January 10, 2014
Issue 2, Volume 7
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!
Please enjoy our newsletter offering!
News Items: 
  • Inflated Praise is Actually Harmful for Children with Low Self-Esteem
  • Loving Touch Critical for Premature Infants
  • Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy Linked to Offspring Muscle Strength
  • 'Vocal Fry' in the News
  • Feel Good Video of the Week: We're Gonna Be OTs (Lorde's Royals) with Lyrics
  • 'Wellbeing Improved' if Children with Autism Recruit Imaginary Helpers


PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  SoCal!
  • PediaStaff Featured Therapy Job of the Week: Pediatric Outpatient PT
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • 10 Ways to Practice Catching and Throwing Skills By Yourself
  • Sensory Activities of the Weeek: Sensational Straws
  • Instagram Ideas of the Week (and a Pinterest Pinboard) for Martin Luther King Day 
  • Therapy Idea of the Week: 10 Ways to Use Clothes Pins with Craft Sticks

Articles and Special Features 

  • SLP Corner: 'Faces in Things' for Speech Therapy
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: 10 Classic Games to Strengthen Executive Function (Ages 7+)
  • OT Corner: An OT Shares Her Experience in Jamaica
  • Worth Repeating: ADHD, the Aggressive Child and the Elephant in the Room
  • Also Worth Repeating: These 8 Inspiring People Will Change The Way You Think About Autism And Asperger's
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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The Impact of 'Praise' in the News:  Inflated Praise is Actually Harmful for Children with Low Self-Esteem

[Source: Medical News Today]

When children have low self-esteem, many adults try to build them up with supportive words of encouragement. A recent study confirms this by finding that adults tend to give kids with low confidence more inflated praise. But the study also finds that these children may actually shy away from new challenges in the wake of such excessive applause.


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

Preemies in the News: Loving Touch Critical for Premature Infants

[Source:  Science Daily]


The benefit that premature infants gain from skin-to-skin contact with their mothers is measurable even 10 years after birth, reports a new study in Biological Psychiatry.


Physical contact with babies is essential for their physical and psychological development. This lesson has been learned the hard way, as infants neglected in hospitals and orphanages developed many problems, ranging from depression to a more global failure to thrive. But, what types of contact are necessary and what are the beneficial effects of enriching physical contact?


In a new study, Dr. Ruth Feldman, a Professor at Bar-Ilan University, and her colleagues studied the impact of different levels of physical contact on prematurely born infants.


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

Prenatal Care in the News:  Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy Linked to Offspring Muscle Strength  

[Source: Medical News Today]


New research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that mothers who have a higher intake of vitamin D during pregnancy are more likely to have children with stronger muscles.


Vitamin D is known to help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream, as well as help cells to communicate.


The body's main source of vitamin D comes from sunlight, but foods such as oily fish, eggs, fortified cereals and powdered milk are good sources of the vitamin.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Speech Affectations in the News:  Vocal Fry 

It's called Vocal Fry. Listen closely to how stars like Kim Kardashian or Britney Spears speak...and you'll quickly recognize it. Now, kids are trying to copy this speech pattern and damaging their vocal cords in the process.   Nemours ENT Surgeon, Dr. Julie Wei & Speech Language Therapist, Kelly Hoyt, were on Good Day Orlando this morning talking about Vocal Fry.   Check it out! 


Watch this Story our Blog

Feel Good Video of the Week:  We're Gonna Be OTs (Lorde's Royals) with Lyrics 

In the style of Lorde's Royals, this Occupational Therapy Student Anthem was written and performed by a select group of extremely talented OT graduate students of Saint Louis University.


Watch this Inspiring and Entertaining Video on our Blog

Autism Treatment in the News:  Wellbeing Improved' if Children with Autism Recruit Imaginary Helpers  

[Source: Medical News Today]


Researchers believe they have developed a psychological technique that improves the mental wellbeing of children with autism - through an activity that invents tiny characters the kids can then imagine are in their heads helping them out with their thoughts.


The technique - based on CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy - aims to build "social and emotional resilience," particularly for high-functioning children with autism, by recruiting imaginary homunculi characters.


Homunculi are tiny human or human-like creatures. The term is historical, from a time when the fetus was thought to be formed from a microscopic but fully formed human being.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  SoCal!  

Congratulations to Heather L, on her temporary position with PediaStaff's client in Southern California!

Heather will be filling in for a maternity leave in an elementary school.  Way to Go, Heather!

PediaStaff Featured Job of the Week:  Pediatric Outpatient PT  

Our client is an outpatient clinic just outside of Forrest City, Arkansas (about 50 miles West of Memphis, Tennessee). They have an immediate need for a full-time Physical Therapist to join this team of dedicated professionals.  Ages of patients range from Birth - 12 years. Most of the children are developmentally delayed. Clinic is open from 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Each therapist has his/her own workroom, supplies, etc. Could possibly utilize an Assistant.


