July 29, 2011
Issue 7, Volume 5 
It's All About the Choices!     

Good Day!   Hope you are well and having a great summer.  We have a great issue for you this month with a wide variety of excellent content!

We are currently scheduling our 2012 editorial calendar and have a few spots still open for articles.  If you think you have something you might like to share in these pages, please email me at  In the meantime, please enjoy our monthly newsletter offering.

News Items:
  • Study: Kids with ADHD Less Adept at Crossing the Street  
  • Play in the News:  Can a Playground be TOO Safe? 
  • Girls with Autistic Traits May Bloom Later Than their Peers
  • Feel Good Story of the Week: Boy Plays Sports Despite Having A Prosthetic Leg
  • Preemies Can Catch Up in Vocabulary By Teen Years
  • Teen Athletes at Greater Risk for Osteoarthritis: Study
  • New Diagnostic Code for Autistic Wandering Approved for October, 2011
Tips, Activities and Resources:
  • DVD Review:  Aspergers, Austim and Girls 
  • August Speech Work Calendar 

  • Report of the National Center for Learning Disabilities - 'The State of Learning Disabilities' 
Articles and Blogs  
  • SLP Corner: The Importance of Parent Involvement in the Speech Therapy Process
  • Special Feature - Case Study:  Pediatric Feeding Case Study: Zachary - age 3:11  
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Gymnastics: Not Your Typical Speech Language Therapy - The Benefits It Provides for Children With Special Needs
  • School Psychology Corner: Self-Management for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Q&A - Ask the Expert:  Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) at School  
  • Focus on Bilingualism:  Language of Intervention with Bilingual Children
  • Guest Blog: Angry Birds Goes Social 
  • Guest Blog: Should My Late Talker Get Speech Therapy? Depends on Who You Talk To!
  • Worth Repeating: New Wave of Aquatic Therapy Tools  
  • Also Worth Repeating:Impact of Implementing Developmental Screening at 12 and 24 Months in a Pediatric Practice    

Please note: Much of our content here is provided by wonderful contributing authors and organizations. Please support our contributors and visit their websites. Links and bios are featured on each article! 

Have a great weekend and see you next month!
Heidi Kay, Newsletter Editor  

The Career Center

The links to the right are "live" and reflect all open 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 openings
for you in that state.

If any of your information (geographic, population or setting preference) has changed since we've last spoken, please let us know.   See an opening that interests you?  Just apply to that job and one of our staff will contact you right away.  

Remember, one of the things that makes PediaStaff unique is that we will actively "market" your skills to prospective employers of pediatric and school based therapists, so if you don't see a position that interests you make sure you let us know what you are looking for.
Speech Language Pathologist and SLPA Jobs
Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 
Physical Therapist and PTA Jobs 
School Psychologist Jobs

Bilingual Therapy Jobs 
ADHD in the News: Study: Kids with ADHD Less Adept at Crossing the Street

[Source: Health Day/]


Parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have one more worry to add to their list: Kids younger than 10 years old with ADHD may be unable to cross the street safely on their own.

New research found that while children with ADHD may look as if they are capable of crossing the street solo - they do stop and look both ways before crossing - they aren't always good at judging how much time they need to safely cross.


"In our study, the outcome of crossing the street was much worse for kids with ADHD than for their peers without ADHD," said the study's lead author, Despina Stavrinos, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of Alabama. "Kids with ADHD left much less time to spare to cross, and there were several close calls," she said.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Play in the News: Can a Playground Be Too Safe?
Special Thanks to our blogger, friend, Loren Shlaes for the heads up on this article.

[Source: The New York Times]

When seesaws and tall slides and other perils were disappearing from New York's playgrounds, Henry Stern drew a line in the sandbox. As the city's parks commissioner in the 1990s, he issued an edict concerning the 10-foot-high jungle gym near his childhood home in northern Manhattan.

