September 19, 2014
Issue 38, Volume 7
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter offering!
News Items:
  • Babies Born in Winter Start Crawling Earlier Than Those Born in Summer
  • Autism, Attention Deficit Marked by Opposing Brain Changes
  • Report: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Effective for Autism
  • Early Intervention Can Curb Aggression in Kids
  • Postural Control in Very Preterm Children
  • Brain's White Matter Highly Predictive of Reading Acquisition
PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff Job of the Week: Part-Time, Autism Specific SLP, North Texas
  • Ask PediaStaff: I Have Filled out My Application With PediaStaff, What Happens Next?
  • PediaStaff Placement of the Week:  Early Intervention PT - Dallas Metro
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • SLP Activity of the Week:  Talk Like a Pirate Freebie
  • Instagram Post of the Week:  DIY Ice Packs
  • Video Resource of the Week: What's Going On Inside A Dyslexic Student's Brain?
  • Sensory Activity of the Week: Sweet Potato Play Dough 

Articles and Special Features 

  • School Psychology Corner: Helping Immigrant Children in Schools
  • SLP Corner: Word-Finding Strategies For Kids in Speech Therapy
  • Special Education Corner: Teacher Evaluation, Should SPED Teachers be Held to a Different Standard?
  • School Nurse Corner: Communicating About Head Lice
  • Worth Repeating:  A 'Marshmallow Test' for the Digital Age
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Babies Born in Winter Crawl Earlier Than Those Born in Summer

[Source: Science Daily]

The season of a baby's birth influences its motor development during its first year of life, a new study by University of Haifa researcher's shows. Babies born in the winter (between December and May) start crawling earlier compared to babies born in the summer (June-November).

The research was conducted by Dr. Osnat Atun-Einy of the University's Department of Physical Therapy and Dr. Dina Cohen, Moran Samuel and Prof. Anat Scher of the Department of Counseling and Human Development. 47 healthy babies with typical development patterns where divided them into two groups. The first group comprised "summer-fall" babies, 16 babies born from June to November, and the second, "winter-spring" babies, 31 babies born from December to May. The study consisted of motor observations in the babies' homes when there were seven months old, and a follow-up session when they began to crawl. Parents were asked to record the stages in their babies' development before and between the observations.


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

Autism, Attention Deficit Marked by Opposing Brain Changes

[Source:  Simons Foundation]


Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have much in common: Children with either disorder are often inattentive or hyperactive, and many are diagnosed with both disorders.  The two disorders also share at least some genetic risk factors.  

A new study published 13 August in Human Brain Mapping suggests that in the brain, however, autism and ADHD may result from distinct, even opposite patterns of activity.   The study looks in particular at the 'rich club network, '  a dense hub of neural connections that integrates information from different brain regions.


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

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Effective for Autism  

[Source:  Best Practice]

It is well established that early intervention is a critical determinant in the course and outcome of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) is considered a central feature of intervention programming for children with autism. EIBI programs are among the most and best researched of the psychoeducational interventions.

A new comparative effectiveness review prepared for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) finds that there is substantially more evidence for behavior therapy in treating autism than just a few years ago. The report, Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Behavioral Interventions Update, is based on research conducted by the Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center and brings practitioners up to date about the current state of evidence related to behavioral interventions.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Early Intervention Can Curb Aggression in Kids 

[Source: Psych Central]

Timely new research discovers aggressive children are less likely to become violent criminals or psychiatrically troubled adults if they receive early school and home-based interventions.

The Fast-Track Project study, by researchers at Duke, Pennsylvania State, Vanderbilt universities and the University of Washington, began in 1991 with the screening of nearly 10,000 five year-old children in Durham, Nashville, Seattle, and rural Pennsylvania for aggressive behavior problems.

Nearly 900 children were deemed at high risk, and of those, half were randomly assigned to receive the Fast Track intervention, while the other half were assigned to a control group.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Postural Control in Very Preterm Children

[Source:  Your Therapy Source]

Recent research assessed the postural control of 90 very preterm (VPT) children (<30 weeks gestation) and 36 full term children (>37 weeks gestation) at four years old. Using a Wii Balance Board, various tasks were assessed including static two-limbed standing with eyes open, eyes closed, eyes open on a foam mat, eyes closed on a foam mat, single leg standing on each limb and a cognitive dual task (involved showing the participants a series of pictures that appeared on screen at 2-second intervals). 

Read the Rest of this Abstract Through a Link our Blog

Brain's White Matter Highly Predictive of Reading Acquisition

[Source:  Medical News Today]


UC San Francisco researchers have used brain scans to predict how young children learn to read, giving clinicians a possible tool to spot children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties before they experience reading challenges.

In the United States, children usually learn to read for the first time in kindergarten and become proficient readers by third grade, according to the authors. In the study, researchers examined brain scans of 38 kindergarteners as they were learning to read formally at school and tracked their white matter development until third grade. The brain's white matter is essential for perceiving, thinking and learning.

The researchers found that the developmental course of the children's white matter volume predicted the kindergarteners' abilities to read.


Read the Rest of this Abstract Through a Link our Blog

Job of the Week:  Part-Time, Autism Specific SLP, North Texas 

Our client provides autism-specific outpatient therapy for children and adults in North Texas. They provide a warm and accepting therapeutic environment which will lead their patients toward effective language, communication, social skills and sensory integration.


