weekly header

March 11, 2011
Issue 8, Volume 5

It's All About the Choices!     


Hope you had a wonderful week.   Just a couple things to point out today:  We have two new guest bloggers for you this week.   Please extend warm welcomes to 'Speech Bob' - Bob Bateman, and the staff at Kennedy Krieger Institute.   Both of these fine blogs will start to appear in our guest blog rotation.  

I would also like to give special attention to a project by the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation.  They are working on creating a directory of 'sensory friendly' businesses. Learn how you can share your input. 
News Items: 
  • Promising Prenatal Test For Down Syndrome Identified  
  • New York Times:  On the Left Hand, There Are No Easy Answers  
  • Cerebral Palsy Cases on the Decline 
  • Kasper the Robot for Kids with Autism Back in the News  
  • MIT Scientist Captures 90,000 Hours of Video of Son's First Words and Graphs It  
  • The SPD Foundation Needs Your Help with 'Sensory Friendly' Directory  
  • F.D.A. to Study Whether Anesthesia Poses Cognitive Risks in Young Children  
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • St. Patrick's Day Activities for Speech, Language, Fine Motor Skills and More 
  • Sensory Ring with Music Switch
  • Minimal Pairs Word Lists 

Upcoming Events

  • 2011 American Occupational Therapy Convention and Conference 

Articles and Blogs 

  • Guest Blog: Get a Grip   
  • Guest Blog: Language Therapy Using Dropbox 
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Sensory Driven Child - What Makes Them Tick and What Makes Them Ticked  
  • Worth Repeating: Floor Time as a Play Therapy Intervention for Children Impacted by Selective Mutism
  • Also Worth Repeating: Apraxia? Dyspraxia? Articulation? Phonology? What Does It All Mean?                                                                                                       
Feel free to contact us with any questions about our openings or items in these pages. Have you discovered our RSS feed? Click on the orange button below to subscribe to all our openings and have them delivered to your Feed Reader!  Don't have an RSS Feed Reader set up? Sign up at
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

The Career Center

The links to the right are "live" and reflect the most recent 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 new openings
for you in that state.

To see ALL our openings click HERE
and select the checkbox for your discipline.
Recent Speech Language Pathologist and SLPA Jobs
Recent Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 
Recent Physical Therapist and PTA Jobs
Recent School Psychologist Jobs

Hot Outpatient Job of the Week
Pediatric Occupational Therapist - Eastern Shore of MD 

Our client's outpatient rehabilitation therapy services are growing!  They have moved to a bigger center to serve a greater number of the children in the Eastern Shore.  We are searching for a dedicated Occupational Therapist who enjoys working in an outpatient clinic-based setting. They have 2 Physical Therapists, 3 Speech Therapists, and 1 Occupational Therapist on staff, as well as support personnel. The therapists treat children ages birth to 16 years, with the primary caseload being 18 months to 5 years.  Children present with a variety of diagnoses, including Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome, CP, Autism and ASD, SI dysfunction, Fragile X, etc.  The perfect candidate will enjoy a healthy pace with a positive work environment, and the opportunity to be part of an interdisciplinary team.  Responsibilities include: 
  • Evaluate & treat young children with a variety of diagnoses.
  • Provide play-based clinical occupational therapy.
  • Provide guidance and instruction to families & caregivers for carryover of therapy

Experienced and new grads are welcome to apply.  New grads will benefit from the mentorship of a highly experienced Occupational Therapist.  This is a direct hire position working 35-40 hours per week.  Salaries start at $55,000 and to up depending upon the experience level of the therapist.


This region is characterized by small historic towns, meandering creeks, beautiful natural areas, and miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. There is always something special happening on the Eastern Shore of Maryland - these fun-loving people have LOTs of food festivals, parades, art shows, carnivals and street parties.  From north to south, enchanting landscapes and miles of beaches promise seasons of exceptional bird watching, fishing, swimming, boating, hunting and camping, along with an extensive trail system for biking, hiking and canoeing.  Maryland is a four-season destination.

Interested in this job?  Contact PediaStaff today!..


Hot Contract Job of the Week

Temporary (13 week) Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist, Greenville, SC  

New exciting Temporary job in Greenville, South Carolina--the city that offers plenty to do with its parks and recreation, greenways and nearby mountains makes it an outdoorsman's dream. It is the largest city given the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson area. Estimated population for 2006 is 1.2 million people. It's about halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte.

