December 30, 2011
Issue 12, Volume 5 
It's All About the Choices!     

Happy New Year!  We have a huge issue for you today to end the year with a bang.  Please check out our year end "Top 10" Articles, Resources and Activities based on your unique page views!

I would like to thank our readers for a great year.  Thank You for your interest in what we are doing here, and for sharing our blog and newsletter with your friends.  We have seen a very nice increase in readership that we can attribute in large part to the sharing you do of our posts via email, your facebook pages, etc.  We would also like to give a shout out to our guest bloggers, guest columnists and contributors for an amazing year on this blog.  We couldn't do it without you. 

On behalf of the entire crew at PediaStaff, please have a Safe and Happy New Year.   We will see you in 2012!

News Items:
  • Good Apps for Autism in the News (New York Times)
  • Kids Born Just a Few Weeks Early at Risk of Behavioral Problems, Study Suggests
  • Nice Article from Boston Magazine: Welcome to the Age of Overparenting
  • 12-Year-Old Boy Finds that Rapping Eases Stuttering 
  • 2011's Top Ten Advances Autism Research
  • Senate Introduces Bill Limiting Restraints, Seclusion
  • Selective Mutism on ABC News/Nightline
Tips, Activities and Resources:
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week:  Velcro Under the Desk for Tactile Stimulation 
  • iPhone App Review - Easy Concepts 
  • New Year's Time Capsule Speech Therapy Activity  

  • Blog to Check out:  Love that Max  
  • Top Ten Resources and Activities 2011 
Articles and Blogs  
  • SLP Corner: Everyday Language Activities: Grocery Shopping With a Toddler
  • OT Corner:  Evidence-based Interventions for the Underlying Components of Academic Success: Sensory, Work Habits, Processing and Behavior 
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Why We Need Autism
  • School Psychology Corner: Understanding Concussion in Children: Diagnosis, Management & Return-to-Play Decisions
  • Focus on Bilingualism:  Does This Make Sense?: A Framework for Evaluating the Language Samples of Bilingual Children
  • PediaStaff's 'Top Ten' Articles of 2011   
  • Blog Worth Repeating:  Autism - A Year in Review 
  • Guest Blog:  And a Child Shall Lead  
  • Worth Repeating: Making New Year's Resolutions with Kids
  • Also Worth Repeating:  Rett Syndrome: Implications for Physical Education and Other Movement Settings  

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 
Apps for Autism in the News: As Seen in the New York Times

[Source: The New York Times]


The Apple iPad has been hailed as a savior for assisting children with autism spectrum disorder or other special needs. It was portrayed as a minor miracle in a recent segment on "60 Minutes" and has been found to help even the very young quickly learn.


Anecdotally, teachers, parents and therapists describe the profound difference that apps for Apple and Android products have made in helping autistic children develop skills. IPad programs have provided a means of communicating for some children with autism who cannot speak or have language delays. Other apps help children learn to handle social situations that can be stressful, like crowds at malls. And many programs can help develop fine-motor skills, which promote functions like writing or manipulating small objects.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Behavior in the News: Kids Born Just a Few Weeks Early at Risk of Behavioral Problems, Study Suggests

[Source: ScienceDaily]


Children born just a few weeks too early are significantly more likely to have behavioural and/or emotional problems in the pre-school years, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.


It is well known that children born very premature (under 32 weeks) tend to have significantly more behavioural and/or emotional problems than children born full term, but it has not been clear what impact birth just a few weeks too early might have.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Overparenting in the News: Nice Article from Boston Magazine: Welcome to the Age of Overparenting

by Katherine Ozment, illustrations by Larry Ruppert  


WHEN BOSTON WAS HIT by last winter's barrage of blizzards, my two oldest kids, then ages eight and five, spent their snow days lounging around the house in their pajamas, occasionally dabbling at the computer. "Mom," they said, "we're bored." Finally, I suggested they go outside - but not too far and not for too long and they should remember to wear layers or they'd surely end up in the hospital receiving treatment for frostbite. Oh, and did they need a snack or have to go to the bathroom first? As they trudged out the front door, I was simultaneously relieved to have them out of the house and terrified that they would be kidnapped or hit by a bus. I opened our living room window and sat beside it, working on my laptop. Every 20 minutes I'd crane my neck and yell, "You guys all right out there?"

