May 27, 2011
Issue 5, Volume 5 
It's All About the Choices!     

Hello All!  We have a nice big issue for you today. 

If you are winding down your school year and will not have access to your work email over the summer, be sure to remember to subscribe to our newsletter through your personal email, or access our content through our blog

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

News Items:
  • Mechanical Engineers Design Interactive Toy for Kids with Autism  
  • Vermont Tops National Ranking Of Disability Services   
  • Video of the Week:  Speech Language Pathology "Intergalactic" Rap   
  • Simple Exercise Improves Lung Function In Children With Cystic Fibrosis
  • DSM Changes in the Mainstream News 
  • New Testing Helps Change the Game on Youth Concussions   
  • Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome) in the News  

Tips, Activities and Resources:
  • Book Review: Sensory Parenting from Newborn to Toddlers  
  • Addictive Summer Reading Lists for Kids of All Ages 
  • My Garden  
Upcoming Events:
  • The Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding: Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders 

Articles and Blogs  

  • SLP Corner:  Transitional Stage Of Communication � (Stage 2 of SM-SCCS) The Missing Link!  
  • OT Corner: A Look at Kinesio� Taping
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Wait...For...It..- Feeding Therapy: The Power of Waiting  
  • School Psychology Corner: Pediatric Brain Injury: Applications of Clinical Neuropsychology  
  • Focus on Bilingualism: The Benefits of Sign Language in Early Acquisition
  • Q&A: Ask the Expert -  Vision Screenings & When to Refer for a Developmental Vision Evaluation: What Every OTR Should Know   
  • Guest Blog: Top 5 Ninja Characteristics All Speech Pathologists Have  
  • Guest Blog: Torticollis: An Effective Tearless Approach To Treatment  
  • Worth Repeating: Managing Landau-Kleffner Syndrome 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) in Neurodevelopmental and Idiopathic Contexts

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 
Innovation for Autism in the News: Mechanical Engineers Design Interactive Toy for Kids with Autism
Special Thanks to our friends at Healing Thresholds for the heads up on this story!

[Source: Stevens Institute of Technology Website]

Flashing lights, sounds, and a ricocheting ball. It's not a game on a New Jersey boardwalk, but a toy with a positive purpose. Kevin Heaney, Rowena Lee, and Stephanie Miller, three Mechanical Engineering students at Stevens Institute of Technology, are using their Senior Design project to create a toy for children with autism that will aid in children's development through play therapy.

The team collaborated with teachers at Academy Learning Center, a Monroe Township school that provides specialized, classroom based instruction, based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis for students with autism or autistic-like behavior. Their design won over both the instructors and the children attending the school.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Disability Services in the News: Vermont Tops National Ranking Of Disability Services
[Source: Disability Scoop]

Vermont offers the best Medicaid services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities while Mississippi provides the worst, according to an annual ranking released Thursday.

The 50-state analysis from United Cerebral Palsy compares services offered across the country, giving preference to states where more individuals are served in the community as opposed to institutions.

Vermont, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire and California fare best in the ranking. Meanwhile, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi round out the bottom of the list. (Find out where your state stands >>)

However, the report authors caution that no state is perfect, writing "although some states rank better than others, every state has room for improvement."

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Video of the Week: Speech Language Pathology "Intergalactic" Rap
Special Thanks to our friends at CASPLA for telling us about this fun YouTube video.  Please enjoy watching some Master's of Speech and Hearing Sciences ~ Medical SLP students from the University of Washington make some crazy speech-related beats to "Intergalactic.

Watch This Fun Video on Our Blog
PT for Cystic Fibrosis in the News - Simple Exercise Improves Lung Function In Children With CF
[Source: Medical News Today]

A small Johns Hopkins Children's Center study of children and teens with cystic fibrosis (CF) shows that simple exercise, individually tailored to each patient's preference and lifestyle, can help improve lung function and overall fitness.

Frequent lung infections, breathing problems and decreased lung function are the hallmark symptoms of CF, a genetic disorder marked by a disruption in the body's ability to transport chloride in and out of cells that leads to the buildup of thick mucus in the lungs and other organs.

Because rigidly structured high-intensity exercise routines are hard to sustain over time, the Johns Hopkins team designed exercise regimens that fit easily into each patient's daily life.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
DSM Changes in the News: Asperger's Syndrome: High-Functioning Autism to Lose Its Name
[Source: ABC News/Good Morning America]

Eileen Parker was 41 years old when she discovered her quirky, misunderstood behavior had a name: Asperger's. The syndrome, which is marked by impaired social interaction and sensory overload, joins other neurological disorders on the autism spectrum. And for Parker, the label came as a relief.