Our client is seeking a Speech Language Pathologist for a thirteen week contract starting now and going for 13 weeks or can be a temp-to-hire.

This is a private rehabilitation specialty practice with multiple outpatient clinic sites, offering speech, physical and occupational therapy services in both clinic and home-based settings. This is a full time pediatric position. This is your opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary team of therapists and work with both Pediatrics and Adults (if desired) or just 100% pediatrics in
an outpatient and home-based setting.

Qualifications: Must hold a Masters degree in Communication Sciences; a current state license (or eligible).

Interested in this job?  Contact PediaStaff today!..


Down Syndrome Testing in the News:  Promising Prenatal Test For Down Syndrome Identified
[Source: Disability Scoop]

It is becoming more and more likely that a prenatal blood test will soon be all that's needed to determine whether or not a child will be born with Down syndrome.

In a study published Sunday, researchers in Cyprus said they were able to use a blood test to correctly identify 14 of 40 pregnant mothers who were carrying a child with Down syndrome. They did so by comparing the DNA in the mother's blood to that of the fetus, according to findings published online in the journal Nature Medicine.

While promising, the researchers behind the study say a a larger scale trial of 1,000 pregnancies would be needed to verify the test's reliability.

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

Left Handedness in the News: On the Left Hand, There Are No Easy Answers
[Source: The New York Times]

Humans are asymmetric animals. Early in our embryonic development, the heart turns to the left. The liver develops on the right. The left and right lungs have distinct structure.

There are certain rare syndromes in which the usual asymmetry of organs is reversed - I remember how disconcerting it was the first time I examined a child with dextrocardia, a heart on the right side, and heard the heart sounds in unexpected places. But when it comes to handedness, another basic human asymmetry, which reflects the structure and function of the brain, the reversed pattern is relatively common, and for all that, not easily understood.

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

Cerebral Palsy in the News:  CP Cases on the Decline  
[Source: Disability Scoop]

It's not entirely clear why, but the number of babies born with cerebral palsy appears to be decreasing, a new study suggests.

Researchers in the Netherlands looked at nearly 3000 babies born prematurely - meaning they were at high risk for cerebral palsy - between 1990 and 2005.

Of those born in the early part of the study period - 1990 to 1993 - 6.5 percent had cerebral palsy. But a decade later, the rate of occurrence dropped significantly to 2.2 percent for babies born between 2002 and 2005, according to findings published Thursday in The Journal of Pediatrics.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Robots for Autism in the News: Kasper the Robot for Kids with Autism Back in the News
[Source: MSNBC/Associated Press]

Eden Sawczenko used to recoil when other little girls held her hand and turned stiff when they hugged her. This year, the 4-year-old autistic girl began playing with a robot that teaches about emotions and physical contact - and now she hugs everyone.

"She's a lot more affectionate with her friends now and will even initiate the embrace," said Claire Sawczenko, Eden's mother.

The girl attends a pre-school for autistic children in Stevenage, north of London, where researchers bring in a human-looking, child-sized robot once a week for a supervised session. The children, whose autism ranges from mild to severe, play with the robot for up to 10 minutes alongside a scientist who controls the robot with a remote control.

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

Language Research in the News: MIT Scientist Captures 90,000 Hours of Video of Son's First Words and Graphs It
Thank You to all the #SLPeeps on Twitter for bringing this story to our attention!

[Source: Fast Company]

Cognitive scientist Deb Roy blew the curve for Flip cam-packing proud pops. Since he and his wife brought their son home from the hospital, Roy has captured his every movement and word with a series of fisheye-lens cameras installed in every room. The purpose was to understand how we learn language.

In a talk soon to grab several million views on TED.com, cognitive scientist Deb Roy Wednesday shared a remarkable experiment that hearkens back to an earlier era of science using brand-new technology. From the day he and his wife brought their son home five years ago, the family's every movement and word was captured and tracked with a series of fisheye lenses in every room in their house. The purpose was to understand how we learn language, in context, through the words we hear.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Your Help Needed!: The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Needs Your Input for their Directory of 'Sensory Friendly' Companies and Services
Editor's Note: You may have noticed that we have to let you know about the 'sensory friendly' movie-going opportunities through AMC theatres as we hear about them. The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation would like to take that a step further. Please read below and provide your input! PediaStaff will provide a link to the new community resources directory when it is complete.

