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May 25, 2012
Issue 5, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings!  PediaStaff would like to give a great big shout out/thank you to all of you and your loved ones that have served (or are currently serving) our country.    Have a safe, and happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Here is our monthly edition newsletter offering for you:
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week: Play Dough Mats Galore and Even More Mats
  • App Review of the Week: Language Adventures
  • Therapy Resource of the Week: Free Minimal Pairs Tool Added to LessonPix

Articles and Special Features 

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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Recent Speech Language Pathologist and SLPA Jobs
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Autism Research in the News:  Finding That Oxytocin Improves Brain Function In Children With Autism Could Lead To Treatment For Associated Social Deficits

[Source:  Medical News Today]


Preliminary results from an ongoing, large-scale study by Yale School of Medicine researchers shows that oxytocin - a naturally occurring substance produced in the brain and throughout the body - increased brain function in regions that are known to process social information in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).


A Yale Child Study Center research team that includes postdoctoral fellow Ilanit Gordon and Kevin Pelphrey, the Harris Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, presented the results at the International Meeting for Autism Research.


Autism in the News: Head Lag and Autism
Recent research indicates that infants who exhibit a head lag are at risk for autism, language and/or social development delays.  Forty infants who were considered at risk for autism (due to sibling diagnosed with autism) were tested for head lag at 6, 14, 24, and, for outcome diagnosis, at 30 or 36 months. The results indicated the following:

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Therapists Doing Good: Shoes 4 Kids
Brad Thuringer is an enthusiastic PTA who started Shoes4Kids.  I posted about this organization last year which you can view here.  I received a request to publicize this wonderful idea again this year for when they are at the APTA Annual Meeting and Exposition - PT 2012.  Please take the time to read his story and donate money or new sneakers if possible.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog
Dyslexia for Math in the News: Dyscalculia

[Source:  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]


Severe learning disabilities in math, affecting up to 7 percent of all students, have been described as the mathematics version of dyslexia, the reading disorder in which people have trouble understanding or interpreting letters, words and symbols.


The math disorder - dyscalculia - has long been overlooked in the public schools, where the focus traditionally has been reading. Proof is the fact that few people have even heard the word that's pronounced as dis-kal-cue-LI-a in the United States and dis-kal-CUE-lia in England and among some domestic researchers.


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Neurobiology in the News: Brain Cells Found In Monkeys That May Be Linked To Self-Awareness And Empathy In Humans

[Source: Medical News Today]


The anterior insular cortex is a small brain region that plays a crucial role in human self-awareness and in related neuropsychiatric disorders. A unique cell type - the von Economo neuron (VEN) - is located there. For a long time, the VEN was assumed to be unique to humans, great apes, whales and elephants. Henry Evrard, neuroanatomist at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in T´┐Żbingen, Germany, now discovered that the VEN occurs also in the insula of macaque monkeys. The


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Robotics in the News:  Mind Control: Paralyzed Woman Moves Robot

Thanks To TechnOT by VirtualOT for posting this great story!  I know it isn't peds, but it will be applicable to peds!!!


[Source:  Nature Video]


Cathy Hutchinson has been unable to move her own arms or legs for 15 years. But using the most advanced brain-machine interface ever developed, she can steer a robotic arm towards a bottle, pick it up, and drink her morning coffee. The interface includes a sensor implanted in Cathy's brain, which 'reads' her thoughts, and a decoder, which turns her thoughts into instructions for the robotic arm. In this video, watch Cathy control the arm and hear from the team behind the pioneering study.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Research on Pediatric Joint Pain in the News: A Quick Fix For Sacroiliac Joint Pain In Many Children And Adolescents

[Source:  Medical News Today]


Investigators report that a simple bedside manual therapy to correct a painful misaligned sacroiliac joint was highly successful in a group of 45 patients 10 to 20 years of age. Thirty-six patients (80 percent) obtained significant pain relief, whereas nine patients (20 percent) experienced minimal to no relief. In 24 patients (53 percent) complete resolution of pain was experienced immediately upon treatment. Only two patients required a second treatment because of symptom recurrence. These findings are reported in a new article, "Sacroiliac joint pain in the pediatric population. Clinical article," by Stoev and colleagues, published in the June 2012 issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, now online.


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week: Brave Young OT Student Featured on Ellen!

Thanks to our friend on Twitter, Wafa for the heads up on this totally inspirational story!

[Source The Ellen Degeneres Show]

Charisa was in the audience, and had no idea she was about to be on the show. She's already led an incredible life for such a young woman, and has seen her share of tragedy. Her story inspired us all, and Ellen gave her some well deserved surprises!

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Big Companies Doing Good in the News: Marvel Comics Creates Custom Super Hero for Boy with Hearing Impairment

Thanks Maggie McGary,  ASHA's social networking guru for tweeting this terrific, feel good story today!

[Source: Huffington Post]


Anthony Smith, a 4-year-old hearing-impaired New Hampshire boy, was confident superheroes didn't wear hearing aids.   


So when his mother, Christina D'Allesandro, asked him to put in his "blue ear" one day, he put up a fight.

