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August 12, 2011
Issue 25, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     

Well, summer is winding down for some of us on the school-based side already.  Enjoy your last week or two or three if you are off!  

Exciting news this week is that PediaStaff is now on Pinterest!  We have already loaded up links to  200 ideas, activities, books, games, worksheets, blog posts worth saving and more.  We hear about so many more great tips, sites and activities than we can possibly feature in our newsletter, so Pinterest seems to be a great answer to that.  We hope you are as excited as we are about about the benefits of using Pinterest. Check it out!
News Items: 
  • Autism Training Program for First Responders to Expand 
  • Adaptive Switches for Kindle 3 Now Available 
  • 'The King's Speech' to Hit Broadway in 2012
  • States Rush to Leave No Child Law Behind
  • Autism and ADHD Share Genetic Similarities
  • The Phys Ed - Attention Connection in the News 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Shark Attack: Kids Yoga Activity Song 
  • Stuck for Words? Word Retrieval Activities For Children
  • Fine Motor Activities of the Week: New Uses for Old Silly Bandz

Articles and Blogs

  • Guest Blog:  Broken Cell Phones Get Students Talking in Speech Therapy
  • Guest Blog:  Aquatic Therapy For Children: The Sensory-Motor Benefits 
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Last Word on "Person First" Language
  • Worth Repeating: What Is Neurofibromatosis? What Causes Neurofibromatosis?
  • Also Worth Repeating:  A Family History Study of Selective Mutism                                              
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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The links to the right are "live" and reflect the most recent SLP, OT, PT and related assistant jobs, and ALL our Bilingual and School Psychology Jobs. 
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Autism Training in the News:  Autism Training Program for First Responders to Expand  

[Source: Disability Scoop]


Six years ago a Massachusetts fire captain began teaching first responders how to identify and deal with individuals with autism. Now, he's taking the program national thanks to a federal grant.

Bill Cannata started the Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition in 2005 by working with groups in his Westwood, Mass. community.


Today, the organization has touched 17,000 emergency professionals in the Northeast and now with the help of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant will expand to 13 states as far west as Oklahoma.

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

Adaptive Technology in the News:  Adaptive Switches for the Kindle 3

[Source: Blog Kindle.com and Origin Instruments]


Editor's Note: Normally we wouldn't put a product press release in the news section of this publication, but we were sufficiently excited to want everyone to see this!   The explosion of the e-book / reading device combined with these wonderful inventions must be so incredibly liberating to those with physical disabilities


Page Bot, an adaptive technology to operate the Kindle is now available for the Kindle as is the Orsby Switch and the Sip Puff Switch.   


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

'The King's Speech' in the News: 'The King's Speech' to Hit Broadway in 2012

[Source CNN] 


Plans are underway to bring "The King's Speech" to Broadway.


Producer Michael Alden said the current goal is to launch the stage rendering in U.K. regional theater in the winter of 2012, then move to London's West End and before opening on Broadway in the fall.

None of the actors from the film are slated to reprise their roles in the play, which calls for nine cast members, Alden said.


"We talked about that early on, but it wouldn't serve them," Alden said. "You're really looking for actors to come and breathe new life into the characters, themselves. It's always great to see what a new actor will bring to a role."

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Special Education Policy in the News:  States Rush to Leave No Child Law Behind

[Source: EducationViews.org]


States are rushing for the No Child Left Behind exit door.   


Within hours of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's announcement Monday that he will grant waivers from federal mandates, several states announced that they would apply for relief. Many others are expressing interest, pending the release of more details next month.


Tennessee didn't wait for Mr. Duncan's news conference: The state sent its waiver request two weeks ago.


The mad dash to escape high-stakes testing and gain more flexibility represents "a sense of desperation" among states, said Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators.  


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD and Autism in the News: Autism and ADHD Share Genetic Similarities

[Source: Yahoo News]


Similar genetic changes found in some people with ADHD and in some with autism may help explain why children with the hyperactivity disorder often have symptoms of other developmental disorders, a new study reports.


The study identified several genetic changes that are present in a small portion of both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients and autism patients, and that are absent in people without these disorders.


Although it has been known that some autism and ADHD patients have certain rare genes in common, this is the first study "to compare the two conditions head to head, in an identical way," said study researcher Russell Schachar, senior scientist of psychiatry at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

In addition to finding a genetic overlap between the conditions, the study identified several genes not previously known to be involved in ADHD.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
PhysEd and Attention in the News: For Better Grades, Try Gym Class 

Thanks PediatricOT for the heads up on this article!


[Source: New York Times]


If you want a young person to focus intently in school and perform well on tests, should you first send him or her to gym class? That question, which has particular relevance for school districts weighing whether to reduce or ax their physical education programs to save money, motivated a number of stimulating new examinations into the interplay of activity and attention. Some of the experiments studied children; others looked at laboratory rats bred to have an animal version of attention deficit disorder. For both groups, exercise significantly affected their ability to concentrate, although some activities seemed to be better than others at sharpening attention.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
New Tools for You in the News: PediaStaff is on Pinterest! 
If you are into social networking, you are probably starting to hear all the buzz about Pinterest

What is it?  Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. It allows you to organize and share things that you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.  

Why should Pediatric Therapists Use It?  It is a fantastic way to catalog and share all the great therapy ideas you have found, the blogs posts you have found useful that contain therapy tips, books you might want to use with your kiddos, worksheets, holiday themed activities and more.

