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July 20, 2012
Weekly Edition
Issue 23, Volume 5

It's All About the Choices!     
happy Friday to you!  Here is our weekly news offering for you!
News Items: 
  • Students Create Gloves That Can Convert Sign Language Movements Into Speech
  • Blood-Brain Barrier Less Permeable in Newborns than Adults after Acute Stroke 
  • Questionnaire Completed by Parents May Help Identify One-Year-Olds at Risk for Autism
  • Federal Report Shows Drops In Infant Mortality, Preterm Birth Rates
  • Drug Shown to Improve Memory in Those With Down Syndrome 
  • Infants' Recognition of Speech More Sophisticated Than Previously Known 
  • New Evidence Links Immune Irregularities to Autism, Mouse Study Suggests  
  • Long-Term ADHD Drug Use Appears Safe 
  • Novel Intervention Helps Kids Suffering From Depression And Anxiety 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources

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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Technology in the News:  Students Create Gloves That Can Convert Sign Language Movements Into Speech

Thanks to our friends at React2 Software for 'tweeting' this article!


[Source:  Medical Daily]


A group of Ukrainian students have created a glove that can convert the movements made in sign language into speech.


The new EnableTalk gloves, presented at the finals of 2012 Microsoft's Imagine Cup in Sydney, Australia, are fitted with 15 flex sensors, touch sensors, gyroscopes, accelerometers and a compass to define the position of the glove in space. The gloves are also fitted with some solar cells to increase battery life.


Pediatric Stroke in the News: Blood-Brain Barrier Less Permeable in Newborns than Adults after Acute Stroke
[Source:  UCSF.edu]

The ability for substances to pass through the blood-brain barrier is increased after adult stroke, but not after neonatal stroke, according to a new study the UCSF that will be published July 11 in the Journal of Neuroscience.


The novel findings may have major implications for drug development and the treatment of neonatal stroke, the researchers said.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog
Autism in the News: Questionnaire Completed by Parents May Help Identify One-Year-Olds at Risk for Autism

[Source:  UNC Healthcare]


The First Year Inventory, a 10-minute questionnaire filled out by parents after a child's first birthday, shows promise in identifying children who are later diagnosed with autism or other developmental problems.


A new study by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers found that 31 percent of children identified as at risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) at 12 months received a confirmed diagnosis of ASD by age 3 years.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Health News: Federal Report Shows Drops In Infant Mortality, Preterm Birth Rates

[Source:  NIH News]


Annual statistics compilation notes increases in poverty, drop in secure parental employment

The infant mortality rate, the preterm birth rate, and the adolescent birth rate all continued to decline, average mathematics scores increased for 4th and 8th grade students, the violent crime victimization rate among youth fell, as did the percentage of young children living in a home where someone smoked, according to the federal government's annual statistical report on the well-being of the nation's children and youth.


However, the percentage of children living in poverty increased, and the percentage of children with at least one parent employed full time, year-round decreased, the report said.

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Down Syndrome in the News: Drug Shown to Improve Memory in Those With Down Syndrome

[Source:  Science Daily]


Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found a drug that boosts memory function in those with Down syndrome, a major milestone in the treatment of this genetic disorder that could significantly improve quality of life.


"Before now there had never been any positive results in attempts to improve cognitive abilities in persons with Down syndrome through medication," said Alberto Costa, MD, Ph.D., who led the four- year study at the CU School of Medicine. "This is the first time we have been able to move the needle at all and that means improvement is possible."

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Speech-Language Development in the News:  Infants' Recognition of Speech More Sophisticated Than Previously Known
[Source:  Science Daily]

The ability of infants to recognize speech is more sophisticated than previously known, researchers in New York University's Department of Psychology have found. Their study, which appears in the journal Developmental Psychology, showed that infants, as early as nine months old, could make distinctions between speech and non-speech sounds in both humans and animals.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism Research in the News: New Evidence Links Immune Irregularities to Autism, Mouse Study Suggests
[Source:  Science Daily]

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) pioneered the study of the link between irregularities in the immune system and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism a decade ago. Since then, studies of postmortem brains and of individuals with autism, as well as epidemiological studies, have supported the correlation between alterations in the immune system and autism spectrum disorder.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD in the News: Long-Term ADHD Drug Use Appears Safe

[Source:  Science Daily]


Drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) do not appear to have long-term effects on the brain, according to new animal research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

As many as five to seven percent of elementary school children are diagnosed with ADHD, a behavioral disorder that causes problems with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination of these traits. Many of these children are treated with psychostimulant drugs, and while doctors and scientists know a lot about how these drugs work and their effectiveness, little is known about their long-term effects.

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog 
Pediatric Neurobiology in the News: Novel Intervention Helps Kids Suffering From Depression And Anxiety

[Source: Medical News Today]


Children suffering from anxiety and depression could significantly benefit from a novel intervention called Emotion Detectives Treatment Protocol (EDTP), say researchers at the University of Miami. 

Anxiety affects around 8 to 22% of children and is often combined with other conditions, such as depression. According to the study, published online in the journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, the severity of anxiety and depression significantly reduced among children who received treatment with EDTP.


