weekly header

February 11, 2011
Issue 5, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Hello there! 

Here is our weekly offering for you.  The biggest science related news item of the week regards the publication of a landmark study by the New England Journal of Medicine that has shown that prenatal surgery for children with Spina Bifida best improves the outcome for these kiddos compared to surgery after birth.  This story is getting a lot of play in the mainstream press.  

I want to call your attention to a new guest blogger for us, Tonya Cooley.  Tonya writes about great activities for OTs in her blog Therapy Fun Zone.   Thanks Tonya! 
Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
News Items: 
  • Doctors Throw Flags on School Concussions
  • Early Childhood Education Program Yields High Economic Returns
  • Social and Emotional Learning Programs Found to Boost Skills
  • Baby Gorilla at Disney Getting Occupational Therapy
  • Most ADHD Kids Have Multiple Conditions, Study Says
  • Landmark Study Shows That Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida Leads to Better Outcomes
  • Research Finds Links Between Autism and Eating Disorders    
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Support Materials and Ideas for the 'Social Thinking' Curriculum
  • The Transition Toolkit from Autism Speaks
  • Free Dyslexia Screening and Therapy Tools  

Upcoming Events

  • Texas Speech-Hearing Association Convention

Articles and Blogs 

  • Guest Blog: Correcting the R Sound - A Primer for Parents
  • Guest Blog: Marshmallow Painting for Fine Motor Skills  
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Children with Hearing Loss and ADHD  
  • Worth Repeating: Intervention for Bilingual Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Feeding Therapy for Children                                              
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
Feed My Inbox and have any feed you like delivered to your email inbox!

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 School-Based Job of the Week
School-Based Occupational Therapist - Harrisburg, PA 

Our client is a school system located near Harrisburg, PA. This is a beautiful tri-cities area offering everything from thrilling rollercoaster rides at Hersheypark to a relaxing riverboat cruise down the Susquehanna River - from an evening at the Harrisburg Senators ballpark to a night at the Harrisburg Symphony - from a tour on a 1920's railroad train to a City Island carriage ride - from antique shows to outlet stores, South Central Pennsylvania offers a variety of attractions. The cost of living is very reasonable, and the people are open and friendly.

We are searching for a full time, school based contract Occupational Therapist for the remainder of the 2010-2011 and for the 2011-2012 school year. This is a split position working 3 days in an elementary school working with students ages 7-8 and two days treating preschoolers - ages 3-5. Great diversity and flexibility. Awesome staff support. Hourly contract rates range from $35 to $40, based on experience. Excellent benefits package.

Qualifications: Musthold a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy and have graduated from an accredited university. Must have a current Pennsylvania state license (or eligible).

Interested in this job?  Contact PediaStaff today!..


Hot Outpatient Jobs of the Week

Pediatric Physical Therapist and Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist, Augusta, GA

We are seeking an experienced Pediatric Physical Therapist and a Speech Language Pathologist passionate about working with the kiddos!

Our client is located in the east central section of the state of Georgia within a suburb of the great city of Augusta. Check out Augusta, Georgia, and we're quite sure this city will be your choice! Augusta is the second largest and second oldest city in the state.

Our client is 100% clinic based and 100% pediatrics. The caseload is mostly kids with autism, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, some cerebral palsy. Fridays are usually light days and Saturdays are optional. This position is "non-benefitted" and works well either paired with another position or if medical benefits are not a requirement. The caseload will be built and could take up to six weeks to work up to a full-time. We would be happy to look at part-time applicants who have some extra time in their week and can wait on the caseload to build, or we can be building your caseload as you relocate to the area.

Qualifications: Relevant degrees: Bachelors in Physical Therapy, Masters in Communication Disorders or Speech Language Pathology and GA license, or eligible.

Experience for this position is a must as you will be the only Speech Language Pathologist on staff.

Flexibility and independence rank among attractive aspects of the position. If a collaborative, quality approach to children's health matches with your long-term goals, apply today and we'll chat more about it.

Interested in this job?  Contact PediaStaff today!..


