October 28, 2011
Issue 10, Volume 5 
It's All About the Choices!     

Greetings and Happy Halloween!  Attached is our monthly newsletter offering for you.   We have a wide variety of articles and news items and of course a new  Pinterest Pin of the Week.    If you haven't checked out The PediaStaff Pinterest Page, its definitely time to look.   We have nearly 3000 followers as of today!  Looking for last minute Halloween ideas for class on Monday?  Check out our Halloween Therapy Ideas Page!

Have a great weekend!

News Items:
  • More Robots for Autism in the News
  • 'Super-Social Gene,' and 'Williams Syndrome,' May Hold Clues to Autism 
  • New App May Help Nab Handicap Parking Violators
  • Video of the Week: Interview, Melanie Potock, Joy of Food and Kids
  • Length Of Time Outdoors Linked To Kids' Lower Nearsightedness Risk
  • Preschoolers' Language Skills Improve More When They're Placed With More-Skilled Peers
Tips, Activities and Resources:
  • Hungry Hippos for Articulation Drills! 
  • Pinterest Therapy Idea of the Week: Paint Chip Word Family Cards 
  • Free 15 Episode Autism Seminar Produced by Yale on iTunes
Upcoming Events
  • ASHA Conference in San Diego 
Articles and Blogs  
  • SLP Corner: The Evolution of Empathy 
  • OT Corner:  Understanding How Gifted and Twice Exceptional Children Can Benefit From OT
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Taking a Look at Conductive Education
  • Special Feature:  Oculo-Visual Problems of Patients with Special Needs 
  • Focus on Bilingualism:  English Language Learner Characteristics: An Overview of Assessment Issues
  • Guest Blog:  To Tweet or not to Tweet: The Professional's Question(s)
  • Guest Blog: Art Therapy and Autism: Working with Parent and Child Together
  • Worth Repeating: Parents as "Speech Therapists": What a New Study Shows
  • Also Worth Repeating:  Motor Development For Individuals With Down Syndrome - An Overview

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

Bilingual Therapy Jobs 
Robots for Autism in the News: Meet 'Bandit'

[Source: ABC News and the Los Angeles Times]


An endearing little robot named Bandit may be the newest technology to help children with autism better understand social cues and emotional behavior. 

Researchers at the Robotics Research Lab at University of Southern California have created studies for children with autism to interact and play with Bandit, a small human-like robot with movable eyebrows and mouth, and motion sensors that allow him to back away or move forward.


The designers hoped to create a balance between human and robot so that he is approachable and engaging without being too realistic or intimidating.


Read the Rest of this Story on and the LA Times Through a Link on our Blog
'Joy Gene' in the News - 'Super-Social Gene,' and 'Williams Syndrome,' May Hold Clues to Autism

[Source:  MSNBC/The Today Show]


If they had their way, Tristan and Tyler Waldner would be friends with everybody.

The 7-year-old twins from San Diego, Calif., have Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that makes them unusually social, so outgoing and gregarious that, to them, there's no such thing as a stranger.


At the library, on the playground, and even with surprise guests at dinner, the blond boys are charming and chatty, brimming with questions - "Where do you live? Did you drive here or fly here? Do you have kids?" - but with none of the shyness or social reserve you'd expect from typical second-graders.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Technology in the News: New App May Help Nab Handicap Parking Violator
[Source: Disability Scoop]

A smartphone app may soon be all that's needed to crack down on illegal parking in handicap spots.

Officials in Austin, Texas are set to vote this week on a resolution that would allow residents to use an app to report handicap parking violators directly to law enforcement.

Under the plan, app users would take a photo of the offending vehicle and submit it to city officials who could send an officer to issue a ticket.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on Our Blog
Video of the Week: Interview, Melanie Potock, Joy of Food and Kids


Melanie has worked with families on how to have children be more adventurous eaters. Some children she sees dues to underlying conditions such as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Down Syndrome, Autism or any number of physical issues that require individual feeding therapy. Her experience with parents of special needs, and also looking back on being a parent herself, has given her so many

Watch this Video and Read Interview on our Blog
Outdoor Play in the News: Length Of Time Outdoors Linked To Kids' Lower Nearsightedness Risk

[Source:  Medical News Today]


The longer children and adolescents spend outdoors the lower their risk is of developing myopia (nearsightedness), researchers from the University of Cambridge, England reported at the 115th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Orlando, Florida. The study was led by Dr. Justin Sherwin and presented by Dr. Anthony Khawaja. Khawaja explained that nearsightedness is much more prevalent in America today than it was thirty or forty years ago. In some regions of Asia over four-firths of the population has myopia.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Language Development in the News: Preschoolers' Language Skills Improve More When They're Placed With More-Skilled Peers

[Source:  Medical News Today]

Preschool children with relatively poor language skills improve more if they are placed in classrooms with high-achieving students, a new study found.   Researchers found that children with relatively poor language skills either didn't improve over the course of one academic year, or actually lost ground in development of language skills, when they were placed with other low-achieving students.

