February 28, 2014
Issue 9, Volume 7
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter.  Is it spring yet????
News Items:
  • On the Lighter Side... Therapist / Teacher Humor!
  • Effects of Platform Swing on Independent Work in Children with Autism
  • Polio-Like Illness Found in Several California Children
  • Identification of a Brain Region Essential for Social Memory Could Help Treat Autism, Etc.
  • Doctors Train to Spot Signs of ADHD in Children
  • New APA Autism Guidelines 'Reduce Diagnosis by More Than 30%'

PediaStaff News 

  • TSHA 2014 is HERE! And It's Big, Just Like Texas!
  • PediaStaff Therapy Placements of the Week: Let's Talk More Texas!
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Seasonal Activity of the Week: Green Eggs & Ham!
  • Therapy Activity of the Week: A Food Literacy Activity for the Picky Eater
  • Assessment Review: Social Language Development Tests (SLDT)
  • Book Review: When My Worries Get Too Big

Articles and Special Features 

  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Children with Brain Injury: Recovery and School
  • Sensory Corner: Tactile Defensiveness and other Tactile System Disorders
  • SLP Corner: Writing Great Therapy Goals - You Can (And Should) Do It!
  • Worth Repeating: A Parent's Pain
  • Also Worth Repeating: From Fish to Dogs - Selecting a Therapeutic Pet
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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On the Lighter Side...  Therapist / Teacher Humor!

It's a meme, folks!  


Check out this Meme on our Blog

Vestibular Stimulation in the News: Effects of Platform Swing on Independent Work in Children with Autism

[Source:  Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities via Your Therapy Source]


Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities published research of the effects of using a platform swing on independent work behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  The research was a pretest - posttest randomized design with 30 children with ASD.  All individuals in the 


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

Mystery Illness in the News:  Polio-Like Illness Found in Several California Children  

[Source:  CNN]


Doctors are looking for more information about a "polio-like syndrome" that has caused paralysis in a few children in California.


Neurologists have identified five patients who developed paralysis in one or more of their limbs between August 2012 and July 2013. All five children had been vaccinated against the poliovirus. Treatment did not seem to help the children regain their motor function.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Neurobiology Research in the News:  Identification of a Brain Region Essential for Social Memory Could Help Treat Autism, Etc. 

[Source:  Medical News Today]


Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have determined that a small region of the hippocampus known as CA2 is essential for social memory, the ability of an animal to recognize another of the same species. A better grasp of the function of CA2 could prove useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors, such as autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The findings, made in mice, were published today in the online edition of Nature.

Scientists have long understood that the hippocampus - a pair of seahorse-shaped structures in the 


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

ADHD in the News:  Doctors Train to Spot Signs of ADHD in Children 

[Source:  New York Times]


by Alan Schwarz


Jerry, 9 years old, dissolved into his Game Boy while his father described his attentional difficulties to the family pediatrician. The child began flitting around the room distractedly, ignoring the doctor's questions and squirming in his chair - but then he leapt up and yelled: "Freeze! What do you think is the problem here?"

Nine-year-old Jerry was in fact being played by Dr. Peter Jensen, one of the nation's most prominent child psychiatrists. On this Sunday in January in New York, Dr. Jensen was on a cross-country tour, teaching pediatricians and other medical providers how to properly 


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Autism in the News: New APA Autism Guidelines 'Reduce Diagnosis by More Than 30%  

[Source:  Medical News Today]


Last year, the American Psychiatric Association issued new guidelines for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. But new research from Columbia University School of Nursing in New York, NY, suggests that these guidelines could leave thousands of children who have developmental delays without autism diagnosis, meaning they will miss out on social services, educational support and medical benefits.


The study findings were recently published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff News:  TSHA 2014 is HERE! And It's Big, Just Like Texas!  

We are having a ball!   So many enthusiastic visitors and genuine Texas hospitality too!

Are you there?  Stop by!  We are at Booth # 437 and at this writing we still have Toobaloos and headsets left!

PediaStaff Therapy Placements of the Week:  Let's Talk More Texas!  

Congratulations to Bilingual Licensed Physical Therapist Monica S., and SLP Hannah S., on their new positions with one of PediaStaff's clinics in the greater Houston area!


Monica will serving children (many of them Spanish speaking), primarily aged 2-6 with motor skills, balance, coordination, strength and endurance.   She will also address sensory integration as well as developmental delays.  utilizing a variety of treatment techniques and equipment in a safe and fun environment in order to achieve age appropriate functional goals.


Hannah will help children integrate all aspects their speech and language development, including receptive and expressive language, pragmatic language, articulation, respiration and fluency.   With some clients she will work on cognitive components such as problem solving and reasoning.  Other types of treatment will provide include the development and training of alternative and augmentative communication, oral motor abilities, swallowing and feeding skills.


Best to both of you ladies!  Congratulations!

