August 7, 2015
Issue 31, Volume 8
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter!
News Items:
  • Youth with Autism Show Improved Social Function After UCLA Skills Program
  • Study Sheds Surprising Light on the Causes of Cerebral Palsy
  • Trouble Spot in Brain for Down Syndrome Identified
  • Joking, Pretending with Your Toddler Important for Development
  • New Blood Test May Detect Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Study: Picky Eating Can Correlate with Mental Health Problems
Hot Jobs 
  • Hot Job! Pediatric Home Health OT, San Antonio, TX
  • Hot Job:  Bilingual School SLP Job - Denver, CO
  • Hot Job: School Psychologist - Portland, OR
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Therapy Activity of the Week: Minion Memory Mission
  • Freebie Download!  Giant Pattern Blocks for Toddlers
  • Giant Letter Sounds Puzzle
  • Outdoor Games for Speech Therapy-Freebie

Articles and Special Features 

  • Sensory Corner:  Tips for Going Places With Sensory-Challenged Kids
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Curse of the Gifted Class
  • SLP Corner: Ideas for Helping a Toddler Produce More Consonant Sounds
  • PT Corner: Dynamic Core for Kids Q&A: Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
  • Autism Corner: Alexithymia and Emotion Recognition in Autism
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

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. 
To further narrow your search by state,
setting, bilingual, or term, use the
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Recent Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 

Youth w/Autism Show Improved Social Function After UCLA Program

[Source: Medical News Today]

Gains from 'PEERS' training persist 16 weeks later


Researchers at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA have found that a social skills program for high-functioning young adults with autism spectrum disorder significantly improved the participants' ability to engage with their peers.

In the study, the largest randomized controlled trial to show improved social functioning in young adults with autism, the participants' advances continued to be seen 16 weeks after the program's conclusion, 


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

Study Sheds Surprising Light on the Causes of Cerebral Palsy

[Source:  Science Daily]

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in children. It has historically been considered to be caused by factors such as birth asphyxia, stroke and infections in the developing brain of babies. In a new game-changing Canadian study, a research team from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has uncovered strong evidence for genetic causes of cerebral palsy that turns experts' understanding of the condition on its head.


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

Trouble Spot in Brain for Down Syndrome Identified

[Source:  Medical X-Press]

New brain research has mapped a key trouble spot likely to contribute to intellectual disability in Down syndrome. In a paper published in Nature Neuroscience, scientists from the University of Bristol and UCL suggest the findings could be used to inform future therapies which normalize the function of disrupted brain networks in the condition.

Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, and is triggered by an extra copy of chromosome 21. These findings shed new light on precisely which part of the brain's vast neural network contribute to problems in learning and memory in Down syndrome which until now, have remained unclear.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Joking, Pretending with Your Toddler Important for Development

[Science Daily]

Parents who joke and pretend with their children are teaching them important life skills, research by the University of Sheffield has revealed.

The study showed that children as young as 16 months old naturally learn the difference between joking and pretending by picking up on their parents' cues.

It also showed understanding the difference between the two allows children the opportunity to learn, imagine, bond, and think in abstract ways.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

New Blood Test May Detect Traumatic Brain Injury

[Source:  Psych Central]

A new quick blood test may be able to diagnose traumatic brain injury (TBI) and even determine its severity, according to a new study published in theJournal of Neurotrauma. The test could help determine the best type of treatment for each TBI patient.

Millions of Americans develop TBIs each year. These can range from mild concussions, causing only a headache or temporary blurred vision, to much more severe injuries leading to seizures, confusion, memory and attention problems, muscle weakness, or coma for many months. These symptoms, whether mild or more severe, are generally caused by damaged brain cells.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Study: Picky Eating Can Correlate with Mental Health Problems

[Source: Education News]

Kids don't always want to eat their vegetables - and that's ok. According to new research, parents of picky eaters generally don't have to fret over health and developmental concerns because their child is choosy child. However, research has also found that picky eating could be symptom of a larger psychological problem.

It's important to note that picky eating doesn't cause a psychological issue or vice versa, but there can be a correlation between the two, writes Rachel Rabkin Peachman for The New York Times. For 20% of kids, picky eating can signal a larger issue than what's obviously occurring.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Hot Job! Pediatric Home Health OT, San Antonio, TX

Here's a new opportunity for an Occupational Therapist in Bexar County in San Antonio. Our client provides early intervention and home health to an all pediatric population. The caseload is varied and includes children with neurological disorders such as CP and Down's as well as kids with autism and developmental delays that experience sensory issues, fine motor delays, etc . Here are the details of the position:


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Hot Job:  Bilingual School SLP Job - Denver, CO

We have a great public school job opportunity north of Denver, CO for a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist. They boast a team of professionals who need to add an SLP team member for the 2015-2016 school year for three to five days a week, depending on the candidate's requirements. They are able to consider a full-time person if full-time hours are needed. The Speech-Language Pathologist selected will be working with elementary aged children at two school sites with another SLP as a team member. School experience is preferred. Bilingual skills are required. We need someone as soon as possible!

Qualifications: Must hold a Master's Degree in either Speech Language Pathology or Communication Disorders; a current Colorado license (or eligible). Bilingual skills necessary.