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

Technology for Tots in the News: Touch-Screen Devices And Very Young Children
Parents are increasingly allowing their very young children to play with iPads, iPhones and other touch-screen devices. This broadcast is a conversation about interactive applications and brain development (in neurotypical children)


Lisa Guernsey, Director, Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation

Ben Worthen, Reporter, Wall Street Journal;

Heather Kirkorian - Asst. Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, Univ of Wisc Madison;

Liz Perle -editor in chief, Common Sense Media


 Listen to the Podcast or Read the Transcript Through a Link on our Blog 

Pinterest Pin of the Week: Play Dough Mats Galore and Even More Mats

Play dough mats are great for fine motor and following directions, and very affordable to make for the classroom.  Either laminate them or slide them into sheet protectors.  And they can double for tripod grasp/drawing practice using dry erase markers instead.   


This link on Preschool Printables was re-pinned from our Pinterest site over 300 times last week.  We have also found other great play dough mats from around the internet as well.  

 Check out All the Great Play Dough Mats Through a Link on our Blog
App of the Week: App Review of the Week: Language Adventures
Reprinted with permission of Therapy411 as it appeared on their blog, May 14, 2012It's been a while since I last reviewed an app, so I think it's high time for such a blog post (you have dysphagia and motor speech disorders exams to blame for that)! Smarty Ears has a new(ish) app out called Language Adventures (currently on sale for $9.99 in the iTunes App Store until May 16). I was fortunate enough to win a copy of it through a Facebook contest that TherapyApp 411 held a few weeks back, and I'm excited to share some of the great features


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Therapy Resource of the Week : Free Minimal Pairs Tool Added to LessonPix
I have blogged a couple of time about LessonPix.com, a very affordable online picture symbol generation product that all our contract PediaStaff clinicians have as part of their package from us this year.  At only $2 a month, we think it is a fantastic tool for those therapists looking to create custom learning materials for therapy.   If you don't have access to Boardmaker (or if you do and are trying to cut costs) LessonPix is a no-brainer!


Try This Minimal Pairs Tool Through a Link on our Blog

SLP Corner: A Dozen Tips for Supporting Early Speech Development In Children with Severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech

By: Margaret A. Fish, M.S., CCC-SLP


Editor's Note:  PediaStaff would like to thank CASANA/Apraxia-Kids for introducing us to this wonderful CAS expert!


Young children with suspected childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and children with very severe CAS present unique challenges to speech-language pathologists. When children begin to develop some volitional control over the production of syllables, the speech-language pathologist can help to shape increasingly complex speech movement sequences and support the child's acquisition of a complete phonemic repertoire. For children who do not imitate speech reliably, however, other treatment strategies need to be utilized. Following are several strategies to support the development of more reliable volitional imitation and early speech in children who are nonverbal or minimally verbal.

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Occuaptional Therapy Corner: The Role of Parents in Occupational Therapy Intervention
by: Krystal Vermeire, OTR/L

Occupational therapy has been around for nearly a century.  The profession has grown into a diverse field that continues to be ever shifting in its definition and scope of practice.  When working with children who have compromised development, occupational therapists need to consider who the client truly is.  For intensions of third party payer sources, the child is going to be the logical answer.  However, is it really possible to treat the child effectively without also addressing their environment and caregiver support?  I would argue not.

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Focus on Bilingualism: Bilingualism is More Than The Sum of Its Parts

By: Alejandro Brice, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and Roanne Brice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP


As bilingual speech-language pathologists, one of the more complex issues to convey to others is that bilingualism is a unique experience and that bilingual or multilingual speakers are not the sum of their two languages.  Grosjean (1989) stated that a bilingual is not two monolinguals in one person.  This applies to evaluation and treatment of bilingual speech and language.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Five Rules for Helping Kids with Sensory Processing Issues

by: Nancy Peske

Two-year-old Manuel is supposed to begin his home-based session with a speech-language pathologist who has just entered his family's home. Manuel is so excited that he greets her by running at her and head butting her thighs. She pulls a whistle out of her bag, hoping to get him to blow it and practice oral/motor skills, but Manuel is hand flapping and jumping around the room. He then bear hugs his therapist, oblivious to her directions to sit down and pay attention.

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Crossing the Midline - Bilateral Coordination

[Source:  Sensory Edge]


One issue that can develop with young children is an inability to cross the midline. This means that a child will not take their hands or arms across the center of their body. For example, if you are holding something in your left hand and you want to pick something up off your desk that is on your left you generally use your right hand to reach across and pick it up.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - 10 Signs in the Classroom Suggesting a Student May Benefit from Occupational Therapy

[Source:  North Shore Pediatric Therapy]


A teacher's job can become very hectic when trying to help each child with their own specific challenges. An occupational therapist (OT) can be an excellent resource and adjunct to helping students overcome challenges and excel in the classroom. Here are a few tips to help a teacher identify if a child could benefit from an occupational therapy evaluation and treatment. (This is by no means a complete list of behaviors or challenges in the classroom that an OT can help with.)


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