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June 3, 2011
Issue 17, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Hello and Happy Friday!   

Here is our weekly newsletter offering for you.   I would like to welcome our new guest blogger Jessie Koller.   Jessie isn't a therapist, but she is a super crafty mom who finds and comes up with great creative activities that can double as therapy on any day.
  Thanks for joining us Jessie!

News Items: 
  • Babies Use Sophisticated Reasoning To Make Sense Of The Physical World  
  • Functional MRI May Provide Early and Objective Indicator of Autism
  • Stuttering Doesn't Take A Summer Break - Press Release from the Stuttering Foundation
  • Early Intervention and Longterm Support Key for Deaf Students  
  • Simple Test For Babies Could Help Spot A Virus That Damages Hearing  
  • Young Adult Head Injuries Linked to Later Violence  
  • Looking For Early Signs Of Autism In Brain Waves  
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Book Review:  My Friend with Autism 
  • FlipSnack - Make Online Flipping Books, Free! 
  • Printable, Custom Bingo Cards 

Articles and Blogs

  • Guest Blog/Activity of the Week:  Baked Cotton Balls 
  • Guest Blog: My Favorite New Therapy Tool - My Magnetic White Board 
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Atlantoaxial Instability in Down Syndrome: Controversy and Commentary  
  • Worth Repeating: Summer Activity Ideas for Occupational Therapists to Use 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Exercise                                                                 
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team






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Pediatric Cognition in the News:  Babies Use Sophisticated Reasoning To Make Sense Of The Physical Worlds
[Source: Medical News Today]

Scientists have found that even before they can talk, babies use sophisticated reasoning to make sense of the physical world around them, combining abstract principles with knowledge from observation to form surprisingly advanced expectations of how new situations will develop.

The international team of scientists developed a computer model of how babies reason that accurately predicts their surprise when objects don't behave in the way they expect.

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

Autism in the News:  Functional MRI May Provide Early and Objective Indicator of Autism
[Source: Medical News Today]

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may provide an early and objective indicator of autism, according to researchers at Columbia University in New York City, who used the technique to document language impairment in autistic children. Results of their study appear online and in the August issue of Radiology.

Autism is a spectrum disorder characterized by repetitive behaviors and impaired language, communication and social interactions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that as many as one in every 110 children is affected by autism.

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

Stuttering in the News: Stuttering Doesn't Take A Summer Break - Press Release from the Stuttering Foundation   
Editor's Note: Please share this press release from the Stuttering Foundation of America with the parents/guardians of your kiddos

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - For children who stutter, summer break can be anything but a vacation.

As many as 5% of all children stutter during some point in their young lives.

According to Jane Fraser, president of the 64-year-old nonprofit Stuttering Foundation, "Stuttering is a very individualized problem. Some children may actually stutter more during the summer because their structure and routine have been taken away - and that stress can cause more disfluencies."

Top speech-language pathologists agree.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Language Development in the Hearing Impaired in the News:  Early Intervention and Longterm Support Key for Deaf Students
[Education Week]

Exposing deaf or hard of hearing children to signed or spoken language early is critical to their ability to learn a language. That's one of the findings of a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

But there are some obstacles to providing quality early intervention for all children with hearing problems as well as determining whether those programs are effective.

One of those challenges is that early intervention service providers and schools have trouble attracting and retaining qualified staff. Schools and service providers have difficulty retaining teachers, interpreters, and other staff because these professionals can receive better pay outside of the education system.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Hearing Loss in the News: Simple Test For Babies Could Help Spot A Virus That Damages Hearing
Thanks to our Twitter friend @zealousidler for the heads up on this article!

[Source: NPR]

Babies who are born infected with cytomegalovirus, a common virus, can suffer permanent hearing loss, but newborns aren't routinely tested to see if they have it. That could change if a pediatrician at the University of Alabama in Birmingham has his way.

He's the leader on a new study that found that a simple saliva test can identify babies at risk. But testing all babies for cytomegalovirus is probably not going to happen anytime soon.

About 1 in 150 babies are born infected with the virus, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus is considered a major cause of hearing loss, second only to genetic causes.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Brain Injury in the News: Young Adult Head Injuries Linked to Later Violence

[Source: Reuters]

 

Young adults who've suffered head injuries are more likely to get into a fight or take part in other kinds of violence, according to new study findings.

 

The link between head injury and violence was particularly strong if the previous head injury had occurred within the past year, the authors note in the journal Pediatrics.

 

With this type of research, it's never possible to figure out if brain injuries really are at the root of aggression, or if some other factor is behind both, study author Dr. Sarah Stoddard of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, told Reuters Health.

 

But things like drug use, heavy drinking and a history of violence didn't seem to explain the findings, she said.

   

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism Research in the News: Looking For Early Signs Of Autism In Brain Waves
[Source: NPR.org]

A technology that monitors electrical activity in the brain could help identify infants who will go on to develop autism, scientists say.

The technology, known as electroencephalography, or EEG, is also providing hints about precisely how autism affects the brain and which therapies are likely to help children with autism spectrum disorders.

"Right now, the earliest we can reliably identify a child is, say, 3 years of age," says Charles Nelson, a professor of pediatrics and neuroscience at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. "Our work is designed to see [if we] can we do that in early infancy, long before any signs or symptoms of autism are apparent in the child's behavior."

If EEG lives up to its early promise, Nelson says, children with autism might start getting therapy before their first birthday.

