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September 23, 2011
Issue 30, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     

Hope you had a wonderful week.   Please enjoy our weekly newsletter offering.  We have a new Guest Blogger from YogaBugs in the UK.  Welcome to Denyse Whillier!
News Items: 
  • Children With Autism And Gastrointestinal Symptoms Have Altered Digestive Genes
  • Drum-Based Program Helps Teach Children with Autism
  • From the New York Times:  Recess Making a Comeback in Schools 
  • Improving Treatment Of Children With Premature Skull Bone Fusion
  • Language in the News: Slow Down! Why Some Languages Sound So Fast
  • Pesticides in Food Linked to ADHD in Kids 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Rescue Breathing for Laryngectomees and Neck Breathers
  • Autism Speaks' 'IEP Summary Process and Practical Tips'
  • Pinterest Therapy Resource of the Week:  Hundreds of Free Games and Activities at Sheppard Software.   
  • Another Pinterest Therapy Resource of the Week: WorksheetWorks.com 

Articles and Blogs

  • Guest Blog: Lion, Snake and Butterfly: Yoga Games You Can Do With The Kids
  • Guest Blog: 'It's in the Clouds' - Therapy Ideas 
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Emergency Evacuation Should Be Part of the IEP
  • Worth Repeating: Diagnosis of Specific Language Impairment  
  • Also Worth Repeating: Response for Intervention (RTI): A Primer for Parents
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Autism in the News: Children With Autism And Gastrointestinal Symptoms Have Altered Digestive Genes

[Source: Medical News Today]


Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and at the Harvard Medical School report that children with autism and gastrointestinal disturbances have altered expression of genes involved in digestion. These variations may contribute to changes in the types of bacteria in their intestines.


Full study findings are reported online in the journal PLoS ONE. 


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Innovative Therapies in the News: Drum-Based Program Helps Teach Children with Autism
[Source: The Autism News]

TreVaughn Powell, 13, tapped out three beats on his drum, making the shape of a triangle.

Dina Selleck, 13, drew a square with her drum solo.


They were among the students at Potential Development Center demonstrating the Students Motivated by The Rhythmic Arts Project, or TRAP. The project, funded by the Youngstown Foundation's Hine Memorial Fund, is a collaborative effort between Youngstown State University's SMARTS and the CreativeBridge Coalition.

The 55 students at Potential Development are all on the autism spectrum.

Read the Rest of This and Watch a Video Through a Link on our Blog
Recess in the News: Recess Making a Comeback in Schools

[Source:  New York Times]


As more Chicago public schools cash in on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's longer-day financial incentives by adding 90 minutes to their school day, the previous votes by a dozen schools to add about a half hour to the day by bringing back recess are going unnoticed.


Restoring recess is part of a broader health push by parents, advocacy groups and some city officials to bring more exercise and better nutrition to both schoolchildren and preschoolers.

Beginning in November, the city's Department of Public Health will require children who attend preschool or day care centers in Chicago to spend less time in front of television or computer screens - 60 minutes or less - and more time, at least an hour a day, participating in physical activity. At snack

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Conditions of the Skull :  Improving Treatment Of Children With Premature Skull Bone Fusion
[Source: Medical News Today]

Engineers and surgeons are working together to improve the treatment of babies born with craniosynostosis, a condition that causes the bone plates in the skull to fuse too soon. Treating this condition typically requires surgery after birth to remove portions of the fused skull bones, and in some cases the bones grow together again too quickly -- requiring additional surgeries.

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

Language in the News:  Language in the News: Slow Down! Why Some Languages Sound So Fast

[Source: Time Magazine]


Here's one of the least-interesting paragraphs you've ever read: "Last night I opened the front door to let the cat out. It was such a beautiful night that I wandered down to the garden to get a breath of fresh air. Then I heard a click as the door closed behind me."


OK, it becomes a little less eye-glazing after that, with the speaker getting arrested while trying to force the door back open. Still, we ain't talking Noel Coward here. All the same, this perfectly ordinary passage and a few others like it are part of an intriguing study just published in the journal Language - a study that answers one of the longest-standing questions about human speech. (Read why speaking more than one language may delay Alzheimer's.)  


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

ADHD in the News: Pesticides in Food Linked to ADHD in Kids

[Source: MSN.com] 

Levels of pesticides commonly encountered across the country in food as well as around the home are significantly increasing children's risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and could be causing an increase in the number of children living with the condition, according to new research published in the journal Pediatrics. 

"It's mainly exposure through food. Diet is the driver," says pediatrician and public health expert Phil Landrigan, MD, professor and chair of the department of community and preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "For most people, diet is the predominant source. It's been shown that people who switch to an organic diet knock down the levels of pesticide by-products in their urine by 85 to 90 percent." 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Therapist Resource of the Week: Rescue Breathing for Laryngectomees and Neck Breathers
Editor's Note:   While more laryngectomees and neck breathers are adults rather than children, we felt that this short tutorial was nevertheless very worth including here in the event that you do treat a kiddo who has undergone a laryngectomy.

Watch the YouTube Video Tutorial on our Blog


Therapist Resource of the Week: Autism Speaks' 'IEP Summary Process and Practical Tips'
Thanks to our friend Sherry Artemenko at Play on Words for the heads up on this great resource!

[Source: Play on Words]

Autism Speaks just released a new 26 page guide, "Individualized Educational Plan (IEP): Summary, Process and Practical Tips" to help parents navigate the IEP process. Developed by a group of pro bono lawyers at Goodwin Proctor, this guide is available online and incredibly informative, especially to first time parents going through the process. The information is clearly mapped out and diagrammed, using layman's terms to be helpful to parents.

