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October 14, 2011
Issue 32, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     

Happy Friday!  Here is our weekly newsletter offering for you.  Have a great weekend!
News Items: 
  • New Book of 'Lost' Dr. Suess Stories Published  
  • These are 'Early Fine Motor Skills'! - Paleolithic Kids Finger-Painted in Caves 
  • Pediatric OCD in the News 
  • New Finding Provides Insight Into the Psychology of Autism
  • Free App, Great for SLPs at Starbucks Through Monday 
  • Brain Growth, Not Size Predicts IQ in Preterm Babies
  • The Science of Bilingualism in the News (New York Times) 
  • The Science of Being Social in the News: Children Like Teamwork More Than Chimps Do
  • Moving and Feeling Using Only Brain
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Tap Lights for Phoneme Segmentation 
  • 30 Free Full Color Articulation Cards 
  • French Fry Articulation! 

Articles and Blogs

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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Dr. Suess in the NewsNew Book of 'Lost' Dr. Suess Stories Published

[Source: NPR.org] 


The creative vision of author and illustrator Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, introduced fantastic characters into the imaginations of generations of kids.

Now, two decades after his death, a new book, The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, is reintroducing a collection of Geisel's more obscure tales, including Gustav the Goldfish and Tadd and Todd.

The stories were rediscovered and the book compiled by Charles Cohen, a dentist who is passionate about all things Dr. Seuss. Cohen has also published a visual biography of the beloved children's author, The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss. He tells NPR's Neal Conan how he found the forgotten stories, what he learned about Geisel's life and what the author means to children today.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
'Early Fine Motor Work' in the News:  Paleolithic Kids Finger-Painted in Caves
[Source: Yahoo News, Live Sciences]

Among the Paleolithic artists who left behind paint-decorated caves were kids as young as 3, a new study finds.

In fact, finger-painting tots were quite prolific 13,000 years ago in the Cave of a Hundred Mammoths in France, according to Cambridge archaeologist Jess Cooney, who presented her findings last week at a conference on the archaeology of childhood at Cambridge University. The main art form was finger flutings, decorative lines made by people running their fingers along cave walls.

"So far, we haven't found anywhere that adults fluted without children," Cooney said in a statement. "Some of the children's flutings are high up on the walls and on the ceilings, so they must have been held up to make them or have been sitting on someone's shoulders." [Science as Art: A Gallery]

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

Pediatric OCD  in the News:  'A Darkness Has Overtaken Me'



Alissa Welker would switch the lights on, off, on, off, on, off - however many times it took to feel "right." When she was 9, she'd spend the equivalent of an adult workday doing these kinds of rituals. She also washed her hands excessively, avoided sick people and barely ate because she feared food poisoning.

Mystery Almond has also felt that she needed to wash her hands more than most people, to the point that her classmates picked on her. She would see words spelled out in her head - "like reading a book" - telling her to do things, like hitting a girl in second grade who taunted her for obsessing over hand washing.


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

Autism in the News:  New Finding Provides Insight Into the Psychology of Autism

[Source: Medical News Today]

People with autism process information in unusual ways and often have difficulties in their social interactions in everyday life. While this can be especially striking in those who are otherwise high functioning, characterizing this difficulty in detail has been challenging. Now, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have isolated a very specific difference in how high-functioning people with autism think about other people, finding that - in actuality - they don't tend to think about what others think of them at all.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Free App Great for SLPs: Get Code for Free Copy of 'The Monster at the End of this Book' Interactive Storybook at Starbucks Through Monday
Run into Starbucks before Monday October 17th, and get a code for a free copy of 'The Monster at the End of this Book' Interactive storybook App for iPhone.  The app is this week's 'Starbucks Pick of the Week," and is free with a code.  The app is regularly $3.99.

The app has won a 2011 Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice Award, reached #1 App store in the past, and also was named one of Babble's Best iPhone and iPad Apps for kids in 2011.

Learn More About this Promotion and View the App Store Through a Link on our Blog
Preemies in the News: Brain Growth, Not Size Predicts IQ in Preterm Babies

[Source: MSNBC]

How fast a baby's brain grows, rather than how large it is, predicts the child's mental abilities later in life, a new study of preterm infants suggests.

The faster the brain's cerebral cortex grew during the first months of life, the higher the children scored at age 6 on intelligence tests designed to measure their abilities to think, speak, plan and pay attention, the researchers found.

The cerebral cortex is an outer layer of the brain that is critical for language, memory, attention and thought.  The study found no relationship between the size of a baby's brain and the child's later test scores.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
The Science of Bilingualism in the News:  Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language
[Source:  The New York Times]

Once, experts feared that young children exposed to more than one language would suffer "language confusion," which might delay their speech development. Today, parents often are urged to capitalize on that early knack for acquiring language. Upscale schools market themselves with promises of deep immersion in Spanish - or Mandarin - for everyone, starting in kindergarten or even before.


Yet while many parents recognize the utility of a second language, families bringing up children in non-English-speaking households, or trying to juggle two languages at home, are often desperate for information. And while the study of bilingual development has refuted those early fears about confusion and delay, there aren't many research-based guidelines about the very early years and the best strategies for producing a happily bilingual child.  


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


The Science of Being Social in the News: Children Like Teamwork More Than Chimps Do

[Source:  Yahoo News/Live Science]

Chimpanzees and humans are fairly close cousins, evolutionarily speaking. But a new study finds they lack something that we have (besides written language and hairlessness): a desire to work together.