"It opened up my world," said Parker, who is now 45. "Having been on the outside, I all of sudden found I was on the inside with millions of other people."

Parker said the Asperger's diagnosis, which is used interchangeably with high-functioning autism, made it easier for her to get along with others -- even her husband and their four kids.

"They could finally understand why I was a certain way. They said, 'Oh, that's why you're like that.'"

Watch Video and Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Brain Injury in the News:  New Testing Helps Change the Game on Youth Concussions
[Source: USA Today]

Shannon Parker got knocked in the head at soccer practice at Fairfax High School. She sat out for weeks until passing a comprehensive clinical evaluation that included a computer test showing she was back to normal brain function, same as if she played for the Washington Redskins.

Athletes at the 25 public high schools in Fairfax County, an affluent suburb of Washington, take baseline tests like the ones used by NFL players. The ImPACT tests are one tool doctors and athletic trainers can use to tell when it is safe to return to the field. That's crucial because a second concussion when not fully healed from a first one is dangerous.

Watch Video Story and Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on Our Blog

Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome) in the News: Treatment for Flat Head Syndrome 
[Source: NBC Digital Health Network/iVillage]

Many parents lay infants on their backs to sleep in hopes of preventing SIDS. The unintended consequences was that it caused many babies' heads to become misshapen.


Watch Video to Learn More About This Condition and its Treatment Through a Link on our Blog  

Upcoming Event / CEU Opportunity: The Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding: Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders
When?  Basic Course-July 16-18, 2011 ; Advanced Course-July 19, 2011
Where? Embassy Suites Boston-Waltham, Waltham, MA
Featuring Kay A. Toomey, PhD and Erin Ross, PhD, CCC-SLP

The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation is privileged to present Kay A. Toomey, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist, teaching her internationally renowned intervention for problem feeders.

The Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S) Approach to Feeding is a family-centered, transdisciplinary program for assessing and treating children with weight/growth problems from birth to 18 years. It integrates postural, sensory, motor, behavioral/ learning, medical and nutritional factors to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems.

Who should attend: speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, special education teachers, psychologists, physical therapists, early intervention specialists, nurses, physicians, dietitians and mental health workers.

Continuing Education: AOTA continuing education credit awarded. Basic Course 22.5 hours; Advanced Course 7.5 hours


For Detailed Agendas, Tuition and Registration  

Book Review: Sensory Parenting: From Newborn to Toddlers
By: Britt Collins MS, OTR/L and Jackie Linder Olson
Reviewed By: Susan N. Schriber Orloff, OTR/L

This is an outstanding book for both practitioners and parents. For new parents it covers everything from nursing to nurturing and for the 0-3 OT it gives great ideas for home health visits.

Many new parents do not know what is typical and what is not. This is particularly true for the first time parent.

The narrative is interspersed with checklists that help understand developmental expectations.
Covering motor development, hygiene and more this book helps demystify the growing up process and provides helpful ideas that are easily implemented.

Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog

Therapist Resource of the Week - Addictive Summer Reading Lists for Kids of All Ages
Special Thanks to Literacy Speaks for suggesting this week's Therapy Resource of the Week - Addictive Summer Reading Lists for Kids of All Ages

[Source: Make and]

Want to get your kids addicted to reading all summer? Sometimes it just takes finding the right book or series of books. I've rounded-up my favorite books, ideas beyond Harry Potter. Many are in a series; many just recently published. These are so good, you'll want to read them, too.

Read This Great List of Summer Books Through a Link on our Blog

Therapy Activity/Resource of the Week: My Garden
Special Thanks to Sean Sweeney of Speech Techie for suggesting this fun site to use in speech therapy.

Reprinted with the permission of the author as it appeared on the SpeechTechie blog

My Garden is a great springtime activity that is part of the incredibly rich Busytown Mysteries site, based on Richard Scarry's books. I think this site would be great to explore further and implement as part of programming for K-1 or developmentally equivalent students. When you arrive in Busytown, to get to this activity, pick Countryside, then the Barn! You'll then be able to follow a sequence of instructions to plant and grow flowers, and use such interactive features as the "camera" to photograph your results. This site begs to be explored more!
Speech Language Pathology Corner:  Transitional Stage Of Communication � (Stage 2 of SM-SCCS) The Missing Link!
By: Dr Elisa Shipon-Blum

Children with SM present in an array of different ways. Some can be shut down and noncommunicative (stage 0) while others can become comfortable but use nonverbal means of communicating, such as pointing. gesturing, etc. As time goes by in a particular settings, if efforts are not on helping the child, via the use of strategies, the child often remains mute or makes very little progress into such settings. Especially if anyone present is consistently asking the child to talk and/or the child senses a high level of expectation.

