weekly header

July 1, 2011
Issue 20, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Hello and Happy Friday!   

Here is our weekly newsletter for you!  Have a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!!

News Items: 
  • Premature Babies Risk Mental Health Problems, Say Experts  
  • Social Anxiety in the News - New York Times 
  • A Rare Disorder Leaves Children Able to Eat Few Foods and Parents Seeking Creative Solutions  
  • Controversial Autism Therapy in the News
  • Many Pediatricians Aren't Testing Toddlers for Developmental Delays  
  • Effects of Asperger Syndrome Noticeable in Babies  
  • Children With Dyslexia May Benefit From Early Musical Games  
  • Advocacy Opportunity:  Vote for CASANA in Vivent Gives Back Project 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Book Review:  The Goodenoughs Get in Synch 
  • Suspended Containers for Color Matching/Fine-Motor Activities
  • A Library of Social Stories 

Articles and Blogs

  • Guest Blog: The SLP New Graduate's Timeline for Success  
  • Guest Blog: Do You Like to Throw Rocks During Speech Therapy?  
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Augmentative and Alternative Communication with Rett Syndrome  
  • Worth Repeating: Dysgraphia - More Than Just Bad Handwriting  
  • Also Worth Repeating:  10 Things Not To Say To Parents Of Preemies                                                            
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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 SLP, OT, PT and related assistant jobs, and ALL our Bilingual and School Psychology Jobs. 
To further narrow your search by state,
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Preemie Health in the News:  Premature Babies Risk Mental Health Problems, Say Experts
[Source: Medical News Today]

Premature or low birthweight babies are more than three times more likely to suffer from anxiety and mood disorders in adolescence than full-term infants, according to psychologists at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Stephen Wood, working with co-investigators at the University of Melbourne in Australia, conducted a meta-analysis of ten studies into mental health outcomes in children born prematurely.

The research, published in Psychological Medicine, found that youngsters who were born early or were underweight at birth were at 'significantly increased risk' of mental health disorders, particularly during their teens.

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

Social Anxiety in the News:  Shyness - Evolutionary Tactic?
[Source: New York Times]

A BEAUTIFUL woman lowers her eyes demurely beneath a hat. In an earlier era, her gaze might have signaled a mysterious allure. But this is a 2003 advertisement for Zoloft, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (S.S.R.I.) approved by the F.D.A. to treat social anxiety disorder. "Is she just shy? Or is it Social Anxiety Disorder?" reads the caption, suggesting that the young woman is not alluring at all. She is sick.

But is she?

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

Rare Disorder in the News: Eosinophilic Esophagitis Leaves Children Able to Eat Few Foods and Parents Seeking Creative Solutions  
[Source: Staten Island Live]

At lunchtime, Juliana D'Esposito eats alone. The 2-year-old Great Kills resident has "grabby hands" and likes to take food from her daycare classmates. Although it saddens her parents, they know the alternative is far worse: Juliana could suffer a serious allergic reaction.

Anthony Gerardi, on the other hand, knows only to take food Mommy gives him. The 2-year-old from Richmond Valley will sweetly pronounce the complicated name of the disorder that affects him and Juliana: Eosinophilic esophagitis (Ee-uh-sin-uh-fil-ik Uh-sof-uh-JI-tis).

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Controversial Therapies in the News:  Autism Therapy Unravels a Family
[Source: Time Magazine]

Some unproven psychological therapies and techniques for autism aren't simply ineffective. They can split families and cause untold harm to children, as one family in Michigan learned at terrible cost.

The Detroit Free Press recently published a six-part investigation into the harrowing case of the Wendrow family, who have two children with autism spectrum disorders. The parents encouraged the use of facilitated communication (FC), a highly controversial technique that aims to help autistic people communicate by using a keyboard with the aide of another person. Despite the fact that FC has been widely debunked, the Wendrows strongly believe it helped their autistic and mute daughter.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Screening in the News: Many Pediatricians Aren't Testing Toddlers for Developmental Delays
[Source: HealthDay/US News & World Report]

MONDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) - Although there's been some improvement in the number of pediatricians checking toddlers for developmental delays, more than half still don't routinely do so, a new study finds.
Click here to find out more!

