weekly header

May 13, 2011
Issue 15, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     


Hope you have had a wonderful week.   Here is our newsletter offering for now.  Have a great weekend!
News Items: 
  • ADHD And Poor Emotional Control Combination Runs In Families  
  • Girl Scouts Create Prosthetic Hand Device for Three Year Old 
  • Prevalence of Autism in South Korea Estimated at 1 in 38 Children  
  • Winter Conception Tied to Raised Risk for Autism  
  • Yoga for Autism in the News 
  • ADHD Drug Shortage Has Patients, Parents Scrambling  
  • Elephant Therapy in Thailand! 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Sword Activity to Promote Range of Motion and Strength  
  • Book Review:  Holes
  • SLP Resource of the Week: Parent-Clinician Fluency Assessment  

Articles and Blogs

  • Guest Blog: 'Houston, We Have a Problem'
  • Guest Blog: How to Teach the T & D Sounds
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: What is Spina Bifida?
  • Worth Repeating: Down Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Look at What We Know   
  • Also Worth Repeating: Managing Spasticity in Children With CP Requires a Team Approach                                                         
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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ADHD in the News:  ADHD And Poor Emotional Control Combination Runs In Families
[Source: Medical News Today]

A subgroup of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also exhibit excessive emotional reactions to everyday occurrences, and this combination of ADHD and emotional reactivity appears to run in families. A study from a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-based research team finds that siblings of individuals with both ADHD and deficient emotional self-regulation (DESR) had a significantly greater risk of having both conditions than did siblings of those with ADHD alone. The study, which will appear in the American Journal of Psychiatry, has received early online release.

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

Prosthetics in the News:  Girl Scouts Create Prosthetic Hand Device
[Source: CNET News]

Not to be outdone by Boy Scouts who can now earn a robotics badge, a team of Girl Scouts from Iowa has created a prize-winning prosthetic device to help a 3-year-old girl born without fingers on her right hand.

The Flying Monkeys robotics team developed the BOB-1 tool as part of the FIRST Lego League (FLL) competition, an international kids' robotics program.

The Monkeys are 11 to 13 years old, including one who has a limb difference that provided inspiration for the invention. The girls consulted a prosthetics maker and an occupational therapist and came up with a design that has a platform strapped to the arm as well as a cylindrical holder for writing implements or other tools.

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

Autism in the NewsStudy Suggests Autism Rate May Be Underestimated   
[Source: Science Daily]

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in South Korea affect an estimated 2.64% of the population of school-age children, equivalent to 1 in 38 children, according to the first comprehensive study of autism prevalence using a total population sample. The study - conducted by Young-Shin Kim, M.D., of the Yale Child Study Center and her colleagues in the U.S., Korea and Canada - identifies children not yet diagnosed and has the potential to increase autism spectrum disorder prevalence estimates worldwide.

ASDs are complex neurobiological disorders that inhibit a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and are often accompanied by behavioral challenges.

Read the Rest of this Article and Others About this Study Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News:  Winter Conception Tied to Raised Risk for Autism
[Source: Healthday/US News and World Report]

Children conceived in winter seem to have a greater risk of being diagnosed with autism, a new study suggests.

Environmental factors -- including exposure to seasonal viruses such as influenza and changes in diet -- may play a role in the greater risk for autism among children conceived during the winter, according to the University of California, Davis researchers.

The investigators analyzed data from 6.6 million children who were born in California between January 1990 and December 2002 and followed up until the children were 6 years old. The risk of an autism diagnosis was higher for children conceived in December, January, February and March than for those conceived in other months of the year, the study found.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Yoga for Special Needs in the News: Yoga Creates Calm for Children with Autism
[Source:  Orlando Sun-Sentinel]

Children with autism who have trouble relaxing are finding peace through "pretzel" and "superman."