Q: For the nonverbal child, is lowering anxiety enough to stimulate speech?
A: For the majority, the answer is NO, especially as a child ages. For the child who is able to respond via nodding, gesturing, pointing, writing, etc. he/she may actually appear comfortable, relaxed and engaged, yet mutism persists.

Q: If anxiety is low, and the child appears comfortable, WHY does he/she just not talk?
A: MUTE behavior becomes learned, ingrained and conditioned to the point of impossibility. And with emphasis on trying to get the child to speak, such as asking him/her when and why she does not speak, reinforced mute behavior persists. 

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog   


Occupational Therapy Corner: A Look at Kinesio� Taping
By: Munira Adenwalla, Pediatric Occupational Therapist / Certified Kinesio� Taping Practitioner

David Beckham, Serena Williams and Lance Armstrong all use Kinesio� Tape and so do the kids I treat.

Kinesio Tape is an elastic, cotton, water-resistant tape developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1973. It was first used in Japan on athletes to enhance their sports performance and for faster recovery from injuries.

I have used Kinesio� Taping with babies and young children for the past eight years. I find it to be a valuable adjunct to treatment for infants to older children.

Kinesio tape is applied over and around specific muscles to provide joint support and muscle re-education. The tape can be stretched 40-60% gently 'pulling' on the skin and causing the muscles underneath to strengthen. It comes in beige, blue, pink and black and varies in width from one to three inches.

The thickness and weight of the tape is designed to be similar to that of skin so it is comfortable and non-invasive.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Pediatric Therapy Corner: Wait...For...It..- Feeding Therapy: The Power of Waiting
By: Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

As a speech language pathologist who specializes in feeding, one of the most important strategies that I teach to parents and caregivers is the power of waiting. Children need time to organize their thoughts and their bodies before gathering up their courage to interact with a new food. Well-intentioned parents who cheer enthusiastically for their kids in order to "encourage them to do it" are accidently reinforcing NOT eating. If a child isn't eating, the best thing to do is to give that behavior no attention by simply waiting. Feeding therapists can provide strategies on how to negotiate each step to eating, when to praise, and just as importantly, how to praise. Whether today's lesson was how to smell steamed broccoli without gagging or how to bite into a crunchy cucumber, each step is celebrated! By waiting for children to take the next step while we provide the framework for success, we instill in them a sense of autonomy and affirm their own feelings of "Wow, I did that on my own!"

Therapists observe parents and/or caregivers rewarding "not eating" with the infamous airplane game at mealtimes. While a flying spoon loaded with applesauce cargo may be thrilling for the eager toddler - you know, the one who loves to have spoons careening into his mouth on the pink landing strip known as a tongue...well, it can backfire with the hesitant eater: "Here comes the up...opennnn up for the it's flying it comes!" The more the hesitant eater refuses to open, the more exciting the airshow becomes! Help parents understand that they need to be aware of rewarding their child with attention for not opening up. Think about it: If the child opens up, the air show ends immediately--and what fun is that?

 Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
School Psychology Corner:  Pediatric Brain Injury: Applications of Clinical Neuropsychology
By: David E. Nilsson Ph.D ABPP/CN

Appropriately, the brain is described as the functional "center" of any individual, unique to the individual from conception on, shaped by our genetic endowment, and experience in our neurodevelopmental/neurobehavioral history. The brain directs what we do, how and when we do it, processing every thought, sensation, or motor function we experience. It regulates all body function, our sensory systems (e.g., visual, auditory, tactual, gustatory (taste), and smell), and becomes the foundation of our personality, moderating all our interaction with our environment. The brain integrates and organizes information central to our reasoning, judgment, and problem-solving, facilitating communication, learning, and socialization. Perhaps most important to our discussion is that of the brain's role in regulating and managing our exposure to stimulation and our response to that stimulation (i.e., arousal). Unfortunately, not all brains are created equal! No one recognizes this more than clinicians and educators working with such individuals day-to-day. However, there remains a lack of consensus for the "logic" of behavior of the individual. The most basic consequence of injury to the brain is to disrupt the "logic" of learning, behavior, and function of the individual, as they were and as they will become. As educators and clinicians, it is our role to identify and understand that "logic" to direct our efforts.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog 

Focus on Bilingualism - The Benefits of Sign Language in Early Acquisition
By:  Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and Alejandro Brice, Ph.D, CCC-SLP
Many parents of children with communication delays and disorders become very concerned when a speech-language pathologist proposes the use of sign language. When probed further about their concerns, many parents have reported that they are afraid their children will learn to sign and not learn to talk, or that they will no longer be motivated to learn to speak if they can communicate with sign language. How do we convince parents that it is okay to teach signs to their children?