In 2002, just 23 percent of pediatricians reported always or almost always using one or more standardized developmental screening tools for infants and toddlers up to 35 months of age. By 2009, that number had risen to just under 48 percent, reported the study.

Early detection of developmental issues such as autism or impaired hearing is key to initiating early and effective treatment, experts said.

"There's more and more evidence that starting early intervention can make a big difference in developmental outcomes than if we wait," explained study co-author Dr. Nina Sand-Loud, an assistant professor of pediatrics and a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Aspergers/Autism in the News: Effects of Asperger Syndrome Noticeable in Babies
[Source: ScienceDaily.com]

People with Asperger syndrome have problems with social interaction and attentiveness, and are also sensitive to noise and light. Several of these characteristics were evident to parents during their child's first two years, reveals Petra Dewrang's thesis in psychology at the University of Gothenburg.

In her thesis, Dewrang investigated how individuals with Asperger syndrome aged 14-24 perceive themselves relative to their diagnosis. The thesis is based on interviews, tests and self-evaluations. A questionnaire for parents also resulted in important descriptions of these individuals' behaviour and development from infancy onwards.

The results show first and foremost that the similarities are greater than the differences when the Asperger group and the comparison group describe their lives.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Dyslexia in the News: Children With Dyslexia May Benefit From Early Musical Games
[Source: Medical News Today]

Children with dyslexia often find it difficult to count the number of syllables in spoken words or to determine whether words rhyme. These subtle difficulties are seen across languages with different writing systems and they indicate that the dyslexic brain has trouble processing the way that sounds in spoken language are structured. In a new study published in the June issue of Elsevier's Cortex, researchers at Cambridge have shown, using a music task, that this is linked to a broader difficulty in perceiving rhythmic patterns, or metrical structure.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Advocacy Opportunity: Vote for CASANA in Vivent Gives Back Program 
The Vivint Gives Back project gives a select group of nominated charities the opportunity to win up to $250,000 for their mission. CASANA is one of the 100 selected charities and would love to win that funding to provide larger Apraxia Research projects, expand the expertise of professionals providing treatment to our kids with apraxia, and support families.

We can literally, only do it with your help - with your few moments each day - with your commitment and resolve. Winning $250,000 or even $100,000 toward Apraxia Research and programs would be in incredible accomplishment!

To Participate:  Click on the link: http://www.vivint.com/givesbackproject/charity/82 The program will ask you to click on a link to log into Facebook and to "like" Vivint.You will be able to get back to our voting page, scroll to the lower left and click on VOTE.You can choose to also put a notice about voting on your Facebook Wall, as a way to encourage your family and friends to vote.

Thank you! Sincerely,

Sharon Gretz, Exec. Director
Book Review: 'The Goodenoughs Get in Sync' 
Review by: Sunita Murty

"The Goodenoughs Get in Synch" by Carol Kranowitz, MA, is a cute and informative book that walks you through an off day with each family member who has a different form of sensory processing disorder (SPD). SPD is a challenging disorder to explain and understand, but this book breaks down each type of disorder by character in an easy to understand way and how one situation causes the whole family to end up in the cozy doghouse. The author does a nice job of explaining how a person with any type of SPD could fall apart if their individual sensory needs are not met. The book shows how a particular situation

Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog
Therapist Resource of the Week: A Library of Social Stories 

Thanks to Dawn Villarreal at One Place for Special Needs for this great resource link!


One Place for Special Needs scoured the Internet to come up with the most complete list of free social stories covering everything from behavior to toilet training. We also have included stories showing sequential processing, the steps for what to expect in a variety of activities. Some are text only and others include pics. Please rate these resources on our site so others can find the best stories first.

