weekly header

February 3, 2012
Issue 4, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Happy Friday and Happy February

Fun issue for you today.   We have completed our first full week of the "Social SLPeeps and OTs" on Pinterest.  You will notice a new section in the newsletter where we will do a weekly round-up of last week's ideas and post the links to the new "pins of the week."   Considering it was our first week, I think we got a nice collection of therapy ideas.  I look forward to seeing how this venture grows as it becomes more established.

I would also like to welcome SLP mother and daughter duo Cindy and Kristina Young to our guest blogger team.   These two ladies write the popular blog "The Speech Ladies."  We invite you to check it out!   Glad to have you ladies!! 

News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Pinterest Pinboard and Therapy Idea of the Week:  Valentines Day
  • Book Review:  Thinking Person's Guide to Autism  
  • Rory's Story Cubes for Speech & Language 
Discussion Group Topics 
  • Social OTs on Pinterest Discussion Round-Up 
  • SLPeeps on Pinterest Disucussion Round-Up: Speechify Hot Chocolate Math
  • New Pin for Discussion SLPeeps, Social OTs and PTs.  Its a Contest!      

Articles and Special Features 

  • PT Corner: How Can Physical Therapy Affect Social Skills?
  • SLP Corner:  Language, Sequencing and Vocabulary Work for 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'  
  • Physical Therapy Corner: Bringing PT Home for Kids with Down Syndrome and Their Parents 
  • Meet PediaStaff:  Sue Steger, Senior Career Services Team Leader 
  • Worth Repeating: I Had Aspergers. Briefly 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Word Study Instruction in the Classroom                  
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

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,
setting, bilingual, or term, use the
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If a particular search is returning
no hits it is possible that we do
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To see ALL our openings
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Recent Speech Language Pathologist and SLPA Jobs
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PediaStaff Adds Two More Discussion Groups on Pinterest:  School Psychology and Pediatric / School-Based Physical Therapy 

The response we got last week on the Pinterest Discussion Groups for SLPs and OTs was fantastic.  Over the weekend I was asked by several people to add groups for both PTs and School Psychologists  So here you go!


Our OT and SLP boards are already going strong, so if you haven't signed up yet, come check those out as well.   


Car Seats in the News: Interesting Article on Car Seats in the Atlantic Monthly

Thanks to Loren Shlaes of the Pediatric OT blog for sending us the link to this article.  

While I don't think anyone would advocate doing away with car seats, the article brings up some good points.  What do you think?

The Risks of Child Car Seats


Participating in a TEDx event at a nearby library, I heard one of the other speakers, the founder of our local Waldorf School, reflect on the hazards to a child's physical and mental development from confinement to a car seat. The issue really isn't car seats for actual automobile travel; there's strong evidence that they have have helped reduce children's automotive deaths dramatically. It's the convenience of the technology as an all-purpose transport, while running with a carriage, supermarket shopping, etc. Could there be perhaps subtle long-term effects of prolonged use of the seats outside automobiles? (The FAA recommends but does not mandate them for air travel - a different, harness-type seat, incidentally.)

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Mystery Illness in the News:  Update: NIH, Erin Brockovich Get Involved
Last week we brought you a storyabout a 12 girls (now as many as 16 students) at a school in New York who have mysteriously developed tics and other bizarre symptoms.   This past week, both the National Institutes of Health and environmental activitist Erin Brockovich have stepped in to investigate.    ABC News is reporting that PANDAS has been ruled out as has side effects of the Gardasil vaccine.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News: Teaching Kids with Autism 'Inner Speech' May Help Them Better Cope

[Source:  Daily Mail]


Teaching children with autism to 'talk things through' in their heads may help them solve tricky day-to-day tasks and could increase the chances of them living independent lives when they grow up, say scientists.

Psychologists who studied adults with autism found that the mechanism for using 'inner speech,' or talking things through in your head is intact, but they don't always use it in the same way as typically developing people do.

The researchers found that the tendency to 'think in words' is also strongly linked to the extent of a person's communication skills, which are rooted in early childhood.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Neurobiology in the News: Oh My, "Wernick's Area "is in the Wrong Place"
[Source:  Medicical Express]

Scientists have long believed that human speech is processed towards the back of the brain's cerebral cortex, behind auditory cortex where all sounds are received - a place famously known as Wernicke's area after the German neurologist who proposed this site in the late 1800s based on his study of brain injuries and strokes.

But, now, research that analyzed more than 100 imaging studies concludes that Wernicke's area is in the wrong location. The site newly identified is about 3 centimeters closer to the front of the brain and on the other side of auditory cortex - miles away in terms of brain architecture and function.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Brain Development in the News:  Nurturing Moms May Help Their Child's Brain Develop

[Source:  HealthDay / Yahoo News]


Preschool children whose moms are loving and nurturing have a larger hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in learning, memory and stress response, when they reach school age, a new study finds.

