November 1, 2013
Issue 37, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy November!

It's November already.  That means that ASHA 2013 is just around the corner, and Thanksgiving is around the corner after that!    

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter offering!
News Items:
  • Next-Gen Sequencing Identifies Genes Associated With Speech Disorder
  • Students May Need a Break From School After Concussion
  • Effect of Touch on Trunk Sway
  • CASANA Accepting Applications for 2014 Intensive Training Institute on Apraxia
  • On the Lighter Side: Halloween Edition
  • Landmark Study Asserts That ADHD Cause Unlikely to be Dopamine Dysfunction
PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff Therapist Placement of the Week: Early Intervention OT in SoCal
  • PediaStaff to Exhibit and Mentor Students at ASHA Convention 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Product Review: Weavable Toys Challenge Visual-Motor and Visual-Perceptual Skills
  • Word Feast for Figurative Language: A Review
  • The Ghouls Are Gone.  It's Time to Talk Turkey - Thanksgiving "My Therapy Share"

Articles and Special Features 

  • SLP Corner: Fokes Sentence Builder-like iPad Apps for Writing
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Therapy Day
  • OT Corner: How Laughter Can Be Good Medicine for OTs and Their Patients
  • Worth Repeating: "A Different Voice": Explaining my Child with Down syndrome to Her Sibling
  • Also Worth Repeating: Helping Your Child Produce the /g/ Sound at Home
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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CAS in the News:  Next-Gen Sequencing Identifies Genes Associated With Speech Disorder

[Source:  Science Daily]


 A collaborative team of researchers has used next generation sequencing to identify clinically relevant genetic variants associated with a rare pediatric speech disorder. The findings are published in the September 16, 2013 issue of the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.


Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a rare, severe speech disorder that in some patients also affects cognitive, language, and learning processes.


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

TBI in the News: Students May Need a Break From School After Concussion

[Source: Medical News Today]


A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that student athletes who have suffered concussion following head injury may need to take a break from academic learning.

In a report released at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, FL, the authors say that children and adolescents with concussion may need more time to adjust to learning following injury, and that returning to academics could "worsen" concussion 


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

Trunk Sway in the News:  Effect of Touch on Trunk Sway  


[Source: Gait and Posture via Your Therapy Source]


Gait and Posture published some intriguing research on the effects of touch and trunk sway in a seated position.  There were 13 healthy, adult subjects who participated in the study.  Each participant performed a total of 12 trials of 60-seconds duration in a randomized order, combining the experimental conditions of no-touch, hand-touch (right index finger touching an object) or back-touch (maintaining an object touching the back at mid level T10) with no sensory perturbation, paraspinal muscle vibration or galvanic vestibular stimulation - GVS (sending of electrical messages to a nerve in the ear that controls 


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Educational Opportunity Available:  CASANA Accepting Applications for 2014 Intensive Training Institute on Apraxia

The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) is accepting applications for its 2014 Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) Intensive Training Institute to be held July 30, 2014 - August 3, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Duquesne University's Department of Speech-Language Pathology.  This intensive training experience is intended to provide North American-based speech-language pathologists, who already have significant experience with CAS, an opportunity to become "master" clinicians who can serve as local/regional experts and potential mentors for other clinicians. 


Read More About this Excellent Educational Opportunity Through a Link our Blog

On the Lighter Side:  Halloween Edition 

Thanks, Danielle at Sublime Speech for creating this hilarious e-card.   You have made a lot of people chuckle today.  Your creation on our Instagram account has 235 likes so far!


Enjoy this SLP Chuckle on our Blog

ADHD Research in the News:  Landmark Study Asserts That ADHD Cause Unlikely to be Dopamine Dysfunction  

[Source: Medical News Today]


A new study by the University of Cambridge in the UK questions the widely held view that dysfunction in dopamine - a chemical that controls the brain's reward and pleasure centers - is the main cause of ADHD, a condition characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.


Writing in the latest issue of the journal Brain, the researchers, from the University's Medical Research Council (MRC)/Wellcome Trust Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI), suggest instead that the main cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is to be found in structural 


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  Early Intervention OT in SoCal  

Congratulations to Yeraz M., OTR/L on her full-time, direct hire position with one of PediaStaff's Southern California clients - a provider of home-based Early Intervention services.

This is a full time, salaried position with full medical benefits.  Benefits include medical, dental and vision insurance.


Additional opportunities are available here for pediatric therapy clinicians with with a heart for kids and at least one year serving the birth to three population. Contact PediaStaff today to learn more!

PediaStaff in the News:  PediaStaff to Exhibit and Mentor Students at ASHA Convention  

[Source: PR Web]

In addition to presenting career opportunities to speech-language pathologists, the staffing company will discuss interviewing skills with students in the NSSHLA Demo Lounge. Representatives from Top Echelon Contracting will also be on hand to answer therapists' questions about contract assignments.

PediaStaff, a nationwide niche-oriented staffing company that focuses on the placement of pediatric and school-based clinicians, will once again be exhibiting at the annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention. This year's event will be held from November 14-16 in Chicago.


