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April 6, 2012
Issue 11, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Happy April.  Happy Occupational Therapy and Autism Awareness Month!  Happy Easter and Good Pesach to you as well!

Congratulations to PediaStaff columnist Loren Shlaes, OTR/L for being a huge hit on the prominent general education blog Minds in Bloom.  As of this writing, Loren's post (the first in a series facilitated by PediaStaff) has received 10,000 hits in just two days.  Make sure you check out this excellent article, on why children won't sit still and what classroom teachers can do about it.  It is an excellent resource to share with your teacher colleagues at school.

Another item I would like to draw your attention to, is our Pinterest social mapping project for current therapy students.  If you are a university student studying to be an SLP, OT, PT, or School Psychologist and you are on Pinterest, please participate in this project for us which will take no more than five minutes of your time. 
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Therapy Resource / Pinterest Pin of the Week: Interactive Games for Speech Therapy
  • Great Sensory & Fine Motor Therapy Idea of the Week:  Playing With Tiny Ice 
  • On the Lighter Side:  Happy Occupational Therapy Month!  
  • SLP Chuckle:  What Lionel Logue Was *Really* Thinking  
  • App Review of the Week: Articulate It! 

Upcoming Events

  • Meet PediaStaff at AOTA 2012 

Articles and Special Features  

  • Occupational Therapy Corner: The Sensational World According to Jaimie: Understanding When A Kid With SPD Has Meltdowns
  • SLP Corner (for Everyone):  Tips for Working with Middle School Students 
  • PediaStaff Columnist Featured on Prominent Gen Ed Teacher Website:  Advice From the OT -  Why It's So Hard for Kids to Sit Still and What You Can Do About it! 
  • Meet PediaStaff:  Vicki Hill, Sr. Staffing Consultant 
  • Worth Repeating: Making Sense of the Rise in Autism 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Autism Prevalence: More Affected or More Detected?       
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

The links to the right are "live" and reflect the most recent SLP, OT, PT and related assistant jobs, and ALL our Bilingual and School Psychology Jobs. 
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Recent Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs  
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Autism the News: Autism Rates Up, Likely From Better Testing

[Source:  Associated Press via Yahoo News]


One child out of 88 in the U.S. is believed to have autism or a related disorder, an increase in the rate attributed largely to wider screening.  Advocacy groups seized on the new number as further evidence that autism research and services should get more attention.


"Autism is now officially becoming an epidemic in the United States," said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks, at a news conference where the new figures were released Thursday.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week:  Photographer Captures 'Therapy Ballet' in Chicago
[Source: Reuters]

Reuters photographer Jim Young has recently shared his photo gallery of great pictures that he took during a dance class for children with cerebral palsy

View a Lovely Slideshow of this Program Through a Link on our Blog
AAC in the News: Who Owns the Tech to Talk? The Human Toll of Patent Warfare
[Source:  Digital Trends]

Dana Nieder's developmentally disabled daughter Maya relies on an iPad app to speak. A patent battle threatens to take it - and her voice - away. Should patents exist to protect inventors, or better society?


Patent battles between companies like Yahoo and Facebook have had a way of captivating the masses lately. Even when you don't understand the legal or technical jargon at play, it's easy to see the appeal. Like multimillion-dollar sports teams, it's exciting to witness technology giants dueling in public. And like those sports teams, we have close personal affiliations with them. They're platforms that many of us will use to browse the Web, email colleagues or connect with friends. Yet just as we can still function after our favorite team loses the Super Bowl, the outcome of these matches between tech titans is mostly inconsequential to our everyday lives.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Stuttering in the News: Pro Golfer Speaks Up to the New York Times About Her Stuttering
[Source:  New York Times]


On a recent Tuesday, the golfer Sophie Gustafson set about videotaping a six-and-a-half-minute speech she had composed for an awards dinner in conjunction with the Masters in April. Alone with a video camera in her Orlando, Fla., home, Gustafson expected the taping to go off without a hitch.