"I grew up on the monkey bars in Fort Tryon Park, and I never forgot how good it felt to get to the top of them," Mr. Stern said. "I didn't want to see that playground bowdlerized. I said that as long as I was parks commissioner, those monkey bars were going to stay."

His philosophy seemed reactionary at the time, but today it's shared by some researchers who question the value of safety-first playgrounds. Even if children do suffer fewer physical injuries - and the evidence for that is debatable - the critics say that these playgrounds may stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears that are ultimately worse than a broken bone.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in Girls in the News: Girls with Autistic Traits May Bloom Later Than their Peers

[Source: Suite 101]


Australian researchers predict that girls with autistic-like traits will likely experience their first menstrual periods later than other girls. New query.


Parents of a girl have the special privilege of preparing her for that day when she will mature into womanhood. There is no appointed date or time, but mothers usually assume their daughters will have experiences similar to themselves.


Researchers from Australia will publish results of a new study in the August 2011 issue of Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders that may help a subset of parents understand more about their daughter's reproductive timing. Whitehouse, Maybery, Hickey, and Sloboda took a look at the attained ages of girls with autistic-like traits and their menarches (date of first menstrual periods).


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on Our Blog
Video Feel Good Story of the Week: Boy Plays Sports Despite Having a Prosthetic Leg

10 year old Nathanial Short was born without a kneecap in his left leg. But the Little Leaguer doesn't let that slow him down. His parents opted for amputation and a prosthesis instead of years of complicated surgery. If you are looking for a pick me up, listen to this little guy talk about his abilities in this video which originally aired on NBC.

Watch this Video Through a Link on our Blog
Language Development in the News: Preemies Can Catch Up in Vocabulary By Teen Years

[Source: Fox News]


By the age of 16, children born very prematurely are able to catch up to kids born at full term in their ability to identify the names of things, according to a new study.


The results are a bit of good news among myriad reports detailing deficits in learning and cognition that are common among children born weeks or months before their due date.


"This leaves one on a high note, that some of these kids do well," said Dr. H. Gerry Taylor, a professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University, who was not involved in the study.


The Canadian and U.S. researchers compared more than 300 children born early and weighing less than three pounds to 41 children who were born after a full-length pregnancy of 37 weeks. 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Overuse Injuries in the News: Teen Athletes at Greater Risk for Osteoarthritis: Study

[Source: HealthDay/US News and World Report]


Children and teens with abnormal development of the long bone between the pelvis and knee from playing high-intensity sports, such as soccer and basketball, are at greater risk for osteoarthritis of the hip, according to a new study.


Swiss researchers explained that deformities of the top of that bone - known as the femur - leads to reduced rotation and pain during movement among young competitive athletes. This may explain why athletes are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than more sedentary individuals, according to Dr. Klaus Siebenrock, from the University of Bern in Switzerland.


The researchers examined the physical condition and range of motion of 72 hips in 37 male professional basketball players and 76 hips in 38 control participants who had not participated in high-level sports.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News: New Diagnostic Code for Autistic Wandering Approved for October, 2011



A very large percentage of people with autism "wander" - meaning they simply get up and walk or run off, for no obvious reason and in no obvious direction. This behavior is by no means limited to people with autism: the Alzheimers community may be even more vulnerable. Wanderers often seem compelled to wander, which means that locked doors and fences aren't always enough to curb the behavior. And, of course, caregivers can't possibly be vigilant all day and night, nor should they be asked to lock their loved ones in escape-proof settings.


