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April 20, 2012
Issue 13, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
We are AOTA Bound! 

We are so excited to be packing for Indy for this year's AOTA Conference.   If you are going to be there, please stop by booth #325 to get your free LessonPix giveaway, AND to be the first to get the link to our very own (and free) PediaStaff iPhone App, TxTools!   We think you will find it very useful, especially if you are a school based therapist.  Although its a very simple app, we are very excited about the feedback we will receive so that we can create bigger and more substantial apps for you in the future. 
Not going to Indy?  No worries, we will be launching TxTools to the public as soon as we return from the show. 

Here is our weekly newsletter offering.  Please give a warm welcome to special needs mom blogger Sandy Casson of 'We Can All Do Things.'  Sandy has written a wonderful article specifically for PediaStaff addressed to our therapist readers.

 
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Product Review:  Freddy Frog by TheraPals 
  • App Review of the Week:  Story Builder 
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week: 20 Three-Minute Brain Breaks 

Articles and Special Features 

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
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





The Career Center

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Selective Mutism in the News/Blogosphere:  Essay by Amy Ettinger on Huffington Post Parents

by:  Amy Ettinger

 

September 2011  

My daughter, who is two and a half, sits with the other preschoolers as they perform a version of "If you're happy and you know it." She doesn't clap, or stomp her feet or sing along (even though she knows every word of the song by heart).   

 

Later, she sits with me on the floor of her room surrounded by her favorite stuffed bear and leads her own rendition. After her "imaginary circle time" she talks about her day and asks why her buddy Theo was "grabby, grabby" with the toy train.   

 

At school she won't utter a peep. She won't say "hi" to her teacher or any direct question from an adult. She won't scream in protest when a kid cuts in front of her in line and she'll bite her lip if she falls rather than cry out. Her quiet on the playground is a black and white silent movie version of the chatterbox I see at home.

 

New PediaStaff LinkedIN Group: Come Join the Pediatric Therapy Career Networking & Discussion Group on LinkedIN 

We have some exciting news to share with our therapist/clinician readers. PediaStaff is starting a new Linked In Discussion Group specifically to discuss career questions - the Pediatric Therapy Career Networking & Discussion Group 
 

If you are already a member of our almost 4000 member strong  Pediatric Therapy Discussion Group on LinkedIn, you know that discussion there is solely for clinical therapy oriented "content."  Members pose questions to each other on therapy related topics, share

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog
Dangerous Fads in the News: Looking for a Rush, Kids Play the Deadly Choking Game
[Source:   ABC News]

The choking game has been around for decades, billed as a "safe" way to get a rush or a high from passing out. According to a new study, about 6 percent of adolescents have played it at least once. But doctors believe kids who play it may have little idea how deadly it is.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Occupational Therapist in the News: OT in North Carolina Profiled in the Charlotte Observer

[Source:  Charlotte Observer]

 

by Hope Yancey
 

Stephanie Wick's gaze is fixed on a visitor's pen grip.
 

She takes a moment to correct their grasp. Wick can't help it; she's trained to notice these things because she's an occupational therapist.

 

Occupational therapists, Wick says, help people achieve their potential in whatever roles - also called "occupations" - they hold in a particular stage of life. Her practice focuses on pediatric occupational therapy, and for children the occupations might be student, sibling, athlete or friend.

"There's a huge shortage of occupational therapists in North Carolina right now," said Wick.


  Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Left Handedness in the News: Lefties Aren't Special After All
[Source:  New York Times Sunday Review]

 

FEW truly insignificant traits receive as much attention as left-handedness. In just the last couple of generations, an orientation once associated with menace has become associated with leadership, creativity, even athletic prowess. Presidents Gerald R. Ford, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were born left-handed (as was Ronald Reagan, though he learned to write with his right hand). Folklore has it that southpaws are unusually common in art and architecture schools. Left-handed athletes like Tim Tebow and Randy Johnson are celebrated.

