March 20, 2015
Issue 11, Volume 8
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Spring!

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter offering!
News Items:
  • Jeans? Some Boys Shout, 'No Way!'
  • Classical Music Modulates Genes that are Responsible for Brain Functions
  • Henry Winkler Writes New Book in Series About a Kid with Dyslexia
  • Mood, Anxiety Disorders in Tourette patients, Emerge at a Young Age
  • New Monitoring Tools Enable Better Detection of Growth Disorders
  • Research Review: Physically Active Lessons and Academics 
Hot Jobs 
  • School based Speech-Language Pathologist/SLP Job - Berryville, WV
  • Placement of the Week: PTA in California!
  • Hot Jobs: Pediatric and EI Team Needed in the Lehigh Valley of PA
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • SLP Idea of the Week: Lego Finger Counter Holders!
  • Pediatric Therapy Activity of the Week: Word Family Fishing
  • Fine Motor Activity of the Week: Spring Flowers!
  • OT Resource of the Week:  Best Buys For Sensory Processing Therapy at Home

Articles and Special Features 

  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Circle of Concern/Influence
  • SLP Corner:  Speech Articulation in Children - Electropalatography
  • Literacy Corner:  Informational Text and Young Children
  • School Psych Corner:  Making Simple Games for Social Emotional Learning
  • Special Ed Corner: Understanding Invisible Disabilities
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 Blogtrottr and have our blog posts delivered right to your email.

Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

The Career Center

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Recent Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 

Jeans? Some Boys Shout, 'No Way!'

Editor's Note:  An OT friend of mine sent this our way.  Are our children all becoming sensory defensive?


[Source:  New York Times]


Jackson Schad gave up on jeans in kindergarten.


"They're really tight, and I just don't like how they fit on me," said Jackson, who is 7� and now in second grade.


Instead, on any given day, Jackson leaves his Brooklyn home outfitted in sweatpants that are fuzzy and baggy and, compared with denim, "a lot more looser," he said. His favorite sweats are a red pair that he hikes up with matching suspenders.


Jackson's identical twin brother, Kasey, however, considers himself a dressy kind of guy and likes a more polished look.


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

Classical Music Modulates Genes Responsible for Brain Functions

[Source: Science Daily]

Athough listening to music is common in all societies, the biological determinants of listening to music are largely unknown. According to a new study, listening to classical music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopamine secretion and transport, synaptic neurotransmission, learning and memory, and down-regulated the genes mediating neurodegeneration. Several of the up-regulated genes were known to be responsible for song learning and singing in songbirds, suggesting a common evolutionary background of sound perception across species.


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

Henry Winkler Writes New Book in Series About a Kid with Dyslexia 

[Source: The Today Show]


Actor and author Henry Winkler has a message for parents of kids with dyslexia and other learning and attention issues to pass along to their child.


That message is: "You are all powerful. Every one of you. Even though school might be difficult, school does not define us. You all have wonderful and smart thoughts, therefore you are all smart."

Winkler is on the road again, promoting his newest book for kids. Fake Snakes and Weird Wizards features Hank Zipzer, a kid with dyslexia, as its hero, Winkler said i


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog 

Mood, Anxiety Disorders in Tourette patients, Emerge at Young Age

[Source: Science Daily]


A new study of Tourette syndrome (TS) led by researchers from UC San Francisco and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that nearly 86 percent of patients who seek treatment for TS will be diagnosed with a second psychiatric disorder during their lifetimes, and that nearly 58 percent will receive two or more such diagnoses.


It has long been known that TS, which emerges in childhood and is characterized by troublesome motor and vocal tics, is often accompanied by other disorders, especially attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In many patients these "comorbid" conditions cause more distress and disability for patients than TS tics themselves.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

New Monitoring Tools Enable Better Detection of Growth Disorders

[Source:  Science Daily]

Children's growth disorders can be detected earlier and more efficiently with the help of new growth monitoring tools, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland. These tools include up-to-date growth reference curves, evidence-based screening cut-off values for abnormal growth and automated growth monitoring based on electronic health records.



Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Research Review: Physically Active Lessons and Academics 

[Source: Your Therapy Source]

Preventive Medicine published a systemic review on physically active (PA) lessons to increase physical activity during academic time.


For a study to be included in the review is must have included the following criteria: 1. classroom lessons containing both PA and educational elements; 2. intervention studies featuring a control group or within-subjects baseline measurement period; 3. any age-group; and 4. English language.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Hot Job of the Week:  School based SLP - Berryville, WV

We are searching for a speech therapist to finish out the school year, with the possibility of a renewal contract for the 16-17 school year  The school district is located in the northeast panhandle of West Virginia - very close to the borders of PA and MD.  The therapist will be working with an PreK and elementary aged caseload.  Driving is minimal.  

This beautiful historic and art filled town is nestled in the West Virginia mountains only 90 minutes from the Washington/Baltimore metro area.  It boasts warm mineral springs, world class dining, dozens of unique shops, full-service spas, B&Bs, and historic inns, cabins and resorts. Enjoy golf, hiking, swimming, as well as year-round festivals, live music, and theater productions.  The county is prosperous and growing.  The four season climate is mild and balmy.

Placement of the Week:  PTA in California!

Congratulations to Carrie W., on her new PTA position with PediaStaff's outpatient client in the Sacramento area!