"It is to our knowledge the first study that links early maternal nurturance to the structural development of a key brain region," said study author Dr. Joan Luby, a professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "It provides very powerful evidence of the importance of early nurturing for healthy brain development and has tremendous public health implications."

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Dyslexia in the News: Dyslexia-Linked Genetic Variant Decreases Midline Crossing of Auditory Pathways

[Source:  Medical XPress]

Finnish scientists have found that a rare dyslexia-linked genetic variant of the ROBO1 gene decreases normal crossing of auditory pathways in the human brain. The weaker the expression of the gene is, the more abnormal is the midline crossing. The results link, for the first time, a dyslexia-susceptibility gene to a specific sensory function of the human brain. This collaborative study between Aalto University and University of Helsinki in Finland and the Karolinska Insitutet in Sweden was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Cerebral Palsy in the News: True Origin Of Cerebral Palsy May Be Genetic

[Source:  Disability Scoop]


Long thought to be caused by problems at birth, researchers now say that in most cases cerebral palsy may actually originate in a person's genes much like other developmental disabilities.|


The finding, reported online in the journal The Lancet Neurology in January, comes as cerebral palsy rates have remained steady for over 40 years despite marked progress in medical care during and after birth, the researchers note.


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Neurobiology in the News: Study Spots Where Humor Tickles Kids' Brains

[Source: ABC News] 

Kids may not giggle over the awkwardness on "The Office," and adults usually aren't all that tickled by Elmo. But new research shows that the same brain regions are active when both children and grown ups find something funny. 

Researchers at Stanford University have shown that the brain's network for appreciating humor develops in childhood. They studied 15 children ages 6 to 12, showing them clips from "America's Funniest Home Videos," like people stumbling while skiing or running, animals doing tricks or a kid being catapulted off of an inflatable couch. (To be sure the videos would


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

Therapy Ideas of the Week: Conversation Heart Writing and Footprint Valentines! (from Pinterest of Course) 
Valentine's Day is around the corner!  Here are our two favorite ideas that have been extremely popular!

Check out These Great Ideas and our Valentines Pinboard on our Blog
Book Review : Thinking Person's Guide to Autism 

Edited By: Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham, and Carol Greenburg

Reviewed By: Lee A. Wilkinson, PhD, NCSP


Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with no known cause or cure. Unfortunately, families are often exposed to unsubstantiated, pseudoscientific theories, and related clinical practices that are ineffective and compete with validated treatments, or that have the potential to result in physical, emotional, or financial harm. The time, effort, and financial resources spent on ineffective treatments can create an additional burden on families. Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, edited by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham, and Carol Greenburg is intended to provide a "toolkit" of reliable information and experienced perspectives from "autism parents, autistics, and autism professionals" on which to make rational and informed autism-related decisions.


Read the Rest of this Book Review on our Blog

Speech & Language Game Review: Rory's Story Cubes 

Editor's Note:  We have previously featured articles about Rory's Story Cubes in the past on our Pinterest board.  In particular, Sheri Artemko's great article on the Play on Words blog.  Since we think this is an amazing toy/game for speech, we would like to also feature an article Kim Lewis wrote this week for her blog Activity Tailor  


I found these in Barnes & Noble awhile back and thought they'd be a fun travel item or a restaurant activity for the kids while we waited for our food to arrive.  Honestly, I'm not sure I ever used them personally.  They were so perfectly suited for therapy they went in my bag almost immediately, and there they stayed.

Rory's Story Cubes are a set of nine dice, each one having six unique pictures.  You roll the


Read the Rest of this Game Review on our Blog

Social OTs on Pinterest Disucussion Round-Up: Creative Ideas for Candyland for OT 
This week we complete our first week since launching the Social OTs (and SLP) Pinterest Discussion Groups.  A couple of months ago, I was seeing all kinds of great ideas for how to use Candyland in the Speech Room, so I challenged the OTs to come up with their own ideas.  

See Great Ideas for Candyland in the OT Room and Join the Fun
SLPeeps on Pinterest Disucussion Round-Up: Speechify Hot Chocolate Math  
This is also our first week for our SLPeeps on Pinterest.  Come come read the fun ideas we got for converting this adorable Math Activity work for the Speech Room! 