They seek a part time Speech-Language Pathologist with their C's and some experience working with children, adolescence and/or adults on the spectrum. Applicant should have a comfort level when dealing with patients that have irregular behaviors. Clinic provides occupational and physical therapy and plans to add ABA therapy soon. This is one of several sites across Texas specifically geared to the multitude of children with some form of autism. If you're interested in working with this population in a rewarding and supportive environment, then apply today to find out more. This position could become a full time opening in a few short 


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Ask PediaStaff: I've Filled out My Application, What Happens Next?  

After you have completed your screening questionnaire/interview, your profile and resume will be sent to the appropriate PediaStaff Staffing Consultant(s) for your geographic area. You will receive a notification from the PediaStaff career center confirming your application has been received as well the contact information for your assigned staffing representative.

Please note that as much as we would like to place everyone who comes to us for assistance, market factors don't always make that possible. PediaStaff does pledge however to get with you as soon as possible even if we don't think we will be able to help you.

Placement of the Week: Early Intervention PT

Congratulations to Wendy B., LPT on her full time position with one of PediaStaff's Early Intervention clients in the DFW Metro area!


Wendy will be serving young children throughout Northwest Dallas in their natural environments in this salaried, direct hire position.

Great Job, Wendy!

SLP Activity of the Week: Talk Like a Pirate Day Freebie  

[Source:  Speechie Freebies and Activity Tailor blogs]

Ahoy, me Hearties!  "Talk Like a Pirate Day" is right around the corner (9/19) and a true pirate always has a trusty parrot on his shoulder.  Here's a chance to catch one for yourself!

You will need:

  • A copy of the worksheet (print b&w or in color) for each student.
  • A die.
 Read More and Download this Great Freebie From a Link on our Blog

Attn: School Nurses!  Instagram Post of the Week - DIY Ice Packs  

Here is a great idea for School Nurses with a Limited Budget!

Make disposable ice packs with ziplock freezer bags and Dawn dish soap.   The Dawn doesn't freeze completely and makes a gel like the soft type you can buy.  


Please note:  These are *just* as cold as any other ice packs, so make sure you give good instruction and place a towel of some type between the ice pack and the child's skin. 


Follow Us on Instagram Through a Link on Our Blog

Video:  What's Going on Inside A Dyslexic Student's Brain?  

[Source:  Ted-Ed via Mind Shift]

There's no such thing as a "normal brain." In fact, there's a lot of diversity in how different brains process information - a challenge for educators tasked with teaching a diverse group of learners. Dyslexia is a common variation that affects how kids read, but what's really going inside the brain of someone affected by it? Kelli Sandman-Hurley's Ted-Ed video explains


Watch This Video Through a Link on our Blog

Sensory Activity of the Week:  Sweet Potato Play Dough  

This Summer, I was running a group with kids that avoid food, so we played with all kinds of foods to get some pleasant associations with the smells and tastes. I wanted to make every day food into a fun activity, and one of the things we did was make play dough out of sweet potatoes.


Get the Recipe Through a Link on our Blog

School Psychology Corner: Helping Immigrant Children in Schools

Thank you to the National Association of School Psychologists for recommending this article:


Since the beginning of the year, nearly 40,000 Central American minors detained after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border have been reunited with their parents or relatives in the U.S. About 6,000 of them are in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Hundreds will be attending local schools while they wait for their immigration cases to conclude, and most area school systems are gearing up to address the educational and emotional needs of these often traumatized kids. 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Word-Finding Strategies For Kids in Speech Therapy

by Sherry Artemenko, CCC-SLP


I find that one of the areas lacking in practical therapy ideas for SLP's is word-finding. I usually have at least one child on my caseload with word-finding difficulties so I am always looking for new and effective ideas.

I blogged about spending some time this summer with Jan Schwanke who has presented at ASHA on word-finding and is full of great, practical therapy ideas to help kids with word-retrieval. She spends a lot of time teaching her kids strategies to retrieve words and has some clever ways to remember what they are:


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SpEd Corner:  Should SPED Teachers be Held to Different Standards?

[Source:  Teaching Children with Special Needs]

by Neva Fenno, M.S.Ed. MLIS

Last time we talked about summative assessment, the cumulative, usually annual, measures of student achievement. The annual part of the bargain seems to be changing, there may now be semi-annual online exams in some states, but the focus of this blog has been student evaluation over the past few weeks.

A larger issue, still evolving at the state and district levels, is teacher evaluation. The climate of paranoia over how we will all be evaluated as teachers has risen to a fever pitch. The main scary point has been the drive by education reformers to tie teacher evaluations to student achievement test scores. We all know the picture has only started to become clear for the assessment of special education teachers and students. Some of the biggest questions like "how can we hold special education students to the same standards as 'regular'" kids are being asked and debated nationally.

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

School Nurse Corner: Communicating About Head Lice


Head lice are a common community problem. An estimated 6 to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States, most commonly among children ages 3 to 11.1
Given these numbers, there is a chance that, as a school nurse, families facing a head lice infestation may turn to you as a trusted resource for information and support. Here are some questions and concerns that may come up, and information to help respond to parents, teachers and administrators.


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

Worth Repeating: A 'Marshmallow Test' for the Digital Age

[Source:  Mind Shift]

The "marshmallow test" invented by Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel and colleagues in the 1960s is famously known as a measure of willpower. The experiment gave preschoolers the option of either eating one mini-marshmallow right away or waiting 15 minutes to get two mini-marshmallows.

Decades later, those who were better at delaying gratification, and resisted immediately snarfing the treat, ended up with stronger SAT scores, higher educational achievement and greater self-esteem and capacity to cope with stress in adulthood.


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