When all other things are equal, 3-year-old children prefer to do a task collaboratively rather than alone, while chimpanzees show no such preference, said study researcher Yvonne Rekers, a cognitive scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

"We expected that difference between human and chimpanzee cooperation, because we can see it nowadays," Rekers told LiveScience. "Humans collaborate in a larger variety of contexts and in more complex forms."

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Neuro Sensory Research in the News: Moving and Feeling Using Only Brain
Thanks to our friends at  Your Therapy Source for the heads up on this item!

This is some crazy research from Duke University having monkeys use brain control only to move a virtual arm over the correct target based on sensory feedback (vibration). The researchers are hopeful that in the future this type of technology will not only help individuals with spinal cord injuries to move arms and hands and to walk again but even to feel and touch again.

Watch a Video on this Research Through a Link on our Blog
Therapy Idea of the Week: Tap Lights for Phoneme Segmentation 

Now that we've been on Pinterest for a couple of months now we are starting to see some "favorite" pins popping up. This one definitely qualifies for the "Why Didn't I Think of This?" folder.    

This idea of using incandescent tap lights for phoneme segmentation is very popular!  Lil Country Kindergarten blogged about this idea back in February of this year and her photo and description are definitely making the rounds on Pinterest.


These kinds of lights are available quite inexpensively in discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target as well as Home Depot.  

Check out this Great Idea Through a Link on our Blog
Therapy Resource of the Week: 30 Free, Full Color Artic Cards 
Special Thanks to Jourdan at the Future SLP blog for letting us know about a GREAT set of 30 free articulation cards to be found on the Testy Yet Trying blog.   Jourdan pinned each and every card to her Future SLPs Pinterest page.  I must say I don't have the patience for that, so I would like to share the main page with you here.

Visit the 'Testy Yet Trying Blog' Through a Link on our Blog


Another Great Idea for the Week: French Fry Articulation 

This one is taking off around Pinterest as fast as kids like their fries!   It was created by Jenna over at Speech Room News as a variation on other "french fry sight word" and "french fry math" games she saw popping up.   I saw it first from our friend Rachel See Smith.  

From the Speech Room News Blog:  "The golden arches gladly gave me a few french fry boxes when I asked. I made Boardmaker symbols of beginning, middle and end. Popsicle sticks became french fries with target words written on them. Students say their sounds and then identify where the target sound is in the words. Easy to make and something new for the littles."


Check out this Idea Through a Link on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: KidPT, ChildTalk 
The Balance Series - By:  Dr. Joni Redlich, DPT

We all learn about our 5 senses as children: smell, touch, see, hear and taste. Our sensory systems are so important to how we experience each day. We smell the delicious food that is cooking, hear the sizzle from the pan and can't wait to get a taste. Our sensory systems also underlie our attention, focus and motor control. An important sense that may not be part of our daily consciousness, but is integral to our ability to move, play and learn, is our sense of balance.

The Sensory Systems
Our balance system is composed of a team of sensory systems outside of the commonly known
sensory team gives us the ability to stay upright and to keep our eyes focused as we move our

Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog
Using Pictures To Help With Beginning Language - by  Becca Jarzynski, MS, CCC-SLP

As a pediatric speech-language therapist, I use pictures to help with language development all the time, in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. I've already written about how I turn vacation pictures into photo books to increase vocabulary, grammar and narratives skills. I've also written about how I use pictures to help children learn to use creative two word phrases. Today, though, I'm writing about the use of pictures at a beginning level-to help children request the things they want, using one picture at a time. This type of picture use, formalized by Frost and Bondy in 1985, is often called the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The idea is simple but powerful: teach children to exchange pictures with a communication partner to allow them to request the things they want.


Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: An Introduction to PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)

By: Lara C. Pullen, Ph.D.
CEO and Founder Healing Thresholds 


Editor's Note:  This article was written for parents.  It is an excellent introduction to PECS that you might give to the parents and guardians of the kiddos you treat.


What is it?
A picture exchange communication system (PECS) is a form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) that uses pictures instead of words to help children communicate. PECS was designed especially for children with autism who have delays in speech development.

When first learning to use PECS, the child is given a set of pictures of favorite foods or toys. When the child wants one of these items, he gives the picture to a communication partner (a parent, therapist, caregiver, or even another child). The communication partner then hands the child the food or toy. This exchange reinforces communication 1-4.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Halloween and Autism, Scary For All the Wrong Reasons
By: Stuart Duncan

Halloween is meant to be a wonderful time for children, they get to go out for a little while and do nothing but collect free candy from the whole town just by saying "Trick or Treat!"

As parents of children with disorders or disabilities, we know all too well just how difficult this "wonderful time" can truly be.

Too Little Fear
Many children with a disorder, including Autism, have far too little fear when something catches their focus. When magic takes hold and the entire event seems like a dream come

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - Working on Reading Comprehension with Students with Apraxia (or Any Non-Verbal Students)
[Source: Technology in (Spl) Education]


I'm not a researcher. I'm not a clinician. I'm not doctor, a Ph.D., or even a developer of a reading program. I am a teacher. I'm a teacher and I can only relay information that has worked for me.

So, please take this blog post with a grain of salt. And then throw it over your shoulder. Because you'll need an extra helping of good luck when it comes to working on reading comprehension with students with apraxia or any other non-verbal student. But it can be done.

It can be done. 

Here are some thoughts on how it can be done, followed by some of the things I have done that have worked...


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