She finished eight hours later. It was a stark reminder for Gustafson, who stutters, that speaking - even when nobody else is present - is never a simple act.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
School Administration in the News:  Texas School Bans Child With Cerebral Palsy From Using Walker

A Texas school district is banning a girl with cerebral palsy from using a walker, instead wanting her to use a wheelchair at school.   


Texas mother Kristi Roberts has been campaigning for her daughter, LaKay, the right to use her walker, despite the New Caney Independent School District board turning down the request.   


Not satisfied with the answer, Roberts met with one school official, and recorded their interaction as he continued to deny LaKay, who suffers from cerebral palsy, the right to use the walker, insisting instead that she use a wheelchair.   


Roberts documented the entire meeting on tape, then posted it to YouTube.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Bilingualism in the News: Bilingual Children Switch Tasks Faster Than Speakers of a Single Language
[Source:  Science Daily]

Children who grow up learning to speak two languages are better at switching between tasks than are children who learn to speak only one language, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. However, the study also found that bilinguals are slower to acquire vocabulary than are monolinguals, because bilinguals must divide their time between two languages while monolinguals focus on only one.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Selective Mutism in the News: The Children Who Choose to Stay Silent
[Source:  Daily Mail]

At home Lucy Parker is a typical five-year-old, chatting away non-stop as she plays pretend princesses with her dolls and teddies.

But every morning, when she walks to school with her twin brother Archie and mother Zoie, she undergoes a striking transformation.

As soon as her school comes into view she gets quieter and quieter, and by the time she reaches the playground she's stopped talking completely. 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
ATTENTION University Students: Take Just 5 Minutes to Put Yourself on the Map!
As you know, PediaStaff's Pinterest site is a great place to find therapy ideas and articles.  One thing that we are very excited about is the number of university (especially graduate level) students who are using the site to help them with their classwork and fieldwork.   We have been delighted at how many students have approached our booths at ASHA and TSHA just to tell us how much they enjoy our boards and that they are 'jazzed' to be pursuing this great pediatric therapy profession.


Read the Rest of This Post and Put Yourself on the Map!

Newsletter News:  Hey, Where is the Pin for Discussion?  

Ah, the 'Perils of Pinterest'.  They are still definitely working the kinks out.   We have had to suspend the "Pin for Discussion" for now because Pinterest is limiting the number of comments one can make, even on their own boards.    In order to effectively manage a discussion, I need to make as many as 10 or 12 comments in order to call attention to, and to direct you to the "master pin" where therapists can later go to read the collected ideas and comments.  These "master pins" are necessary because otherwise people would comment on repins that I will never see.

Read the Rest of this Post on our Blog
Therapy Resource / Pinterest Pin of the Week: Interactive Games Great for Speech Therapy
Special Thanks to Speech Lady Liz for her recommendation of this great teacher website which is a tremendous resource for interactive literacy games that are idea for speech-language therapy!   It has received over 250 repins in the week since we repinned it from Liz's blog.

Check out This Great Website Through a Link on our Blog
Great Sensory & Fine Motor Therapy Idea: Playing with Tiny Ice
Here is a great post by our friend Jessie over at Play Create Explore.  What a great way to  present some simple fun that advances both fine motor and sensory goals.

I bought an ice cube tray that makes tiny little ice pellets at a thrift store. I needed a simple activity for L to do while I was making dinner so I brought out the tray from the freezer and dumped the pellets into a

Read the Rest of This Simple, Yet Great Idea on our Blog
On the Lighter Side: Handwriting Activity for OT Month 
April Fool's Day fell on a Sunday this year, so it's too late to prank your kiddos with it, but we created this "worksheet" to celebrate Occupational Therapy Month, and to make you smile!

View and Download this 'Worksheet' on our Blog
SLP Chuckle: What Lionel Logue Was *Really* Thinking  
I saw a photo from the King's Speech the other day and I couldn't resist.  Enjoy.

View this Chuckle on our Blog
App Review : Articulate It!

by Sherry Artemenko 


As speech pathologists we are always looking for new tools to add to our bag, and certainly the iPad has become a favorite for all of us, including the kids! Sifting through the thousands of apps takes time, but is worth it to have a stash of great apps to enrich our therapy sessions.   