Traumatic Brain Injury in the News:  Doctors Throw Flags On High School Concussions
[Source: NPR.org]

In the Super Bowl this weekend, any player who takes a shot to the head and shows signs of a concussion will be taken out of the game. But it's a different story for high school athletes, who sometimes play on despite a head injury.

So the NFL, the American College of Sports Medicine and a long list of other groups are joining together to support state laws designed to protect the brains of young athletes.

The groups say they're concerned because each year more than 60,000 high school athletes sustain a concussion. It's an injury that temporarily affects brain function, though it may or may not cause a person to lose consciousness.

Read the Rest of this Article or Listen to the Podcast Through a Link on our Blog

Early Childhood Education in the News: ECE Program Yields High Economic Returns
[Source: ScienceDaily.com]

For every $1 invested in a Chicago early childhood education program, nearly $11 is projected to return to society over the children's lifetimes -- equivalent to an 18 percent annual return on program investment, according to a study led by University of Minnesota professor of child development Arthur Reynolds in the College of Education and Human Development.

For the analysis, Reynolds and other researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the Chicago Public Schools' federally funded Child Parent Centers (CPCs) established in 1967. Their work represents the first long-term economic analysis of an existing, large-scale early education program. Researchers surveyed study participants and their parents, and analyzed education, employment, public aid, criminal justice, substance use and child welfare records for the participants through to age 26.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Social Skills Development in the News:  Social and Emotional Learning Programs Found to Boost Skills
[Source: ScienceDaily.com]

Being successful in school requires a combination of social, emotional, and academic competencies. A new analysis of more than 200 school-based social and emotional learning programs has found that such programs improve students' attitudes and behaviors, and in some cases, even boost academic performance.

The study appears in the January/February issue of the journal, Child Development. It was conducted by researchers at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In the first large-scale meta-analysis of school programs that enhance students' social and emotional development, researchers reviewed 213 school-based, universal social and emotional learning programs involving more than 270,000 K-12 students. (Universal programs are offered to all students in participating classes or schools rather than to select groups.)

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
"Pediatric" Occupational Therapy in the News: Baby Gorilla at Disney Getting Occupational Therapy
Special Thanks to our friends at Therapy Fun Zone for the heads up on this story that we missed when it first came out a month ago.

[Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Disney's Animal Kingdom is working on a tiny mystery. Lilly, a western lowland gorilla born at the theme park last year, is very small. She weighs just 10 pounds, less than half of what a gorilla her age should weigh.

Disney's Animal Programs team hasn't determined the source of her underdevelopment. There's no sign of another case like hers, so team members are giving Lilly the kind of occupational therapy typically reserved for human children who are developmentally challenged.

Lilly was born to first-time mother Kashata in February after a normal pregnancy, said Barb Weber, primate zoological manager. Trainers noticed the new mom was helping her offspring much longer than expected.

Read the Rest of This Article and Watch a Video Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD in the News: Most ADHD Kids Have Multiple Conditions, Study Says

[Source: Health Day/US News and World Report]

Two-thirds of American children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder struggle with other mental health and developmental conditions, such as learning disabilities and anxiety, a new study suggests.

Examining data on nearly 62,000 children aged 6 to 17 obtained from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, researchers found that those with ADHD had higher odds than others of repeating a grade at school and dealing with strained social and family relationships.

Notably, children from poor families were nearly four times as likely as affluent children to suffer from multiple conditions associated with ADHD, which also include conduct disorder, depression and speech problems, among others, the study said.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Spina Bifida in the News: Landmark Study Shows That Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida Leads to Better Outcomes
[Source: Associated Press]

Pregnant women were afraid to have it. Doctors were afraid to do it. Hospitals stopped performing the surgery because the government wanted evidence it was safe and worth doing.

Now, a landmark study shows that an operation to fix a hole in the spine while the fetus is still in the womb leads to better outcomes for children with spina bifida. The operation showed such a clear benefit over waiting until the infant is born that the study was stopped early.

"This is the first hope for spina bifida fetuses," said lead researcher Dr. Scott Adzick of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of three places that participated in the study.

Doctors started experimenting with fetal surgery for spina bifida in the mid-1990s, cutting into the mother's abdomen and uterus to close the gap in the spine. It even became part of the abortion debate when a photo of a tiny hand poking out of a womb during surgery was published.

