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August 3, 2012
Weekly Edition
Issue 24, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Happy Friday to all!  Here is our weekly newsletter offering for you.   

We would like to welcome Jenn Alcorn, CCC-SLP to our ranks as a guest blogger for PediaStaff.  
Great to have you, Jenn!

News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
Upcoming Events 

Articles and Special Features 

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





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Rare Pediatric Disease in the News:  Gene Discovery Set to Help With Mysterious Paralysis of Childhood

[Source:  Science Daily] 

 

Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is a very rare disorder that causes paralysis that freezes one side of the body and then the other in devastating bouts that arise at unpredictable intervals. Seizures, learning disabilities and difficulty walking are common among patients with this diagnosis.

 

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have now discovered that mutations in one gene cause the disease in the majority of patients with a diagnosis of AHC, and because of the root problem they discovered, a treatment may become possible.

 

Research on Social Norms in the News: When People Break The Rules, Toddlers Object

[Source: Medical News Today]

 

We all know that, for the most part, it's wrong to kill other people, it's inappropriate to wear jeans to bed, and we shouldn't ignore people when they are talking to us. We know these things because we're bonded to others through social norms - we tend to do things the same way people around us do them and, most importantly, the way in which they expect us to do them.

 

Social norms act as the glue that helps to govern social institutions and hold humans societies together, but how do we acquire these norms in the first place?


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog
ADHD Research in the News: Brain Development Delayed in ADHD, Study Shows

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

Is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) due to a delay in brain development or the result of complete deviation from typical development? In the current issue of Biological Psychiatry, Dr. Philip Shaw and colleagues present evidence for delay based on a study by the National Institutes of Health.

 

The cerebral cortex is the folded gray tissue that makes up the outermost portion of the brain, covering the brain's inner structures. This tissue has left and right hemispheres and is divided into lobes. Each lobe performs specific and vitally important functions, including attention, thought, language, and sensory processing.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Fitness in the News: If Parents Want To Increase Their Children's Activity, They Should Increase Their Own
Editor's Note:  File this study under 'O' for 'Obvious,' but we share it with you here as something to show parents and guardians concerned about their children's activity levels.

[Source:  Medical News Today]

 

Parents concerned about their children's slothful ways can do something about it, according to research at National Jewish Health. They can increase their own activity. In the July 2012 issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Kristen Holm, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health, and her colleagues report that, when parents increase their daily activity, as measured by a pedometer, their children increase theirs as well.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Early Childhood Education in the News: Report: Fewer Than Half of U.S. Children Attend Preschool

[Source:  Education Week via Reading Rockets]

 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count report is out and shows that 53 percent of U.S. children who were 3 and 4-year-olds did not participate in preschool in the three years spanning 2008-2010. While that means that fewer than half of our youngest learners were enrolled in a preschool program, that participation rate was an improvement over the previous three-year period, when 56 percent did not attend preschool, according to the report.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pet Therapy in the News:  First Strong Scientific Evidence of Benefits of Pet Therapy for Autism

[Source:  HealthDay via Yahoo News]

 

Introducing a pet into the home of a child with autismmay help that child develop improved social behaviors, new research finds.

 

The study, from French researchers, is the first strong scientific evidence that animals may help foster social skills in individuals with autism, but it also reinforces what clinicians have been hearing anecdotally for years.

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
NICU in the News: Brain Injury Patterns Predict Outcomes in Oxygen-Starved Infants

[Source:  News-Medical.net]

 

Patterns of brain injury in babies with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) predict survival and disability in late infancy, show study findings.

 

The researchers also found that children treated by inducing hypothermia shortly after birth are more likely to have a normal brain scan and have significantly fewer areas of brain infarction following treatment than those undergoing usual care.

 

Seetha Shankaran (Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA) and colleagues assessed links between initial brain injury, as measured by magnetic resonance imaging(MRI), and outcomes at 18-22 months in 136 children with HIE enrolled in a randomized study testing the efficacy of hypothermia treatment.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Child Psychology in the  News: How Childhood Trauma May Make the Brain Vulnerable to Addiction, Depression - Time Magazine
[Source: Time Magazine]
 
Childhood trauma has long been known to raise a child's odds of developing depression and addiction later on. Now, a small but intriguing new study links these risks to specific changes in the brain, finding that disruptions in certain neural networks are associated with increased chances of substance use disorders, depression or both in teens.
 
Researchers at the University of Texas studied 32 teens, 19 of whom had been maltreated in childhood but did not have a current psychiatric disorder. The researchers defined child trauma or maltreatment as 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Resource of the Week : One Place for Special Needs Back to School Guide

The kids will be back to school before we know it. Plan for your school year now with articles for parents, teacher resources, explaining a child's disability to teachers plus other resources like visual supports, social stories, school rules and more. Forward this link to special needs families as well as your colleagues support team.

 

Check out the One Place Back To School Guide Through a Link in our Blog

App ReviewBrainWorks

by:  Abby Brayton-Chung,  MS, OTR/L

 

BrainWorks is a new app developed for the iPad and iPhone by Sensational Brain was created to allow a child to take a sensory break by choosing activities appropriate for their current setting (home, school, community, desk) and for their current sensory system needs (Just Right, Slow & Sluggish, Fast & Stressed, Fast & Hyper).

