June 14, 2013
Weekly Edition 
Issue 18, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Greetings!

Please enjoy this week's newsletter offering! 
 
News Items:
  • Concerns About Anesthesia's Impact On the Brain
  • Brain Imaging Study Eliminates Differences in Visual Function as a Cause of Dyslexia
  • Understanding Sex Differences in Autism: Symposium Summary
  • 'Stimming' in the News (BBC)
  • Treating Cerebral Palsy by Retraining Muscles
  • Postural Control and Repetitive Behaviors in Children with Autism
  • Reduced Brain Volume in Kids With Low Birth-Weight Tied to Academic Struggles
  • Infants Express Non-Verbal Sympathy For Others In Distress
  • First Comprehensive and Prospective Characterization of a Genetic Subtype of Autism
PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff Featured Job of the Week: Pediatric OT - Boston Strong!
  • PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  Meet Tava 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Therapy Activity of the Week: Following Directions / Map Skills Activity Grid Game
  • App of the Week: Heads Up!
  • Book Review: Early Communication Skills for Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals  
  • OT Activity of the Week: Unbuttoning Rings

Articles and Special Features 

  • SLP New Graduate's Corner: Developing an Opinion 
  • OT Corner: Summer FUN (Shhh.....Don't Tell Them it's Actually Therapy) 
  • Worth Repeating: 3 Surefire Methods to Help Your Baby Succeed at Getting Into Sitting
  • Also Worth Repeating: The Importance of Production Frequency in Therapy for Children with Apraxia of Speech
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





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Pediatric Brain Development in the News:  Concerns About Anesthesia's Impact On the Brain

[Source: Science Daily]

 

As pediatric specialists become increasingly aware that surgical anesthesia may have lasting effects on the developing brains of young children, new research suggests the threat may also apply to adult brains.

 

Researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center report June 5 the Annals of Neurology that testing in laboratory mice shows anesthesia's neurotoxic effects depend on the age of brain neurons -- not the age of the animal undergoing anesthesia, as once thought.

 

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

Dyslexia in the News: Brain Imaging Study Eliminates Differences in Visual Function as a Cause of Dyslexia

[Source:  Science Daily]

A new brain imaging study of dyslexia shows that differences in the visual system do not cause the disorder, but instead are likely a consequence. The findings, published today in the journal Neuron, provide important insights into the cause of this common reading disorder and address a long-standing debate about the role of visual symptoms observed in developmental dyslexia.

 

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

Autism in the News:  Understanding Sex Differences in Autism: Symposium Summary   

[Source:  Autism Speaks.org]

 

by Alycia Halladay, PhD, Autism Speaks senior director of environmental and clinical sciences

 

Over more than thirty years of autism research, one finding has stood out in its consistency: Boys are at least four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

But why?  What clues does this difference provide for understanding what causes autism? How should it guide how we develop behavioral therapies and other treatments?

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Autism Behaviors in the Mainstream News:  'Stimming' in the News (BBC)  

[Source:  BBC News]

 

What is this word?  It's stimming, short for the medical term self-stimulatory behaviours - a real mouthful.

 

Stimming might be rocking, head banging, repeatedly feeling textures or squealing. You'll probably have seen this in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but not really wanted to ask about it.

It is a term used widely in the ASD community.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Cerebral Palsy in the News:  Treating Cerebral Palsy by Retraining Muscles   

[Source:  Your Therapy Source]

Recent research was completed that compared treadmill training versus overground walking effects on balance skills using a randomized controlled trial with blinded evaluator. The participants were children with cerebral palsy ages 3-12, GMFCS levels I through III. The experimental group received 30 minute treadmill training session two times per week for 7 weeks. The control group participated in overground walking, 30 minute sessions, 2 times per week, also for 7 weeks.

The results indicated the following:

 

 Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Autism Behaviors in the News:  Postural Control and Repetitive Behaviors in Children with Autism   

[Source:  Your Therapy Source]

 

Recent research was published on postural control and repetitive behaviors in children with autism.    The participants including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing controls ages 3-16. The center of pressure sway area during quiet, comfortable stance were compared to scores on the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised. The results indicated the following:

  • increased postural sway in children with ASD
  • greater frequency and intensity of restricted, repetitive behaviors were present in the children with ASD
 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Low Birth Weight Babies in the News:  Reduced Brain Volume in Kids With Low Birth-Weight Tied to Academic Struggles    

[Source: Science Daily]

 

An analysis of recent data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of 97 adolescents who were part of study begun with very low birth weight babies born in 1982-1986 in a Cleveland neonatal intensive care unit has tied smaller brain volumes to poor academic

 

More than half of the babies that weighed less than 1.66 pounds and more than 30 percent of those less than 3.31 pounds at birth later had academic deficits. (Less than 1.66 pounds is considered extremely low birth weight; less than 3.31 pounds is labeled very low birth weight.) Lower birth weight was associated to smaller brain volumes in some of these children, and smaller brain volume, in turn, was tied to academic deficits.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Infant Emotional Development in the News:  Infants Express Non-Verbal Sympathy For Others In Distress     

[Source: Live Science]

 

Babies may be able to show sympathy before their first birthday, according to a new study in which 10-month-olds preferred the victims rather than the aggressors in a bullying encounter.

The research, published Wednesday (June 12) in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first to find evidence of possible sympathy in children younger than toddlers, the researchers said. Sympathy is the feeling of concern for others.

