January 4, 2013
Weekly Edition 
Issue 1, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Happy New Year! 

We hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season.   We are refreshed and excited about the new year and hope you are too!

Quick correction:  Last week I made a "cut and paste" error and Lisa Geary was not given appropriate byline credit in the newsletter link to our blog for her super SLP Corner post - /f�bjuləs fənɛtɪks/  that highlighted some her graduate students' finest work.  If you didn't get a chance to see, it I recommend you check it out!  Apologies to Lisa. 

Please enjoy our first newsletter offering of the year!
 
News Items:
  • Language Learning Begins in Utero, Study Finds; Newborn Memories of Oohs and Ahs Heard in the Womb
  • Impact of ADHD Symptoms on Children with ASD
  • Research on Muscle Weakness in Down Syndrome
  • Excessive Protein Synthesis Linked To Autistic-Like Behaviors
  • New Information On Autism and Genetics
  • University of Rochester Uses Sesame Street to Study Children's Brains
  • Second Impact Syndrome: A Devastating Injury To The Young Brain
  • Article on the Atlantic.com: 'How My Autistic Son Got Lost in the Public School System'
  • Feel Good Story of the Week: Boy with Dyslexia Writes Book to Understand his Disability
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • SLP Resource of the Week: Working Speech & Language into Bedtime Routine
  • Free Book:  Redefining Stuttering by John Harrison 
  • App Review of the Week:  First-Then Visual Schedule 

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner: Weighted Blankets - The Solution to a Good Night's Sleep?
  • PT: Corner: Looking at the Differences between Exercise and Function in Treatment 
  • SLP Corner: Is Technology Damaging our Children's Speech & Language Skills?
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  School Based Therapy Resolutions  
  • Worth Repeating: Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Schools Embrace Graphic Novels as Learning Tool
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





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Lanuage Development in the News: Language Learning Begins in Utero, Study Finds; Newborn Memories of Oohs and Ahs Heard in the Womb  

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

Newborns are much more attuned to the sounds of their native language than first thought. In fact, these linguistic whizzes can up pick on distinctive sounds of their mother tongue while in utero, a new study has concluded.

 

Research led by Christine Moon, a professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University, shows that infants, only hours old showed marked interest for the vowels of a language that was not their mother tongue.

 

"We have known for over 30 years that we begin learning prenatally about voices by listening to the sound of our mother talking," Moon said. "This is the first study that shows we learn about the particular speech sounds of our mother's language before we are born."

 

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

ADHD in the News:  Impact of ADHD Symptoms on Children with ASD

[Source:  Best Practice Autism

One of the most controversial comorbidities in children with ASD is the co-occurrence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Comorbidity refers to the presence of more than one diagnosis occurring in an individual at the same time. Although there continues to a debate about ADHD comorbidity in ASD, research, practice and theoretical models suggest that comorbidity between these disorders is relevant and occurs frequently. For example, a study of comorbid psychiatric disorders in children with ASD found that approximately 71% of cases had a least one comorbid psychiatric disorder, with the most common comorbidities being social anxiety (29%), ADHD (28%), and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (28%). Although the current DSM-IV-TR hierarchical rules prohibit the

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

Down Syndrome Research in the News:  Research on Muscle Weakness in Down Syndrome

[Source: Your Therapy Source]

A recent research study using a mouse model was published in the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology comparing the soleus muscle in mice with Down syndrome and mice without Down syndrome.

 

The results indicated that there was not a significant difference between the two groups of mice with regards to the force production of the muscle, muscle fatigue and muscle fibers.  There was not a clear indication of mitochondrial limitation between the two groups either.

 

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

Autism Research in the News: Excessive Protein Synthesis Linked To Autistic-Like Behaviors

[Source: Medical News Today]

 

Autistic-like behaviors can be partially remedied by normalizing excessive levels of protein synthesis in the brain, a team of researchers has found in a study of laboratory mice. The findings, which appear in the latest issue of Nature, provide a pathway to the creation of pharmaceuticals aimed at treating autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that are associated with diminished social interaction skills, impaired communication ability, and repetitive behaviors.

 

"The creation of a drug to address ASD will be difficult, but these findings offer a potential route to get there," said Eric Klann, a professor at NYU's Center for Neural Science and the study's senior author. "We have not only confirmed a common link for several such disorders, but also have raised the exciting possibility that the behavioral afflictions of those individuals with ASD can be addressed."