There is a growing body of literature that is following the growing use of sign language with infants. Many parents of typically developing children have started to use sign language, or baby signs, with their infants and toddlers. (Pizer, Walters, & Meier, 2007). Many speech-language pathologists have long viewed sign language as a bridge between the time a child know what he/she want to communicate and the time a child can orally produce what he wants to say. Recent studies provide support for the use of signs.

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
Q&A: Ask the Expert: Vision Screenings & When to Refer for a Developmental Vision Evaluation: What Every OTR Should Know
by: Carole L. Hong, OD, FCOVD

Why are vision screenings important?

An undetected vision problem may interfere not only with a child's ability to see clearly, but may also affect one's ability to learn in school, interpret what they see and use their eyes to guide movement. Understanding the components of a thorough vision screening and collaborating with an optometrist that can provide developmental vision care can be critical to your clients' success. The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed and treated, the less it will impact an individual's quality of life.

Why isn't 20/20 visual acuity "perfect" vision?

Eyesight is the ability to discriminate the differences between small things. So although many think that 20/20 is perfect vision, that's the farthest from the truth. All that it means is at 20 feet you can see what most people can see at that distance. This measurement gives NO information concerning how much effort is needed to see single, clear images, how well the eyes track along a line of print or if they work together properly for long periods of time (such as throughout the school day). There are more than 15 visual skills critical to vision and learning and seeing clearly (visual acuity) is just one of those skills.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: Artic Brain, Kid PT  
Top 5 Ninja Characteristics All Speech Pathologists Have:  By: Erik X. Raj CCC-SLP

When most people hear the word "ninja," images of Power Rangers, mutant turtles, or extremely fast people wearing full black body suits and masks usually come to mind. But guess what? When I hear someone speaking about a person skilled in ninjutsu (the Japanese martial art characterized by stealthy movement and camouflage), the first thing that comes to MY mind is a speech-language pathologist! Here are the top 5 ninja characteristics that all SLPs have.

5. Speed
We understand that our time is limited so we jump right into all of our therapy sessions. We are quick and we never waste a single moment. A speech therapist is able to inject his/her client with weeks worth of valuable information in a single 30 minute block. All of this helps to ensure that our students are becoming black belt communicators!

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Torticollis - An Effective Tearless Approach To Treatment:  By: Dr. Joni Redlich, DPT

"I watched a remarkable, quiet, tearless session in which Susan Blum treated a 2-months-old infant with torticollis that ended with his body and head in midline. No neck stretching!! No stretching of any kind! In fact, TMR uses the OPPOSITE of stretching to gain soft tissue extensibility and improved movement symmetry. It's particularly appealing in that parents get to hug and hold their children and get changes in mobility without imposing any demands."

Billi Cusick's PT, MS, COF in the Progressive GaitWays Newsletter, February 2011

Torticollis is derived from the Latin word for "twisted neck." The most common type of torticollis in children in Congenital Muscular Torticollis. The head is positioned in various degrees of tilt to one side and then rotation to the opposite side. Evidence-Based Care Guideline for Management of Congenital Muscular Torticollis in children age 0 to 36 months describes the traditional approach to torticollis treatment, which includes stretching, positioning, and active movement on the weaker side. The guideline does state to screen upper and lower extremity range of motion, but treatment of these limitations is not specifically recommended. Traditionally, the therapist will assess the full body, but then we treat the neck because this is the most visible and obvious problem area.

Read the Rest of this Article Which Includes a Video on our Blog
Worth Repeating:  Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) in Neurodevelopmental and Idiopathic Contexts
By: Lawrence D. Shriberg

We have proposed that programmatic studies of apraxia of speech as it reportedly occurs in diverse neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders can inform research on the core features and diagnostic markers of idiopathic Childhood Apraxia of Speech, a putative pediatric speech sound disorder [1]. This paper describes the research plan, summarizes primary elements of the speech assessment and analysis methods, and reports summary perceptual and acoustic findings from four initial studies. 

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

Also Worth Repeating: Managing Landau-Kleffner Syndrome
by Dr Muhammad Arshad and Prof Michael FitzGerald

[Source: The Irish Medical Times]

Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) is an acquired epileptic aphasia of childhood and is a rare, childhood neurological syndrome. It is accompanied by abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) and behaviour symptoms of autism.

LKS may also be called infantile 'acquired aphasia', 'acquired epileptic aphasia' or 'acquired aphasia with convulsive disorder', but Rapin et al (1977) called it 'auditory verbal agnosia'. It was first described by Landau and Kleffner, who identified six children with LKS (1957).

Auditory verbal agnosia or 'pure word deafness' is involved - in other words, a disturbance in comprehension of spoken language in the presence of otherwise intact auditory functioning and, essentially, normal performance in other language modalities.


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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