These yoga poses and a dozen others, performed in sequence each day at Coconut Creek Elementary School, offer students in the school's autism classes a way to calm themselves when the stresses of life - such as loud noises in the cafeteria� bright classroom lights or a skinned knee - agitate them.

"It helps me when my back hurts," said River Zartler, 10. "We lay down on our mats and close our eyes."

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD in the News: ADHD Drug Shortage Has Patients, Parents Scrambling
[Source: Yahoo News/HealthDay]

Due to an ongoing shortage, some American adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or the parents of children with ADHD, are having to call multiple pharmacies before finding one that carries the prescription they need to manage the condition.

Accounts of exactly which drugs are affected vary, but much of the focus has been on Adderall XR, made by Shire PLC, and its two generic versions, also made by Shire but distributed by drug companies Teva and Impax.

However, generic versions of the widely used ADHD drugs Ritalin and Concerta have also been affected, Valerie Jensen, associate director of the drug shortages program at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Animal Assisted Therapy in the News: Elephant Therapy in Thailand
[Source: The Autism News]

Lampang - Kuk-kik, a 14-year-old boy, punctuates his few, slurred words with yelps. Kong screams and bites his fingers when he can't figure out how much to pay for bananas. Other children freeze mid-motion, fix their gazes on minute objects and withdraw.

Enter Nua Un and Prathida - two gentle, lively and clever female elephants - and the mood among the autistic teenagers in Thailand changes as they begin their therapy, the world's first using these charismatic animals.

They scrub and soap their bristly hides, play ball games with the well-trained pachyderms and ride them bareback, smiling.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Therapy Activity of the Week: Sword Activity to Promote Range of Motion and Strength
Here is a great idea from our friend Barbara Smith, the "Recycling Occupational Therapist,"

I use two different swords from the dollar store. One is long and the other short depending on the child's needs. I cut the plastic rectangular pieces from detergent bottles. Stacking them works on visual perceptual skills since they need to orient the ring to fit, bilateral hand skills since they need to stabilize the sword, reaching and head extension since they will need to extend the head in order to see the tip of the longer sword. This can be used on or off the horse.

See Photos of this Great Therapy Idea on our Blog
Book Review: 'Holes' - by Tara McClintick 
Reviewer: Cheryl Flores and CARE (Colaborative Autism Resources and Education)

"Holes", is one of many books, including "Jack-O-Lantern", and "Water", by author, Tara McClintick and published through books by tara.Com.

As soon as you pick up this book, you will notice some of this book (and the others created by this author), unique features, including its length (it is 20 pages long), the large-size photographs, the spiral binding (making it easier to handle for persons with motor skills difficulties, but also for providing single-page focus for a page, and the large, full-size color pictures.

Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog
SLP Resource of the Week: Parent-Clinician Fluency Assessment
Here is another great resource from Judith Kuster's "Internet Gold" workshop!

Check out this great Parent-Clinician Fluency Assessment, shared with us by Judith Kuster of MSU.

This is an article that came from Staff, a newsletter published by Aaron's Associates, a non- profit organization devoted to the support of children who stutter. The article was written by Janice Westbrook, PhD, and appeared in the February 1995 Issue and was sent to Judith by Gerald Johnson.

Access this Resource Through a Link on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: Inspiring Potential, Mommy Speech Therapy   
"Houston, We Have a Problem" - By: Dr. Suzanne Prestwich

One of my favorite movies is "Apollo 13", a tale of astronauts who experience a near-fatal accident en route to the moon. With the help of mission control in Houston, they ultimately survive a harrowing attempt to return to earth alive. For them, failure was not an option.

For most of 2009, Daniel was a typical 13-year-old boy who enjoyed hanging out with his twin brother and loved playing with LEGOs. But that Fall, he caught H1N1 Influenza and never fully recovered. There was no explanation for why the influenza virus had hit Daniel so hard. He grew very weak, and, unable to eat, he needed a gastrostomy tube to provide the nutrition and calories his body demanded. Severe pain kept him out of school, out of his life, for over a year. His parents desperately wanted help for their bedridden son, who spent most of his time curled up in a fetal position. They saw doctor after doctor in New York, but nothing seemed to help.