Seasonal Activity of the Week:  Green Eggs & Ham  

The Easter stuff is already out, so it should be easy to find plenty of green plastic eggs for this adorable activity.  We shared this on Instagram last week.   Some suggestions included:
  • Cut up students' target articulation words and put inside eggs
  • Clues for a treasure hunt.  Hide Seuss goodies (pencils, Seuss book of the day, etc)
  • Gross Motor Activities inside each egg
  • Rewards...open an egg at the end of every session or after good behavior
Read the Rest of this Post on our Blog

Therapy Activity of the Week:  A Food Literacy Activity for the Picky Eater  

[Source:  Therapy & Learning Services]  


Food should be fun and there is no better way to put this into action than building with food. Don't worry, I'm not suggesting complicated food art that looks like a professional has spent hours building. I'm talking about simple structures that children can build themselves or with very little help from a parent.

Kids should play with their food.


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

Assessment Review:  Social Language Development Tests (SLDT) 

[Source: Smart Speech Therapy LLC] 

I have been using Social Language Development Tests (SLDT) from Linguisystems since they were first published a number of years ago and I like them a great deal. For those of you unfamiliar with them - there are two versions of SLDT, elementary (for children 6-12 years of age) and adolescent (for children 12-18 years of age).  These are tests of social language competence, which assess such skills as taking on first person perspective, making correct inferences, negotiating conflicts with peers, being flexible in interpreting situations and supporting friends diplomatically (SLDT-E).


Read the Rest of this Assessment Review on Our Blog

Book Review:  When My Worries Get Too Big  

Review by: Connie Mistler Davidson via Amazon.com


[Source:  Amazon.com]


How many kids do you know with Attention Deficit Disorder who don't live with anxiety? I know very few. Anxiety and ADD go hand-in-hand for many children, especially in the classroom. The National Association on Mental Illness stated that, "According to a 2008 NIMH-supported study, over 30 percent of children living with ADHD also live with anxiety."


Anxiety in the school setting doesn't help the child with Attention Deficit Disorder. It makes them look unmotivated, since they are anxious about turning in a substandard assignment. Often, they don't turn in assignments and get into trouble. This can lead to absences at school or the child becoming defiant. Anxiety needs to be dealt with for the child to work effectively in school. Starting early can help, since the young child does not have years of anxious failure to work through.


Read the Rest of this Book Review on Our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Children with Brain Injury: Recovery and School

By: Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

An injury to a child can be an emotionally devastating event for families. Whether it is caused by a car crash, fall, sports injury or biking collision, many parents feel that have failed to protect their child from harm.


"Traumatic brain injury in childhood is the most prevalent cause of death and long term disability in children and affects all socioeconomic levels" (Bond Chapman, 2006).

How do children recover?

The recovery process for children with a brain injury is complex because the child's brain is still developing. A new view of brain injury recovery in children describes two phases.

Immediate recovery phase

This is the time from the injury up to about one year. During this phase, the child may receive emergency medical treatment as well as intensive hospital care and rehabilitation with dramatic improvements in cognitive, motor and social skills. Because of this rapid change, families often bring their child home with the expectation of a full or almost complete recovery (Bond Chapman, 2006).

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Sensory Corner: Tactile Defensiveness and other Tactile System Disorders

Editor's Note:  This article is written for the parents of children who have SID and related problems. We publish it here because we know that therapists like to give their client's caregivers as much information as possible.


By: Debbie Woodward


One of the most common sensory disorders is Tactile Defensiveness. With this condition, a child is over or "hyper"sensitive to different types of touch. Light touch is one of the most upsetting types of touch to a child with SI dysfunction. Depending on the intensity of their dysfunction, they may become anywhere from mildly annoyed to completely freaked out by having someone lightly touch them. A gentle kiss on the cheek may feel like they are having coarse sandpaper rubbed on their face. They also may dislike feeling sand, grass or dirt on their skin. Getting dressed may be a struggle as different clothing textures, tags and seams may cause them great discomfort.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Writing Great Therapy Goals - You Can (And Should) Do It!

by Natasha Haftel . CCC-SLP

When I first stepped into the shoes of a speech-language pathologist as a clinical fellow, I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, unfazed by any challenge - and I had no clue where to properly begin the care of any client and (as I later learned to be even more important) any family. Luckily for me, my first job landed me in a very supportive private practice, Crimson Center for Speech & 


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: A Parents Pain

By: Aviva Weiss MS, OTR/L

As professionals, we meet many moms and dads. We interact with their children and help them develop and acquire the skills necessary for life. We offer our insights, and make suggestions. As professionals, we care deeply about the children we treat, but at the end of the day we must move on. We go home to our own families and friends and live our lives.


As parents, we meet many professionals. They interact with our children, and together we try to help them develop and improve our children's skills. We listen to their insights and suggestions. As parents, we care the most deeply about our children and agonize over their pain. Our fear is the most overwhelming when we are confronted with a new or uncertain diagnosis. We do not move on as readily at the end of the day. We micro-analyze the words offered by the professionals who work with our children. Most of us worry. We wake up in the 

Also Worth Repeating: From Fish to Dogs - Selecting a Therapeutic Pet

[Source: Special-ism]


I know a lot of parents of children with various isms who refuse to get a pet because they're worried that their child will harm it or that it will take too much effort to care for a pet.  Unenlightened, they seem to feel that pets could be a bad thing.  Pets are one of the best forms of therapy and support that a child with isms can have - let me enlighten you. As a general rule, the more interactive the pet, the better. There's a bit of a scale per se - fish are the least


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

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