 

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

Autism in the News:  New Information On Autism and Genetics

[Source: Science Daily.com]

 

Research out of the George Washington University (GW), published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals another piece of the puzzle in a genetic developmental disorder that causes behavioral diseases such as autism. Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and physiology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and director of the GW Institute for Neuroscience, along with post-doctoral fellow Daniel Meechan, Ph.D. and Thomas Maynard, Ph.D., associate research professor of pharmacology and physiology at GW SMHS, authored the study titled "Cxcr4 regulation of interneuron migration is disrupted in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome."

 

 Read this Article Through a Link on our Blog

Pediatric Brain Research in the News:  University of Rochester Uses Sesame Street to Study Children's Brains   

[Source:  WHEC.com]

 

Call it your brain on Sesame Street. Researchers at the University of Rochester are using the popular show to learn more about how the brain develops.

 

University of Rochester researchers are calling their findings a major breakthrough . Researchers say this study could one day help them diagnose and treat learning disabilities and a host of other ailments.

The findings of this study were just released tonight. Over the past three years experts at the University of Rochester had 27 children and 20 adults watch Sesame Street while undergoing a functional MRI scan.

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Pediatric TBI in the News:  Second Impact Syndrome: A Devastating Injury To The Young Brain  

[Source: Medical News Today, ABC News]

 

Physicians at Indiana University School of Medicine and the Northwest Radiology Network (Indianapolis, Indiana) report the case of a 17-year-old high school football player with second impact syndrome (SIS). A rare and devastating traumatic brain injury, SIS occurs when a person, most often a teenager, sustains a second head injury before recovery from an earlier head injury is complete. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case in which imaging studies were performed after both injuries, adding new knowledge of the event. Findings in this case are reported and discussed in "Second impact syndrome in football: new imaging and insights into a rare and devastating condition.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Essay on Autism in Public Schools:  Article on the Atlantic.com: 'How My Autistic Son Got Lost in the Public School System'  

[Source:  Atlantic.com]

by Amy Mackin

 

The waiting room was loud and chaotic. Toddlers were stacking blocks, then squealing with excitement as they knocked them over and watched them fall. Baby toys were chiming and buzzing. A cartoon was blaring on the television mounted above us.

 

My son Henry (not his real name) was not playing with the other children. He was nestled in my lap, quietly leafing through a picture book. My winter coat partially enshrouded him from the bedlam encircling us.

 

When we were finally called in, our pediatrician examined Henry physically and declared him a healthy 15-month-old. Then she began to ask me a lot of questions about his behavior.

"What words does he say?" She asked.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Feel Good Story of the Week:  Boy with Dyslexia Writes Book to Understand his Disability   

Editor's Note:  From time to time, we receive an email that it "takes too many clicks" to read an article we are sharing on our blog/newsletter.   This article is one example of one of those times when we must add a little extra work to your enjoyment of this story, so I thought it would be timely to explain why this must occasionally be.   The Southland Times of New Zealand, published this local story that was picked up by Special Ed Post.   Since PediaStaff became aware of it "but for" Special Ed Post's great reach, it is only right that our blog link to the Special Ed Post article so that they might receive the rightful web traffic they are due before passing you on further to the local news piece. 

 

[Source:  the Southland Times, via Special Ed Post.com]

 

by Gwyneth Hyndman 


Albert Einstein. Walt Disney. Winston Churchill.   These are just a few famous people rumored to have had dyslexia - and now Invercargill pupil Xavier Thompson can add his name to that list, since the release of his first book How Dyslexics Think.   

 

Published by Craigs Design and Print in Invercargill last month, the partly autobiographical book has been a popular item at St Joseph's School, where Xavier is a student, and is now for sale at the Te Hikoi Museum in Riverton during the holidays.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

SLP Resource of the Week:  Working Speech & Language into Bedtime Routine    

Editor's Note:  Here is a great post on a blog we've just discovered, Speech and Language Kids.  Definitely something worth sharing!

If you're like most parents of children with speech and language delays, you would probably love to work on your child's communication skills more but don't have the time.  Here are some fun ways to work speech and language skills into the bedtime routine you do every day.

 

Bath Time: Labeling objects: Take time while giving your child a bath to label what is in the bathtub

 

Read the Rest of this Tips Though a Link on our Blog 

Free Book:  Redefining Stuttering by John Harrison (2011 Edition)    

John Harrison is a recovered person who stutters who lived with the problem for roughly 30 years. He s also a 30-year member of the NSA and one of the first people to join the organization.

 

In the mid-80s, John came up with a new model, or paradigm, for stuttering that was inclusive enough to answer all his questions. He called this model the Stuttering Hexagon, and this book is a distillation of everything that John found out. This book is a fascinating presentation of a new way to look at stuttering. The book explores many different facets of stuttering. You'll find dozens of stories and articles including many ahah! moments written by and about people who developed significant insights into themselves and their speech.

