February 25, 2011
Issue 2, Volume 5  
It's All About the Choices!     

Hello There and Happy Friday!   Here we are again with our monthly issue.   I would like to welcome all our new university readers joining us for the first time.   I tell the regular readers all the time, but I will repeat to you too, - please let us know what you like and don't like.  This is your newsletter, and we will do our best to accommodate what YOU want to read about!

Four items to highlight this month:  Firstly, we are quite excited to be headed out to Houston next week for the Texas Speech Hearing Association annual convention.  Please stop by and visit us at booth #729 and pick up your free Toobaloo and let us know you read our newsletter!  We are also scheduling interviews now, if you would like to reserve a time to meet with our Career team.

We are also very excited to share with you a book that used to be available only for purchase, but thanks to the author is now available for free to SLPs as a "gift to the profession!"   Please download "Spanish Phrasing for SLPs" by Dorothy Miranda Esckelson and Adulfa Aguirre Morales - in its entirety from our website through a link below.

February 28th, is 'World Rare Disease Day.'   This month in PT Corner, we are featuring a great 167 page booklet on Physical Therapy for Batten Disease that the BDSRA has so graciously allowed us to reprint.   Learn more about World Rare Disease Day and how you can spread awareness in these pages. 

Lastly, we are tickled to have been featured on the ASHA Blog this past week with an article I wrote on terminology for pediatric and school based speech-language pathologists.   I am not sure if it makes sense to be a guest blogger for your own publication, but if it does, than I am one!   My post is reprinted below with ASHA's permission.

News Items:
  • Infants Raised in Bilingual Environments Can Distinguish Unfamiliar Languages   
  • Therapist in the News:  Pediatric OT Creates Line of Action Figures for the Differently-Abled Child  
  • Study Links Stuttering to Genetics, Motor Control  
  • Dallas Children's Medical Center Launching Major Initiative on Childhood Stroke  
  • Brain's Electrical Activity May Help Spot Infants at High Risk for Autism  
  • Babies And Toddlers Can Suffer Mental Illness, Seldom Get Treatment  
Tips, Activities and Resources:
  • FREE BOOK:  Spanish Phrasing for SLPs 
  • How to Make Flubber, Glurch and Other Homemade Art Supplies 
  • 3-D Articulation Animations  
  • World Rare Disease Day and the Children's Rare Disease Network 

Upcoming Events and CEU Opportunities:  

  • Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention

Articles and Blogs  

  • Speech-Language Pathology Corner:  The Importance of Gesture in Learning to Communicate  
  • Occupational Therapy Corner: Speaking Sensory-Ease (Part 1 of 2)  
  • Physical Therapy Corner:  Physical Therapy and Batten Disease  
  • Pediatric Psychology Corner: How to Reduce Anxiety - Yours and Your Child's
  • Focus on Bilingualism:  What's in a Name? 
  • Q&A:  Ask the Expert - How Can Pediatric Therapists Incorporate Art Therapy to Help Advance Their Therapy Goals?
  • Guest Blog: So You Think You Want to Be a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist? 
  • Guest Blog: Why Can't My Child Behave During Circle Time?  
  • Worth Repeating: Identification and Treatment of Landau-Kleffner Syndrome 

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

Language Development in the News - Infants Raised in Bilingual Environments Can Distinguish Unfamiliar Languages
Infants raised in households where Spanish and Catalan are spoken can discriminate between English and French just by watching people speak, even though they have never been exposed to these new languages before, according to University of British Columbia psychologist Janet Werker.

Presented today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, Werker's latest findings provide further evidence that exposure to two native languages contributes to the development of perceptual sensitivity that extends beyond their mother tongues.

Werker has previously shown that bilingual infants can discern different native languages at four, six and eight months after birth. While monolingual babies have the ability to discern two languages at four and six months, they can no longer do so at eight months.

Read the Rest of this Story Through a Link on our Blog
Therapist in the News: Pediatric OT with a Line of Action Figures for the Differently-Abled
Back in June of last year, we featured an article about Cyndi Elliot , a pediatric OT who has created a line of action figures featuring differently-abled children.

Recently, Cindi was featured in a two part interview for the television program Good Medicine, produced by the Tribal Health and Human Services Department of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Cyndi's newly remodeled website will be up and running on April 1st, 2011.

Check out these interviews on YouTube to learn more about her products and her mission!

Watch these Two Interviews on Our Blog
Stuttering in the News - Study Links Stuttering to Genetics, Motor Control
[Sources: Telegraph UK, CNN]

Like in the movie which stars Colin Firth as King George VI, it has been assumed that a stammer is caused by anxiety and psychological problems caused in early life.

New Research Suggest that mutated genes which are inherited are more likely to be the blame, affecting the brain's ability to control the voice muscles.