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

SLP Tip of the Week: Don't Eat The Bubbles!
by Hanna Bogen

Dear world of people who use bubbles with kids: 

I will give you one whole dollar if you can honestly tell me that you have never watched a child (oral apraxia or not) inhale or ingest bubble solution while trying to blow those oh-so-magical bubbles (accidentally or on purpose). Let's just be candid for a moment. It's GROSS. I have worked as a nanny for lots of kids in lots of families, and I'm always shocked at how many kids attempted to eat and drink things that have either spent a week or more fermenting under the refrigerator or could double as an insect killing agent. With all this in mind, I hate that more bubble solution usually ends up on your

Read the Rest of this Article / Product Recommendation on our Blog
Pinterest Pinboard of the Week: Therapy Activities for Celebrating the Olympic Games

It's been awhile since we have created a specialty pinboard on Pinterest for you!   Please enjoy this board of activities, crafts and treats for celebrating and learning about the Olympic Games!  

My favorites are the book about Wilma Rudolph (did you know she was several months premature, and had pneumonia, measles, mumps, scarlet fever, and polio - and was never expected to walk without braces???) and the handprint ring craft!


Visit our Olympics Pinboard Through a Link on our Blog

Therapy Idea of the Week : Using Pinterest to Work with Kiddos on Colors!

Recently, we have been getting invitations to participate in group boards on Pinterest.   For the most part, we really don't have time to help build boards other than our own, but from time to time I check them out and occasionally accept the invitations.    This week I have been invited to join boards by a particular designer in Scandinavia who has created boards full of images in specific colors.


That got me thinking.   Color based boards would be great for working with kiddos.   Especially if you have TapikeoHD on an iPad!  (See Turning Pinterest Boards Into a Therapy Activity!)  


Read the Rest of this Article Post on our Blog

Therapy Classroom Idea of the Week : Make This Over the Summer! Great Up-Cycled 'Miss Piggy' Therapy Box
Jenna Rayburn over at Speech Room News has some of the cutest ideas!   Check out this recent blog post on how she turned a Tide Bottle into a box for phonological awareness skills!  What an easy and adorable to make this summer so your classroom has some fun, new items when school starts!

Take a Look at this Great Idea on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Our Turn - Therapy Goodness on the Road Less Traveled - My Visit to Sumlar Therapy

by Vicki Hill,  Senior Staffing Consultant, PediaStaff


On my most recent trip to the Florida Panhandle Beaches, I decided I would plan a visit to one of our long-standing outpatient clients, Sumlar Therapy.  The clinic is "strategically" positioned in the deep south somewhere between Enterprise and Dothan Alabama, some may call it "the middle of nowhere".  However, it is very close to the aviation training base, Fort Rucker.  This base attracts Army personnel from all over the world.


As vacation travelers, one never really know about some of these small towns, because we are accustomed to staying on the Interstates or the State roads to get from point A to point B.  This trip gave me no exception.  From Alabama State Road 231, the landscape fostered the same questions in me "What sort of industry is here and I wonder what the history is behind the people that live here?"


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: Shaggies Pencil Gripper Fidget!

Love this post by Jen Dermody of Jen's OT for Kids! 


Oh my word, it has been WEEKS since I've posted on my blog!  The end of the school year nearly took me down with so many new evaluations, re-evaluations, IEP's, and PAPERWORK and there simply weren't enough hours in the day to fit in a new post.  When I finally had some time to post, I had computer issues and wasn't able to access my own blog :(    Everything is back on course now!


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Adventures in Advocacy
by Mary Huston, MS., CCC-SLP


Advocacy...Advocacy...who has the Advocacy...

Also known as 7 Habits of the Burnt-Out SLP

Alternately known as 10 Ways to Dump an SLP ...

Affectionately known as Who has a Life? I have Reports to Write...


As a member of the #SLPeeps (on twitter) who has been around since before the hashtag was created, I can verify that one topic that continually raises an ugly head is the subject of caseloads and workload management. For the record, the conversation comes up on Facebook as well. There are as many thoughts on the subject as there are members of the #SLPeeps (and there are 100s if not 1000s of #SLPeeps on twitter). Now, for the majority of this post, I will not use names - not because I think those SLPs don't deserve credit for what they've said - but because I don't want this post to cause difficulties (however remotely) for anyone.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Worth Repeating: Dentist Tips for Children with Aspergers

Thanks to our friends at NEPA Special Needs Networking for sharing this great article with us!


[Source:  MyAspergersChild.com]


"My  son would rather have a mouth full of cavities - and the pain that goes with it - than go to the dentist. Are there ways to help a child with Aspergers become less fearful of dental work?"


Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism have the same rate of dental problems as the general population. As hard as it is for most children to go to the dentist, it's even harder to have a positive dental experience for kids on the spectrum. Even so, there are some things you can do to improve the dental experience for your child.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - Great Conversation Starter Photo for Speech Language Therapy!
I pinned this photo to our Olympics Pinboard yesterday, but the more I look at it the more I smile.  I just HAD to feature it by itself on our blog here!


What Photo?  Check it out on our Blog!
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