Download this Guide Through a LInk on our Blog
Pinterest Pin of the Week: Hundreds of Free Education Games and Activities at Sheppard Software
WOW! Thanks to our SLPeep friend @kimberlyslp for the lead on this great website that is this week's Pinterest Resource of the Week. Sheppard Software has created a great site full of excellent interactive activities for kids, that are appropriate to use with clients through both a speech and OT lens. The site is colorful, professional and very easy to navigate. Great find, Kimberly, thanks!

Check out this Great Website Through a Link on our Blog

Explore all the PediaStaff pins on Pinterest!

Another Pinterest Pin of the Week: WorksheetWorks.com - Worksheet Generators 

Here is a great website that we found through Pinterest. WorksheetWorks.com is a beta-preview site that can generate a very wide range of worksheets for teachers. Some of the sections that are most applicable to pediatric and school based therapists include worksheet generators for scissors and handwriting practice (in the Miscellanea section), vocabulary flashcards including sight words, a maze generator and word search generator.   


The site also has lots of English Language worksheet generators for parts of speech, sentence related skills, as well as math problems, puzzles, and a variety of generators for worksheets on spacial relations skills.

Check out this Great Resource Through a Link on our Blog

Explore all the PediaStaff pins on Pinterest!

Guest Blogs This Week: YogaBugs, Speech Gadget  
Lion, Snake and Butterfly: Yoga Games You Can Do With The Kids - By:  Denyse Whillier

Yoga and kids make a great fit because children naturally love to move their bodies and use their imagination to act like animals and other things in their world. Just keep in mind that younger tots will prefer hopping and ribbiting in Frog pose rather than holding still, so encourage them to move around and make lots of noise.


You can use these poses to play a game of 'Simon Says' where you do a pose like Lion or Snake and the kids copy you. A game of 'Freeze Yoga' is also fun - play some upbeat tunes, and when the music stops, call out a yoga pose (like Boat or Flamingo) and they have to hold the pose like a statue. Or have your kids make up their own yoga poses. When it comes to children and yoga, the most important thing is to be creative and have fun so as they grow up, their love of yoga will grow, too. Here's a group of yoga poses your kids will love to try:


Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog
'It's in the Clouds' - Therapy Ideas - by Deb Tomarakos, SLP-CCC

Wow, I can't believe how long it has been since I have posted. Many of you know, that I sold my house and have been looking for new digs. Add to that the fact that summer is upon us, and my "tech" time has been limited.


Today, I want to take a moment and talk about clouds. I don't mean the tech clouds that involve storage. I mean the actual lay on your back and look up at the sky clouds. During these lazy days of summer, I have been spending time outside with my kids, looking at clouds. That always makes me think of one of my favorite children's books....


Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Emergency Evacuation Should Be Part of the IEP
By: Charles P. Fox

Note from the editors for readers from outside of the United States: In the US, educational rights for students with disabilities are covered by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA requires that each student covered under IDEA must have an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). Another piece of legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also has educational implications. The particular section that refers to education is Section 504; accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities covered under ADA is commonly referred to as "a 504 plan".

Further comments from the editors: This post had been planned for some time. As we were preparing this post for publication, Japan experienced a 8.8+ earthquake. In addition to the earthquake destruction, many areas of Japan's coast were hit with tsunamis, with further destruction and loss of life. At this time (03/11/11, 12:02 am, Pacific Standard Time) the entire Pacific Basin is on tsunami watch. Earlier in the week, a commemoration of a 1908 catastrophic school fire was published at the blog Making Light: The Lakewood School Fire. 172 children and two adults died, because there was no evacuation plan and no fire drills had ever been held.

In the context of yesterday's events and of the events of 1908, we publish today's post--for parents and for special education professionals. We all need to plan for our students in the event of an emergency -- natural or otherwise.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Diagnosis of Specific Language Impairment
by:  Christine Dollaghan, Ph.D., Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas

The acquisition of language is one of the signature achievements of childhood. Adequate language functioning includes the ability to understand what others say (also known as receptive language or language comprehension) and to produce utterances comprehensible to others (also known as expressive language or language production). Language capabilities can be differentiated further into several subdomains, including the knowledge and use of (a) words (also known as lexical, semantic, or vocabulary development); (b) sequences of words (also known as grammatical or syntactic development); � linguistic forms in social interactions (also known as pragmatic development); and (d) the system of speech sounds (also known as phonology).  


Children with specific language impairment (SLI) are broadly defined as displaying significant difficulties in one or more of these language domains. These difficulties cannot readily be explained by deficits in other aspects of development that are linked to language acquisition. Such aspects include intelligence, hearing, oral-motor skills, emotional developmental, and language exposure. However, due to the multiple aspects of language that may be affected, the difficulties of separating language from other developmental skills, and the variability in the course of language development within and across individual children, the precise criteria for diagnosing SLI have been the subject of debate for more than 20 years.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - Response to Intervention:  A Primer for Parents
By: Mary Beth Klotz and Andrea Canter

Learn what questions to ask about Response to Intervention (RTI), an approach to helping struggling learners that is gaining momentum in schools across the country. This article from the National Association of School Psychologists tells you the most important features of the process, key terms, and RTI's relationship to special education evaluation.

A major concern for parents as well as teachers is how to help children who experience difficulty in school. All parents want to see their child excel, and it can be very frustrating when a child falls behind in either learning to read, achieving as expected in math and other subjects, or in getting along socially with peers and teachers. Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-step approach to providing services and interventions to struggling learners at increasing levels of intensity. RTI allows for early intervention by providing academic and behavioral supports rather than waiting for a child to fail before offering help.

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