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July 6, 2012
Weekly Edition
Issue 21, Volume 5

It's All About the Choices!     
Happy July!  Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday!   Here is our weekly newsletter offering for you.   A tad bit shorter than usual due to the abbreviated work week: 
News Items: 
  • Detecting The Early Signs Of Autism In Infant Brains
  • GPS for the Brain: New Brain Map Developed
  • EEGs May Someday Be Able To Diagnose Autism
  • Kids Born Just Two Weeks Early Test Lower in Reading and Math: Study 
  • Study: Infants Can't Distinguish Between Large and Small Groups 
  • Out of the Mouths of Primates, Facial Mechanics of Human Speech May Have Evolved 
  • Friends of PediaStaff in the News: Finding Their Voice 
  • OTs and PTs Needed for 2 Minute Survey on Baby Gear  
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources

Articles and Special Features 

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. 
To further narrow your search by state,
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Autism in the News:  Detecting The Early Signs Of Autism In Infant Brains
[Source:  Medical News Today]

A new study shows significant differences in brain development in high-risk infants who develop autism starting as early as age 6 months. The findings published in the American Journal of Psychiatry reveal that this abnormal brain development may be detected before the appearance of autism symptoms in an infant's first year of life. Autism is typically diagnosed around the age of 2 or 3.


Neurobiology in the News: GPS for the Brain - New Brain Map Developed
[Source:  Science Daily.com/Image Credit: University of Georgia]

University of Georgia researchers have developed a map of the human brain that shows great promise as a new guide to the inner workings of the body's most complex and critical organ.


With this map, researchers hope to create a next-generation brain atlas that will be an alternative option to the atlas created by German anatomist Korbinian Brodmann more than 100 years ago, which is still commonly used in clinical and research settings.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog
Autism in the News: EEGs May Someday Be Able To Diagnose Autism

[Source: ABC News]


A readily available brain test could someday be used to diagnose autism in children as young as 2 years old, offering the potential for earlier intervention, according to a new study published online in the journal BMC Medicine.


Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital used electroencephalograms (EEGs), tests that measure electrical activity in the brain, to compare the brains of 430 children with autism and 554 normal children between the ages of 2 and 12.

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Prematurity in the News: Kids Born Just Two Weeks Early Test Lower in Reading and Math: Study

[Source:  Wall Street Journal Blog]


Being born even a couple of weeks early can affect a child's math and reading skills, a new study suggests.


Children born at weeks 37 and 38 had lower reading and math scores than children born a week or two later, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks and children born at week 37 or later are considered full term.

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Visual Discrimination in the News: Study: Infants Can't Distinguish Between Large and Small Groups

[Source:  Science Daily]


Human brains process large and small numbers of objects using two different mechanisms, but infants have not yet developed the ability to make those two processes work together, according to new research from the University of Missouri.

"This research was the first to show the inability of infants in a single age group to discriminate large and small sets in a single task," said Kristy vanMarle, assistant professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Science. "Understanding how infants develop the ability to represent and compare


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Evolution of Speech in the News:  Out of the Mouths of Primates, Facial Mechanics of Human Speech May Have Evolved

[Source:  Science Daily]


The throat and facial movements that twist the air pushing through your vocal cords into words could be rooted in the well-meaning expressions primates exchange with each other, according to two recent studies based at Princeton University.


The researchers found that the oral-facial component of human speech mirrors the rhythm, development and internal dynamics of lip smacking, a friendly back-and-forth gesture performed by primates such as chimpanzees, baboons and macaques. The studies also show that the mechanics of primate lip smacking are distinct from those of chewing, similar to the separate mechanics of human speech and chewing.

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Friends of PediaStaff in the News: Finding Their Voice

Editor's Note:  Check out this article that appeared in Advance for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology that features PediaStaff's own Joleen Fernald, and friend of PediaStaff, Elisa Shipon-Blum!


[Source: Advance for Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists]


Instead of saying "thank you" at his birthday parties, sweet-faced Nathan Spence would hold up a sign to express his gratitude. Then he met Joleen Fernald, MS, CCC-SLP, spent time at a Selective Mutism Clinic where she works in Dover, NH, and went to her one of her innovative "Courageous Kids" summer camps. 


At his 8th birthday celebration last year, Nathan was so confident and relaxed while
opening presents he grabbed a nearby pool toy and started using it as a megaphone. For
the first time, his guests heard a nice and loud "thank you." It was music to his mother's ears.