  

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric TBI in the News: Football-Related Catastrophic Brain Injuries Rising, Especially Among High School Students
[Source:  Medical News Today]

Catastrophic brain injuries associated with full-contact football appear to be rising, especially among high school students, according to a new report.

 

The increase is alarming and indicates more coaches and athletic trainers should change how they teach the fundamental skills of the game, according to researchers based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Until recently, the number of football-related brain injuries with permanent disability in high school had remained in the single digits since 1984. However, the tally rose to 10 injuries in 2008 and 2009, and there were 13 in 2011, according to the latest catastrophic football injury research annual report from the UNC-based National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. 

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News:  Study Suggests Autism Linked to 'Typical American Diet'

[Source: Medical News Today]

 

A new study in Clinical Epigenetics, suggests that the epidemic of autism amongst children in the U.S. may be associated with the typical American diet. The study by Renee Dufault and his team explores how mineral deficiencies, affected by dietary factors, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), could have a potential impact on how the human body frees itself of common toxic chemicals, for instance, pesticides and mercury.  

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Attention in the News: Attention Problems May Be Sleep-Related

 

Thank You Loren Shlaes, OTR/L for bringing this article to our attention.

 

[Source:  The New York Times Well Blog]


Diagnoses of attention hyperactivity disorder among children have increased dramatically in recent years, rising 22 percent from 2003 to 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But many experts believe that this may not be the epidemic it appears to be.

 

Many children are given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D., researchers say, when in fact they have another problem: a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. The confusion may account for a significant number of A.D.H.D. cases in children, and the drugs used to treat them may only be exacerbating the problem.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Product Review of the Week: Freddy Frog, by TheraPals
Editor's Note:   Every once in a while we get approached by a PediaStaff reader who has an interesting product to share with the rest of you.   Elizabeth Agrapidis is a physical therapist, dedicated to helping children with various neurological and traumatic injuries including spinal cord injuries and other special needs.  While working with these children, she realized how it was often scary for them to see themselves looking different than others. As I became close with many of the children and with their families, I saw how they really had a fuller sense of wellness and the world was not so different or scary, when they had a pal.   So 'TheraPals' were born!

Using the power of social media, we hooked up a Jen Corbeil, of Mainely Kids PT with Elizabeth and 'Freddy Frog' and subsequently have this product review for you.

Red this Review of Freddy Frog on our Blog
App Review of the Week: Story Builder
Reviewed by Cassie Soofi, M.S.CCC-SLP

Description: Story Builder is an app for developing oral narrative skills. It can be adjusted for three levels of play to make it accessible for a variety of ages. It provides 50 different pictures and walks a student through creating an oral narrative by asking WH questions and giving sentence starters for the easier levels. The student then records his/her response and either listens back to the response or moves on to the next logical question. At the end the student has composed a complete oral narrative that can be listened to as well as shared via email.

 

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Pinterest Pin / Therapist Resource of the Week : 20 Three Minute Brain Breaks

Well, everyone sure seems to be glad we have gotten to know Rachel Lynette over at Minds in Bloom.   After featuring the first of PediaStaff Columnist Loren Shlaes' 'Advice from an OT' articles, she decided to come up with a freebie of 'brain breaks.'

 

We pinned '20 Three Minute Brain Breaks' and received close to 400 repins!   Definitely qualifies for "Pinterest Pin of the Week' don't you think?


 Access This Great Freebie Through our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: Laugh, Move, and Ask

by Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

 

B is one of the most lovable 6 year olds I know.  Let me describe him.  B can't sit in his seat more than 2 minutes without falling out of his chair or swinging his head and body back and forth for vestibular stimulation.  When called to sit on the floor, he is soon found positioned in such a way that the top of his head is pressed against the floor while he gazes at me with his beautiful, blue eyes...upside down.  As the kids line up to get ready for the gym, B paces in a circle looking at the pattern on the rug.

