weekly header


January 13, 2012
Issue 2, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Greetings!   

Hope you had a wonderful week!

Just a slight change to let you know about before we get to our issue.   In the past, we have featured two 'Guest Blogs' each week in our 'Articles' section.  Many of the great guest bloggers who collaborate with us have activities, therapy ideas and book/app reviews too. We would rather not limit those bloggers to our 'Articles' section, and instead want to bring you their great contributions no matter where they should fall - hence the format change. 

Please enjoy this week's issue!  
 
News Items: 
  • Autism May Be Linked to Abnormal Immune System Characteristics and Novel Protein Fragment
  • Study: Bacteria In the Gut of Children with Autism Different from Other Children 
  • New Light Shed On How Children Learn to Speak
  • Prize-Winning App Helps Users Spot Accessible Places 
  • Diet and ADHD: Nice Broadcast on NPR to Share
  • Supreme Court Declines To Hear IDEA Case
  • Feel Good Story of the Week:  Target Ad Propels 'Noah's Dad,' and Young Model into the National Spotlight 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Children's Book Review Through an SLP Lens - 'Don't Wake up the Bear'
  • Fine Motor and Tactile Activity - Salt Letters
  • App Review - Practicing Life Skills with Apps: The Shopping Cart Game  
  • Paper Puzzles for MLK Day or Any Holiday    
  • Discount on Selective Mutism Webinar for Friends of PediaStaff 
  • Pinterest Resource/Pin of the Week:  2 Page Printable List of Sensory Activities  

Articles and Special Features  

  • SLP Corner:   How to Choose and Use the Best Games for Children with Special Needs
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Please Participate in the Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service, February 25, 2012    
  • My Turn: Great Sites For Therapy Ideas for Kids with Special Needs
  • Meet PediaStaff:  Mac McClellan, Senior Staffing Consultant 
  • Worth Repeating: How Do Fine-Motor Activities Develop Visual Perception in Special Needs Students?
  • Also Worth Repeating: 50 Years of the Snowy Day - Use This Classic Winter Themed Book Inspire Conversation about MLK            
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





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Autism Research in the News:  Autism May Be Linked to Abnormal Immune System Characteristics and Novel Protein Fragment

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

Immune system abnormalities that mimic those seen with autism spectrum disorders have been linked to the amyloid precursor protein (APP), reports a research team from the University of South Florida's Department of Psychiatry and the Silver Child Development Center.

 

The study, conducted with mouse models of autism, suggests that elevated levels of an APP fragment circulating in the blood could explain the aberrations in immune cell populations and function - both observed in some autism patients. The findings were recently published online in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.


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

Autism Research in the News:  Study: Bacteria In the Gut of Children with Autism Different from Other Children

[Source:  Medical XPress]

 

The underlying reason autism is often associated with gastrointestinal problems is an unknown, but new results to be published in the online journal mBio on January 10 reveal that the guts of autistic children differ from other children in at least one important way: many children with autism harbor a type of bacteria in their guts that non-autistic children do not. The study was conducted by Brent Williams and colleagues at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

 

Earlier work has revealed that autistic individuals with gastrointestinal symptoms often exhibit inflammation and other abnormalities in their upper and lower intestinal tracts. However, scientists do not know what causes the inflammation or how the condition relates to the developmental disorders that characterize autism. The research results appearing in mBio indicate the communities of microorganisms that reside in the gut of autistic children with gastrointestinal problems are different than the communities of non-autistic children. Whether

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Speech Development in the News: New Light Shed On How Children Learn to Speak
[Source: ScienceDaily.com]

Researchers have discovered that children under the age of two control speech using a different strategy than previously thought.

 

During the study at Queen's University, the researchers changed the vowel sounds that the participants heard over headphones as they talked. They found that while the adults and young children changed their vowel sounds in response to this altered feedback, the toddlers did not.