The results have important implications because many preschool programs in the United States are targeted to children in poverty, who may exhibit lags in their development of language skills, said Laura Justice, lead author of the study and professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at Ohio State University.   


"The way preschool works in the United States, we tend to cluster kids who have relatively low language skills in the same classrooms, and that is not good for their language development," Justice said.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Upcoming Event: ASHA Annual Convention & Conference
Its nearly November and that means it's time for the American Speech-Language Hearing Conference and Convention to be held this year in sunny, San Diego from November 17-19th!

PediaStaff will be there of course with a free Toobaloo Fluency Device for all booth visitors while supplies last!  


Stop by booth #924 and say hi!   Our team is looking forward to meeting you face to face in the exhibition hall!.  We will also have a representative of our newsletter team there as well, so please stop by and tell us of your ideas to make this weekly publication even better!  

Therapy Activity/Resource of the Week: Hungry Hippos for Articulation Drills!

Thanks to Activity Tailor for this great articulation therapy idea!


Here's another classic game that is easily adapted for articulation drills.

Materials: Hungry Hippos game (it is quite easy to find this game used online or at yard sales!), word list or deck of artic cards


How to play: On each of the little balls write a number from 1-6. This will be the number of trials that the child will say. I only have one "1? and maybe two "6?, most fall in the middle. The game accommodates up to four players. At "go" you slap the little lever on the back of your hippo to open his  


Pinterest Therapy Idea of the Week: Paint Chip Word Family Cards

This week's Pinterest Therapy Idea of the Week  is making the rounds in various incantations - the Paint Chip Word Family Game!  We posted it earlier this week and it has been hugely popular!   'Paint Chips', you ask? You know, the cards you can find at Home Depot, Sears and Lowe's that help you select the perfect wall color? They are colorful and most importantly, FREE!


Here is a example of how to use these cards to make a Word Family game. Most people are pinning the Pink and Green Mama post. Pink and Green Mama, credits The Snails Trail Blog 

for the idea!

Check out this Great Idea Through a Link on our Blog

Therapist Resource of the Week - Free 15 Episode Autism Seminar Produced by Yale on iTunes

Thanks to our friend Jenna Casbon of  Independent who posted about this great resource in our LinkedIn Pediatric Therapy Discussion Group!  Wow, thanks Jenna!

[Source: iTunes Preview]


The Yale Seminar on Autism and Related Disorders is the United States' first undergraduate course of its kind. The goal of this series is to make all of the lecture content and supporting materials available online for free for anyone who desires to learn about Autsim Spectrum Disorders. For Yale undergraduates, the class consists of a weekly seminar on diagnosis and assessment, etiology and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with autism and related disorders of socialization. This collection contains the full video of the course in 15 episodes.


Check out This Excellent Resource Through a Link on our Blog 

Speech Language Pathology Corner: The Evolution of Empathy 
By: Kim Lewis M.Ed, CCC-SLP

Even when I entered graduate school, I knew pediatrics would be the place for me. And over the years, while I have done some work (and enjoyed it) with adult populations, kids are definitely my niche.


What has changed over the years though is my approach to both clients and their families. I don't mean what activities or assessments I use. Of course, that evolves over time with research, trends and even fads; but how I relate to families. My empathy has shifted.

When I started graduate school, I was fascinated by the obscure. The more unusual the diagnosis, the more grim the prognosis, the more interested I was. I think at that age a need to be noticed, to have your importance in this world recognized, to validate yourself worth is common. I was certainly filled with unrealistic expectations for both myself and my clients. How many of us wanted to "change the world" or be the "miracle worker". These are lofty, even admirable goals even if they aren't always practical. But in retrospect, is it about your client, or about you?

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Occupational Therapy Corner:  Understanding How Gifted and Twice Exceptional Children Can Benefit From OT
By: Debra Johnson, MS, OTR/L

Many parents who contact me for OT services begin the conversation by saying that they aren't really sure whether OT can help them or not. They are struggling, searching for answers and may have had others tell them they are over-reacting or that their child will outgrow the problems. During the initial evaluation these parents are able to identify their primary concerns often related to motor coordination, learning difficulties and behaviors. They then may state "but he's so smart" or "but she is so creative."

When asked to name their child's strengths a parent might list intelligent, clever, good problem solver, quick learner, excellent memory, compassionate, sensitive or make other comments about natural abilities. In many cases, the child is struggling at school while parents and teachers believe that the child could succeed "if he really wanted to." This pattern of strengths and weaknesses is often indicative of a child being gifted or twice exceptional. These children can benefit greatly from OT services to support their development, facilitate positive self image and make the most of their natural abilities.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog 

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Taking a Look at Conductive Education
By: Svetlana Frank, OCT

The Science
Conductive education is a highly developed treatment approach for children and adults with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and acquired brain injury. Based on a unique combination of both educational and therapeutic principles from the works of Andras Peto, conductive education is designed to rebuild a person's motor functional abilities and maximize his or her independence in every aspect of life. The continual learning process as well as the unique partnership between the patient and the conductor teaches clients how to overcome motor challenges and thereby improve their quality of life.