[Source: The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation]

Did you know that many AMC Theaters partner with The Autism Society to bring sensory friendly films to select communities on a monthly basis?* According to their website:


"The program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing! The idea for the program began with a request from a parent with an autistic child for a special screening at AMC Columbia Mall 14 in Columbia, MD."


Pretty amazing, isn't it? The ripple effect from one parent's advocacy affected special needs families across the U.S. It got me thinking, AMC Theaters can't be the only retailer that offers a "sensory friendly" experience, right?

Read the Rest of This Letter and Learn How You Can Help?
Learning Disabilities in the News: F.D.A. to Study Whether Anesthesia Poses Cognitive Risks in Young Children
[Source: New York Times]

A federal panel will meet on Thursday to evaluate growing concerns about whether anesthesia in young children, used in millions of surgical procedures, can in some cases lead to cognitive problems or learning disabilities.

The meeting was prompted by a growing body of research, so far primarily in animals, that suggests a correlation between anesthesia exposure and brain cell death or learning problems, said Dr. Bob Rappaport, the Food and Drug Administration's director of the division of anesthesia and analgesia products, who wrote about the issue in Wednesday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Therapy Activities of the Week: St. Patrick's Day Activities for Speech, Language, Fine Motor Skills and More
Erin Go Bragh!   Here are some excellent sites with St. Patrick's therapy activities and others that can be adapted for therapy!
  • Speaking of Speech - St Patrick's Day stories, games, and more submitted by clinicians.
  • SpeechTherapyIdeas.com - "Lucky Number Game" for any language goals you are working on.
  • Early Intervention Activities for St. Patrick's Day by Stephanie Bruno at Advance for OT
  • DLTK.com - Coloring Pages, Crafts, Games, Poems, Songs, Printables and Recipes
  • About.com Toddlers Fun Toddler Activities for Motor Skills and Conversation
  • No Time for Flashcards - St. Patrick's Day Activity Archive. Includes a variety of great fine motor crafts for the holiday!

Follow the Links to These Great Activity Sites from our Blog

Therapy Idea of the Week: Sensory Ring with Music Switch
Here is a great idea from our friend Barbara Smith, the "The Recycling Occupational Therapist" - a Sensory Ring with Music Switch.

Materials include plastic grocery store trash bags, socks and a music switch. Music Switches can be found at craft stores and also on Amazon.com.  Watch this video to see Barbara's suggestions on how to use this great tool:

Watch the Video on How to Make this Therapy Tool on our Blog

Therapy Resource of the Week: Minimal Pairs Word Lists  
Here is another great resource shared by Judith Kuster at her "Internet Gold." seminar

John Higgins is a international teacher of English as a Foreign Language. In 1997 he started putting together a directory of minimal pairs that now boasts 92,253 entries to date.

What are minimal pairs? As defined by John Higgins, minimal pairs "are pairs of words whose pronunciation differs at only one segment, such as sheep and ship or lice and rice. They are often used in listening tests and pronunciation exercises. Theoretically it is the existence of minimal pairs which enables linguists to build up the phoneme inventory for a language or dialect, though the process is not without difficulty." Minimal pairs are especially useful for speech language pathologists working with children with speech sound disorders.

Check out the Minimal Pairs Directory Through a Link on our Blog
Upcoming Event: 2011 AOTA Convention and Conference  

PediaStaff is very excited to announce that Carol Kranowitz, and Joye Newman, will be signing copies of their new book, Growing an In-Sync Child, on Friday, April 15th, from 11:00 - 5:30 at PediaStaff's booth #413 at the AOTA Convention in Philadelphia.

Copies of Growing an In-Sync Child will be available in the exhibition hall for purchase.  Carol will also be happy to sign your copies of her classic book, the Out of Sync Child or her other books as well, so don't forget to pack your copies!   Amazon seems to be having a great sale on this book right now, so get your copy right away!

Guest Blogs This Week: Inspiring Potential, Pathologically Speaking  
Get a Grip - Teressa G. Reidy, OTR/L

In occupational therapy, much of our success hinges on our patients' desire to work hard and succeed. After all, we can do everything in our power to help someone live a higher quality life, but at the end of the day, he or she HAS to be willing to do the work. Working with Kennedy Krieger's Constraint-induced and Bimanual Therapy program, every day I watch kids work exhaustively to gain function in a limb that, until that point, they've been unable to use.

