April 17, 2015
Issue 15, Volume 8
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!  

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter!
News Items:
  • Autism's Early Neuronal 'Neighborhood'
  • Rates of ADHD Appear to Decrease at Higher Altitudes
  • Stronger Muscles Make for Healthier Bone Development
  • Large-Scale Study To Look For Causes Of ASD 
  • How 'Cooties' and 'Crushes' Are Encoded In Developing Brains
  • Mapping Language in the Brain
Hot Jobs 
  • Hot Jobs! Outpatient Pediatric OT and PT - NW of Austin, TX
  • PediaStaff Placement of the Week: SLP in San Francisco!
  • AOTA Time in the Music City!!
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Fine Motor Activity of the Week: Seed Sorting
  • Pediatric Therapy Activity of the Week: Marbled Nail Polish Craft
  • App Review of the Week: Speech with Milo Sequencing
  • Spring Gross Motor Game - Puddle Jumping

Articles and Special Features 

  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: 5 Tips for Therapists at IEP Meetings
  • Pediatric OT Corner: Managing Olfactory Sensitivity
  • Gifted Corner:  U.S. Schools are Still Shortchanging Gifted Kids, Experts Say
  • AAC Corner: (Video) AAC for Students Who Can Speak 
  • School Psych Corner: Problem-Solving Skills for Hostile Teens on the Autism Spectrum
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 

Autism's Early Neuronal 'Neighborhood'

[Source:  Medical News Today]

In early childhood, the neurons inside children's developing brains form connections between various regions of brain "real estate." As described in a paper published recently in the journal Biological Psychiatry, cognitive neuroscientists at San Diego State University found that in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, the connections between the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum appear to be overdeveloped in sensorimotor regions of the brain. This overdevelopment appears to muscle in on brain "real estate" that in typically developing children is more densely occupied by connections that serve higher cognitive functioning.

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

Rates of ADHD Appear to Decrease at Higher Altitudes

[Source: Science Daily]

Recent research has linked the thin air of higher elevations to increased rates of depression and suicide. But a new study shows there's also good news from up in the aspens and pines: The prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) decreases substantially as altitude increases.

In Utah, for example, an analysis of information from two national health surveys correlated with the average state elevation of 6,100 feet showed that the rate of diagnosed ADHD cases is about 50 percent of states at sea level. In Salt Lake City, whose elevation is about 4,300 feet, diagnosed ADHD


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

Stronger Muscles Make for Healthier Bone Development

[Source:  Science Daily]

Scientists at the University of Southampton have shown that higher muscle mass is strongly linked with healthier bone development in children.Researchers also found no relationship between fat mass and bone development, indicating it is not an important factor in childhood skeletal strength.

A new study, published in the journal Bone, by researchers from the University's Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit shows a link between the amount of lean muscle and healthy bone development, indicated by the size, shape and density of limb bones, in children at ages six and seven.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Large-Scale Study To Look For Causes Of ASD

[Source: Disability Scoop]


Kaiser Permanente is about to begin what is believed to be the largest genetic research project ever conducted by a health organization into the causes of autism, gathering biological and other health information from 5,000 Northern California families who have a child with the developmental disorder.

Scientists have long suspected that autism results from a combination of genetics and environmental factors, but no one knows for sure. They hope a study of this size will reveal the root causes that could eventually lead to improved diagnoses and new treatments.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

How 'Cooties' and 'Crushes' Are Encoded In Developing Brains

[Source: Psych Central]

Researchers have found a signal in the brain that reflects young children's aversion to members of the opposite sex - the "cooties" effect - and also their growing interest in the opposite sex as they enter puberty. Both responses are encoded in the brain structure called the amygdala, according to researchers at University of Illinois.

The amygdala was once thought of as a "threat detector," said psychology professor Dr. Eva Telzer, who led the new analysis.

"But increasing evidence indicates that it is activated whenever someone detects something meaningful in the environment," she said. "It is a significance detector."


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Mapping Language in the Brain 


[Source:  Science Daily]


The exchange of words, speaking and listening in conversation, may seem unremarkable for most people, but communicating with others is a challenge for people who have aphasia, an impairment of language that often happens after stroke or other brain injury. Aphasia affects about 1 in 250 people, making it more common than Parkinson's Disease or cerebral palsy, and can make it difficult to return to work and to maintain social relationships. A new study published in the journal Nature Communications provides a detailed brain map of language impairments in aphasia following stroke.

"By studying language in people with aphasia, we can try to accomplish two goals at once: we can improve our clinical understanding of aphasia and get new insights into how language is organized in the mind and brain," said Daniel Mirman, PhD, an assistant professor in Drexel University's College of Arts and Sciences who was lead author of the study.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Hot Job of the Week:  Outpatient Peds OT & PT - NW of Austin, TX

Looking for a great opportunity near Austin, Texas? Then look no further.   A growing pediatric outpatient clinic is looking to expand their therapist team in their 10,000 square foot facility about an hour outside of Austin.

The clinic serves kids ages birth-18 (primarily school age) with a variety of diagnoses. Most of the clinic's patients are special needs children from Ft. Hood military base. Owner of clinic is a therapist and opened her own clinic about 10 years ago and continues to grow and thrive. Great pay and flexible hours. Benefit packages are available.