Articulate It! by Smarty Ears ($38.99, Universal app for iPhone/iPod/iPad is a welcome addition to our world of apps. Designed by one of the leading developers in speech and language apps, Barbara Fernandes, it starts with a complete video tutorial so you can learn 


Read the Rest of this App Review on our Blog
Upcoming Event : Meet PediaStaff at AOTA 

AOTA 2012 is around the corner (April 26-29th in Indianapolis!) and PediaStaff can't wait to meet you there at our booth #325.


We are extremely excited to announce that PediaStaff will be debuting our very own App of simple but oh so useful Therapy Tools (including an IEP Calculator!) and will be giving it to all the visitors who stop by our booth!   


In addition, we will also have a sweet giveaway for everyone from our friends at LessonPix.   So be doubly sure to stop by!


Visit The AOTA Convention Page Through a Link on our Blog  

Occupational Therapy Corner: The Sensational World According to Jaimie: Understanding When A Kid With SPD Has Meltdowns

by Chynna and Jaimie Laird


Grams came up to visit last weekend. The kids rarely get to see her so it's always a special time. As much fun as her visits are, though, they can also be a whirlwind of emotions, stress and build up to a major meltdown for both Xander and Jaimie. It's a bit easier for Jaimie now because she's finally at the stage where she is able to self-regulate much of the time (that basically just means she's in-tuned enough with her body to know when she's getting overwhelmed and do what her body needs to bring it back down and/or stay regulated). Xander, however, is nowhere near that stage.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner (for Everyone!): Tips for Working with Middle School Students

by:  Deb Tomarakos, SLP-CCC


Middle school is a difficult time for many young teens. It can also be a difficult time for parents of those young teens. My own son is in middle school and I have to say, for my family, middle school is like the terrible twos on steroids. Young teens are struggling with asserting their independence and trying their best to fit in with their peers. Their bodies are changing, they are growing quickly and their hormone changes can impact their behavior in frustrating ways. I just spent the last 5 months working exclusively with middle school students. During that


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

PediaStaff Columnist Featured on Prominent Gen Ed Teacher Website:  Why It's So Hard for Kids to Sit Still and What You Can Do About it! 

Congratulations to PediaStaff columnist Loren Shlaes, OTR/L (who blogs at

PediatricOT) for the first installment of her six piece article, ' Advice from the OT.  Why It's so Hard for Children to Sit Still and What You Can do About it!,' which appeared today on the Minds in Bloom website/blog.


This excellent general education teacher blog is nationally recognized and has great resources for language development.  (You may remember the article that Rachel Lynette wrote for us on Teaching Inference.)   


This series will be a great one to share with your teacher colleagues at school!  


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Meet PediaStaff: Vicki Hill, Sr. Staffing Consultant 
Vicki is a veteran with PediaStaff, and an 'old pro' at recruiting. Before joining PediaStaff, she owned her own staffing company, Liberty Search, Inc., which she founded in 2003. Prior to her career as a staffing consultant, she was in customer service in the electronic sales industry for over 10 years.

 Read More About Vicki on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Making Sense of the Rise in Autism

[Source:   Parents.com]


by Ellen Seidman


Yesterday's news was shocking: One in 88 kids has autism, a significant rise since The Center For Disease Control and Prevention started tracking those stats a decade ago. Parents everywhere wondered what to make of the report, and worried about missing a diagnosis.

For perspective, I reached out to two major autism experts:

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating: Autism Prevalence: More Affected or More Detected?

[Source:  Left Brain Right Brain]


Tom Insel, director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and Chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee has published a blog article coinciding with the CDC announcement of 1 in 88 estimated prevalence.

As a government publication, I feel it is OK to copy it here in total, but you are encouraged to read it on the NIMH website: Autism Prevalence: More Affected or More Detected? 

Autism is always surprising. Earlier today, the CDC released new numbers from their ongoing surveillance of autism prevalence, the Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring (ADDM) Network. What was once considered a rare disorder is now reported as affecting 1 in 88 children, 1 in 54 boys. These new numbers, up 78 percent from 2002 and 23

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