 

What makes B so lovable?  His middle name could be "earnest".  B desperately wants to do the right thing, but his body simply won't cooperate. He can answer any question we ask, proving that he processed every word.  There is anxiety evident in my little friend.   He knows he will be called on 20+ times a day to sit in his seat, pay attention, look at the teacher, stop moving his body; all the time aware of the fact that he just can't do it.   He WANTS to do what is asked but his body 

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog 


SLP Corner: 10 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Talk

Editor's Note:   This great article written by Sherry Artemenko, one of our great PediaStaff Columnists appeared on Love That Max earlier this week.   Congratulations on a great post with an excellent blog!

 

DO talk a lot to your child as you go through your day, describing your activities as well as his. Whether you're playing at the park, grocery shopping, walking through a museum or making dinner, talk about what you see, feel, taste and experience. Children take in more language when it relates to what they are doing. For example, you could say "I'm getting out the big pot to fill it with water. Let's open the end of the pasta box and empty it!", demonstrating words like "open" and "end" as you speak to them. Multi-sensory experiences reinforce learning-seeing, describing, feeling, smelling the pasta. 


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Advice from the OT: Why Kids Need Recess and PE for Academic Success  

Editor's Note:  Last over the past couple of weeks.  week we have been reprinting a series by PediaStaff columnist Loren Shlaes, OTR/L, being featured on Rachel Lynette's prominent general education blog, Minds in Bloom.  Here is her third installment:  On Why Kids Need Recess and PE for Academic Success. 

 

by Loren Shlaes, OTR/L

 

Movement is what activates the brain and drives development forward.  For this reason, recess is just as important, if not more important, than anything else in the curriculum. Movement is essential to learning.  For the first six years of a child's life, his knowledge is based almost entirely  on his physical interactions with his environment.  His understanding of the world is based on his understanding of himself and his body in relation to gravity. Children need to move

 


 Read The Rest of This Article on our Blog

A Parent's Perspective: What a Parent of a Child with Downs Wants You to Know
Editor's Note:  I want to take a moment to thank Sandy Casson for writing this wonderful article specifically for PediaStaff.    It's always a good thing to step back and see life with special needs through every possible lens.    Sandy, wereally appreciate you taking time out to write this article for us from a mom - to our therapists. 

by Sandy Casson

As a mother of a three-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, I have attended many different therapy sessions.  Over these years, I have learned some of the most important information to help Adeline from her therapists.  Some of her therapists have truly helped make a difference in Adeline's development.  I will never forget these people or the information they empowered me with to help my daughter.
 

When parents have a new baby with Down syndrome, they immediately begin a journey into the world of therapy-and, most times, they begin this journey while still in a state of shock and confusion.  Many times parents are not even sure what they need to do to help their child.  When Adeline was born, I had not had a prenatal diagnosis, so along with the normal new-child adjustments; I was processing the distinctive needs of my new baby. She was two-weeks old when I brought her in for feeding therapy; I had never been in a therapy center and did not even know what feeding therapy was.  I was confused, shocked, and tired.

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Bye, Bye Pacifier: 4 Favorite Ways Plus 1
SLPs get asked all the time how best to rid a child of the dreaded pacifier.  This is a nice article by a Pediatrician.   Thank You 'SewingSLP' on Twitter for the link!

 

by Dr. Natasha Burgert

 

How to get rid of the pacifier is something I talk about nearly everyday.

 

For parents cautiously considering paci-elimination tactics, I share my four favorite ways  
to say goodbye and trouble shoot for success. Many times, the conversation about the pacifier becomes an all-consuming topic at the visit. Rightly so. As many mothers know, just the thought of getting rid of such a treasured piece of plastic can make us break out in a cold sweat. 

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - What New Research on Extended School Day Says

[Source:  Washington Post]

 

By Jodi Grant

 

Two new studies are flashing warning signs about the move to extend the school day.  The Department of Education has made extended learning time a centerpiece of its reform efforts. This could have been a breakthrough moment for our nation's education system, encouraging community partnerships to expand learning in ways that help students succeed and bring new resources into our schools. As decades of research on afterschool and summer learning programs show, community partners and innovative teaching approaches can help engage and excite students in learning, boosting achievement.

 

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