You caseload would be kids between Birth to 12 years of age....with most in the 3-6 year group.   You would be asked to cover 2 different facilities that are about 45 minutes apart.   You would work 2 days per wee at each...with the third day dedicated to the facility that needs you most.   As I stated...they are looking to open new locations....so get in now to be a part of their expansion.


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Gross Motor Activities of the Week:  10 Ways to Practice Catching and Throwing Skills By Yourself  

[Source:  Your Therapy Source] 


Here are 10 ways to encourage catching and throwing skills in children that they can do all by themselves:  

1.  Toss a balloon up in the air and catch it.

2.  Bat a balloon up and down in the air using your hands.  How many times can you keep it up in the air without it dropping to the floor?

3.  Toss a scarf or small handkerchief in the air and catch it.

4.  Try throwing up a playground size ball and catching it and then progress to a tennis ball.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Sensory Activities of the Week:  Sensational Straws  

[Source: Specialism]  


Random national observances can provide great inspiration for sensory diet fun.


Take National Drinking Straw Day, for instance.  This little-known observance was celebrated on January 3 in honor of the invention and patenting of the paper drinking straw by Marvin C. Stone in 1888.  However, fabulous sensory fun can be had with drinking straws all year round.  Just pick up some straws and don your on  Sensory Savvy Lenses to meet the challenge!


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

Instagram Ideas of the Week:  (and a Pinterest Pinboard) for Martin Luther King Day  

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats - read this book on MLK Day and talk about how this was the first full color children's book featuring an African American child!!  Published 52 years ago!


Flesh Colored Crayons - I never could find the original source of this terrific picture, but it would make an excellent conversation starter in speech-language class for Martin Luther King Day or any day. 


Learn More About These Activities on our Blog

Therapy Idea of the Week:  10 Ways to Use Clothes Pins with Craft Sticks  

[Source:  Your Therapy Source]

Here are 10 ideas to use clothes pins with craft sticks. These are inexpensive activities to create to use in the classroom setting while encouraging strengthening of the hand muscles. Use them for academics, sensory diets, emotions and coordination.


Access These Great Ideas Through a Link on Our Blog

SLP Corner: These Pictures on Twitter are Absolutely Perfect for Speech Therapy

by Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP


Sometimes, I see faces in things. For example, do you see the cute face in this bowl of ice cream? Or, how about the frog face in this cup of coffee? If you keep your eyes (and mind) open, you'd be surprised at just how many faces start to reveal themselves to you. It's pretty amazing if you ask me and that's exactly why I've fallen in love with the Twitter account 'Faces in Things.'


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: 10 Classic Games to Strengthen Executive Function (Ages 7+)

by Jennifer Hatfield CCC-SLP 


If you've been following me a while, you know that I'm a BIG...let's say HUGE...fan of games for developing Executive Function skills. I remember the giddiness that I felt when I read my first research article on how great game playing is for developing cognitive/EF skills {speech and language of course too!}. From that point on, my therapy and coaching took on an entirely new look/feel. 


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

OT Corner: An OT Shares Her Experience in Jamaica

by Stacey Lehrer, MEd,  OTR/L ATP

I've spent the past 9 years working as an OT at a school for kids with severe/multiple disabilities.  I love the fact that my job allows/forces me to practice creative problem-solving on a daily basis, "thinking outside the box" to find what will work for a particular child and enable him to participate more fully.  Last year I put these skills to good use when I travelled to Jamaica with a local organization called Therapy Missions which travels to countries that have limited access to OTs and PTs in order to teach and train families and caregivers.  Our group of 17 therapists spent a 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: ADHD, the Aggressive Child and the Elephant in the Room

[Source:  Boston.com]


by Claudia M. Gold


In the Tony award winning play God of Carnage two couples meet in an elegant living room for an ostensibly civilized conversation about the aggressive act of one couple's child against the other's. The meeting soon degenerates to reveal the underbelly of conflict in the two marriages. Husband and wife hurl insults, precious items and even themselves with escalating rage. We see, as they attempt in vain to focus on the children's behavior, the proverbial "elephant in the room."

Also Worth Repeating: These 8 Inspiring People Will Change The Way You Think About Autism And Asperger's

Editor's Note:  This is a great article to print out and share with your students on the spectrum!


In 2009, a shy, 47-year-old Scottish woman touched the world with her breathtaking rendition of Les Mis�rables' "I Dreamed A Dream" on Britain's Got Talent. After the performance, Susan Boyle catapulted into a singing sensation, selling more than 14 million records worldwide.


But despite her meteoric rise over the past few years, Boyle has, more recently, been coming to terms with a more private matter. Last week, she revealed to The Observer that she was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome by a Scottish specialist about a year ago - a revelation that she calls "a relief.


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

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