The new findings discussed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington could lead to new drug treatment and therapies to reverse the effects of the genetic damage.

Dr Dennis Drayna, a researcher at the US National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, who led the research, made the discovery after studying families in which stuttering appeared to be passed down.

Read Two Articles on this Study Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Stroke in the News - Dallas Children's Medical Center Launching Major Initiative on Childhood Stroke
Children's Medical Center Dallas (Children's) is launching a critical stroke initiative to diagnose and treat strokes in children. Pediatric strokes is a little-known condition that occurs as often as leukemia and brain tumors but often is not recognized by parents or physicians, despite the serious short- and long-term health consequences. As part of this effort, Children's will be one of four research sites in North America participating in this groundbreaking research.

"Pediatric stroke research is in its infancy," said Dr. Michael Dowling, medical director of Children's Pediatric Stroke Program. "We've simply got to find out why children suffer strokes."

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism Research in the News - Brain's Electrical Activity May Help Spot Infants at High Risk for Autism
[Source: Health Day/Yahoo News]

By analyzing patterns in the brain's electrical activity, researchers say they've been able to assess autism risk in children as young as 6 months of age.

Researchers hooked up 79 babies aged 6 to 24 months to an EEG, or electroencephalogram, which records electrical activity in the brain. Forty-six of the infants had an older sibling with an autism spectrum disorder, while the other 33 had no family history of autism.

Children who have a sibling with autism are much more likely to develop autism themselves, explained lead study author William Bosl, a neuroinformatics researcher at Children's Hospital Boston. Prior research has shown that about 20 percent of siblings of children with autism will also develop autism and another 40 to 50 percent will have some characteristics of the disorder, such as repetitive behaviors or problems with social interaction, language or communication, but not the full-blown disorder.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Child Psychology in the News - Babies And Toddlers Can Suffer Mental Illness, Seldom Get Treatment
[Source: Medical News Today]

Infants and toddlers can suffer serious mental health disorders, yet they are unlikely to receive treatment that could prevent lasting developmental problems, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

One barrier to mental health care for young children is "the pervasive, but mistaken, impression that young children do not develop mental health problems and are immune to the effects of early adversity and trauma because they are inherently resilient and 'grow out of' behavioral problems and emotional difficulties," according to researchers Joy D. Osofsky, PhD, of Louisiana State University, and Alicia F. Lieberman, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco.

Read the Rest of this Story Through a Link on our Blog
Upcoming Event: Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention

Come meet the PediaStaff Team at Booth #729!   

March 3-5, 2011 at the George R. Brown Convention Center - Houston, Texas
Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Author of My Stroke of Insight

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. During her presentation, Dr. Taylor will use her insight as a doctor and patient to help practioners be more compassionate and motivating therapists. She will discuss the obstacles present when teaching a person with a brain trauma, and how practioners can encourage their clients to control their own brains and make it do what they want it to do.

Contact us to Set up Your Personal Interview at TXSHA with our Team!

Learn More About/Register for This Conference

A 'Gift to the Profession!': FREE Book! - Spanish Phrasing for SLPs 
Here is a very exciting resource to share. Back in January, we featured a chapter of a book by Dorothy Miranda Esckelson and Adulfa Aguirre Morales, called 'Spanish Phrasing for SLPs.' The authors had given Judith Kuster of MSU, permission to post one chapter of stuttering phrases on her website. We featured that chapter HERE for our Resource of the Week.

Well, we got great feedback on that post and several questions as to where one might find the book since it is out of print. We were able to find Dorothy Esckelson, who is retired now and has stopped selling her book. After telling her who we were and what we do here, she most graciously agreed to give us the book and allow us to publish it for free distribution on our website as a 'gift to the profession.'

Check out this Great Free Resource Through a Link on our Blog

Therapy Activities/Resources of the Week - How To Make Flubber, Glurch and Other Homemade Art Supplies

Editor's Note:  Thank you to our friends at Your Therapy Source for telling us about this page!  Although this post was written for parents, I am sure you agree that these recipes make great therapy materials.

The first time I made a batch of playdough for my son I was amazed. Amazed that the recipe worked, amazed at how quick and easy it was and, mostly, amazed at how much nicer it was than the kind that comes in a can. Smooth, supple and soft, even months later. If you're still buying dough in a can, I urge you to convert. And there's a whole world of art supplies you can make in your own kitchen - some I've never even heard of like flubber, glurch, gak and oobleck.  
Therapy Resource of the Week - Vowels of the International Phonetic Alphabet - 3-D Animations
We came upon this interesting site and wanted to share it with you. Liz Sandler is a medical photographer and freelance illustrator in the UK.

The website displays animations of six sounds showing tongue movement through a transparent jaw and skull. It is not complete and is many phonemes.