Daniel's last hope was Kennedy Krieger Institute. And so, in a final attempt to relieve the chronic pain that was ruining his life, he and his family came to Baltimore.

 Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
How to Teach the T & D Sounds - By: Heidi Hanks

I recently had a client that was struggling with the /t/ and /d/ sounds and realized I have not yet covered these on Mommy Speech Therapy, so I thought I'd share some thoughts on how to teach these sounds. I have grouped these sounds together because they are produced in the same manner and place. The only difference between the /t/ and /d/ sounds is the /d/ sound is voiced while the /t/ sound is not. If your child can produce a /t/ sound and not the /d/ sound you simply teach them to "turn on their voice" for the /d/ sound. Or if it is the other way around you teach them to "turn off their voice" by whispering the sound for the /t/.

Can Your Child Lift their Tongue Tip?
The most common substitution by children for the /t/ and /d/ sounds are /k/ and /g/ sounds. Children substituting the /k/ and /g/ sounds for /t/, /d/ and other front sounds generally do so because they have difficulty raising their tongue tip or they are confused about where to place their tongue to produce a /t/ and /d/ correctly. A simple way to test this is to have the child move their tongue from side to side and then up and down.

Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: What is Spina Bifida?
[Source: United Spinal Association]

Spina Bifida, the most common neural tube defect (NTD), is one of the most devastating of all birth defects. It results from the failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. In severe cases, the spinal cord protrudes through the back and may be covered by skin and a thin membrane. Surgery to close a newborn's back is generally performed within 24 hours after birth to minimize the risk of infection and to preserve existing function in the spinal cord.

Because of the paralysis resulting from the damage to the spinal cord, people born with spina bifida may need surgeries and other extensive medical care. The condition can also cause bowel and bladder complications. A large percentage of children born with spina bifida also have hydrocephalus, the accumulation of fluid in the brain. Hydrocephalus is controlled by a surgical procedure called "shunting" which relieves the fluid build up in the brain by redirecting it into the abdominal area.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Down Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Look at What We Know
by:  by George T. Capone, M.D;  Kennedy Krieger Institute

During the past 10 years, I've evaluated hundreds of children with Down syndrome, each one with their own strengths and weaknesses, and certainly their own personality. I don't think I've met a parent who does not care deeply for their child at clinic; their love and dedication is obvious. But some of the families stand out in my mind. Sometimes parents bring their child with Down syndrome to clinic--not always for the first time--and they are deeply distraught about a change in their child's behavior or development. Sometimes they describe situations and isolated concerns that worry them such as their child has stopped learning new signs or using speech. He is happy playing by himself, seeming to need no one else to make the odd game (shaking a toy, lining things up) he is playing fun. When they call to him, he doesn't' look at them. Maybe he

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

Also Worth Repeating: - Managing Spasticity in Children With Cerebral Palsy Requires a Team Approach
[Source: Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare]

Contributing authors: James Gage, M.D., Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon; Mark Gormley Jr., M.D., Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Physician; Linda Krach, M.D., Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Physician; Sue Murr, P.T.; Michael Partington, M.D., Pediatric Neurosurgeon; Kara Pittman, M.S.W.; Patrick Rivard, R.N.; and Candace Vegter, S.L.P., C.C.C.

It's estimated that a half-million children and adults in America have some type of cerebral palsy - a form of brain damage that affects muscle tone and control. Each year, approximately 8,000 infants and 15,000 preschool-age children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It's estimated that more than 75 percent of children with cerebral palsy have spasticity or abnormally high muscle tone. Spasticity in a growing child frequently leads to deformities, such as muscle contractures (muscles that are too short) and bone deformities. Which parts of children's bodies are affected by the abnormal muscle tone depends upon where the brain damage occurs.


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

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