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on Our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week: 12 Year Old Canadian Fan of Rapper Drake, Discovers that Rapping Eases his own Stuttering!

Like a lot of 12 year-olds, Jake Zeldin is a fan of Canadian rapper Drake. But unlike other 12-year-olds, Jake has actually had the chance to rap with him. Impressive enough; but what's more impressive is what rapping does for Jake.


Jake Zeldin has struggled with a significant stutter all his life. But when he starts to rap, that stutter disappears.


Communicating has been a struggle for Zeldin since he first started to speak. But ask him to rap one of his own written songs, and the sentences and rhymes tumble out easily, one right after the other.

Read the Rest of this Article and Watch the Video News Story Through a Link on our Blog
Autism Research in the News: 2011's Top Ten Advances Autism Research
Every year, Autism Speaks documents progress toward its mission to discover the causes and best treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and identifies the most important autism research achievements of the year. Our "Top Ten" list for 2011 includes discoveries on how frequently autism recurs in families and the extent to which "environmental," or non-genetic influences, increase the risk of autism.  All of the research described in this list will profoundly shape the future of autism research in 2012 and beyond. Some of these remarkable findings are already delivering real-world benefits to individuals and families struggling with autism.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Advocacy in the News: Senate Introduces Bill Limiting Restraints, Seclusion

A U.S. Senate bill filed late last week would limit physical restraint and locked seclusion of students-measures often used with students with disabilities who are considered out of control, harmful to themselves or others, or in need of being calmed.


Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's "Keeping All Students Safe Act," is similar to a bill filed by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., in April. The U.S. House has previously passed the bill, but it wasn't taken up by the Senate. However Rep. Miller's bill has bipartisan support. Sen. Harkin's bill has no cosponsors, at least not yet.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Selective Mutism in the News: Quitting the Quiet: Program Helps Selectively Mute Children Overcome Anxieties
[Source:  ABC News/Nightline]

A home, Jake Semmel acts like a happy-go-lucky 6-year-old who loves "Star Wars" and fire trucks. At home, Maya Walker, 7, is a chatterbox.

But in public, Jake will only speak to a select few adults in his life and can't even talk to his grandparents. At school, Maya hasn't said a word in class for an entire year. She doesn't move a muscle when she's on stage during the school pageant. She could never blow out the candles at her own birthday parties.


Read the Rest of this Article, Watch the Nightline Piece and Read Advice for Parents from Dr. Kurtz Through a Link on our Blog
Pinterest Pin of the Week: Velcro Under the Desk for Soothing Tactile Stimulation

Our Pinterest Pin of the Week (originally pinned by Katie Danner) has been repinned almost 80 times in the last few days.


To help a child with SPD receive soothing tactile stimulation, and reduce fidgety behavior, apply a strip of Velcro under their desk to provide them with an instant source of tactile input. Simple, but it can be effective!

Visit this Pin Through a Link on our Blog
App Review: Easy Concepts 
Review of:  Easy Concepts
App Designer: Easy Speak Enterprises
App Reviewed by:  Sean Sweeney

I have always preferred the cute, contextual look of the CELF Preschool 2s Concepts and Following Directions to its dreadful, symbolic and endless older brother CELF-4s version (do we really need umpteen items and such a high ceiling?) when it comes to evaluating auditory comprehension of directives and basic concepts. Partially inspired by the attractive animal scenes in that subtest, Easy Speak Enterprises' Easy Concepts app ($4.99) develops the skills of following conceptual and multistep directions in an engaging format.

Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog
Therapy Activity of the Week: New Year's Time Capsule Speech Therapy Activity

by Kim Lewis of Activity Tailor


I approach September and the beginning of the school year with enthusiasm.  I particularly like the laying in of supplies-newly sharpened pencils with perfectly square pink erasers, unopened notebooks, neatly shrink wrapped blocks of index cards.  It all has a "fresh start" feel to me.


January 1st on the other hand is quite different.  Though it's certainly a new year, filled with the promise of what may come, for me it is about reflecting on the past year-both trials and accomplishments-and creating a wish list for the year to come.
Resource of the Week - Blog to Check Out: Love That Max
I am always interested in blogs by parents of kids with special needs.   I would like to mention my favorite here as a "resource of the week."