The Philosophy
This treatment is based on a few key principles. First, every part of the patient's life is interconnected and interdependent, meaning that treatment itself should work together as a

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Special Feature - Vision Corner: Oculo-Visual Problems of Patients with Special Needs
By: Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A

Individuals with special needs often have numerous undiagnosed and untreated oculo-visual problems. The World Health Organization has noted that the number one cause of treatable visual impairment in the world is uncorrected refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia) (see side bar). This is also true for those with developmental, physical, genetically induced and psychiatric disability, as well as those with acquired and traumatic brain injury. This paper briefly reviews the frequently encounter disabilities and their associated oculo-visual problems.

Down Syndrome
Those with Down Syndrome (DS) exhibit high amounts of refractive error. This is usually hyperopia, but if myopia is present very high amounts are often encountered. They may also

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Focus on Bilingualism: English Language Learner Characteristics: An Overview of Assessment Issues
By:  Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and Alejandro Brice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Bilingualism is a phenomena that is seen worldwide and also very prevalent in the U.S. It was recently estimated that 17.9% of all individuals in the U.S. speak another language (i.e., other than English) in the home (U.S., Census Bureau, 2007). Of this Latinos are the largest culturally and linguistically diverse population in the U.S estimated to be 15.1% of the total U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007). However pervasive bilingualism may be in the U.S., many misperceptions continue to exist regarding the nature of bilingualism and working with bilingual students, especially when assessing their language and learning abilities. Bilingualism is a complex linguistic, cognitive, and social phenomena. Further elaboration of how the two languages interact is warranted in light of assessing English language learners' (ELLs) skills. A discussion of second language acquisition issues, language loss issues or incomplete first language development, dual language learning characteristics, and disproportionate representation of Latino students are discussed.

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: Lexical Linguist, Colors of Play     
 To Tweet or not to Tweet: The Professional's Question(s):   By: Tanya Coyle, CCC-SLP

Today's post is brought to you by the word:

circumspect [sur-kuhm-spekt] /'s?rk?m?sp?kt/

1. watchful and discreet; cautious; prudent: circumspect behavior.
2. well-considered: circumspect ambition.


Whether you are using social media for professional, personal, or a combined purpose, each professional needs to think carefully about what persona they are 'putting out there' onto the web and who might (will) see this persona. This becomes especially sticky when you are engaging online for personal and professional combined, but I have found that it may also be sticky for those of us only using social media professionally. It can also be problematic for those who are only using social media for personal, but who happen to be professionals. So, basically, if you are a professional and you're also using social media (especially Twitter) for ANY purpose, you should be making informed decisions about what content you put out there and how you present yourself.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Art Therapy and Autism: Working with Parent and Child Together:  By: Pamela Ullmann, ATR-BC, LCAT

Within my private practice with the Autism population, I have discovered that the parent-child dyad can be a wonderful way to work if the circumstances are right. It enables me to model for the parent and offer creative strategies and techniques for their child. But even beyond that it is an enriching experience for me as the therapist as well. I learn how parent and child relate and communicate with each other; helping me work better for the child.


I have been working with a young client for over a year where I am fortunate to have this situation. Mom is very open to working with her son (around 9 years old with moderate ASD) and helping him to discover his inner creativity. Having her part of the session is also a great asset because she can comfort and "regulate" him when over stimulation occurs. She then becomes a model for me as well!


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Worth Repeating:  Parents as "Speech Therapists": What a New Study Shows

By: Lauren Lowry, Hanen Certified Speech-Language Pathologist


Traditionally, speech therapy with preschoolers involved parents bringing their child to a speech-language pathologist at a clinic. After an assessment, if the speech-language pathologist recommended it, the parent would bring the child for regular speech therapy. In this case, the sessions would be conducted by the speech-language pathologist, who would use specific techniques and strategies to improve the child's communication. The parent would sit and watch the therapy, either in the room or behind a 2-way mirror. After the session, the parent would be given activities to practice with the child at home.

Read the Full Text of This Article Through a Link on our Blog

Also Worth Repeating: Motor Development For Individuals With Down Syndrome - An Overview

[Source: Down Syndrome Online]


by: Ben Sacks and Sue Buckley

In the first year of life, infants begin to gain control over movements - they begin to be able to hold their heads steady, to reach out and grasp objects, to roll, sit and crawl and to hold cups or bottles for feeding. They then go on to walk, run, climb stairs, use a spoon, knife and fork, and dress themselves. Later they draw, write, use the computer, play football and dance. We tend to take our movement abilities for granted as, for most of us, they have developed effortlessly and most are carried out as we go through our day without conscious attention to them at all.

However, there is a large research literature devoted to trying to understand how the brain controls our everyday movements so skilfully, and the processes are still not fully understood. In the first section of this overview we will discuss the current views of the motor research experts, as it is relevant to our  


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. 

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