It helps when a patient has a goal, something that he's passionate about, something that makes the struggle worthwhile. Well, Taylor Wilkerson has more passion for golf than any kid I've ever met-and probably most adults. But, having been diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 6 months old, he also had hemiparesis (muscle weakness on only one side of the body) in his left arm.

Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog
Language Therapy Using Dropbox - By: Bob Bateman, CCC-SLP

I think we've already gotten to the point that we can agree that the iphone and/or ipad can be useful in therapy. There are numerous apps that you can use with more coming everyday. If you don't have one of the devices, I would strongly suggest you look into it. Yes, there are great in therapy, but there are other ways they can be useful as well. You can keep track of your schedule with them, set alarms, use voice recorders, etc, etc. There are endless possibilities.

What I wanted to write about today is about a nice little trick you can do with your iphone/ipad for therapy that might not have occurred to you.

I use my ipodtouch for articulation therapy all the time now, but not so much for language therapy. Well, there are language therapy apps out there. I love the kindergarten.com apps for vocabulary and conversation for my younger students. I also often times use precentally to help me keep track of data when I'm doing student directed play therapy, and I just need some place to keep data. That's what I use on my device for language therapy, but I know there is a lot more out there available. I'm not going to get into listing them all in this post, but if you look up speech language therapy apps on google or in itunes you are going to find a lot of things you can sort through.

Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: - The Sensory Driven Child - What Makes Them Tick and What Makes Them Ticked
By: Susan N. Schriber Orloff, OTR/L


Five-year old Johnny is a mess. His teachers float between anger and frustration about him. He has few friends and those he makes he cannot keep. His parents walk on eggshells around him never knowing how he will react in a given situation. And even worse, he talks about not liking himself and how he hates "everyone".

In school he can be great, but then the fire alarm can go off and he is a "lost cause" for the rest of the day. Unable to "reset" himself, he stays "on guard" and anxious. He does not like to stand in line to go to lunch because he says that the other kids "hit him". On the playground he is a "wild-man" running with abandon bumping into people and things and barely noticing. His gait is awkward and he cannot reasonably participate in team sports. He habituates wearing the same clothes so Mom has several of the same outfits ready for him each day. He does not eat in school because the smells in the lunchroom "make him sick".

What is going on with him? Is this willful, or is something else going on with him? Taking a sensory processing view of his behaviors, several issues come clear. Breaking his behaviors into auditory, visual, tactile, movement, propriocetion, olfactory/taste, and emotional categories it is easy to see that his skewed sensory processing is impacting all of the above areas.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Floor Time as a Play Therapy Intervention for Children Impacted by Selective Mutism
[Source: SMG Group]

by: Esther B. Hess, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

Selective Mutism is a psychiatric disorder that affects 7 out of every 1,000 children (making it almost twice as common as autism) yet; it is seldom dealt with within the confines of a psychotherapist's office. It is an extreme form of social anxiety disorder where a child cannot speak in select settings, most typically at school, even though they can (usually) speak normally at home.

Selective Mutism is a disorder that impacts both the child and his or her entire family. Parents and siblings often describe feelings of helplessness and shame associated with this mysterious ailment. There is little understanding and subsequently little empathy for these children who often are frozen with fear as they try to confront specific social settings. If left unchecked, the fear can grow and take over the life of the impacted individual. Adolescence for those affected by Selected Mutism, is characteristically marked by social isolation and withdrawal from most classmates and peers.

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

Also Worth Repeating - Apraxia? Dyspraxia? Articulation? Phonology? What Does It All Mean?

By: Nancy Lucker-Lazerson, M.A., CCC-SLP  


Editor's Note:  This article is written for the parents of children who have speech disorders. We publish it here because we know that therapists like to give their client's caregivers articles and other resources to help them.

Your two-year-old says no words, makes some sounds, yet he understands everything you say. Your five-year-old speaks in what appear to be sentences, but all you hear are vowel sounds. Your seven-year-old lisps, and says "wabbit" instead of "rabbit". And your three-year-old talks non-stop, but no one can understand a word that he says. So what do you do? If you bring your child to a speech-language pathologist (SLP), the first two children would probably be diagnosed as having oral-motor planning deficits, or Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). The third child has an Articulation disorder, and the fourth child has a Phonology disorder. Now that you know that, what does it all mean?


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

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