March 15, 2013
Weekly Edition
Issue 8, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Greetings!

Here is our newsletter offering for you on this Friday, the Ides of March.  Please have a safe and sensible St. Patrick's Day!
 
News Items:
  • Research: Writing Forces and Pencil Grasps
  • Exercise Shields Children from Stress, Research Indicates
  • Single Concussion May Cause Lasting Brain Damage
  • Children's Doll Line Embraces Down Syndrome
  • 'I Don't Want to Pick!' Preschoolers Know When They Aren't Sure
  • Scientists Find Age-Related Changes in How Autism Affects the Brain  
  • "Auti-sim" Game Lets You Experience the Horror of Sensory Overload 
  • New Early Warning System for the Brain Development of Babies
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Spring into Egg-ster Activities
  • SLP Resource of the Week: Free Webinar - Pairing Picture Books and Apps to Contextually Address Language Objectives
  • App Review: Speech Flipbook 
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week: 15 Therapy Games to Play with Plastic Eggs - Plus a Whole Bunch More!  

Articles and Special Features 

  • Physical Therapy Corner: Walking Over Uneven Surfaces
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Teaching Elapsed Time
  • SLP Corner: Speech Madness Activity to Track Progress
  • Worth Repeating: Overheard: Bilingual and Disfluent: A Unique Treatment Challenge
  • Also Worth Repeating: Common Warning Signs of Dyspraxia in Children Pre-K to Grade 2
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





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Handwriting in the News:  Research: Writing Forces and Pencil Grasps

[Source:  The American Journal of Occupational Therapy via Your Therapy Source]

The American Journal of Occupational Therapy published research on the writing forces associated with four pencil grasp patterns in 74 children in grade 4.The students completed a handwriting assessment before and after a copy task and grip and axial forces were measured. The results indicated the following:

  • no kinetic differences among grasps, whether considered individually or grouped by the number of fingers on the barrel.
  • when grasps were grouped according to the thumb position, the adducted grasps exhibited higher mean grip and axial forces.
 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog

Physical Fitness in the News: Exercise Shields Children from Stress, Research Indicates

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

Exercise may play a key role in helping children cope with stressful situations, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

 

When they are exposed to everyday stressors, the study found sedentary children had surges of cortisol - a hormone linked to stress. The most active children had little or no increase in their cortisol levels in similar situations.


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

Traumatic Brain Injury in the News:  Single Concussion May Cause Lasting Brain Damage   

[Source: Science Daily]

 

A single concussion may cause lasting structural damage to the brain, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

 

"This is the first study that shows brain areas undergo measurable volume loss after concussion," said Yvonne W. Lui, M.D., Neuroradiology section chief and assistant professor of radiology at NYU Langone School of Medicine. "In some patients, there are structural changes to the brain after a single concussive episode."

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Down Syndrome in the News:  Children's Doll Line Embraces Down Syndrome  

Editor's Note:  While PediaStaff would suggest a person-first company name, this is none-the-less an exciting project!  

[Source: WPXI.com via Disability Scoop]  

 

When she couldn't find any dolls that looked like her daughter with Down syndrome, a Pennsylvania mom decided to create them herself.

 

Connie Feda is working on a lineup of girl and boy dolls modeled to more accurately reflect the physique of those with disabilities. Inspired by her 13-year-old daughter, Feda describes the look of her creations as "cute," "intelligent" and "spunky."

 

In addition to being more identifiable for kids with disabilities, Feda says her dolls also offer an opportunity for therapy. They feature clothing with life-size zippers, buttons and snaps to help young people practice their motor skills.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Pediatric Decision Making in the News:  'I Don't Want to Pick!' Preschoolers Know When They Aren't Sure  

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

Children as young as 3 years old know when they are not sure about a decision, and can use that uncertainty to guide decision making, according to new research from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis.

 

"There is behavioral evidence that they can do this, but the literature has assumed that until late preschool, children cannot introspect and make a decision based on that introspection," said Simona Ghetti, professor of psychology at UC Davis and co-author of the study with graduate student Kristen Lyons, now an assistant professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Autism Research in the News:  Scientists Find Age-Related Changes in How Autism Affects the Brain   

[Source: Science Daily]

 

Newly released findings from Bradley Hospital published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry have found that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect the brain activity of children and adults differently.

 

In the study, titled "Developmental Meta-Analysis of the Functional Neural Correlates of Autism Spectrum Disorders," Daniel Dickstein, M.D., FAAP, director of the Pediatric Mood, Imaging and Neurodevelopment Program at Bradley Hospital, found that autism-related changes in brain activity continue into adulthood.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Tech Tools in the News:  "Auti-sim" Game Lets You Experience the Horror of Sensory Overload    

[Source:  ARS Technical]

 

You stand in a dirt field under a beautiful blue sky. A few meters away, a group of kids are shrieking and playing happily on a jungle gym. As you walk forward, though, you notice the kids are actually faceless statues, staring blankly back at you. Their shrieking gets almost deafeningly loud as you approach, layered on top of monotone schoolyard rhymes and songs. The idyllic visuals start to get fuzzy, too, like the world is caught between reality and the static on a dead analog TV station. Your only relief is to quickly retreat back to the safety of your starting place.

 

Read the Rest of this Article and Watch a Demo Through a Link our Blog

Brain Development in the News:  New Early Warning System for the Brain Development of Babies     

[Source: Science Daily]

 

A new research technique, pioneered by Dr. Maria Angela Franceschini, will be published in JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) on March 14th. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have developed a non-invasive optical measurement system to monitor neonatal brain activity via cerebral metabolism and blood flow.