I am still trying to find out more about who created the website and get feedback on whether these animations are completely accurate. I would be interested to hear feedback from our readers.

Therapy Resource of the Week - World Rare Disease Day and The Children's Rare Disease Network
February is "Rare Diseases and Disorders Awareness Month."  This week we are featuring an article on physical therapy for one such rare disease - Batten Disease.  You can find it below in our Physical Therapy Corner Column.

We also wanted to let you know about the Children's Rare Disease Network and World Rare Disease Day which is February 28, 2011.

The Children's Rare Disease Network exists to create greater public awareness for rare disease, while connecting, educating and empowering the millions of families and caregivers affected, through an online community and collaborative portal. The Children's Rare Disease Network has built an online community where children with rare diseases, their families, and the organizations that support them will have the opportunity to communicate, collaborate, become educated and tap existing resources, helping them with their daily challenges..

Speech-Language Pathology Corner - The Importance of Gesture in Learning to Communicate
By: Kelli Ellenbaum, MS CCC-SLP

The importance of gesture development in infants and children has been long underestimated. In the field of speech language pathology and communication, there are few formal assessments that provide therapists and developmental specialists with developmental age comparisons. Therefore, much of the work we do as therapists during the evaluation process relies heavily on experience. This article will talk about the importance of gesture as a form of communication and provide a general guideline for gesture development up to 24 months.

Gestures are defined by Iverson and Thal (1998) as "actions produced with the intent to communicate and are typically expressed using fingers, hands, and arms, but can also include facial features (e.g. lip smacking for "eating") and body motions (e.g. bouncing for "horsie")." Gestures appear very early in infancy. The jury is out on exactly when these gestures reliably show themselves. However, one study that was conducted by Meltzoff & Moore, 1983, evaluated infants 0.7 to 71 hours after birth and found that infants were able to imitate facial expressions specific to open/closing mouth, and sticking their tongue out. Researchers hypothesize that this form of imitative gesture means that language will later be built

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog  

Occupational Therapy Corner: Speaking Sensory-Ease (Part 1 of 2)
By: Jackie Linder Olson

Dear Therapists,

My child has received mountains of OT, a valley of SLP, fair amounts of ABA and behavioral therapy, is on the gluten free/casein free diet, and I measure a number of liquid vitamins and supplements a day into the recommended dosages. I've read every book I can get my hands on (Thank goodness for "The Out-of-Sync Child" and "How to Raise a Sensory Smart Child"), but I am not a therapist. I'm a parent and I'm looking to you to help my child. Often, I haven't slept, I'm worried about paying my bills, and I always feel like I'm not doing enough.

First, I want to thank you for what you do. From the depths of my soul, I am grateful for your wisdom and invaluable experience and the way you can get my child to do things that I cannot. They must sprinkle you with pixie dust at graduation because you truly are magical.

Secondly, please remember, I don't speak your language. Sometimes when you tell me what's wrong with my child or what you're working on, I can't understand you. I nod my head and try to grasp it, but it's not registering. Vestibular what? Proprioception? What is dyspraxia and how did my child catch this?

Please Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Physical Therapy Corner: Physical Therapy for Batten Disease: Motor Development and Related Topics
by: The Batten Disease Support and Research Association

This 167 page handbook was written primarily for parents of children with Batten Disease. We provide it to you because it is a wonderful summary of the types of issues that a parent of a child with Batten Disease would want to know.

Topics include a basic introduction to Physical Therapy and its role, early intervention, families and behavior, body mechanics for parents and care givers, medical issues, assistive technology and adaptive devices, exercises, advocacy, federal programs, a glossary and bibliography.

Download this Handbook on our Blog
Pediatric and School Psychology Corner: How to Reduce Anxiety: Yours and Your Child's
By: Gary G. Brannigan, Ph.D. and Howard Margolis, Ed.D

NB: This is part one of an article is written for the parents of children who have Anxiety and related problems. We publish it here because we know that therapists like to give their client's caregivers as much information as possible.

Many parents of children with disabilities worry-constantly. They fear the future, they feel extremely anxious-constantly. So do their children. Often, extreme, constant anxiety-fear of the future, fear that "I can't handle it" and the results will be awful- creates physical and emotional distress. Physically, it can cause or aggravate endrocrine, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular problems (Hanson & Mendius, 2009). Emotionally, it can cause or aggravate depression as well as sleep, attention, learning, social, and behavioral problems.