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  SLP in San Francisco  

Congratulations to Nancy H., on her new part-time position PediaStaff's pediatric speech client in Greater San Francisco California.   Nancy will be providing direct service or "as needed" assessments to their clients in the East Bay of San Francisco, California.

Great Job, Nancy!

PediaStaff on the Road!  AOTA Time in the Music City  

Wow!!  What a city! Nashville sure is a buzzing place.  And inside will be too at the Expo Hall.  Grand opening for the hall is Thursday at 5:30 PM!   Please come visit us at booth 1129!    We look forward to meeting you and chatting with you about your career and how PediaStaff might help, today or in the future!

Check out our Instagram feed and Facebook for pictures as the week progresses.  Maybe we will feature YOUR visit to our booth!!

Fine Motor Activity of the Week:  Seed Sorting

[Source: No Time for Flashcards]

My class is learning about gardens right now and this week we are focusing on seeds and how they grow into plants. This seed sorting activity tray will be used during free choice and I will be withins arms reach since these seeds can easily be placed places we don't want them to be like in mouths, nostrils...ears...  I would never introduce an activity that I didn't think my students could do successfully but children are unpredictable so being close by is always a great idea.


Read More About this Great Activity on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Activity of the Week: Marbled Nail Polish Craft  

[Source:  Inner Child Fun]

This marble nail polish craft would be a fun weekend project for older kids. These painted tile coasters would be lovely handmade gifts for Mother's or Father's Day. I love how each tile is unique! This marble nail polish craft is a great way to use up the last bits of leftover nail polishes you may have that are otherwise taking up space in your home. Here is a simple marble nail polish video tutorial to get you started with this fun technique!


Learn More About this Activity Through a Link on our Blog

App Review of the Week: Speech with Milo Sequencing

[Source: Chapel Hill Snippets]

I'm back from Lisbon, and am working at full speed again.  We have a six day work week-yes, school on Saturday to make up for snow days.  (Sigh!)

A few of my students have a new favorite app - Speecwith Milo: Sequencing.  It's a simple app to use.  The child simply puts the pictures in the correct order and is rewarded by a simple video


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

Spring Gross Motor Game - Puddle Jumping  

[Source: Pink Oatmeal]

I love Spring!  Living in Minnesota, the winters are long, and nothing is better than seeing that white stuff disappear!  I don't even mind the muddy mess or puddles that come with the melting snow.  It's actually a lot of fun.  I've been letting my son go crazy playing in them.  It's resulted in several clothes changes, but one happy kid.  We're planning on playing a puddle jumping gross motor game to get the kids moving this Spring.


Learn More About this Activity our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: 5 Tips for Therapists at IEP Meetings

[Source: Your Therapy Source]

IEP "season" is upon us at most school districts.  The real key to successful IEP meetings is proper preparation.  Here are 5 tips to help therapists participate in successful IEP meetings.

1.  Communicate, communicate, communicate!  One of the most important skills to ensure successful IEP meetings is communication.   Communicate with phone calls, emails or face to face meetings with all members of the student's IEP meeting.  Send updates home in addition to IEP quarterly progress reports.  Prior to the actual IEP meeting, make sure you have been in touch with parents and teachers regarding planning for next year and goal setting.  


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

OT Corner: Managing Olfactory Sensitivity

[Source:  Therapy Fun Zone]

I have worked with some kids who are very sensitive to certain smells, and they have trouble being in places where there are certain scents. Optimally, we want these kids to get de-sensitized so that they are free to go anywhere that they want to go, irregardless of what scent is there. This is a very difficult thing to change because environmental smells are not something that we can usually control or modify. The kids have to figure out a method that works for them to help them deal with the smells that bother them.

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

Gifted Corner: U.S. Schools are Still Shortchanging Gifted Kids

[Source:  Science Daily]

The report A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students changed the conversation about academic acceleration in this country's schools when it was published 10 years ago.


Although access to programs and support for gifted students has grown since then, editors Susan Assouline and Nicholas Colangelo knew their work wasn't done. Far too many high-ability children are still languishing in classrooms, bored and unchallenged, their potential lost and futures jeopardized.


Now these researchers, professors, and top administrators with the University of Iowa's College


  Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

AAC Corner: (Video) AAC for Students Who Can Speak

[Source:   PrAACtically AAC]


We often get this question from our fellow SLPs, particularly those who work with students who have autism. From the question alone, it seems like AAC is not needed, and would be a step backward for this particular student. But what happens when we dig a little deeper?

Psych Corner: Problem-Solving Skills for Hostile Teens on Spectrum

[Source:  My Aspergers Child]

Addressing hostility and aggressiveness in teens with Asperger's (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can be a frustrating and demanding process. The challenge for parents and teachers is to address the behavior in a constructive manner, rather than simply reacting to it. 

When AS and HFA teens are exhibiting hostile behaviors, it is often a sign that they are not receiving adequate support in mastering their environments, both at home and school. In addition, their aggressiveness does not necessarily reflect willfulness, rather they lack the social skills needed to "fit-in" and to be accepted by others - especially their peers. 

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

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