 

"We were very surprised to find that the two-year-olds do not monitor their own voice when speaking in the same way as adults do," says Ewen MacDonald, a former Queen's research associate and now associate professor at the Technical University of Denmark. "As they play music, violinists will listen to the notes they produce to ensure they are in tune. If they aren't, they will adjust the position of their  

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Special Needs Apps in the News:  Prize-Winning App Helps Users Spot Accessible Places

[Source: Disability Scoop & Access Together]

 

A new app designed to help people with disabilities locate accessible restaurants, stores and other venues in their communities is getting a boost after being named a winner in a national contest.

The software called "Access Together" is a Foursquare-style app that allows users to check-in from various locations and answer simple questions about accessibility. The crowd-sourced information is then publicly searchable.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD in the News: Diet and ADHD: Nice Broadcast on NPR to Share

[Source National Public Radio]

 

You may remember the controversial studies linking food coloring and additives to hyperactivity in kids. Or you may know parents who have pinned their hopes on an elimination diet to improve their kids' rowdy behavior.

 

"When [elimination] diets fail, parents can feel they've failed," says Linda Brauer, coordinator of the Grand Rapids chapter of the advocacy group Children and Adults with Attention
   
Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Special Education in the News: Supreme Court Declines To Hear IDEA Case
[Source:  Disability Scoop]

The U.S. Supreme Court said this week that it will not consider a special education case that raised questions about whether or not school districts should be liable if they fail to identify a child's special needs.

 

The case was brought by a California mother who said that her local school district did not identify her daughter's disabilities even as teachers reported that the 10th-grader "colored with crayons at her desk, played with dolls in class and urinated on herself." The student, known as Addison in court papers, went without special education services and continued to be promoted to the next grade, her mother alleged.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week: Target Ad Propels 'Noah's Dad,' and Young Model into the National Spotlight  

Last week I got excited about a post on the Noah's Dad blog that praised Target stores for 'not saying anything at all' about the adorable model with Down Syndrome that appeared in the company's weekly circular.

 

Well apparently, I wasn't the only one who liked the post!  It went viral.  According to Noah's Dad himself, as of last Friday, the post (which he put up late Monday afternoon) had over 16 thousand Facebook 'likes' and had been tweeted almost 3000 times.   The post received coverage on The Daily Beast, Reddit, AdWeek,  The Daily What, Jezebel, and MSNBC.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Children's Book Review Through an SLP Lens: Don't Wake up the Bear'

Title: Don't Wake up the Bear
Author: Majorie Dennis Murray
Review by:  Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

 

Description: A sleeping bear becomes a warm, comfy place for many animals to keep warm in the cold. But this becomes a problem when a mouse with a cold wakes up the bear.


Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog
Therapy Activity of the Week: Fine Motor and Tactile Activity - Salt Letters

Here is a sample activity using the letter cards from Your Therapy Source's electronic book, Alphabet, Number and Shapes Cards.
 

Please support our contributors and visit  Your Therapy Source 


Check out this Activity Video on our Blog

App Review: FREE - Practicing Life Skills with Apps: The Shopping Cart Game
I have been looking for an app, for some of my higher functioning older clients, that I could somehow incorporate some life skills into and make it fun. This is one of those apps, granted it's geared towards younger kids but it still works and the kids love it! I have been using this app for the last two weeks now and its great fun and its FREE!!

The premise for this game is simple your mom gives you a shopping list and certain amount of money

 

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

Activity of the Week: Paper Puzzles for MLK Day or Any Holiday

Thanks to Barbara Smith, OTR/L of the  Recycling Occupational Therapist for her great idea that is perfect for Martin Luther King Day or really any holiday or season!  

 

Paper puzzles are a bit time consuming to make but once its made you can photocopy and use for many years and therapy sessions. Pick your own theme. I copied an internet photo in honor of the upcoming martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

 

I trimmed away the excess white border, placed it on a sheet of paper and traced the border with marker.  

 

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

Discount Webinar for Friends of PediaStaff: Parenting a Child with SM: Turning Struggles into Successes

PediaStaff's own Joleen Fernald, CCC-SLP is doing the last of her Selective Mutism webinar series in March.   It is offered for both AOTA and ASHA CEUs.

