard reference for mental disorders, driving research, treatment and insurance decisions.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Book Review: Visual Techniques for Developing Social Skills: Activities and Lesson Plans for Teaching Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome
Visual Techniques for Developing Social Skills is not only a useful tool for teachers, therapists (and  parents, too) who want concrete directions on how to provide social skills training but  is also a thought provoking description of how social deficits impact lives of  children with high functioning autism and asperger's syndrome. 

As an occupational therapist and mother of a young adult with asperger's syndrome I appreciate Rebecca Moyes' emphasis on addressing these issues in the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) in the same nonjudgmental manner one would treat dyslexia or coordination problems.

Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog
Therapy Resource of the Week: Draw That Habitat!

by:  Sean Sweenie 


I love resources that provide enough material to allow for repetition of activities- our kids benefit not only from trying things more than once but also from generalizing to other contexts.  When a topic is real-life and relatable to curriculum, even better! Take the topic of animal habitats- how "Speechie" is it? Well, habitats can be described in detail, visualized, have different categories of animals living in them, experience cycles/sequences based on weather and climate, and of course the relationship between animals and habitats is linked to cause and effect and conditional language (if something changed in the habitat, then...)


Read the Rest of this Site Reivew and Check it out Through our Blog

Pinterest Resource of the Week: Cranial Nerves by the Numbers 
Our original pin of this resource was far and away the most repinned of all our pins last week!  The most repeated comment I saw by clinicians repinning it to their own boards was: "Where was this when I was in grad school!??"

This graphic was originally featured in American Nurse Today in 2006 and then was shared on the Undergrad RN blog in November of 2010.   Not sure who brought it to Pinterest and started it around SLP circles, but we got it from Shareka Bentham and we are glad we did!

Check out this Great Mnemonic  for Remembering the Cranial Nerves on our Blog
OT Corner: 10 Reasons Caregivers Shouldn't Fear Therapy For Their 'Sensational' Kid (From a Mom's Perspective)
By: Chynna Laird:

Editor's Note:  This article was written for caregivers of children with sensory processing issues.  We thought it would be a great resource for OTs to share with their parents and guardians.

1) Your child learns about herself. Therapists are trained in their area of speciality and are able to teach your child about her specific condition. They are also there to show your child all the things she can do using the tools and strategies they teach her. Just remember, caregivers: They aren't there to replace you; they are their to enhance what you're already doing.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: 10 Questions About Dog Basketball Your Students Will Love
By: Eric X.  Raj, M.S. CCC-SLP

It isn't every day that you get to see a DOG playing BASKETBALL! Wow, I sure was impressed when I came across this 1 minute video on YouTubeso I felt the need to share it with with my 3rd grade students. I believe that incorporating audio-visual media into the speech therapy session really helps children who have language difficulties. If I were to simply talk about a dog playing basketball, that would be too abstract for the kiddos. Similarly, if I were to show a picture of a dog playing basketball, they wouldn't be able to truly see and comprehend what an amazing talent that the pet had. By showing my students this video, I was able to get some great conversation going in our little speech room.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Ideation/Perspective Drawing
by:  Jill Perry  MHA, M.S. OTR/L

I am finding many of the kids with whom I work have a difficult time coming up with novel ideas.  This has been happening in the gym, when telling stories, when they are creating Lego structures, or when drawing.  Our social adventures groups provide kids with ample opportunities to build this particular skill...but it has been a tough one to develop.  When they are given an open ended directive, the outcome is often a repeat of a previous idea or activity, a copy of another child's idea, or a repetitive theme.

During one recent group, together with the kids and my wonderfully creative SLP co-leader, Meghan, we came up with an idea for creating ideas!    Meghan read the book "Not a Box" by Antoinette Portis (featured in our Books4all entry see here).  We then gave each child a piece of paper with the same single-lined non-descript shape and told them to imagine what it could be and then add to the drawing.  After a designated amount of time, they passed their papers

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Meet PediaStaff: Janell Marino, Senior Staffing Consultant 
Janell has been a healthcare recruiter for 15 years.  Prior to joining the PediaStaff team, she owned a company specializing in direct hire recruiting in the fields of physical rehabilitation and medical imaging. At one time, Janell owned and managed a coffee house she describes as a "Cheers Bar" for the morning crowd -a place where "everybody knows your name." Her ability to build customer loyalty has served her well in the field of recruiting. She is respectful of her clients and candidates, and works hard to ensure that each interview represents a strong fit between the needs of the client and the qualifications and desires of the candidate.

Read the Rest of Janell's Bio (And See Her Picture!) on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Trading Places: An SLP Sees Disability and Treatment Through a Whole New Lens
[Source:  ASHA Leader]

Female, 6 years; 10 months. Chromosomal abnormality: translocation 9;15, microdeletion 9. Repaired cleft palate. Previous history of hypoglycemia, gastroesphogeal reflux, and tachycardia. Delayed developmental milestones. History of recurrent ear infections with subsequent placement of bilateral myringotomy tubes. Receptive and expressive language broadly within normal limits. Mild to moderate hypernasal speech with nasal emission. Reduced speech intelligibility. Most recent psychoeducational assessment revealed low-average verbal comprehension index and borderline visual-perceptual scores. Recently diagnosed ADHD (combined type).


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog 
Also Worth Repeating:  Integrating Motor Control and Motor Learning Concepts with Neuropsychological Perspectives on Apraxia and Developmental Dyspraxia
by: Shelley A. Goodgold-Edwards and Sharon A. Cermak

This paper reviews selected pertinent literature on the learning and performance of skilled motor acts.  Information on normal motor performance is integrated with that on adult apraxia and related to common problems observed in children with developmental dyspraxia. The process of motor skill acquisition is outlined, and aspects of styles of motor organization, modes of control, premovement organization, sensory organization, and analysis of the types of errors are presented. Recommendations for clinicians working with children with developmental dyspraxia are offered.


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