The result of "wandering" can be tragic, and most of us have read stories of autistic people drowned in pools or dying of exposure.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
DVD Review: Aspergers, Autism & Girls

Presented By: Dr. Tony Attwood
Reviewed By: By Lee A. Wilkinson, PhD, NCSP
Published/Produced By: Future Horizons


Although there has been a dramatic increase in the recognition of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past decade, a significant gender gap has emerged in the diagnosis of milder forms, such as high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome. Statistics indicate that while boys are being referred and identified in greater numbers, this is not the case for girls. This DVD is a conference video that provides a comprehensive presentation of the characteristics and explanation as to why females with autism spectrum disorders are an underidentified and underserved group in our schools and community. In his presentation, Dr. Attwood describes some of unique challenges experienced by

Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog

Therapy Resource of the Week:  August Speech Work Calendar
Here is a great free piece from

Their Summer Speech Work Calendar is a wonderful tool to use with your extended school year or clinic kiddos. Sorry we didn't notice it earlier. Go to page three for August.

They have other freebies as well that you can find HERE

Therapist Resource of the Week - Report of the NCLD 'The State of Learning Disabilities'
[Source: National Center on Learning Disabilities]

The State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Indicators provides the authoritative national and state-by-state snapshot of learning disabilities (LD) in the United States, and their impact on the ability of students and adults to achieve educational success and employment. This publication also clarifies what a learning disability is and explains the common misperceptions associated with LD.

Read a Summary of Key Take-Aways from the Report or Download the Entire Report Through a Link on our Blog

Speech Language Pathology Corner: The Importance of Parent Involvement in the Speech Therapy Process  
By: Ruth Stoekel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

An important aspect of providing competent intervention is determining if a child is making adequate progress. We want to know whether a child's speech-language skills are changing, to have an idea of the rate of change over time, and to develop evidence that whatever change is occurring is likely to be a result of our intervention efforts. If we see evidence of slowing rate of progress, we may want to consider changes such as increasing frequency or length of sessions or modifying the approach. If a child is close to achieving all of their goals, we may consider decreasing frequency or length of sessions as generalization is being facilitated to contexts outside of the therapy room. There will be times when it may be the goals rather than the approach that need to be modified, either to provide greater challenge for a child, or to adjust a goal that may have been too ambitious. These are all decisions that are best made based on data collected in conjunction with clinical observations,

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Pediatric Therapy Corner: Gymnastics: Not Your Typical Speech Language Therapy - The Benefits It Provides for Children With Special Needs
By: Jourdan Saunders, CFY-SLP

Gymnastics is a sport that encompasses many different skills that aid in developing each gymnast as a whole. A child with special needs grows up in a community that sometimes does not provide all of the necessary tools in one location. In turn, this leaves the child having to piece together each skill from different settings. Gymnastics offers a network filled with opportunities to foster a child with special needs' cognition, motor skills, self-esteem, and social skills.


Gymnastics is a hands-on sport which is beneficial for children with special needs. As a result, the sport allows children to improve cognition by uncovering strengths that cannot necessarily be addressed in a classroom setting. Gymnastics is a structured sport which has a framework that entails rules, independent thinking, decision making skills, self-monitoring, organization, rules, and commitment. This framework creates an atmosphere that stimulates the brain to continue to absorb new information and organize information accordingly.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Special Feature: Pediatric Feeding Case Study: Zachary - age 3:11
By: Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

Zachary (Zach) was referred to this therapist for home based feeding therapy by his pediatric gastroenterologist at the age of 3 years, 11 months. At that time, no oral motor or gastrointestinal issues were found to be impacting Zach's difficulty eating a variety of tastes, temperatures or textures. Zachary was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder at 20 months of age and began feeding therapy at that time in a clinic based environment for 12 months. Currently, Zach's preferred foods consist of smooth vegetable, meat and/or fruit purees, typically served directly from the "baby food" rectangular container and a limited number of finger foods. Zach readily used his own spoon to eat the purees. Favorite foods eaten with his fingers were peanut butter and honey on cinnamon bread, Cheetos, Doritos, Fritos, Pringles, plain M & M's, club crackers, graham crackers, one flavor of a Gerber cereal bar, dry Cheerios, dry marshmallows from Lucky Charms cereal, and Pop Tarts. Zach will drink water or whole milk through a straw with ease. Zach was able to use utensils, but did not need them other than for purees, due to the dry nature of his preferred "finger foods". His family would like Zachary to eat whole fruits, vegetables and proteins with ease and enjoy trying new foods.