 

 Download this Book Free Through a Link our Blog

App Review of the Week:  First-Then Visual Schedule 

[Source:  Autism Epicenter]

The First Then Visual Schedule was the very first app I purchased for my son, who has autism. And it changed our lives. (Results may or may not be typical, but that hardly matters since kids with autism aren't typical.)

 

We had been having problems getting our boy to eat, take a bath, etc. And then I created a visual schedule on this app that illustrated the steps of his night time routine. That includes tubby time, dinner time, video game time, and bed time. He was a happy "go with the flow" kid in no time. First Then helped my son to understand that if he cooperated and did what we wanted he could play Need 4 Speed or Mad Skills Motocross as a reward for that good behavior.


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

OT Corner: Weighted Blankets - The Solution to a Good Night's Sleep?    

by Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L

Have you ever felt a sense of relaxation when someone gives you a big hug? Sleeping under a weighted blanket is like getting a big, warm hug all night long. Weighted blankets provide deep pressure/proprioceptive input to an individual's joints, muscles, and bones. In many cases, the input is calming and leads to improved sleep. Weighted blankets have been used successfully with individuals who have sensory processing disorders.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

PT Corner: Looking at the Differences between Exercise and Function in Treatment     

by Natan Gendelman, PT

As we've mentioned before, cerebral palsy is a complex disorder that comes to affect not only a child's muscles, but his entire body and its ability to function. I often emphasize how the trunk is the king of the body, and that is because the tone of the limbs will be influenced by the trunk. When we're dealing with a child that has cerebral palsy, his trunk may become stiff (hyper tone), which then moves on to affect other areas such as his arms and legs. Therefore, the condition of the trunk has to be addressed first, and the extremities (such as the arms and legs) second.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Is Technology Damaging our Children's Speech & Language Skills?

by Katie Yeh, M.S. CCC-SLP,  Playing With Words 365

 

Recently a fellow SLP shared an article from the UK entitled Gadgets blamed for 70 per cent leap in child speech problems in just six years. It got a small dialogue started when I shared it on my Facebook page, with most commenters agreeing with the article.

What do you think?

Let me begin by being honest with you all: We own an iPad. And two iPhones, a MacBook Pro, a couple flat screens, a Blue ray player, and many DVDs. I am the first to admit that I spend too much time on the computer (but then again, at this time I am also using the computer to work so it is part of the job) and I love playing on Facebook on my phone.

 

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

Pediatric Therapy Corner: School Based Therapy Resolutions

by Margaret Rice, PT

Since I posted these last year and certainly did not accomplish them all I though it was worth repeating below for 2013.  As I reflect on 2012 some goals were easier to reach than others - as for myself I was able to accomplish #3, #5, #6 and #7.  I definitely need to work on taking the time to observe, #2.  I frequently rush to get to the "meat and potatoes" of a treatment session rather than slowing down and fine tuning my observation skills (this is a bad habit).  So obviously I am not great about being patient, #4 - I tend to jam pack therapy sessions with too many activities.  I really need to slow down and let children problem solve more rather than rush along to the next activity.  I am getting better at this.

 

Below are the goals I posted last year - How about setting some basic goals yourself to accomplish in 2013. Here are a few suggestions:

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: New York Times Article on Evolution and Exercise

Editor's Note: Here is some "grist for the mill." Thanks again to Loren Shlaes of the PediatricOT Blog for recommending this article in the New York Times

 

by Gretchen Reynolds

 

Anyone whose resolve to exercise in 2013 is a bit shaky might want to consider an emerging scientific view of human evolution. It suggests that we are clever today in part because a million years ago, we could outrun and outwalk most other mammals over long distances. Our brains were shaped and sharpened by movement, the idea goes, and we continue to require regular physical activity in order for our brains to function optimally.

 

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

Also Worth Repeating: Schools Embrace Graphic Novels as Learning Tool

[Source:  RYOT.org via Reading Rockets]

By Diane Rado

 

In honors English class at Alan B. Shepard High School, sophomores are analyzing Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" with the help of another book filled with drawings and dialogue that appears in bubbles above characters' heads.

 

"Capote in Kansas" is what generations of kids would recognize as a comic book, though it has a fancier name - a graphic novel.

 

That honors students at the Palos Heights, Ill., high school are using it illustrates how far the controversial comic-strip novels have come in gaining acceptance in the school curriculum, educators say.   

 

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

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