Read Articles and Watch a Video About this Study Through a Link on our Blog
Autism Research in the News: Research Finds Links Between Autism and Eating Disorders
[Source: The Bath Chronicle (UK)]

Researchers at the University of Bath have found that schoolchildren who display signs of eating disorders also have traits associated with autism.

The link between the two quite separate conditions had already been made in women but the team from Bath, who have been working with Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, set out to examine the relationship in a younger age group.

Dr Mark Brosnan, from the university's psychology department, and his team recruited 132 boys and girls aged 11 to 14 to take part in the study.

Questionnaire-based assessments of eating disorders and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) showed a significant relationship between the two, particularly between eating disorders, attention to detail and communication skills.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Therapy Resource of the Week: The Transition Toolkit for Teens with Autism
[Source: CNN]

If the years immediately following an autism diagnosis aren't tough enough for a child, the next phase of their life can be even more stressful. Which is why Autism Speaks, one of the biggest autism advocacy groups is unveiling a new tool kit designed to help these children and their families cope with this stage of life.

This Transition Tool Kit is another online guidebook Autism Speaks has put together. Its first "100 days" tool kit, introduced a few years ago, was specifically created for parents of newly diagnosed children to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child's diagnosis of autism. A tool kit for schools and the community followed.

This handbook emphasizes the importance of involving the teen in the decision-making process that affects his or future. Bells says the child must be part of the decision-making process regardless of their ability level. While some children with autism may not be able to communicate, that doesn't mean they can't be part of the meetings, says Bell. He says this new tool kit provides tips on how each child with autism can participate in the decisions that will affect his or her future.

Download or Order the Transitition Toolkit Through a Link on our Blog  
Therapy Resource of the Week: Support Materials for the 'Social Thinking' Curriculum
Special Thanks to our friend Suzanne Herman for this week's Resource of the Week. Suzanne has compiled a wonderful collection of resources to use in conjunction with Michelle Garcia Winner's 'Social Thinking' curriculum. She is also quite interested in reader contributions to this page as well, so if you have other ideas that she should add to this page, please contact her through the link on her page:

Check out These Resources Through a Link on our Blog

Therapy Resource of the Week: Free Dyslexia Screening and Therapy Tools on Lexercise

We met the folks from Lexercise at ASHA this year and were impressed with their online product.   Lexercise's coordinated structured language routines span all language domains:  phonemic awareness, word reading, spelling, vocabulary, symbol memory, sentence dictation and formulation as well as text reading.


What we just found out, however, is that Lexercise provides clinicians with a lot of free tools. 

Learn How to Access These Free Resources Through a Link on our Blog
Upcoming Event: Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention

Come meet the PediaStaff Team at Booth #729!   

March 3-5, 2011 at the George R. Brown Convention Center - Houston, Texas
Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Author of My Stroke of Insight

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. During her presentation, Dr. Taylor will use her insight as a doctor and patient to help practioners be more compassionate and motivating therapists. She will discuss the obstacles present when teaching a person with a brain trauma, and how practioners can encourage their clients to control their own brains and make it do what they want it to do.

Contact us to Set up Your Personal Interview at TXSHA with our Team!

Learn More About/Register for This Conference

Guest Blogs This Week: Mommy Speech Therapy, Therapy Fun Zone 
Correcting the R Sound: A Primer for Parents - By:  Christine Ristuccia for Heidi Hanks and Mommy Speech Therapy

Editor's Note: While this Article was written for parents, we thought it was an excellent resource to present to you here for you to share with the parents and guardians of your clients.

I am so pleased to have Christine Ristuccia, the author and creator of "The Entire World of R," share her introduction on teaching the R sound. I have always believed that the best way to teach any sound is to first isolate the sound and then target it in specific word positions such as the beginning of the word, the middle of the word and the end of the word. Doing this with the R sound is a little more complicated but "The Entire World of R" helps break it down into achievable targets. I have used this program for the last 3 years and have seen amazing success! It is my hope that as you read this you will learn what steps to take to help address and correct any R problems your child may be having.  -- Heidi Hanks

Does your child say Wabbit for Rabbit or Maw for More? If these and other mispronunciations of the R sound occur in your child's language, then I'm sure you've encountered a few frustrations in trying to correct it.