Zachary was observed during a typical family dinner with his parents, grandmother and younger brother present at the table. The therapist ate with the family while observing family dynamics, Zach's oral motor skills and his behavior during mealtimes. Prior to the meal, his parents were asked to include both preferred and non-preferred foods on Zach's plate so that the therapist could observe his reaction.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
School Psychology Corner:  Self-Management for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
By: Lee A. Wilkinson, PhD, NCSP

The dramatic increase in the number of school-age children identified with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has created a pressing need to design and implement positive behavioral supports in our schools' classrooms. Autism is much more prevalent than previously thought, especially when viewed as a spectrum of disorders. For example, recent estimates suggest that ASDs now affect approximately 1 to 2 % of the school-age population (Wilkinson, 2010). As a result, school-based support professionals are now more likely to be called on to consult with teachers and parents on how to manage the behavioral challenges of learners with ASD than at any other time in the recent past.

Although there is no single effective behavioral intervention, evidence-based strategies such as self-management have shown considerable promise in addressing the attention and concentration difficulties and poor behavioral regulation of learners with ASD (Callahan & Rademacher, 1999; Wilkinson, 2005, 2008, 2010). This article illustrates the use of self-management as a positive and practical classroom strategy for enhancing the independence, self-reliance, and school adjustment of students on the autism spectrum.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog 

Q&A - Ask the Expert: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) at School
By: Patti Murphy
Every student, no matter how outgoing or shy, has a distinctive voice to share. For those with significant speech difficulties related to conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism or Down syndrome, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is often the key that opens that voice to the world.

What is AAC?
AAC, generally speaking, refers to strategies and technologies used for self-expression when speech is not the best option. While often associated with electronic speech communication devices resembling laptop computers or personal digital assistants, AAC has many low- or non-tech variations including picture symbols created with Boardmaker software, photographs, manual communication displays (with text and images), eye contact and gestures. Research has found that AAC use may enhance or encourage natural speech.

I work with students who could benefit from AAC interventions. Where do I start?
Students may be referred to a speech-language pathologist (SLP) working within the school system. AAC intervention typically begins with traditional speech therapy focusing on language development, particularly for younger children. A comprehensive assessment may be conducted to determine whether AAC use is appropriate for the child, and which technologies are most compatible with his/her language, cognitive, and physical abilities before the SLP makes recommendations.

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
Focus on Bilingualism: Language of Intervention with Bilingual Children
By:  Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and Alejandro Brice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
One of the most frequent questions speech-language pathologists (SLPs) ask when working with bilingual children is, "Which language should I use in intervention?" There is not a definitive answer but both ASHA and researchers of bilingual development can provide a way to guide your decision. ASHA (1985) stated that for people with limited English proficiency, remediation in the minority language is necessary. Studies of adult second language learners support the importance of remediation in the second language. If you have learned a second language as an adult you will likely recall a period during which you had to translate everything you heard before it made sense to you. This period in second language learning has been represented in the Word Association Model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994). As you had more and more exposure to your second language, you were more quickly able to access the concepts and eventually lose the need to translate to your first language. This process is represented by the Concept Mediation Model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994). Studies that have explored the accuracy of word knowledge and the speed of retrieval support the notion that second language learners move from translating to directly accessing concepts (Kroll, Michael, Tokowicz, & Dufour, 2002; Kroll, van Hell, Tokowicz, & Green, 2010).