 

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

Autism Research in the News:  First Comprehensive and Prospective Characterization of a Genetic Subtype of Autism     

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

In the first prospective study of its kind, Seaver Autism Center researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provide new evidence of the severity of intellectual, motor, and speech impairments in a subtype of autism called Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS). The data are published online in the June 11 issue of the journal Molecular Autism.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Featured Job of the Week:  Pediatric OT - Boston Strong! 

'
PediaStaff has been asked to find an Occupational Therapist for a private residential school located in the Boston, MA area.   This is a small school of 65 students ranging in age from 6 - 22, and serves students with mental health issues, autism, developmental disabilities, and emotional and behavioral  
  
 Learn More About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  Meet Tava!   

'Meet Tava - a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant who has been contracting for PediaStaff in Texas for more than five years now and has been asked to come back again for the 2013-2014 school year.

 

 Learn More About Tava's Assignment with PediaStaff on our Blog

Therapy Activity of the Week:  Following Directions / Map Skills Activity Grid Game   

[Source:  Kids Activities Blog]

A map game can help your child learn the important life skill of map reading. This fun activity combines following directions with map skills activities.

We at Kids Activities Blog love great kids activities like this that get kids moving while teaching them concepts they need to learn.

 

The goal of this map game is to work your way through the grid by following the directions given. Practice counting and using the words left, right, forward, and backward.

 

 Learn More About this Activity on our Blog

App of the Week:  Heads Up!   

[Source:  All4MyChild.com]

 

Ellen Degeneres makes me happy. I'm pretty sure she makes everyone happy. Usually she entertains me at night after work when I watch her show that I DVR. But lately, I've been getting to enjoy her during the work day. She created an app called Heads Up, that is a speech pathologist's dream. It's a lot like the popular traditional speech and language game Headbandz...but it's on the iPhone/iPad which gives it lots of awesome features. Basically you place the phone, screen facing out, on your forehead. Whoever you are playing with then must describe the given word that is on the screen. If you guess

 

Read the Rest of this App Review Through a Link on our Blog

Book Review: Early Communication Skills for Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals   

Reviewed by Rebecca L. Jarzynski, M.S., CCC-SLP
Book Written by Libby Kumin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Published by: Woodbine House

 

I recently had the opportunity to review Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide For Parents and Professionals (Third Edition). The book is written by Libby Kumin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, who is a professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology at Loyola University of Maryland and founder of the Down Syndrome Center for Excellence.  Dr. Kumin is highly respected for her knowledge base and experience as it relates to working with children with Down Syndrome, and her expertise on the subject is incredibly clear throughout the book.

 

Read the Rest of this Book Review on our Blog

OT Activity of the Week:  Unbuttoning Rings   

[Source:  The Recycling OT]

 

I have made sensory socks before and asked children to pull them apart to work on motor planning skills. I have also made socks that attached to one another by buttoning but recently decided to add a button (made by cutting large plastic circles)  and a button hole so that each one could be buttoned into a  a ring. I connected them together like links so that the children would have to open the buttons to take apart. Each sock has 1/2 a supermarket plastic bag inside to give it some substance but not be too bulky.

  

 Learn About These Great Resources on our Blog

SLP New Graduate's Corner: Developing an Opinion

by Katie Millican MS., SLP-CFY

The transition from Speech-Language Pathology graduate student to an independent, unsupervised SLP is an awkward time. I'm frolicking through my last internship of graduate school, and I can't help by notice the differences in my clinical and professional skills. The promise of learning from a new supervisor coupled with the triumph of securing an SLP-CF position in the fall heightens my self-awareness.

The awkwardness reminds me of my teenage years, which was almost 6 years ago (once upon a time, really). Still living at home, drivers license in hand, and plans with friends made. Keys at the ready, I was free as a bird...after I consulted with my father of course. The gatekeeper. The Oz of Curfew. It's easy to overlook those pesky details of asking permission or seeking advice when you think you are standing on your own two feet. This same awkwardness has followed me into SLP

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

OT Corner: Summer FUN (Shhh.....Don't Tell Them it's Actually Therapy)

By Cara Koscinki MOT, OTR/L

SUMMER!
It's here! Most families look forward to summer's relaxation and lazy days. However, the lack of routine and structure can be the cause of great stress for families of children with special needs.
School routines are predictable and provide consistency and the transition to summer may be a difficult one. In addition, the skills your child has gained in school should be carried over into the summer to stop any regression. No ideas? Feeling overwhelmed?

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog


Worth Repeating: 3 Surefire Methods to Help Your Baby Succeed at Getting Into Sitting

[Source: Insights]

Is your baby 10 months, 11 months, or 12 months old and not able to get themselves into a sitting position?

According to the Denver II, 25% of babies can get into sitting by 7.5 months, 75% by 9 months, and 90% by 9.5 months. At first, your baby will need your help and support to get into a sitting position, usually when they are between 6 and 7 months old.
 

There are 3 different positions a child this age will typically get into sitting:
 

�       Hands/Knees

�       Back Lying

�       Stomach lying

Also Worth Repeating: The Importance of Production Frequency in Therapy for Children with Apraxia of Speech

[Source:  Apraxia-Kids.org]

 

By Sharon Gretz, M.Ed.

 

The Research
The American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology recently published an article titled, "The Importance of Production Frequency in Therapy for Children with Apraxia of Speech (CAS)." The research was conducted by Denice Edeal and Christina Gildersleeve-Neumann from Portland State University. Their research question was to determine whether or not more practice of speech targets would lead to better performance by children with CAS within a speech therapy session and if more practice would lead to better "generalization" (increased performance on words that were not involved in the child's training).

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

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