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

OT Activity of the Week:  Spring into Egg-ster Activities   

Thank you to Barbara Smith of the Recycling OT for this week's activity!

Spring is a great time of year for egg-themed crafts regardless of your religion or location on this planet. Children love eggs and birth.......

Some of the common crafts include lacing, painting and forming eggs with clay. Here are a few plastic activities made out of  detergent bottles that I bet you never heard of before !!

White plastic is available from the milk and orange juice bottles as well as cat litter and detergent or dishwasher soap bottles.

 

Learn More About this Activity on our Blog

SLP Resource of the Week:  Free Webinar - Pairing Picture Books and Apps to Contextually Address Language Objectives   

Join  Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, on Thursday, March 28 at 3 pm ET for Pairing Picture Books and Apps to Contextually Address Language Objectives.

Using picture books to address clinical objectives in context is an established practice that Speech-Language Pathologists can combine with the recent integration of iPad apps in interventions. This presentation will describe the contextual overlap between books and apps for various ages, and models the alignment of these "old" and "new" visual tools with language objectives. Eight picture books

 

Learn More About This Webinar Through a Link on our Blog

App Review of the Week:  Speech FlipBook   

Speech Flipbook by Tactus Therapy, Review by Katie Millican, SLP_Echo

 

Purpose:  A newly released app that allows users to target individual sounds in various positions (i.e. CV, VC, CVC, CCVC, CVCC, etc). Uses range from articulation therapy to phonological awareness, motor speech disorders, and more. Speech FlipBook relies on the letters and corresponding sounds, rather than images, to target thousands of word combinations.

 

The Workings: Tactus Therapy has put much effort into designing easy-to-read worksheets and step-by-step videos on how to use Speech FlipBook efficiently (see resources below for more info). I really couldn't do a more thorough job than their site. The app is user-friendly once you are familiar with the set-up and tabs. The tabs are organized into initial and final isolated consonants,  

 

 Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog

Pinterest Pin of the Week:  15 Therapy Games to Play with Plastic Eggs - Plus a Whole Bunch More!   

I realize we haven't hit St. Patty's Day yet, but apparently many of you are excited about Easter and Spring.  This pin of a post on the blog Embrace Your Chaos has had 200 repins this week

This time of year everywhere you look, you will find those little plastic Easter eggs for sell, which means that Easter egg hunts will soon be in full force.  But did you know there are numerous other ways to use those plastic eggs to build sensory-motor skills?  Here are 15 ideas to help you get the most out your Easter egg experience:

 

Learn More About these 15 Ideas and a Whole Slew of Others on our Blog

OT/PT Corner: Walking Over Uneven Surfaces

By Natalie Lopez, DPT

I really enjoy treating patients in a natural home environment because it allows me to find new ways to be creative with limited resources.

After my patients begin walking and are able to walk well indoors across flat surfaces, I begin to challenge them by making them walk over obstacles, which was described in this post.

I usually start taking patients outside during treatments when I begin practicing walking over uneven surfaces.  But when there isn't an appropriate outside environment or the weather doesn't allow, another way I challenge new walkers with walking over uneven surfaces is by converting a

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog


Pediatric Therapy Corner: Teaching Elapsed Time

by: Abby Brayton, MS, OTR/L

Understanding the concept of time is a foundational skill for executive function. It's hard to plan and manage your time when you don't have a clear understanding of the passage of time. Teaching elapsed time has been a challenge for me until Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP provided an easy tip during a presentation on executive function skills.

 

Before I get to the tip, let me give a little background on why she teaches the passage of time the way she does. I have always been a fan of visual timers. Until Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP opened my eyes to flaw of my beloved visual timer. Let me show you why.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Speech Madness Activity to Track Progress

by:  Kim Lewis, MA CCC-SLP

 

North Carolinians take college basketball very seriously and March Madness is the culmination of all craziness.  This year's tournament starts on March 19 and lasts through the first week of April and everyone knows the games are even more fun to watch if you have your bracket filled out.

 

A lot of thought goes into these brackets.  Does this team look like it's starting to peak, really come together?  Who will be out with an injury?  Which team seems to always choke under pressure or always rise to the occasion?  In a pinch, who has the better mascot?  



Worth Repeating: Overheard: Bilingual and Disfluent: A Unique Treatment Challenge

[Source: ASHA Leader]

On November 2012, bilingual fluency expert Garth Foote chatted with participants during an ASHA online conference on fluency. The Leader was listening.

Bahaa Sudqui Moh'd Abdeljawad: In your lecture, I understood that we treat the language that bothers the client. What if the client says, "I want stuttering to fade out of my speech," or we have a child who cannot be asked to choose? Which language do we start with? And what is the "taboo" of stuttering?

Also Worth Repeating: Common Warning Signs of Dyspraxia in Children Pre-K to Grade 2

Editor's Note:  While written for parents/guardians, this article is definitely worth sharing and reading by therapists as well.

  

Does your young child have poor motor skills, even when doing something as simple as brushing teeth? Does it seem like your child knows what words to use but can't get the right "mouth muscles" to cooperate when speaking? Does your child tend to bump into things or people or have a weak hand grip when grabbing objects? Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development, strength and coordination - and may be the reason behind your child's difficulties. While dyspraxia is not a learning disability (LD), many children with LD also show signs of dyspraxia.  

 

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

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