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: All4MyChild, ChildTalk     
Angry Birds Goes Social:  By: Karen Head, MS, CCC-SLP

So yesterday, we had one of those social group meetings where one of the new 6-year old boys simply could not be coaxed away from his mom and into the group. Enter...iPad. That brought out a smile, but no movement toward the other kids. When asked what apps he liked to play, he responded, "Angry Birds." Great...I am I ever going to use Angry Birds to get something social going? Then I had the idea to use the app as reward. I told the boys that they could take a turn with the app after they took a turn with a tried and true "getting to know your friends activity" we like to call If You Like... So I got out a big box of those colored cardboard building blocks, set one on the ground, and started in with "If you cream" put a block on the tower, and then you can have one turn with Angry Birds. "If you like...dragons" put a block on the tower and take a turn with the app...and so on.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Should My Late Talker Get Speech Therapy? Depends on Who You Talk To!:   By: Becca Jarzynski, MS, CCC-SLP

Editor's Note: Becca's wonderful article is directed at caregivers rather than therapists.  We include it on our blog and site for you to share with the parents of your late talking kiddos!


There's a debate a brewin' in the world of early intervention. Seeing as how we work with young children, we're generally pretty easy-going folks. But that doesn't mean we don't have our professional disagreements. And this is one of them.


It all started with this study, which was published in the journal of Pediatrics and released into the press in July. The Australian study followed 142 late-talkers as they aged; the researchers measured problem behavior at the ages of 2,5,8,10,14, and 17. They found that, despite having poorer behavior at age 2, the late-talkers exhibited no significant behavioral concerns at any of the follow up ages. Articles about the study were written up in the press and ran with headlines such as "Late Talkers Do Fine As They Grow Up." Many of the articles also suggested that the "wait and see" approach for late-talkers might be the best option after all.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Worth Repeating: New Wave of Aquatic Therapy Tools
by:  Heather Stringer

[Source: Today in


Imagine aquatic therapy before the pool noodle had been invented. It was the late 1990s and little was available specifically for rehabilitation in the water, so physical therapists used what they could - kickboards and sometimes even empty milk jugs as buoys for exercises.


"Things were so basic in the beginning, and in the last seven or eight years aquatic therapy has really blossomed," said Ruth Sova, MS, president of the Aquatic Therapy & Research Institute in Lutz, Fla. "Therapists are seeing that people heal faster when they use aquatic therapy."

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating:  Impact of Implementing Developmental Screening at 12 and 24 Months in a Pediatric Practice
By: Hollie Hix-Small, PhD, Kevin Marks, MD, Jane Squires, PhD, Robert Nickel, MD

[Source: the Journal Pediatrics]


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and costs of incorporating a parent-completed developmental screening tool, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, into the 12- and 24-month well-child visits under "real-world" conditions, using a combined in-office and mail-back data collection protocol.


Methods: A convenience sample of 1428 caregivers and children presenting for their 12- or 24-month well-child visit between April 2005 and March 2006 participated. Children with identified delays or disorders were excluded. Board-certified pediatricians (n = 18) and nurse practitioners (n = 2) acted as secondary participants. Pediatricians were blinded to Ages and Stages Questionnaire results when completing the Pediatric Developmental Impression. Patients with delayed Ages and Stages Questionnaire or Pediatric Developmental Impression results were referred for additional evaluation.

Read the Full Text of This Article Through a Link on our Blog

The PediaStaff Website - is "Not Just for Job Searching Anymore"
If you haven't been to the our website lately you are in for a treat.  Not only have we completely redesigned it and added a whole lot of great information about our company, services and philosophy but we are stuffing it jam packed with fantastic pediatric and school based therapy resources for you and your staff to use everyday.  

There you will find links to resources, organizations and websites on topics in pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapy including dozens of articles and videos.  Topics are organized by therapy discipline and include Stuttering, Bilingualism, Autism, Down Syndrome, Pediatric Stroke,  Oral Motor Issues, Speech Language Delay and much more.   All articles and videos are resident on our site.  No abstracts, no fees.  

We hope you enjoy it!  It is still very much a work in progress, but we think there is enough there to suggest that you check it out at your earliest convenience. 

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