November 30, 2012
Weekly Edition 
Issue 35, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday.  Here is our weekly newsletter offering for you! 
News Items:
  • New Cause of Hydrocephalus Discovered 
  • Brainy Babies - Research Explores Infants' Skills and Abilities 
  • Fetal Alcohol Exposure Affects Brain Structure in Children 
  • Hollywood Embraces Actors With Down Syndrome 
  • Alarming 15-Fold Increase in Inflatable Bouncer-Related Injuries Among Children 
  • Traffic Pollution Tied to Autism Risk: Study 
  • The SLP Profession in the News 
  • School Based Sensory Gym in the News 

Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Appdapted:  Apps for the Holiday Season 
  • It's EduBlog Nomination Time! 
  • Therapy Activity of the Week:  (Fine Motor) Button & Cork Builders 
  • Therapy Activities of the Week: 5 Fine Motor Activities Using Rubber Bands 

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner: The Pieces of Motor Planning 
  • SLP Corner: Let Me Tell You a Story 
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: By Hand  
  • Worth Repeating: Ten Things I Wish My Teacher and SLP Knew About AAC 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Treating Sleep Disruption in People with Down Syndrome
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Medical Research in the News: New Cause of Hydrocephalus Discovered  

[Source: Medical News Today]


Researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered a new cause of hydrocephalus, a devastating neurological disorder that affects between one and three of every 1,000 babies born. Working in mice, the researchers identified a cell signaling defect, which disrupts immature brain cells involved in normal brain development. By bypassing the defect with a drug treatment, the team was able to correct one aspect of the cells' development and reduce the severity of the hydrocephalus. The findings were published online in the journal Nature Medicine.


Pediatric Neurology in the News:  Brainy Babies - Research Explores Infants' Skills and Abilities  

[Source: Science Daily]

Infants seem to develop at an astoundingly rapid pace, learning new things and acquiring new skills every day. And research suggests that the abilities that infants demonstrate early on can shape the development of skills later in life, in childhood and beyond.


Read about the latest research on infant development published in the November 2012 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.


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

Pediatric TBI News:  Fetal Alcohol Exposure Affects Brain Structure in Children

[Source: Science]

Children exposed to alcohol during fetal development exhibit changes in brain structure and metabolism that are visible using various imaging techniques, according to a new study being presented November 25 at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).   


Alcohol use by expectant mothers can lead to problems with the mental and physical development of their children - a condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome. Research suggests an incidence of 0.2 to 1.5 per 1,000 live births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Costs for care of individuals affected by fetal alcohol syndrome in the U.S. have been estimated at $4 billion annually.


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

Down Syndrome in the News: Hollywood Embraces Actors With Down Syndrome

[Source:  Disability Scoop]


With two new films featuring actors with Down syndrome slated for release in the coming weeks, Hollywood prospects for those with the developmental disorder are on the rise.


Actors with Down syndrome play central roles in "Caf´┐Ż de Flore," which focuses on the relationship between a mother and her son with the disorder in Paris in the 1960s, and "Any Day Now," a movie based on the true story of a teenager with Down syndrome who was taken in by a gay couple.


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

Pediatric Injuries in the News:  Alarming 15-Fold Increase in Inflatable Bouncer-Related Injuries Among Children

[Source:  Science Daily]

A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital examined pediatric injuries associated with inflatable bouncers, such as bounce houses and moonwalks. Researchers found that from 1995 to 2010 there was a 15-fold increase in the number of inflatable bouncer-related injuries that were treated in U.S. emergency departments among children younger than 18 years of age. In 2010 alone, more than 30 children per day, or about one child every 45 minutes, were treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries associated with inflatable bouncers.


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

Autism in the News:  Traffic Pollution Tied to Autism Risk: Study 

[Source: Reuters]


Babies who are exposed to lots of traffic-related air pollution in the womb and during their first year of life are more likely to become autistic, suggests a new study.


The findings support previous research linking how close children live to freeways with their risk of autism, according to the study's lead author.


"We're not saying traffic pollution causes autism, but it may be a risk factor for it," said Heather Volk, an assistant professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

The SLP Profession in the News:  Houston Chronicle Article  

Editor's Note:  Thanks to @meganpanatier on Twitter for catching this article!


[Source: Houston Chronicle]


A speech language pathologist, sometimes called a speech therapist, is a specialist who plays a vital role in helping children and adults recover from swallowing disorders, articulation, stuttering and language-developmental challenges. Speech pathologists also work with those who wish to modify their accents.


While the demands can be mentally and physically draining, a work day filled with variety, insight and empathy can be highly rewarding.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

SPD in the News:  School Based Sensory Gym in the News  

[Source:  Salt Lake Tribune]

Whittier Elementary School in West Valley City has all the usual fixtures, from desks to whiteboards to a playground, but it also has the unexpected - a climbing wall, a disco ball and a zipline.


