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June 29, 2012
Issue 6, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     

Please enjoy our monthly newsletter offering for June.   A portion of our staff is on vacation this week.  As such, this issue contains several items that were featured in the last month or so on our blog but for space reasons never made it into our newsletter.  
News Items: 
  • Learning to Drive with ADHD
  • Stuttering in the Media
  • Feel Good Video of the Week:  Girl With No Fingers on One Hand Wows on Piano 
  • Emotional Issues May Follow Motor Problems in Kids
  • Signs of Dyslexia Start Before Reading, Study Finds 
  • Novel Mouse Model for Autism Yields Clues to a 50-Year-Old Mystery 
  • ADHD Is Over-Diagnosed, Experts Say   
  • Impulsive Tots at Risk for Gambling Problems Later: Study 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • App Review of the Week: Doodlecast for Kids/Doodlecast Pro
  • Therapy Resource of the Week:  The Every Day Life Project  
  • Great Idea for a Great Cause:  Safety Tat! 

Articles and Special Features 

  • Occupational Therapy Corner: Matching Colors AND Improving Fine Motor Skills!
  • SLP Corner: How Twitter, SLPeeps, and Personal Learning Networks Have Helped Make Me a Better Clinician 
  • Pediatric Therapy Achieving Everyday Milestones: Dressing and Undressing
  • Special Feature:  Vision Development: Birth - 2 months 
  • Worth Repeating: Visual Perceptual Activities - Depth Perception
  • Also Worth Repeating: Knitting Multiple Modalities                
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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ADHD in the News:  Learning to Drive with ADHD (New York Times Article)

[Source:  The New York Times]


The first time Jillian Serpa tried to learn to drive, the family car wound up straddling a creek next to her home in Ringwood, N.J.


Ms. Serpa, then 16, had gotten flustered trying to sort out a rapid string of directions from her father while preparing to back out of their driveway. "There was a lack of communication," she said. "I stepped on the gas instead of the brake."


On her second attempt to learn, Ms. Serpa recalled, she "totally freaked out" at a busy intersection. It was four years before she tried driving again. She has made great progress, but so far has still fallen short of her goal: Two weeks ago she knocked over a cone while parallel parking and failed the road test for the fourth time.


Stuttering in the Media:: Shaquille O'Neil is Comfortable in His Own Skin 
Special Thanks to our friends at AIS Blog for posting this!  Check out this commercial featuring Shaquille O'Neal, who apparently stutters.

Feel Good Video of the Week: Girl With No Fingers on One Hand Wows on Piano
A very special thanks to my own thirteen year-old daughter Jaime, who saw me working on this blog and said, "Oh, if you are interested in special kids doing remarkable things, you need to see this video that my chorus teacher showed us!"  

Thanks Jaime!!  This girl certainly is something special!


Watch this Wonderful Performance on our Blog
Developmental Coordination Disorder in the News: Emotional Issues May Follow Motor Problems in Kids
[Source:  Reuters Health via Yahoo.com]


A recent study suggests the way kids with severe coordination problems see themselves may influence their emotional well-being later in life.


Coordination issues - sometimes diagnosed as developmental coordination disorder (DCD) - prevent people from accomplishing everyday tasks, such as using scissors or buttoning their shirts. The disorder can lead to frustration at school, at home and on the playground.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Dyslexia in the News: Signs of Dyslexia Start Before Reading, Study Finds

[Source: ABC News]


Signs of dyslexia may begin even before a child tries to read, according to new research published in the journal Current Biology.


Dyslexia, a developmental reading disorder that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols, cannot just be considered a language problem anymore, as it affects comprehension and visual understanding of symbols and patterns, said Andrea Facoetti, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Padova and co-author of the study. It has been widely "accepted that reading disorders arise from a spoken language problem, [but] results demonstrate the critical role played by visual attention in learning to read."


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News:  Novel Mouse Model for Autism Yields Clues to a 50-Year-Old Mystery  
[Source:  Science Daily]


Early disruptions in serotonin signaling in the brain may contribute to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and other "enduring effects on behavior," Vanderbilt University researchers report.


Serotonin is a brain chemical that carries signals across the synapse, or gap between nerve cells. The supply of serotonin is regulated by the serotonin transporter (SERT). In 2005, a team of Vanderbilt researchers led by Randy Blakely and James Sutcliffe identified rare genetic variations in children with ASD that disrupt SERT function.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD in the News: ADHD Is Over-Diagnosed, Experts Say

What experts and the public have already long suspected is now supported by representative data collected by researchers at Ruhr-Universit�t Bochum (RUB) and University of Basel: ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is over-diagnosed. The study showed that child and adolescent psychotherapists and psychiatrists tend to give a diagnosis based on heuristics, unclear rules of thumb, rather than adhering to recognized diagnostic criteria. Boys in particular are substantially more often misdiagnosed compared to girls.