Did you know that the R sound is one of the most commonly used sounds in English? No wonder that pesky sound (or lack of it) keeps getting messed up in children's speech. The R sound is typically one of the last sounds to be mastered by children, often not maturing until ages 6 or 7. That's just one of the reasons it has the persistency to remain incorrect in a child's speech. Since the sound is later-developing, one of the common misconceptions is to do nothing: "Oh, just wait. It will correct itself." In many cases it will correct but, in almost as many times, correction of the sound needs a little help.

Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog
Marshmallow Painting for Fine Motor Skills - By: Tonya Cooley

Painting is often good therapy, but you can kick it up a notch by using marshmallows as the painting tool. You can grade the type of grip used by using the large marshmallows or the mini marshmallows.

  • Marshmallows (large and mini)
  • Paint or Jello
  • Paper or sugar cookies


  • Fine-motor
  • Handwriting
  • Sensory 

Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog 

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Children with Hearing Loss and ADHD: Interview with Dr Susan Wiley, Developmental Pediatrician
By: Dr. Efrat Schorr

Dr Wiley, please tell HearingFamilies readers a bit about yourself and your background.

I am a developmental pediatrician in Cincinnati Ohio, USA. I have been in practice in developmental pediatrics since 2001. I became interested in children who are deaf/hard of hearing as my hearing aunt and uncle taught at a residential school for the deaf. They would bring students to family Thanksgiving gatherings.

As a developmental pediatrician, I see children with a variety of developmental problems such as autism, intellectual disability, learning disabilities, and ADHD. I have a special interest in children who are deaf/hard of hearing and have other developmental issues.

I have been able to work together with speech pathologists, audiologists, and ENTs in an interdisciplinary clinic for children who are deaf/hoh. In this capacity, I have had the opportunity to see many children with the dual diagnosis of hearing loss and another developmental problem.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating:  Intervention for Bilingual Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech

We thank Apraxia-Kids for permission to link to their very informative articles.


[Source:Apraxia-Kids ]   


By: Kathryn Kohnert, Ph.D., CCC, and Ruth Stoeckel, M.A., CCC-SLP

From a practical standpoint, bilinguals can be defined as individuals who use more than one language in their daily communicative interactions (Grosjean, 1982). In the global village, more than half of all children learn at least two languages. In many cases, these children are from families in which one language is used at home, and another language is used in school and the larger community. In other cases, children live with bilingual parents in dual-language communities, with two languages coexisting and interacting across contexts. The point here is that bilingual children regularly function in environments in which two different languages are used. In order to be successful in these environments, both languages are needed.

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

Also Worth Repeating:  Feeding Therapy for Children
[Source: BellaOnline.com]

Editor's Note: While this article was written for parents rather than clinicians, we thought it was 'worth repeating' to read and share with the parents of your kiddos.

Babies and young children sometimes have nursing, eating or mealtime issues that benefit from the observations and suggestions of a speech therapist or other professional familiar with the developmental, sensory and motor planning issues involved.

Parents may be concerned that an otherwise healthy baby is not gaining weight, refuses to nurse, chokes while nursing, or has other difficulties. Some infants show no difficulty in nursing but have physical or behavioral problems when transitioning to spoon or finger feeding, or when they are introduced to new textures or combinations.

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

Sign up for Our Newsletter!
Would you like pediatric and school-based therapy tips, resources, articles, and news delivered to your computer once a week? Sign up here for our newsletter!

Sign up HERE
Quick Links to PediaStaff
If you would like to opt out of receiving this newsletter, there is a link located in the footer below. However, please note that once you've opted out, we will be unable to send you any future correspondence via newsletter.
Please Note:  The views and advice expressed in articles, videos and other pieces published in this newsletter are not necessarily the views and advice of PediaStaff or its employees but rather that of the author.  PediaStaff is not endorsing or implying agreement with the views or advice contained therein, rather presenting them for the independent analysis and information of its readers.