January 17, 2014
Issue 3, Volume 7
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday to You!
Please enjoy this week's newsletter
News Items:
  • Sam Berns - "My Philosophy for a Happy Life"
  • Orthotics and Children with Hypotonia
  • Teen Concussions Increase Risk for Depression
  • Complementary Medicine Widely Used to Treat Children With Autism, Developmental Delay
  • The World's First Dog with 4 Prosthetic Paws!!
  • Study Reveals Senses of Sight, Sound Separated in Children With Autism
  • Speech Means Using Both Sides of Brain
PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff Featured Job of the Week: School Psychologist - Colorado
  • PediaStaff Therapist Placement of the Week: Minnesota
  • PediaStaff to Attend NASP in Washington, D.C.  
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • App Review of the Week: Question TherAppy 2-in-1 App
  • Speech Activity of the Week: Sticker Stop - an "Exit Slip" Strategy
  • Instagram Therapy Idea of the Week: Snowman Bowling!
  • Therapy Resource of the Week: The Daily Autism Freebie

Articles and Special Features 

  • Autism Corner: My Once Non-Verbal Son Gets an Audition for "The Voice!"
  • SLP Corner: Step Away From the Sippy Cup!
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Strategies to Improve Body Awareness & Mental Health
  • Physical Therapy Corner: Broken Bone Prevention for Children with Mobility Impairments 
  • Worth Repeating: Is Your Child With ADHD Ready to Drive
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 Blogtrottr and have our blog posts delivered right to your email.

Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

The Career Center

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Feel Good Story of the Week: Sam Berns - "My Philosophy for a Happy Life"

[Source:  The Boston Globe]


Sam Berns was scheduled to serve as an honorary captain at Saturday night's New England Patriots playoff game. Instead, the team planned to hold a moment of silence before the game in his honor. The Foxboro high school student, whose battle with progeria inspired a monumental effort to treat the rare and little-understood "accelerated aging" disease, died at home Friday night from complications of the disorder, his parents by his side, according to a family friend.  He was 17.


Read the Rest of This Article and Watch the TED Talk Through a Link on our Blog

Orthoses in the News:  Orthotics and Children with Hypotonia  

[Source:  Pediatric Physical Therapy via Your Therapy Source]


Pediatric Physical Therapy published a systemic review on the efficacy and evidence of using orthoses for children with hypotonia. Ten articles met the inclusion criteria although none were Level I evidence (evidence from properly designed randomized controlled trials).


The results found that data was reported for body structure and activity components, but not participation outcomes.  Overall, the current evidence suggests that foot orthoses and supramalleolar orthoses may benefit children with hypotonia  but the evidence is low level.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury in the News:  Teen Concussions Increase Risk for Depression 

[Source:  Science Daily] 


Teens with a history of concussions are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression as teens who have never had a concussion, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.


"What this study suggests is that teens who have had a concussion should be screened for depression," said lead study author Sara Chrisman, M.D., a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Treatments in the News:  Complementary Medicine Widely Used to Treat Children With Autism, Developmental Delay 

[Source:  Science Daily]


In a study of the range of treatments being employed for young children with autism and other developmental delays, UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have found that families often use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments and that the most frequent users of both conventional and complementary approaches are those with higher levels of parental education and income.


There is no Food and Drug Administration-approved medical treatment for the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition whose hallmarks are deficits in social relatedness, repetitive thoughts and behaviors and, often, intellectual disability.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Another Feel Good Story of the Week:  The World's First Dog with 4 Prosthetic Paws!  

Editor's Note:  Kids love dogs.  What a great story to share with your students and clients to boost their "can-do" spirit


Meet Naki'o! The world's first prosthetic dog, who was rescued from the brink of death.  Naki'o was left to die in an abandoned home. What's worse is that the cold Nebraska weather had killed his mother, and frozen him in a puddle; trapping him in ice to die. The inescapable chill began to chip away at his strength, penetrate his fur, cripple his will to live... and eventually led to frostbite upon his legs and tail.