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Hot Job: School Psychologist - Portland, OR  

We are searching for 3 school psychologists for the Greater Portland area.  Two of the positions are for elementary schools (two school coverage for each position), and one position is for a middle school and two charter schools.  This is a wonderful school district located in the eastern Portland suburbs.  The contract assignments begin in September and end in early to mid-June.

Qualifications: Must hold or be eligible for a license for School Psychology in the State of Oregon.


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Therapy Activity of the Week: Minion Memory Mission  

[Source:  Jill Kuzma's SLP Social & Emotional Skill Sharing Site]

It is a wonder what a little summer cognitive rest can do for a person's creativity.  I cruised through June with very little motivation to do anything that required cognitive effort.  Early July brought forth worries that I would never have another creative idea.  Now, as I face mid-July, I feel like I am getting back into my groove.    The result = another FREE working memory activity for folks!


Download This Through a Link on our Blog

Freebie Activity! Giant Pattern Blocks for Toddlers  

[Source:  I Can Teach My Child]

I love everything about pattern blocks...the brilliant colors, the designs a child can make, the endless opportunities for play and learning.  The one thing I don't like about pattern blocks, however, is how small they are.  I rarely get them out because one will inevitably end up on the floor (and even more inevitably into Little Sister's mouth).


Download these Great Free Templates Through a Link on our Blog

Literacy Activity of the Week:  Giant Letter Sounds Puzzle 

[Source: No Time for Flashcards]

Summer is the time for BIG fun activities, but just because they are big doesn't mean they can't work on very specific goals. I bought this roll of paper at IKEA for art, but it's perfect for this letter sounds puzzle activity too. The thing about big activities like this is that their actual physical size is part of their appeal. The novelty sparks interest and that can make or break this activity especially if it poses a challenge to your child. What I love about this floor puzzle is that you can do it with one child like I did or as a group activity. It's also super simple to clear and put back together again, which makes it a fun option for free choice or a literacy center in a classroom.


Learn More Through a Link on our Blog

SLP Freebie of the Week:  Outdoor Games for Speech Therapy

[Source:  Speech 2 via Speechie Freebies]

Hope your summer is going well!  We've been blessed with sunny skies this summer and I've enjoyed spending time with my little guy at the beach and parks.

If you work during the summer, and have groups-you may want to check out my freebie for outdoor games for group therapy.

It contains the directions for two group games-and some cards for your students who need help generating ideas.


Check Out These Activities Through a Link on our Blog

Sensory Corner: Tips for Going Places With Sensory-Challenged Kids

[Source:  Child]

By Rae Jacobson

One of the challenges of raising kids with sensory processing issues is that outings, even ones that promise a lot of fun, can easily turn into nightmares if kids find themselves in surprising or overwhelming situations.

A child who is oversensitive to stimulation can find an ordinary supermarket or restaurant unbearable because of noise, bright lighting, or crowds. But even an excursion that's kid friendly-a trip to the ice cream store-can induce a meltdown if the child hasn't had time to adjust to the idea.


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

Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Curse of the Gifted Class

[Source: Teachers with Apps]

By Nancy Weinstein

The United States is failing its gifted students. And despite the national weariness for standardized testing, the answer lies in a test. But it's a test you can't study for; can't tie to teacher performance; doesn't require billions to fund, and thanks to advances in technology, can be taken anywhere in about an hour. I'm referring to cognitive assessments, the uncontested, most reliable measure of a student's learning strengths and weaknesses and the best way to engage learners of all abilities.

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

SLP Corner: Helping a Toddler Produce More Consonant Sounds

[Source:  Teach Me To Talk]

Join pediatric speech-language pathologist Laura Mize, M.S., CCC-SLP of as she talks with an SLP about one of her most challenging clients who produces only 3 approximations for consonant sounds: /m/ in Mama, /w/ in wow, and a pharyngeal approximation that sounds more like a gag. What would you recommend she try? Join us to see if our ideas match!

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

PT Corner: Dynamic Core for Kids Q&A: DCD

Source: HeartSpace PT]

Here's another Q & A regarding our Dynamic Core for Kids approach to central stability in children:


Q: I work on a diagnostic team and unfortunately have no opportunity to implement the (Dynamic Core for Kids) strategies with my kids over time. Presently, we are being confronted with many kids for whom the question is DCD, but they are very weak and in my view, they lack the foundation from which to refine and coordinate movement. Do you have a perspective on this question? Can clumsiness = "DCD", when foundational power is lacking?

Autism Corner: Alexithymia and Emotion Recognition in Autism

[Source:  Best Practice]

Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties in identifying, describing, and processing one's own feelings, often marked by a lack of understanding of the feelings of others, and difficulty distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal. Alexithymia is not a formal clinical diagnosis and is best conceptualized as a dimensional personality trait that is normally distributed in the general population (with estimates of 10%) and varies in severity from person to person. However, there is evidence to suggest that it is associated with an increased risk for mental health problems. For example, several studies indicate that even in childhood, alexithymia and difficulties in the domain of emotion processing are positively related to internalizing problems such as anxiety and depression.


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

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