Its wing for special needs students includes a sensory room with multi-colored lights, a boom box with calming music, a vibrating mat and soft mats for jumping or resting. The nurse's office has three full-time nurses and a host of medical equipment. The physical therapy room is typically used by about 20 students a day, but it serves up to 60 on busy days.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Appdapted:  Apps for the Holiday Season   

by Jeremy Legaspi, The Speech Guy

Hopefully most of you found my Halloween Edition of Appdapted very useful. I really wanted to do a thanksgiving one but honestly there were only a few apps out for Turkey Day and most involved hunting turkey, not a good therapy activity.  We have now moved into the Holiday Season so take a look at some great apps to use in therapy. A good majority focus around Christmas. I tried my best to find some relevant Hanukkah or Kwanza ones with very little success.


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

The Envelope Please:  It's EduBlog Nomination Time

It's time for the EduBlog Awards Nominations!   Firstly, I would like to say how humbled we are here at PediaStaff to have seven nominations to date in the "Best Resource Sharing," "Best Educational Use of a Social Network," and "Best Group Blog" categories.

Thank you so much, Hanna Bogen at Hanna B Gradstudent SLP, Jenna Rayburn (at Speech Room News), Mary Huston of Speech Adventures, Aubrey Klingensmith, at Speechie Apps, Kim Lewis at Activity Tailor, Dean Trout of the 2 Gals Talk About Speech Therapy blog, and the wonderful team of ladies (Meghan, Karen and Jill) at All4MyChild. 


Read our Nominations on our Blog

Therapy Activity of the Week:  (Fine Motor) Button & Cork Builders   

[Source:  No Time for Flashcards]


It's getting to that time of the year when our time outside is limited by bad weather ( we still go out, just don't stay out as long) and I am looking for new and frugal ways to engage my kids on long days . This idea came from nothing other than staring at my supplies and thinking " I wonder if this will work?" and it did. Using corks and buttons to build with is fun but add in some Velcro dots and it's even more fun. After playing I realized how multi-sensory this activity really is with the texture of the Velcro both soft and spiky, the sound of it pulling apart, the hard buttons and the softer corks. Did I mention we had a blast with them too?


Read the Rest of This Post and Learn How to Make These Through a Link our Blog

Therapy Activities of the Week:  5 Fine Motor Activities Using Rubber Bands. 

Please enjoy this new video describing 5 fun activities to encourage fine motor skills and muscle strengthening of the hand.


 Learn More About These Activities Through a Link our Blog

OT/PT Corner: The Pieces of Motor Planning   

By Stacy Menz,  DPT, Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist  


At Starfish Therapies, we find that many of the children we work with have difficulty with motor planning for various reasons. You may have heard this term during your child's therapy session.  Hopefully this article will provide you with a better understanding of what this term means and why it is important. Motor planning is the ability to process information various sensory systems including tactile, visual, proprioceptive (body awareness), auditory and vestibular and use that information to plan and execute motor skills. There are several different components


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Let Me Tell You a Story

by:  Skye Blue Angus 


A few years ago I wrote a post on native oral tradition and its implications for speech therapy.  To date I still get blog hits and emails about that post and although it is late coming here is a bit more on the subject. Oral tradition and stories are an integral part of Native culture.They are the means by which the culture teaches younger members, records history, explains questions, expresses spirituality and fosters pleasure and pride in the participants. Native oral traditions and stories have been the cornerstone to the survival of the culture and are traditionally valued above the written word.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: By Hand 

By: Loren Shlaes, OTR/L


"Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by his mind and will, can influence the state of his own health." {Mary Reilly, 1962}


In order to do and be our best, everyone needs plenty of sleep, fresh air, exercise, and healthy food.


We also have needs that are less tangible, but no less important, as one of my young friends reminded me this past week. She is a little girl who strikes me, in addition to her sensory processing issues, as being lost and depressed. Her parents are divorced, her father lives far away, and her mother travels all over the world for her work. She is often in the care of nannies. Her attitude is habitually one of indifference, which I think she adopts as a form of emotional protection, and I have found it especially challenging to form a warm connection


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Ten Things I Wish My Teacher and SLP Knew About AAC 

By Pat Mervine 


Thank you to Tricia McCabe (@tricmc) for sharing this article with the #SLPeeps on Twitter


[Source:  Pat]


I wish.....

  1. the entire team would be trained in how to program and use my AAC system.  My "voice" shouldn't be taken away from me just because an adult is absent or busy. Oh, and a good back-up system would be much appreciated for when my device goes down.
  2. my AAC device would be charged (if electronic) and positioned for me to use it all times.  Other kids can talk all day - at recess, lunch, on the bus, and in gym - so don't take my voice away when I am out of the classroom!
Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog

Also Worth Repeating: Treating Sleep Disruption in People with Down Syndrome

[Source:  Special Ed Post]

by Jamie Edgin and Lynn Nadel


The Down Syndrome Research Group at the University of Arizona conducts research to further our understanding and treatment of the cognitive dysfunction associated with Down syndrome.

Part of our research studies sleep, which is very important for learning. Sleep can be a problem for people with Down syndrome. Our laboratory is one of the few places in the world that studies sleep in people with Down syndrome.

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

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