August 19, 2016
Issue 33, Volume 9
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter!
News Items:
  • Skateboard Clinic Teaches Kids With Disabilities Life Skills
  • Interactive Video Chat May Help Toddlers Form Relationships
  • Late Preschool Bedtime Increases Obesity Risk
  • Do ADHD Meds Boost Substance Abuse Risk?
  • Lack of Sleep Increases a Child's Risk for Emotional Disorders Later
  • New Emojis Depict Range Of Abilities
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • OT Activity of the Week: Fine Motor Bean Matching Boards
  • SLP Activities of the Week: Word Retrieval Activities For Children
  • Book Feature:  Children with Fragile X Syndrome: A Parents' Guide
  • Therapy Resource of the Week - JigZone Online Jigsaw Puzzle Site 
Articles and Special Features 
  • Bilingual Corner: What Language Proficiency & Language Dominance Mean to SLP
  • Social Skills Corner: The Importance of Social Skills
  • Speech-Language Pathology Corner: Four Steps of Communication
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Neuropsychological Evaluation as a Guide to Intervention
  • OT Corner: Saving the Drama for Broadway
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Skateboard Clinic Teaches Kids With Disabilities Life Skills
[Source: Disability Scoop]

As Amy Rogers watched her eldest son, Preston, glide by on his skateboard on a recent afternoon, she marveled at how far he had traveled just over the past few months.

Before he took his first skateboarding lesson as part of an innovative new therapy for children with disabilities, the 15-year-old, who has been diagnosed with autism, had never even ridden a bike before. Most of his time was spent in his room playing video games and sketching, far from family and friends.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Interactive Video Chat May Help Toddlers Form Relationships
[Source: Medical News Today]
Video chat technologies can be important for families to develop and maintain relationships with distant relatives and family members. However, are video chat interactions meaningful for young children and do they gain anything from them? A new study says yes.
Young children can tell the difference between live interactions and pre-recorded interactions.
In a world of ever-changing technological innovation, channels of communication are constantly increasing and developing.
The role of media in the lives of adolescents and children has been transformed from TV, movies, and books to the vast world of digital media. Ways to communicate through the Internet are continually expanding.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Late Preschool Bedtime Increases Obesity Risk
[Source:  Medical News Today]
Can you read me another story? I'm thirsty. I'm not sleepy." For parents of young children, these delaying tactics at bedtime will sound familiar. Though negotiating with a preschooler can be an exercise in futility, a new study suggests that preschoolers who go to bed by 8 p.m. have a much lower risk of obesity when they are teenagers.

Kids at bedtime:  "Just 1 more minute?" The new study recommends a bedtime before 8 p.m. for preschoolers to lower risks of obesity.

The study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics and conducted by researchers from The Ohio State University College of Public Health, provides a scientific basis for bedtimes to which pediatricians and parents can point.
It may come as no surprise that obesity in children is a major public health concern in the United States.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
Do ADHD Meds Boost Substance Abuse Risk?
[Source:  Medical X-Press]

Parents often worry that their children who take stimulants to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at higher risk for substance abuse later.
Now, a surprising new study finds that risk was actually lower when medicines such as Ritalin and Adderall were started earlier and taken longer.
"Most notably, the risk of substance use in adolescents who had been treated at an earlier age and for a longer duration with stimulant ADHD medications was the same as for the general population of children," said study leader Sean Esteban McCabe. He is research faculty chair at the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
Lack of Sleep Increases a Child's Risk for Emotional Disorders Later
[Source:  Medical News Today]

When asked how lack of sleep affects emotions, common responses are usually grumpy, foggy and short-tempered. While many jokes are made about how sleep deprivation turns the nicest of people into a Jekyll and Hyde, not getting enough shut-eye can lead to far more serious consequences than irritability, difficulty concentrating and impatience.

Candice Alfano, a clinical psychologist and associate psychology professor at the University of Houston, says children who experience inadequate or disrupted sleep are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders later in life. Funded by a grant from the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the study seeks to determine the precise ways inadequate sleep in childhood produces elevated risk for emotional disorders in later years.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
New Emojis Depict Range Of Abilities
[Source:  Disability Scoop]
There are countless emojis available, but only one depicting disability. Now, a group of advocates is looking to change that.
The London-based disability advocacy group Scope has created a series of 18 new emojis portraying people with a range of abilities.
The icons include people in wheelchairs, individuals with prostheses, a guide dog, those with hearing impairment and other disabilities engaging in a variety of activities.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

OT Activity of the Week:  Fine Motor Bean Matching Boards  

Print out the matching bean boards and read the directions to create this fine motor, visual perceptual and graded muscle control challenge.  Modifications included to add in physical activity to the task.  You can read about it and download the matching boards for free


Through a Link on our Website

SLP Activities of the Week:  Word Retrieval Activities For Children 

By: Caroline Bowen

Caroline Bowen PhD provides speech-language pathology information and resources for consumers, professionals and students.

We thank Dr. Bowen for explicitly allowing us to link to her articles.They are all found on her Website.


"In simple terms the expressions "word retrieval problem" or "word finding difficulty" imply that the person knows and understands the word, and has used it correctly before. However, they have difficulty retrieving such known words at times. Children and adults with language disorders are frequently found to have word retrieval difficulties. Often when a person (child or adult) is having difficulty retrieving a word they will have the sense that it is "on the tip of their tongue": a state of affairs familiar to all of us; at other times they seem simply to "go blank." 