Check out this Great Resource on our Blog
Therapy Activity of the Week: Suspended Containers for Color Matching/Fine-Motor Activities
Here is a great idea from our friend Barbara Smith, the "Recycling Occupational Therapist,"

Detergent and dishwasher bottles are easy to suspend and incorporate into fine motor activities. This picture shows clips that children can either attach or remove and place inside (depending on their abilities). They can match the pin color to the color of the container. Decide the height of the cord depending on how high you want the child to reach and his or her position. For example, you may want her to stand on tip toes or kneel depending on therapeutic goals.

Read the Rest of this Activity Idea and see Photos on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: ASHASphere, ArticBrain   
The SLP New Graduate's Timeline for Success -  By:  Heidi Kay

Editor's Note: I was asked to write this article for the ASHA blog. We thought it would be a nice resource to share with our readers as well, and are reprinting it here with the permission of ASHA.

We're sure you've heard the old adage that "Timing is Everything!" This has never been truer than as you take the next step toward becoming a Speech Language Pathologist. This blog article will help you navigate what we like to call the "road map to success."

 Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Do You Like to Throw Rocks During Speech Therapy? - By:  Erik X. Raj, CCC-SLP  

Psst! Hey you. Yeah, YOU! I want to let you in on a little secret. I have been playing this one speech therapy game for a while with my students and they go bananas over it. It is super easy to teach and did I mention that this game is FREE?! So now that I have your attention, do you have any clue what the game might be? No, it isn't some wacky "must have" application for your iPad. No, it isn't some eye-popping hot-off-the-shelves board game. The game I am whispering about is called Rock, Paper, Scissors and the only equipment you are going to need are your hands! Hooray!

Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Augmentative and Alternative Communication with Rett Syndrome
By: Cathy Gaines, CCC-SLP, EdS.

Most girls will benefit from Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), which includes any methods used in place of speech.

Everyone uses AAC through written language, body language and facial expression.

These avenues may be difficult for the girl with RS, so she may need to use eyegaze, head pointing, communication boards, switches and voice output communication devices.

Methods for AAC could be divided into three levels of technology complexity.
  • No Tech methods would include signing, using pictures and objects without voice output, facial and body language, and eye gaze.
  • Low Tech methods would include devices with voice output, but only one choice or one page recorded on them.
  • Higher Tech devices are capable of using a number of pages and a larger vocabulary can be stored. The Highest Tech devices are like computers, allowing for the greatest number of options
 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog

Worth Repeating: - Dysgraphia - More Than Just Bad Handwriting
[Source: Reading Rockets.org]

By: Voice of America (2008)

Teachers and parents should suspect dysgraphia if a child's handwriting is unusually difficult to read. Find out more about this neurological problem that can cause physical pain as some children struggle to write.

Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing.

Writing is not an easy skill. Not only does it require the ability to organize and express ideas in the mind. It also requires the ability to get the muscles in the hands and fingers to form those ideas, letter by letter, on paper.

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

Also Worth Repeating - 10 Things Not To Say To Parents Of Preemies
Source:  WBUR.org

Special Thanks to our friend Deb Discenza of Preemie World for the heads up on this article

She meant well, to be sure. My friend, one of the most supportive people I know, had come to visit me in the hospital as I cuddled my prematurely born son, who was still hooked up to various tubes and looking more like an alien fetus than a baby.

"Oh," she cooed when she saw him, "he's a little monkey baby!"

That 4-pound preemie, born two months early, is now quite a sturdy boy of almost seven, but the sting of that long-ago remark came back instantly when I read a new report titled "Insensitive Comments And Their Impact On Preemie Mothers." Compiled by an on-line community hosted by the company Inspire, it aims to document the emotional damage that wrongheaded remarks can wreak, and help the public do better.

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

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