Read the Rest of This Article our Blog

Product Review:  Weavable Toys Challenge Visual-Motor and Visual-Perceptual Skills  

Review by:  Anne Zachry, OTR/L


Designed by Barbara Smith, occupational therapist, these weavable toys are fun and a great activity to work on dexterity, bilateral skills, and eye hand coordination! Your child can tap into his creativity by designing his own pattern, or you can make a pattern for him to imitate. This improves concentration and is wonderful for working on sequencing and visual perceptual skills. The set comes in a variety of shapes and colors, which makes them great for matching, color, shape and size recognition and naming. Your child can also improve her ability to follow directions and understand positional concepts


Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog

Product Review:  Word Feast for Figurative Language - Middle School  

Editor's Note:  From time to time,  when we are browsing the therapy discussion groups online, a clinician will mention a book or some other product they that recently purchased for their classroom or clinic.   Sometimes, if they are really raving about it, we'll ask the therapist if they might like to review it in writing for our blog, so that others can learn about the product.  This is one of those reviews.    


by Amy Minor, SLP


I recently purchased an awesome product from Linguisystems - Word Feast for Figurative Language - Middle School:  Finally there is something out there that is higher level and made for secondary students.  We need more items like this! ( If any large companies are out there reading this - hear our plea!)

Read the Rest of this Product Review on Our Blog

New "My Therapy Share":  It's Time to Talk Turkey - Thanksgiving My Therapy Share  

Thanks for making the 'Halloween - My Therapy Share' on Instagram very successful.  We had over 150 photos submitted -from therapists just like you out in the trenches - of a whole lot of excellent Halloween themed ideas for therapy.   Since Instagram tends to be a "here and now" type platform, we cross posted most of them to Pinterest as well.   You can see them on this board here!    

We are also in the process of posting them all to our main Halloween Themed Therapy Activities/Treats Board as well so they can be part of our "permanent collection" -as it were - of Halloween themed therapy ideas and treats. 

The last of your little ghouls are leaving your classrooms, but don't despair, because more favorite holidays are around the corner!


Let's start talking turkey, and share with everyone your favorite ideas to incorporate a Thanksgiving theme into your speech-language, OT, and PT lessons.

Read the Rest of this Article on Our Blog

SLP Corner: Fokes Sentence Builder-like iPad Apps for Writing

by Ryan Knoblauch


Do you remember the Fokes Sentence Builder?  Okay, I'm not THAT old, but we did have one buried in our clinic's closet in college.  The box didn't look fancy and when you opened it up it was equally unimpressive.  If you took the time, however, to actually read the book and figure out how the little boxes worked, it was a fantastic tool for sentence writing.  Fast forward 10 or so years (okay, I am starting to get older), as I was cleaning out another closet, low and behold, what did I find?  


The Fokes Sentence Builder.  Its colorful boxes and sentence markers were all intact.  I hit the SLP jackpot!  Okay, so some of us get a little bit excited.  These things are hard to come by.  I digress.   So, what's the Fokes Sentence Builder?  The Fokes Sentence Builder is a big box with six smaller boxes inside with hundreds of picture (and some words) cards inside that.  Joann Foke's developed a systematic approach to teaching students how to construct sentences for readers and non-readers.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Therapy Day

Editor's Note:   Erik Raj wrote this excellent blog post for his SLP readers.  I think it applies to ALL our therapy clinician friends out there!    Therefore, I have taken the liberty to replace the word 'SLP' with "pediatric therapist" for the PediaStaff version of this post.   Thanks, Erik for your inspiring words!


by Erik Raj, MS. CCC-SLP


I don't think there's a single person alive who could honestly say that they've never experienced a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. As practicing pediatric therapists, we know that some days are incredible, everything goes just as planned and the skies are sunny and crystal clear. But then, other days are not as picture perfect. I want you to know that I feel your pain and it's my hope that these digital words that I've typed bring you a bit of comfort because you deserve it, friend.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

OT Corner: How Laughter Can Be Good Medicine for OTs and Their Patients

Guest Post by Dr. Kurt Hubbard, OTR


You've heard that old adage: Laughter is the best medicine, right? Well, as an occupational therapist or assistant, there are plenty of opportunities to inject a little levity into your regular routine with patients.


In fact, there's scientific proof in the occupational therapy community that laughter can be beneficial to one's health.


A 2005 study by researchers at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine showed for the first time that laughter is linked to the expansion (dilation) of healthy functioning blood vessels, which helps to increase blood flow in the body.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: "A Different Voice": Explaining my Child with Down syndrome to Her Sibling

Editor's Note:  What a beautiful article by guest writer Hallie Levine Sklar, on Love That Max 


by  Hallie Levine Sklar 


About a month ago, right before bedtime, my four-year-old son Teddy crawled into my lap, wrapped his arms around me and said, "Mommy, why does Jo Jo talk in a different voice?"

"What do you mean, Teddy Bear?" I asked, smoothing back his bangs from his forehead, but of course I knew. Jo Jo is Teddy's older sister. She's five, with huge hazel eyes and a sensational mane of ash blonde hair. She also has Down syndrome.

Also Worth Repeating: Helping Your Child Produce the /g/ Sound at Home

[Source:  North Shore Pediatric Therapy]


It is common for young children to make certain sound substitutions as their speech and language skills are developing. One example is substituting /t/ for /k/ (e.g. saying "tar" instead of "car"); another is substituting /d/ for /g/ (e.g. saying "do" instead of "go"). By the age of 3, however, most typically-developing children are able to accurately produce the /k/ and /g/ consonant sounds.


If your child is having difficulty with these sounds, first try some tricks to work on the /k/ sound. Once your child has mastered the /k/ sound, she is ready to work on /g/. /k/ and /g/ are considered "cognates," meaning that they are produced in the same place in the mouth, with the back of the tongue elevating towards the roof of the mouth. However, /k/ is voiceless, meaning it is produced without using your voice, and /g/ is voiced, meaning it is produced with your voice on. 


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

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