Read the Rest of this Article and Watch Video of this Cutie Through a Link our Blog

Autism Research in the News:  Study Reveals Senses of Sight, Sound Separated in Children With Autism   

[Source:  Science Daily]


Like watching a foreign movie that was badly dubbed, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have trouble integrating simultaneous information from their eyes and their ears, according to a Vanderbilt study published today in The Journal of Neuroscience.


The study, led by Mark Wallace, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, is the first to illustrate the link and strongly suggests that deficits in the sensory building blocks for language and communication can ultimately hamper social and communication skills in children with autism.


"There is a huge amount of effort and energy going into the treatment of children with autism, virtually none of it is based on a strong empirical foundation tied to sensory function," 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

The Neuroscience of Speech:  Speech Means Using Both Sides of Brain    

[Source: Science Daily]


We use both sides of our brain for speech, a finding by researchers at New York University and NYU Langone Medical Center that alters previous conceptions about neurological activity. The results, which appear in the journal Nature, also offer insights into addressing speech-related inhibitions caused by stroke or injury and lay the groundwork for better rehabilitation methods.


"Our findings upend what has been universally accepted in the scientific community - that we use only one side of our brains for speech," says Bijan Pesaran, an associate professor in NYU's Center for Neural Science and the study's senior author. "In addition, now that we have a firmer understanding of how speech is generated, our work toward finding remedies for speech afflictions is much better informed."


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Featured PediaStaff Job of the Week:  School Psychologist - Colorado  

PediaStaff is searching for a School Psychologist to start as soon as possible on contract and work through the end of SY13/14. This full time position will be varied and interesting as you'll work with kids from pre-K through 12th grade. There's a strong team in place, and you'll receive support as needed.


Outdoor enthusiasts will love this place!  Located in the San Luis Valley of central southern Colorado you'll be an hour from the ski slopes and close to a variety of recreational opportunities.


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Featured Therapist Placement of the Week:  OTR/L - Minnesota  

Congratulations to Mary B., on her part-time school based occupational therapist position with one of PediaStaff's clients in a suburb of  Minneapolis.


Mary will work one day a week with children ages 3-5.   The majority of the children have developmental delay or autism.  Some have sensory and fine motor needs.  The position is for the remainder of the year and starts ASAP!


Thanks for helping out, Mary!

On the Road:  PediaStaff to Attend NASP in Washington, D.C.  

PediaStaff is very excited to announce that we will be at NASP 2014! - Booth #111!  Will any of you be there? Comment below!!    We are also pretty jazzed about the cool (and exclusive) School Psych tote bags we just designed to give away that you will want to use beyond convention!!

Learn More about NASP 2014 Through a Link on our Blog

App Review of the Week:  Question TherAppy 2-in-1 App Review 

by Ryan Knoblauch

Do you have an iPad and wonder 
what in the wide, wide world of sports you're supposed to do with it?  I have seen quite a few teachers who have been overwhelmed by technology overload in the classroom.  Here's a new SMART Board.  Oh, and how about an iPad?  We have new curriculum and it's all online. Oh, and you're supposed to teach on top of learning all kinds of new technolgy!  Geez!  I can see why people get burned out with technology.  Since we're always trying to find ways to incorporate technology and supplement what we're doing in the classroom, I thought I'd share an app that kids (and adults) can use to build upon their skills either in a one-on-one setting or 


Read the Rest of this App Review on our Blog

Speech Language Activity of the Week:  Sticker Stop - an "Exit Slip" Strategy  

by Alexis Gaines, SLP

I give massive amounts of stickers. It's true. I give stickers for homework, I give stickers for holidays, and I of course give stickers at the end of sessions!


A recent visit from my supervisor led me to start thinking about how I can do an "exit slip" type carryover strategy. My supervisor suggested that as I'm giving them their sticker, I ask them what they learned. I tried this for a few weeks, with much success, but I found that we needed a visual.


Enter: Sticker stop. This is placed above the sticker chart wall, with a convenient makeshift sticker holder that I crafted from an index card. The kiddos have to make it from the "red light" - the why - to the "green light" - the how - in order to get their sticker.