 See Speechifying Hot Chocolate Math and Join the Fun
New Pinterest Pin for Discussion: SLPeeps, Social OTs and Social PTs - It's a Contest 
So here is a fun one...  I found this pin last week and proposed it to the School Psychogists to see how many interesting ideas they could come up with.    The Social Psych Discussion Group on Pinterest is still pretty small, so they've been kind of quiet, but I know that with over 175 SLPeeps and Social OTs and Social PTs  signed up for their respective Pinterest Discussion Groups that surely we can get some good ideas from you guys!   I am including the PTs on this one since it could definitely include sensorimotor and cross over into both disciplines.

Let's see which group can come up with the most ideas?   SLPeeps, or the combined strength of the OTs and PTs?   Have fun!  May the best team win (for bragging rights!)!

Take a Look at the Pin Challenge on our Blog
Pediatric Therapy Corner: How Can Physical Therapy Affect Social Skills?

By: Dr. Joni Redlich, DPT


If you have a child who has difficulty with social skills and I asked you what kind of therapy could help your child develop these skills, what would you say?

I can guarantee physical therapy wouldn't be on that list.  Not even on the bottom of the list.

I would like to share two stories from today.

Jane is a friendly warm 7 year old girl with dyspraxia. She has never had success with academic, gross motor or fine motor activities and prefers to talk her way out of challenges.  Talking she is good at, but only with adults. She has struggled to make and keep friends.  After 2 months of participating in a treadmill program working on her visual and rhythmic movement skills, she progressed from needing to be guarded on the treadmill for safety to being able to take a running leap onto an elevated moving treadmill and then rapidly name letters and numbers while walking.  Outside of the sessions her Mom reports that she's doing much better socially.  Mom said "I can imagine that if you can't keep up with the kids on the playground that's going to affect your confidence playing with the other kids."

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Language, Sequencing and Vocabulary Work for 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'

by:  Cindy and Kristina Young, MS CCC-SLPs


We wanted to share with you a great sequencing activity for little ones. If you go here you can download pictures that go along with Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar (there are also some other neat activities on this website as well). These make for a fun sequencing activity! Read through the story with your student and then have them glue the pictures in order as they

re-tell you the story, and if they more visuals to help them remember just look through the book again. This helps to build language skills, and this book provides so many topics to explore.  

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Bringing PT Home for Kids with Down Syndrome and Their Parents
By: Stacy Menz, DPT, Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist
Copyright January 2012

Kids with Down Syndrome typically have low muscle tone. This doesn't always mean anything to people with 'typical' muscle tone so I like to use an analogy to help people grasp what it means to have low muscle tone. Think about how we as adults feel at the end of a long day when you finally get to sink into your couch or favorite chair to relax for a few minutes. Your whole body lets down and you melt into that couch or chair and then someone calls for you and you have to get back up. Think of how much energy it takes to convince your muscles and body to move, and then for them to actually get moving. That's the amount of energy kids with

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Meet PediaStaff: Sue Steger: Career Center Team Leader  
Sue joined PediaStaff in June 2007 and is part of the New Applicant Career Services Team. Her primary responsibility is working with and managing the flow of new therapy applicants so that they get to our recruiting team in order to facilitate job placement.  She is also the friendly voice that answers the phone most of the time you place a call through the PediaStaff switchboard. 

Prior to joining PediaStaff Sue had been in the Property Management and development field for over 20 years. During her tenure as a Property Manager in several different sates she managed Apartment Communities with as many as 400 units. As property manager she handled all day to business, leased apartments, as well as training and developing staff.

Read More About Sue on our Blog

Worth Repeating - I Had Aspergers Syndrome. Briefly.

Thank you to our friend on Twitter, SAttspeech for sharing this great article with us!   


[Source:  New York Times]

By:   Benjamin Nugent


For a brief, heady period in the history of autism spectrum diagnosis, in the late '90s, I had Aspergers syndrome.


There's an educational video from that time, called "Understanding Aspergers," in which I appear. I am the affected 20-year-old in the wannabe-hipster vintage polo shirt talking about how keen his understanding of literature is and how misunderstood he was in fifth grade. The film was a research project directed by my mother, a psychology professor and Asperger specialist, and another expert in her department. It presents me as a young man living a full, meaningful life, despite his mental abnormality.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - Word Study Instruction in the Classroom
[Source:  Reading Rockets]

By: Cheri Williams, Colleen Phillips-Birdsong , Krissy Hufnagel, and Diane Hungler, et al.

his article describes nine tips for implementing a word study program in the K-2 classroom. These tips are based on the results of four classroom-based qualitative research projects collaboratively conducted by a university professor and four primary grade teacher-researchers. The article suggests that through small-group word study instruction and hands-on word work activities, teachers can keep students motivated and engaged in learning about the English spelling system.

A brief description of word study instruction

Word study is an approach to spelling instruction that moves away from a focus on memorization. The approach reflects what researchers have discovered about the alphabetic, pattern, and meaning layers of English orthography.

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