PediaStaff is pretty excited about Pinterest too.   Over the past week, we have jumped in head first and added over 30 different pin boards with 200 ideas and activities for pediatric SLPs, OTs and PTs to use.

Any hitch?  Well, it turns out, you have to be "invited" to join Pinterest right now.   The best way to get an invite is to visit the PediaStaff Pinterest Page.   When you get there you can request an invite. 


Check out the PediaStaff Pinterest Page!
Therapy Activity of the Week: Shark Attack: Kids Yoga Activity Song

Thanks to Donna Freeman at Yoga In My School.com for this fun version of Shark Pose (Dolphin Pose) especially for kids. Once you know how to do Shark Pose combine it with a favorite camp song for an engaging kids yoga activity.


This activity develops numerous skills in children such as turn taking, language ability, musical intelligence, and kinestetic learning. Plus it's simply lots of fun.

My favorite part is at the end when they go from the frenzy of SHARK ATTACK to the calm of Namaste.


Watch this fun activity on our Blog


Therapy Activity of the Week: Stuck for Words? Word Retrieval Activities For Children
We thank Dr. Bowen for explicitly allowing us to link to her articles.They are all found on her Website

"In simple terms the expressions "word retrieval problem" or "word finding difficulty" imply that the person knows and understands the word, and has used it correctly before. However, they have difficulty retrieving such known words at times. Children and adults with language disorders are frequently found to have word retrieval difficulties. Often when a person (child or adult) is having difficulty retrieving a word they will have the sense that it is "on the tip of their tongue": a state of affairs familiar to all of us; at other times they seem simply to "go blank."


Check out these Activities Through a Link on our Blog
Fine Motor Therapy Activities of the Week: New Uses for Old Silly Bandz
Silly Bandz are 'so last summer,' What to do with all of them? Margaret Rice at Your Therapy Source has three great ideas of how to turn the once popular bands into fun therapy!

Watch the Video of the Three Silly Bandz Therapy Activities on our Blog

Guest Blogs This Week:  Artic Brain, KidPT  
Broken Cell Phones Get Students Talking in Speech Therapy - By:  Erik Raj, CCC-SLP


I'll be the first to admit it: I am addicted to my cell phone just as much as the next person. Those pocket sized machines help us to talk with family, text message friends, surf the web, and so much more, but what do we do when our beloved cell phone bites the dust? Most people simply throw the broken device away in the trash. Well, I am here to tell you to save that lifeless cell phone because I guarantee it can bring some liveliness into your next speech therapy session. Don't believe me?! Well, all you have to do is use your imagination and call someone famous!

Magic cell phone!
Inform your student that the broken cell phone you have is actually a MAGIC cell phone that can call ANYONE in the entire world! Ask them to call one of their favorite movie stars, rock stars, or anyone on television. Remind them to use appropriate social language (introduce yourself, be polite, etc.). This is a great activity that encourages verbalization from all students in a very natural and non-intrusive way (yippie!).


Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog
Aquatic Therapy For Children: The Sensory-Motor Benefits - by Joni Redlich, DPT

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of all the therapeutic benefits of swimming and playing in the pool. Many children who have difficulty controlling their bodies for sports and gross motor activities will have success moving in thewater. Its also such a calming and organizing sensory environment that it can provide a grounding experience for the child that can often last for the rest of the day..

Sensory Experience
Water provides 30x more deep pressure to the body than air and it is uniquely a is full contact input to the body. Many children who become adept at swimming underwater will find it a very calming and organizing place to be. Moving through water creates controlled vestibular


Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Last Word on Person First Language
By: Stuart Duncan, courtesy of the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism

The idea behind "person first" language is putting the person first, e.g., person with autism. This emphasizes the person and not the disorder. Fine. Or so I thought.

But then I heard from several (and by several, I mean a lot) of people with autism who specifically told me they prefer autistic because autism is very much a part of who they are, and how they perceive the world. They accept their autism, they embrace it, and they want to be known as autistic. Fine. Or so I thought.

And then I found out that not every autistic feels this way. Some actually do prefer "person with autism," because they "hate how much autism has made their life suck" (their words, not mine). Fine?

Well, in some education systems, the teachers are specifically directed to use "person first language" because that's what some parents insist on and it's best that the education system not aggravate the parents. Fine?
Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - What Is Neurofibromatosis? What Causes Neurofibromatosis?
[Source, Medical News Today]


Neurofibromatosis, also known as NF, is a genetically inherited disorder of the nervous system (brain and spinal cord) which mainly affects the development of nerve (neural) cell tissues, causing tumors (neurofibromas) to develop on nerves, and may cause other abnormalities. The tumors may be harmless, or may compress nerves and other tissues and cause serious damage. In some rarer cases the tumors may become cancerous.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - A Family History Study of Selective Mutism
By Denise A, Chavira, Elisa Shipon Blum, Carla Hitchcock, Sharon Cohan and Murray B. Stein

Objective: To examine the history of psychiatric disorders in the parents of children with
selective mutism (SM) compared to parents of children in a control group. Method:
Seventy parent dyads (n = 140) of children with SM and 31 parent dyads (n = 62) of
children without SM were interviewed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSMIV
(SCID-IV & SCID-II) anxiety disorders, mood disorders, avoidant personality
disorder (AVPD), and schizoid personality disorder modules via telephone. Interviewers
were blind to proband status. The NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) was also


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