Fortunately, through relaxation, many parents and children can reduce excessive anxiety. Anxiety and relaxation are opposites. It's hard-perhaps impossible-to feel anxious when relaxed. For some children, relaxation has produced important benefits:

Sufficient research supports the proposition that relaxation training can be both effective and efficient in helping children overcome cognitive (e.g., enhanced reading ability, reduced impulsivity), behavioral (e.g., greater attention-to-task, lowered hyperactivity), and affective (e.g., improved self-concepts, lowered anxiety) difficulties. (Margolis, 1990, p. 226)

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Q&A - Ask the Expert:  How Can Pediatric Therapists Incorporate Art Therapy to Help Advance Speech, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Goals?
By: Susan M. Lau, Licensed Creative Art Therapist

What is Art Therapy?


The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) defines art therapy as:


"Employing the creative process of art-making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages with the aim of resolving conflicts and problems, developing interpersonal skills, managing behavior, reducing stress and increasing self-esteem and awareness".


Art Therapy is a profession that emerged in the 1940's.The use of visual expression for healing has been used for thousands of years. It wasn't until the early 20th century that psychiatrists first began to recognize the significance of visual expression in patients with mental illness. Concurrently, educators began to recognize that children's art expression reflected developmental, emotional and cognitive growth (American Art Therapy Association, 2011). It was from this point on that art therapy as a profession began to grow and form.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog 

Focus on Bilingualism - What's In a Name?
By: Alejandro Brice, PhD, CCC-SLP, Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, and Roanne Brice, PhD., CCC-SLP

Our personal names are an inherent part of who we are, i.e., culture and personality. I was born with the name "Alejandro.". My parents shortened this to "Ale" (ah-leh) when calling me. However, upon becoming a naturalized citizen of the U.S. my name was changed to "Alexander" or "Alex.". Part of this change could have also been the result of beginning school in the U.S. and my parents wanting me to "fit in.". What occurred was that my name became a policy issue and I became "assimilated" to English and American society upon entering school.

In the mid-1960's, the prevalent immigration policy was that all individuals were expected to assimilate and forgo their ethnic identity. This assimilationist view was thought of as a "melting pot"; whereupon, all immigrants were expected to become a part of the common American culture. I grew up as "Alex" to all my English- speaking teachers, and friends.

Upon entering the speech-language pathology profession, I reverted to using my given Spanish name (i.e., Alejandro) in professional matters. I choose, as an adult, to retain my ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identity. This choice reflected the policy of "acculturation,", where one is able to maintain one's cultural and ethnic identity and still be a vital part of American society.

The use of my Spanish name also became a bellweather policy indicator. Professionally, I introduce myself as "Alejandro.". This is my birth-name and the name that I use. Whether the other person chooses to acculturate and use "Alejandro" or chooses to assimilate and use my name "Alex" is an indication of their perspective on culture, language, and language policy.

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: ASHASphere, PediatricOT 
So you want to be a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist? Making Sense of (and Choosing) the Best Settings and Terms for You :  By: Heidi Kay 

Editor's Note:  I was asked to write this article for the ASHA blog. We thought it would be a nice resource to share with our readers as well, and are reprinting it here with the permission of ASHA.


When we were at the ASHA convention in Philadelphia this past fall, our team met many enthusiastic clinicians who are excited to use their education and training in Communication Disorders to work with children. I was struck, however, by the fact that there is a fair amount of confusion with the terminology describing both the settings and the terms of employment for SLPs that work with young people. This post will be the first of a two-part article where I will clarify some of the basic terms, and then in the next part I will review some of the practical issues to consider as you choose a position as a pediatric or school-based SLP.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Why Can't My Child Behave During Circle Time? - By:  Loren Shlaes, OTR

NB: This is part ONE of a two part article. Part one may be found will be published next week and linked soon.  Although this article was written for parents, we think this is a great one worth sharing!

Which do you prefer in a restaurant, a banquette or a table in the middle of the room? Banquette, right? Ever wonder why? It's because your back is not exposed to people walking or moving behind you, so it's easier to let down your guard and focus on the meal and conversation.

A sensory defensive, hypervigilant child can't truly concentrate with his back exposed, which is often the case during circle time.

Circle time is often one of the most difficult school related activities for the children I treat. Over the years I have seen so many children fail to meet the grownups' expectations when they are required to sit quietly and attend while on the floor. They can't pay attention, they move around, they speak out of turn, they lie down, they tune out, they lash out.

Read the Rest of this Guest Post Through a Link on our Blog

Worth Repeating:  Identification and Treatment of Landau-Kleffner Syndrome
By: Carol Sober Alpern; Source: The ASHA Leader.

Dillon was a bright, normally developing child with no apparent illnesses or language delay, but at about age 31/2, his nursery school teachers began to notice changes in his behavior. Hearing loss was suspected because he did not respond when called, but the results of an audiological evaluation were normal. His teachers continued to have concerns, but it was not until a full year later that Dillon experienced a severe regression in language functioning and was diagnosed with a rare epileptic disorder, Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (LKS).

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. 

Visit our Resources Pages

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