Read More About and Download this Activity Throug our Blog

Instagram Therapy Idea of the Week:  Snowman Bowling!  

Snowman Bowling!!  Thank You! to @khowland4 on Instagram for permission to re-gram and blog this adorable idea. She uses them in speech for reward activity and for social skills turn taking, etc.  How much work completed determined how many times the kids could bowl.  

Looks like she used "International Delight" creamer containers, but I am thinking many bottles would work.


Take a Peek at this Adorable Activity on our Blog

Therapy Resource of the Week:  The Daily Autism Freebie  

The Daily Autism Freebie is a deceptively simple compilation blog that serves up a free resource every day without fanfare.    We would probably pin all of them into Pinterest, but the authors of this blog do not put an accompanying image on the posts so they "won't pin."


Therefore I suggest to you that you check this site often yourself, since I can't bring the goodies to you.


Discover this Site Through a Link on our Blog

Autism Corner: My Once Non-Verbal Son Gets an Audition for "The Voice!"

[Source: Autism Speaks]


My son Darion was nonverbal until a little after the age of 4. Darion had not yet said anything more than momma, dada, and bye bye. When he spoke, Darion sounded like he had a hearing loss. But by 3 he could hear a song once and be able to sing it. He would not only sing it, he would match their voice, almost mimic the music and the lyrics.


During all of Darion's ups and downs, one thing remained a constant, music. That was his anchor, his rock to hold him down. Even with his up and down battles, though, Darion has always been able to shine through. In the past, he struggled with incontinence. His struggle with an inability to find his voice still goes on, and the biggest thing being acceptance for who he is.


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

SLP Corner: Step Away From the Sippy Cup!

by Melanie Potock MA, CCC-SLP


Sippy Cups became all the rage in the 1980s, along with oversized shoulder pads, MC Hammer parachute pants and bangs that stood up like a water spout on top of your head.   A mechanical engineer, tired of his toddler's trail of juice throughout the house, set out to create a spill-proof cup that would "outsmart the child."  Soon,  Playtex� offered a licensing deal, the rest is history and I suspect  that mechanical engineer is now comfortably retired and living in a sippy-cup mansion on a tropical island in the South Pacific.


Geez. Why didn't I invent something like that?  I want to live in a mansion in the South Pacific. By the way,  I also missed the boat on sticky notes, Velcro� and Duct Tape�-all products I encounter on a daily basis, just like those darn sippy cups I see everywhere.  I truly shouldn't be 


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

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Strategies to Improve Body Awareness & Mental Health

[Source: Fab Strategies to Promote Self Control] 
Intervention strategies promoting body awareness can improve behavior in children and adolescents with sensory processing, trauma history, developmental, and mental health challenges.  Improving youngster's body awareness is particularly important for children and adolescents because it impacts development and provides the foundation for functional motor planning skills.  Many children with internalizing behavioral challenges including depression and repeated complaints of pain can be helped through enhancing their body and emotional awareness skills.

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

Physical Therapy Corner: Broken Bone Prevention for Children with Mobility Impairments

by Stephanie LaBandz, PT


I was talking to one of my OT friends about a student we used to share. He is an elementary-age boy who has the most sparkling eyes and brilliant smile, but who has missed weeks of school, weeks of instruction, weeks of fun, weeks of social interactions, and who has endured weeks of pain, weeks of immobility, and weeks of dependence because of fractures. My colleague knows what a big fan I am of standing, and was wondering if earlier and more consistent use of a standing program for this child would have made a difference.


Many children with mobility impairments are more susceptible to fractures for several reasons.


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

Worth Repeating: Is Your Teen with ADHD Ready to Drive?

[Source:  Philly.com]


Although learning to drive may be a rite of passage for most teens, teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may need extra help in navigating the road to licensure. The symptoms of ADHD - difficulty with attention, challenges with emotion regulation, disorganization and impulsivity - heighten a teen's risk for unsafe driving behaviors and crashes. The presence of ADHD increased a teen's crash risk by two to four times, placing them at a higher crash risk than adults who are legally drunk, found a 2007 study.    

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

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