Love That Max, is a wonderful ( as well as highly praised/decorated) blog written by Ellen Seidman, (Max's mom), which follows the day to day joys and trials of "raising kids with special needs who kick butt!"  A longtime magazine editor and essayist, Ellen is no stranger to regular writing for parents and definitely puts out a quality product here!   If you read one special needs parent blog, make it this one!

 Check out this Recommendation Through a Link on our Blog
The Best Resources/Activities of the Year! - Top Ten Resources from PediaStaff in 2011

Here are the top ten PediaStaff therapist activities and resources of 2011 per your unique page visits!  

10.  Therapy Idea of the Week: French Fry Articulation 

9.    Therapy Idea of the Week: Candy Land DIY 'Sight Word Edition' 

8.    Therapy Idea of the Week - Tap Lights for Phoneme Segmentation 

7.    Pinterest Pin of the Week: 

6.    Excellent Set of 30 Articulation Cards for Speech Therapy 

5.    FlipSnack - Free PDF to Flip Book Converter 

4.    Featured Resource of the Week - 'Sensory World' Interactive Website 

3.    A 'Gift to the Profession': 'Spanish Phrasing for SLPs' 

2.    Big Find of the Week: PictureSet: Downloadable Visual Supports 

1.    Activity Ideas for Students with Severe, Profound and Multiple Disabilities 


 Check out All These Resources and Activities on our Blog
Speech Language Pathology Corner: Everyday Language Activities: Grocery Shopping With a Toddler
By: Becca Jarzynski, MS, CCC-SLP

Editor's Note:  This article was written for parents but we reprint it here so that you might choose to share it with the parents/guardians of your kiddos.   


As with any other profession, the field of early intervention goes through periods of evolution. These days, we are talking a lot about the importance of weaving child skill development into the context of everyday experiences and activities. It's something that Ellen over at Love That Max blogged about recently in her post Sneaking in therapy for kids with special needs.   


In her post, Ellen explains that her son Max gets therapy sessions throughout his week but that "the sessions are only 45 minutes to an hour long and it's the ways we put those therapy techniques into practice that matter most." She goes on to describe how attempting to accomplish therapy carryover at home used to be overwhelming and somewhat guilt-provoking, especially when therapists would leave long lists of tasks to be accomplished. Then, Ellen reflects on how she has learned to do only what she can and let the rest go (yay!) and, most importantly, how she has learned to integrate the things Max needs into fun family activities that they were doing anyway. Yes, I thought when I read her post. Yes. That's exactly what we are trying to encourage families to do when we work with them and their children as early intervention professionals.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Occupational Therapy Corner: Evidence-based Interventions for the Underlying Components of Academic Success: Sensory, Work Habits, Processing and Behavior
By: Toni M. Schulken, MS, OTR/L

What are Evidence-Based Interventions?

Evidence based interventions are those strategies, teaching practices, and programs that have been shown empirically, or by research, to be effective. The reformed Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) changed the way we identify a specific learning disability. We may now use "alternative research-based procedures" (aka, evidence-based) rather than just an IQ discrepancy.

Tips for Success
When deciding on an intervention, there are several factors to keep in mind to ensure success.

  • Use a proactive approach - the priority of intervention selection should be on activities which help the teacher create a learning environment which is conducive to learning for all types of learners (i.e., universal design for learning - In other words, beginning a school year with certain organizational strategies, color coding, transition lessons, etc. can be the best interventions to "prevent" struggles before they happen.
Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Pediatric Therapy Corner: Why We Need Autism 
By: Bek Wiltbank

I love people with Autism. All ages, all types, every one of them. Many questions loom over our society, Why is Autism so prevalent? Where has it come from? Some people ask, How can we cure it? How can we make our kids develop typically? To all those questions I reply, I love Autism. I love the gifts behind their faces. I love the unique and amazing ways people with Autism see the world. I love the way they move their bodies. I love Autism. It brings joy to my heart when ever I'm in the presence of Autism. It also invokes in me the desire to understand how each individual communicates, how I can have a relationship with them. How can I adjust to make a connection with this one child, this one adult, this one teenager, regardless of their neurological difference.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
School Psychology Corner:  Understanding Concussion in Children: Diagnosis, Management & Return-to-Play Decisions
By: Shahal Rozenblatt, Clinical Neuropsychologist

The article aims to provide the reader with an understanding of concussion in children, including the physical and physiological events that are involved, the cognitive and psychological consequences, and the assessment process and making safe return-to-play decisions.