   

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Book Review: My Friend with Autism 

Book By: Kelly Tilley
Reviewed By: Sunita Murty, M.S. OTR/L
Published/Produced By: Future Horizons


"My Friend with Autism" written by Beverly Bishop is for peers of children with autism. The book is full of meaningful visual supports and information about how children with autism experience sensory input for each of the senses and how different it is for them versus children with typically developing nervous systems. The teaching section of the book for adults includes basic key identifiers for overstimulation or the feeling of being overwhelmed by incoming input from touch, sound, taste and sight. Additionally, the book provides a basic overview of the vestibular (movement, balance, speed) and proprioceptive (body awareness) systems and their effects on the children with autism. The author explains the unique qualities systems and their effects on the children with autism. The author explains the unique qualities and challenges in the areas of intelligence, tolerance for change as well as social aspects such as sharing, feelings and pretend play.

Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog
Therapy Resource of the Week: FlipSnack
Here is a really cool tool for those of you who are creative and techy. Thanks to our Twitter friends at Heaman Communication Services for the lead on this resource! This would be a great way to make individualized therapy booklets!

FlipSnack is an online flipping book software that allows you to convert PDF documents into Flash page flip digital publications. It's the ideal solution for those who wish to embed a book, magazine, catalog, newspaper, portfolio or any other kind of document into a website or blog.

Check out FlipSnack Through our Blog
Therapy Activity of the Week: Printable, Custom Bingo Cards 

Special Thanks to our friends at Bilinguistics for directing us to this great online resource: DLTK's Custom Bingo Cards. Choose size, theme, picture, words, or numbers and more. Very quick and easy

 

  

Visit the DLTK Bingo and Callout card Creator Though a Link on our Blog!

Guest Blogs This Week: Easy Speech and Language, Play Create Explore    
My Favorite New Therapy Tool - My Magnetic White Board - By:  Shareka Bentham, SLT

First of all I'd like to thank you all for your feedback on my last blog post "Green Analogies". I really appreciate it and am glad that you liked my random ramblings. I was able to draw reference to the analogy last night, as I gave a talk to a church congregation on children's speech and language development, and it was well received :)

 

Those who have been following my blog, would know that I love making resources, and I love when therapy tools can be used for a range of topics. Last week I bought my most useful therapy tool so far: my magnetic white board. It was on sale too!

 

Everyone loves it and I've been trying to find lots of different ways to use it in therapy. This was aided by my trusty laminator and some adhesive magnetic strip.

 

I wanted to share with my readers some of the cool uses of my new companion:

This one worked on categorising sky, sea and land, as both a receptive and an expressive task.


 Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Baked Cotton Balls - By:  Jessie Koller


Special Thanks to Your Therapy Source for directing us to this super creative activity and a new guest blogger for us.

Jessie Koller is a wonderfully crafty mom who has frequent posts to her blog Play Create Explore that are perfect activities to promote motor skills, and I dare say, language skills as well!

Welcome Jessie! We look forward to featuring your posts in our guest blog and therapy activities sections of our newsletter and blog!

Read the Rest of this Guest Post on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Atlantoaxial Instability in Down Syndrome: Controversy and Commentary
By: Len Leshin, MD, FAAP

In 1984, the AAP issued its first position statement on Atlantoaxial Instability (AAI) in children with Down Syndrome (DS):

All children with DS who wish to participate in sports should have cervical spine X-rays.When the distance on X-ray between the atlas (1st vertebra) and odontoid process (2nd vertebra) is more than 4.5 millimeters (mm), restriction on sports is advised.Repeated X-rays are not indicated for children with DS who have previously had normal neck X-rays.Persons with atlantoaxial subluxation or dislocation and neurologic signs should be restricted from "all strenuous activities."Persons with DS who have no evidence of AAI may participate in all sports.

The American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Sports Medicine released a revised statement in July 1995 regarding Atlantoaxial Instability (AAI) in children with DS. This was published in the journal Pediatrics, 96(1):151-154. Here's the text, edited for brevity's sake:

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: - Summer Activity Ideas for Occupational Therapists to Use
By: Barbara Smith

The coming of warm weather brings opportunities for outdoor gross motor activities, use of messy tactile media such as sand or paint and summer arts and crafts themes. The following occupational therapy summer activity ideas will help develop strength, body awareness, coordination and dexterity.

The Benefits of Water Play
Occupational therapists often recommend swimming not only as a form of exercise but as a fun way to develop coordination between the right and left sides of the body as well as increasing core strength. Since water is resistive- swimming movements stimulate the sensory receptors in joints and muscles - promoting body awareness. The weight of water also provides sensory stimulation when a child engages in the following activities:

 

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

Also Worth Repeating - Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Exercise
by:  The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability

Pathology

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetically X-linked disorder of skeletal muscle, and is caused by primary problems of the dystrophin (Dys) gene. One in 3500 boys are affected with DMD, making DMD the most common of the human muscular dystrophies. Dystrophin has been localized to the muscle cell plasmalemma by electron-microscopic immunoperoxidase techniques, and appears to be a cytoskeletal protein. The main function of Dys is the maintenance of mechanical stability at the muscle cell membrane so normal stresses encountered during contraction can be withstood without membrane disruption.

Table of Contents:
  • Pathology
  • Clinical Signs/Symptoms
  • Histological Characteristics
  • Exercise Effects, Animals
  • Exercise Effects, Humans
  • Exercise Guidelines
  • Summary of Guidelines

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

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