 

Parenting a Child with SM: Turning Struggles into Successes.  (3 hours)

 

Description: A hallmark feature of Selective Mutism (SM) is the difference between how children behave in the comfort of their home environment and the stress of a more social and public environment. Caring for a child with SM and another diagnosis, such as a sensory processing disorder (SPD), can also create additional challenges. This webinar will discuss these unique challenges to families of children with SM and how to address them. Family struggles include functional and behavior areas such as: toileting, sleeping, procrastinating,

Learn More About this Webinar Through a Link on our Blog
Pinterest Therapy Resource/Pin of the Week: 2 Page Printable List of Sensory Activities
This one is actually from a few weeks ago, but in the holiday groove we passed over it at the time to instead feature more seasonal pins for this 'honor.'

This activity comes to us from the blog Creative with Kids, one of our favorite blogs we follow here.  PediaStaff's first pin of this idea has been repined over 200 times to date!

Access this PDF Through a Link on our Blog
SLP Corner: How to Choose and Use the Best Games for Children with Special Needs
by Sherry Artemenko, M.A., CCC-SLP

 

I want to write a series of articles on how to choose and use the best games, toys and books for children with special needs, since that is where my passion, experience and expertise in speech language therapy and great children's toys converge.

 

In my 35 years of experience as a speech language pathologist, I have pursued great commercial toys, games and books to engage and excite kids while serving as a structure to teach language skills. I see children improve in their understanding and use of concepts, syntax, critical thinking skills and social pragmatic language while playing a game.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Please Participate in the Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service, February 25, 2012

Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service, February 25, 2012  

 

Give back to your community...
February 25, 2012 is the inaugural launch of Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service.

Join your colleagues around the world to provide a cohesive and organized global effort of community service.

 

Who can participate?
Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service is looking for service-minded occupational therapy practitioners and students who would like to volunteer community service to an individual or organization.

 

Who will benefit?
Everyone who receives volunteered community service benefits by the generosity of the participating occupational therapy practitioners and students.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

My Turn: Great Sites for Therapy Ideas For Kids with Special Needs
By:  Heidi Kay

Last week I shared a fantastic parent blog on our site as a therapy resource of the week - 'Love That Max'.  Ellen Seidman does an excellent job!  You only need to read her very first post about the day Max was born to gauge the quality and  passion of her writing and her story.

Needless to say I was very flattered when Ellen asked PediaStaff to write a guest post recommending our favorite parent-oriented therapy blogs/sites with her readership.   It was hard to choose which blogs to feature because we love so many, but the ones we mentioned are those that best speak directly to parents.

 Read PediaStaff's Guest Post on Love That Max Through a Link on our Blog

Meet PediaStaff - Mac McClellan, Senior Staffing Consultant
Mac is one of our "old timers" at PediaStaff and has been with the company since its inception. Before he joined PediaStaff, Mac owned his own healthcare staffing firm, Best Fit Recruiting, which he founded in 2002.  Prior to his career as a staffing consultant Mac spent 20 years in various roles with the US Air Force, and 5 years in Human Resources with Toyota and Capital One.  Mac loves travel, warm climates and water sports.

Read More About Mac on our Blog
 
Worth Repeating - How Do Fine-Motor Activities Develop Visual Perception in Special Needs Students?

By: Barbara Smith, OTR/L

 

As young children manipulate toys they develop visual perceptual skills to discriminate shapes, sizes and how objects relate to one another in space. These early visual perceptual skills will later help them discriminate letters- the first steps toward reading and writing.

 

What Is Visual Perception? You may be wondering- How do fine-motor activities develop visual perception in special needs students? Visual Perception is the brain's interpretation of what is seen. This enables

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
 
Also Worth Repeating - 50 Years of the Snowy Day - Use This Classic Winter Themed Book Inspire Conversation about MLK

[Source:  Not Just Cute]

 

In the muggy heat of the summer of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the now famous "I Have a Dream" speech.  He spoke of his dream for a future where children of all races could walk together and "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".  This speech, this man, and this movement are all iconic pieces of American History.

 

It is within this context that it becomes even more interesting to note that it was in the year preceeding that, 1962, that the first full-color children's book featuring a Black child as the main character was released.

 

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