Access this Excellent Activities on our Blog

Featured Book:  Children w/Fragile X Syndrome: A Parents' Guide  

Fragile X syndrome is believed to be the most common genetic cause of mental retardation, even more common than Down syndrome. It can result in a wide range of developmental delays, learning disabilities, and physical characteristics-which all tend to be more pronounced in boys than in girls.

At last, there is a comprehensive book on fragile X syndrome for parents. The first and only book of its kind, Children with Fragile X Syndrome provides a complete, sensitive introduction to fragile X syndrome, an inherited, genetic condition caused by a mutation on the X chromosome. This new guide is written by renowned professionals and experienced parents, who offer an in-depth look at the issues and concerns affecting children and their families. It covers: diagnosis; parental emotions; therapies 


Read More About this Book Through on our Blog

Therapy Resource of the Week:  JigZone Online Jigsaw Puzzle Site 

Jigzone is an online jigsaw puzzle site where you can create and complete your own jigsaw puzzles online. Puzzles can have as few as six pieces, as many as 247 and there are several "cuts" available in addition to the most familiar "classic cut."

There are many hundreds images to choose from in categories such as Animals, Art, Flowers & Garden, Holidays, Ocean, Sports, and more.

Users can time themselves on completion, email a puzzle to a friend, or even embed a puzzle into a website or blog page. You can also upload your own photo to create a custom puzzle with your clients' own image!


Learn More on our Blog

Bilingual Corner: Language Proficiency/Language Dominance 

Responses from the Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association's Task Force on Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

By: Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Alejandro Brice, PhD, CCC-SLP and the CLD Task Force of the Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association.

I have a few questions regarding language proficiency and language dominance in bilingual speech-language evaluations.

  • According to best practices, what information is collected to address language dominance and language proficiency prior to formal and informal speech-language assessment? Is it appropriate to determine if a student is English dominant, Spanish dominant, or mixed proficiency prior to the formal and informal assessment for the code of Speech Impaired?

Prior to the assessment, as much information as possible should be gathered about the child's language experiences. That information would include finding out the language(s) spoken in the home and by whom, at what age the child was introduced to the 2nd language, whether or not they watch television in English or another language and how 


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Social Skills Corner: The Importance of Social Skills

By: Stephen Rothenberg, Psy.D

Calvin ( a fictional name) is 9 years old, creative and full of great ideas. He is always making up games and wants the other kids to play with him. Unfortunately, Calvin's game are so complex that only he can understand what to do and he can't understand why the others are reluctant to play with him.

Sharon is 13 years old and is really excited about going on a ski trip with her school. When they arrive she is in such a rush to get on the lift that she impulsively pushes ahead of the other kids. She doesn't really understand why they are angry with her.

Charlie Brown (real name) always tries his best to be optimistic and make friends but, due to his low opinion of himself and past experiences of failure, he fails. A woman you know at the office is a very nice person but she tends to always stand a little too close (both to the men and 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Four Steps of Communication

By: Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP

The four steps of communication help to define how the communicative act is heavily anchored in a synergistic process that involves the mind, the body, the eyes and language. More specifically, it involves social emotional thought, the nuance of physical presence and visually processing non-verbal cues in addition to language use and interpretation. As obvious as these steps may sound to the reader, the reality is that most speech and language social treatment programs teach students to focus almost exclusively on their social language production, called 'conversational skills' when teaching students how to be more appropriately social, often working with them seated around therapy tables while practicing having conversations. The four steps of communication strongly encourage us to recognize the social communicative act as being synergistic, always involving the first three steps, but not necessarily involving the fourth.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Peds Therapy Corner: The Neuropsyc Eval as a Guide to Intervention

By: Shahal Rozenblatt, Ph.D., Clinical Neuropsychologist 

People are highly complex organisms whose problems are of equal complexity. In order to effectively treat the problems with which people present, we need to have a way of understanding the nature of this complexity, breaking it down so that targeted solutions can be implemented. The neuropsychological evaluation is one such method. This article is meant to serve as an introduction to neuropsychology and neuropsychological evaluations and how they can be helpful to physical, occupational, and speech therapists in developing and guiding interventions.


Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology where the focus is on understanding brain-behavior relationships, using a variety of tests that tap into multiple brain functions in order to gain insight into a person's difficulties. Most clinicians who do this type of work are licensed clinical psychologists with specialized training in and understanding of brain- 

OT Corner: Saving the Drama for Broadway

By: Loren Shlaes, OTR/L

Children with low arousal levels are constantly looking for ways to increase their energy so that they can be more alert. Unfortunately, especially when they're at school and stuck sitting in one place for a long time, we don't allow them to implement many of the strategies that would actually help them get themselves into a just right state, like chewing gum, going outside for a romp in the park, getting up and walking around, etc. So they'restuck trying to do anything instinctive to activate themselves and change their internal chemistry.

What is a really efficient way to get a big rush of adrenaline, if you're a small little person? Do you run out to Starbucks for a venti triple shot half caf low fat extra foam, with a shot of caramel syrup and whipped cream? No. Do you go to the vending machine and chow down on a Snickers bar? No. Do you close the door to your office and take a cat nap, play a quick game of solitaire on the computer, or make a personal phone call?  Nope.


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

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