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Attention OTs and PTs: Friend of PediaStaff Needs OTs and PTs for 2 Minute Survey on Baby Gear
Friend of PediaStaff and Guest Columnist, Anne Zachry of Pediatric Occupational Therapy Tips is working on a research project and is trying to get as many pediatric OT's and PT's as possible to complete a quick 2-minute survey on Survey Monkey.  Please read her introduction on our blog

Read the Rest of This Introduction and Take The Survey Through a Link on our Blog
OT Activity of the Week : A Tree Made From A Pool Noodle and Pipe Cleaners

[Source:  Therapy Fun Zone]


Thanks to Tonya at Therapy Fun Zone for this great activity that promotes fine motor, motor planning, and bimanual skills!  


This was kind of a spontaneous activity. I had pool noodles, and I had pipe cleaners that I was planning to use to thread the letter beads onto, so I stuck the pipe cleaners into the pool noodles to make a tree. The tree worked beautifully to thread the beads onto, and the pipe cleaners were really easy to poke into the pool noodle.

Learn More About this Fun Activity on our Blog

Physical Therapy Idea of the Week: Pom Pom Hockey
This is a great idea that came in through my Google Alerts.  Nice blog too!  I had never seen this one before.

[Source:  Learning 4 Kids]

Keep the kids entertained with Pompom Hockey.  It is a super simple activity you can set up at home for the kids, that is fun, challenging and exciting.  It also gets little bodies moving!

Check out this Fun Movement Activity on our Blog

Therapist Resource of the Week : Great Video by Irish Stammering Association on Stammering/Stuttering
This is a lovely video produced by the Irish Stammering Association Youth International Theatre.   Enjoy and share!

Watch this Excellent Video on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: 7 Tips to Slow Down and Relax this Summer to Prepare you for Next Year's Case Load

Article reprinted with permission of the EntireWorld of R as it appeared on their blog


Between work, social engagements, family and friends, the forever long 'to do' list, trying to fit in a good workout, and other obligations, most people are constantly running and doing, leaving little to no room for relaxation, activities they truly enjoy-most importantly, themselves.

The summer is the perfect time to slow down and create more space in your hectic life for YOU.

Here are seven tips to slow down, relax, and enjoy your summer vacation-even in the comfort of your own home (or backyard).  


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Speech Therapy Jargon: Speech & Language Terms
This is a great blog post/article to share with the parents/guardians of your kiddos!  Thanks to Speech Buddies for sharing it with us!

When you're new to the world of speech therapy, learning the new terminology can be overwhelming. Always ask your child's speech-language pathologist (SLP) to rephrase something if you have trouble with it. You can also stop by your local library and pick up some books on speech therapy. Many speech therapy books offer a simple breakdown of the basics. Here's a quick reference guide to help you get started sorting out the terms. You can also review our previous post on speech therapy acronyms.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Physical Therapy Corner: Cranial Remolding Helmets: To Be or Not to Be?
by Stephanie Pruitt, PT

It is common for parents to have many questions about cranial remolding helmets or orthotics.  Here is what you need to know about them:

What is the helmet and what does it do? There are several different types (helmets, headbands) that all have the same goal of remolding the shape of your baby's head.  The type used on your baby will be determined by the orthotist or cranial remolding center you go to for treatment.  The theory is that the brain grows in the path of least resistance.  The helmet or headband works by maintaining the high points or rounded areas of the skull allowing the flattened areas to round out as the brain continues to grow.  Optimally, the helmet is fit by nine months old and is worn anywhere from two to nine months depending on the severity of the head deformity.  The baby wears the

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

Worth Repeating - First Person on the Last Page: Respect, Regard, Revere
[Source:  ASHA Leader]

by Laura Jo McKamey

I have been a rural speech-language pathologist for 27 years. For 25 of those 27 years, one of my students has been my own son, A.J., who was born with Down syndrome. Because I am the only SLP in the county, it was my responsibility to provide his speech-language treatment as well as his family life. I know my situation is not unique. I have met many colleagues who share the extra responsibility of a child with disabilities.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating7 Must See Special Needs Videos on YouTube!
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Please Note:  The views and advice expressed in articles, videos and other pieces published in this newsletter are not necessarily the views and advice of PediaStaff or its employees but rather that of the author.  PediaStaff is not endorsing or implying agreement with the views or advice contained therein, rather presenting them for the independent analysis and information of its readers.