 

Read the Rest of this App Review on our Blog

Back to School Resources of the Week: Free Back to School Resources from LessonPix
Its's Back to School Time.   Our friends at LessonPix have added a bunch of great 'back to school' freebies on their website that we wanted to recommend! 

Check out these Great Resources/Downloadables on our Blog
OT Resource of the Week: Consumer Tip Sheets from AOTA for Both HS and College Students with Autism
Thanks AOTA (twitter handle @AOTAInc) for tweeting about your new consumer tip sheets for young people with Autism!

 

Check out These Great Tip Sheets Through a Link on our Blog

Resource To Share with Kiddos: Did Phelps' ADHD Make Him the Greatest Olympian of All Time?
Editor's Note:  Here is a very cool article for your enjoyment and also perhaps to share with your older kiddos with ADHD.  Our kids with ADHD always think of their condition as a "problem." Why not use this article as an illustration of how it is merely a "difference" that may make them even better!

[Source;  SpecialEdPost]

He has acquired more Olympic medals than any other athlete in history. The other was knocked out of the Games after just 250 seconds. But Michael Phelps and Ashley McKenzie, the 23-year-old British No 1 judoka, have one thing in common: both have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as does another high-profile Olympian, British gymnast Louis Smith, who this week helped win the first British men's gymnastics team medal for a century.

 

Suddenly, a condition that is hugely stigmatized and still controversial, is unexpectedly in the spotlight. It raises several interesting questions. Does ADHD hinder or help sporting success? And can the Olympics offer a positive legacy for people suffering from it?

 

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

Upcoming Event: ICDL 2012 Annual Conference

ICDL 2012 Annual Conference;  November 16-18, 2012; Montclair, NJ

The Power of Affect: Developing Human Potential Through DIRFloortime, Self-Determination, and Mindsight

 

This year's program highlights human potential throughout the lifespan!


In addition to featured plenary sessions by Daniel Siegel, MD, Rebecca Shahmoon-Shanok, PhD, Gerard Costa, PhD, Morton Gernsbacher, PhD, and Ari Ne'eman, on Saturday and Sunday, we are pleased to announce exciting speakers for Friday's program -Claudia Gold, 

 

Read More / Register Through a Link on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Hurrieder We Go, the Behinder They Get

by Loren Shlaes, OTR/L

 

Reprinted with permission of the author as it appeared on the PediatricOT blog

 

The habitual use of strollers, car seats, carriages, playpens, and strap on baby carriers forces a child into the role of  passive observer instead of allowing him to be an active participant in his surroundings.  This interferes with learning, delays his neurological development, and negatively impacts language, balance, motor control, socialization skills, vision, and academic performance.

 

I truly believe I would have many less clients if people got rid of their strollers, carriages, playpens,

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: If You Call Me "Speech Teacher" One More Time

by:  Jenn Alcorn, CCC-SLP 

 

So what brought me to this post was a conversation I had on Twitter.  I'm not sure how it started, or even where I got involved (it's actually acceptable to butt in on a convo!) but it came down to SLPs being labeled, treated, and paid like a teacher.  Now.  Backspace.  I have the utmost respect for teachers...gen ed, special ed, music, art, I love you all.  My mom was a fabulous teacher and I am ever inspired by her.  I think teachers are amazing creatures and I could never never never never teach a class of 18 or 20 or 25 kids all day long.  Did I say never?  I really couldn't.  Teachers probably feel the same way about us....although I do get told pretty frequently "I should have been a speech path!".  I think they think I must play games all day.  Which I do.  But its more complicated than that, as you all know.  I digress....

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: Teaching Preschoolers to Use Scissors - Great Article on Parents.com!
Editor's Note:  We are especially excited about this week's OT Corner Article.   Anne Zachry, OTR/L of Pediatric Occupational Therapy Tips was asked to write the following article on teaching preschoolers to use scissors for Parents.com.   We were honored when she called us for input!   Congratulations to Anne on this great feature for such a premier website, and hooray to PediaStaff's own OT Clinical Coordinator, Sunita Murty-Gami for her excellent advice (which you can find in part 2 of the article)!

by Anne Zachry, OTR/L

Cutting with scissors requires the skill of hand separation, which is the ability to use the thumb, index, and middle fingers separately from the pinkie and ring fingers. This can bechallenging for a youngster with small hands. Although many 3- or 4-year-olds have the skills needed to snip and cut, scissor skills are not fully developed until around age 6. If your preschooler is beginning to show an interest in using scissors, start exercising her fine motor skills by following these strategies.    

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Successful Tools to Enhance Emotional Intelligence
By Lori Ciccarelli


Experts in the field of leadership believe that truly effective leaders possess a high level of emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) focusing on self and relationship management. It's about social competence. Raising a child with autism has assisted with elevating my own emotional intelligence.

 

The 5 Components of  EQDr. Daniel Goleman, psychologist, brought EQ to the mainstream public in 1995. His research concluded that EQ is made up of five components:


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - Fighting with Spanglish

by Jake Downs

 

Recently, my son Alex and I were visiting his grandparents when I noticed something that I had perhaps taken for granted before. You see, I am a first-generation Hispanic-American, and my son, while his Spanish isn't perfect, does speak it well enough to converse with his Cuban grandparents with no problems. I had always taken pride in that my wife and raised our kids to speak Spanish, even though they were fully immersed in American culture and had mostly English-speaking friends.

 

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