Recent statistics suggest that approximately 1.4 to 3.6 million sports and recreation-related concussions are sustained each year, with most of these affecting children and adolescents who are more likely to participate in sports.  


According to a 2010 survey published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, of 502,000 hospital emergency room visits for concussion across the country, 40% of the concussions reported occurred in children between the ages of 8 and 13 years with 25% of those concussions being sustained during involvement in organized sports. Football and ice hockey were the team sports with the highest rates of concussions while bike riding, skiing and playground accidents had the highest non-team sport related rates of concussion. There is a growing body of evidence showing the girls are more likely to sustain concussions than boys when they participate in similar sports. The reason or reasons for the increased vulnerability remains unclear but it has been suggested that the stronger neck and shoulder muscles of boys offers greater stability to the head during an impact. Girls also may play more aggressively than boys, or physiological differences, including hormonal differences, may make girls more susceptible to such injuries.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog 

Focus on Bilingualism: Does This Make Sense?: A Framework for Evaluating the Language Samples of Bilingual Children
By:  Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and Alejandro Brice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Language samples are used in the assessment process to corroborate results from formal testing and aid in the diagnostic process. When evaluating language samples produced by bilingual children the SLP has to be in tune to the errors that result from second language influence versus those that are atypical errors. In short, we can categorize errors into three different categories: normal developmental errors, errors resulting from the influence of another language, and atypical errors.


Normal developmental errors are those such as overregularization of past tense markers, such as, "Daddy goed to the store," or the use of the regular plural rule for irregular plurals, such as "childs" for "children." Developmental acquisition charts and dynamic assessment (teach the rule and test it again) should be used to determine whether such errors are typical for the child's age.

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
The Best of 2011: Top Ten Articles of 2011 from the PediaStaff Blog 
Guest Blogs This Week: Talk Nerdy to Me, Enabled Kids     

[Source:  Huffington Post]


Autism: A Year in Review


In the United States, we've seen a fifteen-fold increase in autism diagnoses over the past two decades. In fact, it's currently estimated that almost 1% of US children have an autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), while the rates in US adults are largely unknown. Autism is described in the DSM-IV, listed as a disorder usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence. Autism is further categorized as a pervasive developmental disorder, falling within the autistism spectrum, along with Asperger's and PDD-NOS.  


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
And A Child Shall Lead:   By: Mari Nosal, M.Ed., CECE

I was perusing my supervision journals from graduate school. My classes were inclusive and consisted of children with emotional disorders, learning disabilities, mood disorders, intellectually advanced children, and neurotypical children. The children ranged in age from five to twelve. In layman's terms, these children were from every background and developmental level that one could imagine.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Worth Repeating:  Making New Year's Resolutions with Kids

[Source: Minds in Bloom Blog by Rachel Lynette]


Every New Years I resolve to be perfect. It must not be a very good resolution because I usually fail pretty quickly. Some years it only takes a few minutes. Obviously, making your goals attainable is a big step in the right direction for both children and adults. Learning to set effective goals is an important skill for children to use, not only when they are young but throughout their entire lives. Here are some tips for writing goals and resolutions with kids.


As parents and teachers, we have many goals for our kids. However, in order to be successful, the resolution must belong to the child, not the parent or the teacher. A resolution that is generated by the adult and unwanted by the child is not a resolution at


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

Also Worth Repeating:  Rett Syndrome: Implications for Physical Education and Other Movement Settings 

Outwardly, Sarah appears to be like any other smiling, outgoing elementary school student, no different from the other students in her second grade class. On closer observation, a difference is seen in Sarah's hands. Her hands appear to have a mind of their own, constantly moving in a repetitive, wringing, and non-purposeful pattern. If asked, Sarah's second grade or general physical education teacher would say Sara has difficulty engaging in performance activity with her hands, and it appears to take Sarah a great amount of focus and concentration to move her hands out of the wringing pattern. Aside from this initial observation, several other features beyond hand wringing make Sarah's movements different from her peers.

Read the Full Text 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.  

Visit our Resources Pages
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