Carrie will be working half time in schools and half time in the clinic.


Great job, Carrie!

Hot Jobs:  Peds/ EI Therapy Team Needed For Lehigh Valley of PA

We are searching for a team of therapists to work with an Early Intervention caseload in the Lehigh Valley, specifically in the Allentown and Reading areas.    Positions are full and part-time and will build over time as new cases are assigned,  and have lots of scheduling flexibility.  He/she will treat children ages birth to three in home settings.

Disciplines hiring for include:

  • Early Intervention Occupational Therapist (full and part time available)
  • Pediatric Physical Therapist (full and part time available)
  • Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist (part-time to start, full-time as caseload builds)
  • Bilingual Physical Therapist (full and part-time available)

SLP Idea of the Week: Lego Finger Counter Holders!  

[Source:  Language Craft]


Hey school SLPs! I've been using little golf finger counters to track data for a while because I have students that get paranoid about me making checks and tallies etc in a visible way. Anyway, one of my social groups today asked me if they could work together to make me a present, and I said sure use some LEGO to give me a way to hide these away without holding them. I think they nailed it! The three counters are used for accurate/approximation/innacurate (or whatever). Velcro and LEGO makes it flexible to needs. Fun stuff!


See the Picture of this Great Idea on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Activity of the Week: Word Family Fishing  

Source:  I Can Teach My Child]

After our Word Family Snowball Toss activity,  I was trying to think of a way to repurpose the ping pong balls and thought it would be fun to use them to fish!

Learning word families (words with the same ending sound) is beneficial for children as they learn to recognize chunks in words.  Since these words rhyme, it is also a great phonemic awareness activity after the fact as they recall some of the words they caught in their nets and other words that rhyme with them!


Read the Rest of this Great Post Through a Link on our Blog

Fine Motor Activity of Week: Spring Flowers!

Source:  No Time for Flashcards]

This super simple spring activity packs some wonderful skill practice for both hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. As children find and fit the flowers into the holes they are using their hand eye coordination skills and as they pinch the stem and press them into the floral foam under the colander they are giving their fine motor skills a workout.


Learn More Through a Link on our Blog

OT Resource of Week: Best Buys For Sensory Therapy at Home  

[Source: My Mundane and Miraculous Life]


Soon after my son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, we lost our health insurance. I was blessed to keep in contact with his Occupational Therapist who gave us some guidance as to what to buy for the best sensory processing therapy at home.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Circle of Concern/Influence

by Joanna Verdone, OTR/L


I have been trying to teach my social groups about being proactive.  I am so tired of hearing excuse after excuse.  This lesson seemed to go over really well to help the students realize they do have control over things in their life.


Here is a lesson plan I have come up to teach kids about Circle of Concern/Influence:

1. Define Circle of Concern: things that you often waste time and energy worrying about, but that you have little to no control over.

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

SLP Corner: Speech Articulation in Children - Electropalatography

[Source: Advance for Speech and Hearing]

During the past 40 years, electropalatography (EPG) has been used extensively both for research into normal speech articulation and in the assessment and treatment of children with a variety of communication disorders.1 Although the basic design and function of EPG hardware has remained essentially unchanged, a number of improvements have been made to commercially available EPG systems. Among these improvements are the ability to monitor lip contact during speech, the projection of side-by-side monitor displays of clinicians' and clients' tongue-to-palate contact for the purpose of modeling, and the creation of (modifiable) templates of the articulatory patterns of specific sounds. In addition, the cost of palatal prosthesis has decreased over the years. 

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

Literacy Corner: Informational Text and Young Children

[Source:  Reading Rockets]

by Timothy Shanahan

So the woman who runs my local children's book store told me that more and more parents of young children are asking for "nonfiction beginning readers" because "that's what Common Core wants." Really? In kindergarten and first grade? Aren't beginning readers supposed to develop their decoding and word recognition by reading simple stories (the ones populated by talking pigs).


I've seen "easy" nonfiction books that are full of difficult multisyllable words and proper names. The publishers have made the books (supposedly) appropriate for beginning readers by reducing the number of words in the sentences (until the point they are almost incomprehensible), putting fewer words on a page and enlarging the font. The result is a dumbing-down of the content.

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

School Psych Corner: Simple Games for Social Emotional Learning

Here is a great blog, recommended by NASP!!

[Source: Kristina Sargent - the Art of Social Work]

Here are a couple simple and easy to make therapeutic board games. These are also games you can find at your local second hand toy shop. :)


Don't Break the Ice- anger management style Simply write some prompts using permanent marker on about 1/3 of the ice cubes. I wrote things like, "practice taking three breaths," "talk about a time you calmed down safely," "name something that helps you feel safe," "talk about what makes you angry," etc. Also, a way to engage children and build rapport is to ask them to help you add a question to the game! It can be written in permanent marker if relevant to use 


Special Ed Corner: Understanding Invisible Disabilities

[Source:  Edutopia]

Invisible disabilities (IDs) are some of the most difficult ones for educators to identify because they are just that - invisible. Students can "hide in plain sight" either intentionally or because they aren't aware that they have a disability. Some students are fearful, along with their parents, that they won't be accepted to college or that they will carry a label through the end of 12th grade. The silent aspect of IDs also makes it difficult for teachers to learn about their students' needs unless they are told outright.

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

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