These are the most important results of a study conducted by Prof. Dr. Silvia Schneider and Prof. Dr. J�rgen Margraf (both from RUB) and Dr. Katrin Bruchm�ller (University of Basel) as reported in the periodical Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Research on Impulsivity in the News: Impulsive Tots at Risk for Gambling Problems Later: Study

Preschoolers who are impulsive, restless, moody and inattentive are twice as likely as other kids to have a gambling problem in adulthood, according to a new study.


Researchers from the University of Missouri, Duke University and University College London said their findings are important considering "the ever-increasing number of [gambling] temptations our world presents," such as the constant ability to gamble on the Internet.

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

App Review of the Week: Doodlecast for Kids/Doodlecast Pro

Reprinted with permission from TherapyApp411 as it appeared on their blog, March 15, 2012 

This post originally appeared on Speechtechie.


When interactive whiteboards (IWBs) first arrived on the scene with their accompanying software, one of the best aspects was teachers' easy access to recording features so that they could preserve each lesson as a video file and share it later via their webpages or other means.  This assisted students who needed information repeated, and also made really good use of the visual teaching capabilities of IWBs.  It also is extremely motivating for students to be able to use this technology themselves in order to explain or apply a curriculum concept, and then hear/see their work and evaluate how well they did!  

 Read the Rest of this Review and Watch Video Demo on our Blog
Therapy Resource of the Week:: The Everyday Life Project
Thanks to FutureSLPs.com for reminding us of this excellent resource for therapists!  - The Everyday Life Project

The EDL project uses interactive, situation-based lessons to teach functional literacy skills. Each activity provides learners with the opportunity to test their knowledge of real-world situations and to develop the confidence and skills necessary to be successful in everyday life.

Check out The Every Day Life Project Through a Link on our Blog
Great Product for a Great Cause: SafetyTat! 
I don't normally do straight up product promotion on this site, and prefer to review instead.   I have not seen this product in action, but I have no doubt that they work great!    Designed exclusively for our friends at CASANA/Apraxia Kids, it is a fantastic idea idea for all non-verbal children!

Learn More About SafetyTat on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: Matching Colors AND Improving Fine Motor Skills!
by Anne Zachry OTR/L


The parent workshop was a great success. I was so excited to share ideas and suggestions that parents will be able to carry out with their children to work on a variety of skills. I could tell that the parents were eager to learn as much as possible, and that really excites me, because I'm a true believer in working together as a team for the children.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: How Twitter SLPeeps and Personal Learning Networks Have Helped Make Me a Better Clinician.

By Megan Panatier MS, CCC-SLP


We are always learning. We are always teaching. Speech language pathologists, SLPs, are apprentices and master teachers for each other from day one. What I love most about the communicative disorders and sciences fields of audiology (audpeeps) and speech language pathology (slpeeps) is the dedication to science and human connection.


I think this is why Twitter and Personal Learning Networks, PLNs, have been influential in bringing slpeeps and audpeeps together to discuss, chat, laugh, brainstorm and argue about current topics (or sometimes personal ones) that influence all of the language rich society in which we all share across the globe. SLPs like to talk (and listen). Twitter is a great place to talk - and listen.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Achieving Everyday Milestones: Dressing and Undressing
By: Natan Gendelman


From a young age, children are taught essential life skills which become a part of their everyday function. For any parent, fostering this kind of independence is crucial because it motivates and encourages a child to strive for goals and personal development. However, teaching him how to perform these functions successfully can be challenging, as no two children will have the same personality or the exact same condition. In the case of a child with a neurological or developmental disorder, what he can and cannot do at his stage of development may affect how you teach him and what this may entail


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Special Feature: Vision Development: Birth - 2 months
By: Dr. Lynn Hellerstei, Developmental Optometrist


Babies often don't focus on you or other targets, as nerve cells in their retina and brain are not fully developed. The infant cannot accommodate (focus on near objects) very well. However, within a few days after birth, infants prefer looking at an image of their mother's face to that of a stranger.  Visual acuity is estimated to be approximately 20/400.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Visual Perceptual Activities - Depth Perception

[Source:  Kids in Motion]


Does your child struggle with following an appropriate gait pattern when walking up or down stairs? Does your child experience difficulty when reaching for the monkey bars or trapeze bar in the playground? Does your child have difficulty when reaching for clothing or other items on closet shelves at height level? Does your child often trip when stepping over the curb while crossing the street? Does your child have difficulty reaching for toys floating in the water when  playing in the bathtub? Does your child overreach at mealtime while reaching for food and when feeding himself?  If your child struggles during any of these daily tasks, there may be an underlying depth perception issue. Here are some activities to which can increase your child's depth perception:

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating: Knitting Multiple Modalities        
[Source: ASHA]

Before becoming a mom I taught K-12 classes, starting in second language classrooms. It felt like I was at home because I grew up as a simultaneous bilingual - a person who was presented with two languages from birth in an immigrant household. My parents met in an ESL classroom in the Mission district of San Francisco, so I grew up learning in ways that helped all of us which meant using all modalities - visual, tactile, auditory, kinesthetic.

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