April 19, 2013
Weekly Edition 
Issue 12, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Greetings!

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter offering!
 
News Items:
 
  • Could Playing 'Boys' Games Help Girls in Science and Math?
  • A Breath Of New Life For Children Suffering With Motor Disabilities
  • Autism Linked to Increased Genetic Change in Regions of Genome Instability
  • Body Representation Differs in Children and Adults
  • Language by Mouth and by Hand
  • Response to Intervention Policy and Practice Inconsistent Across States
  • Sense of Rhythm Limited to Animals that Can Mimic Human Speech? Not So Fast Says Ronan the Sea Lion!
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • OT Resource of the Week:  Video for Teaching Shoe Tying 
  • Book Review: 'Missing Mommy' 
  • PT Video Resource of the Week: Rewiring a Damaged Spinal Cord
  • Pinterest Pins of the Week:  Free Receptive Language Worksheets from Ms. Lane's SLP Materials 

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner:  Organizing a Disorganized Child 
  • SLP Corner: The Successive Approximation Method for Children with Apraxia of Speech
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Social Skills - Context Matters
  • Worth Repeating: 10 Facts to Bust Those Autism Myths  
  • Also Worth Repeating: The Touch Screen Generation 
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





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Sex Differences in the News: Could Playing 'Boys' Games Help Girls in Science and Math?

[Source: Science Daily]

 

A new review finds that many men still have better spatial ability than women ̶ this may be explained by individual differences in gender-role identification.

 

The observation that males appear to be superior to females in some fields of academic study has prompted a wealth of research hoping to shed light on whether this is attributable to nature or nurture. Although there is no difference in general intelligence between the sexes, studies over the past 35 years have consistently found that overall men do much better in tests of spatial ability than women.

 

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

Hemiplegia in the News:  A Breath Of New Life For Children Suffering With Motor Disabilities   

[Source: Medical News Today]

 

Breathe Arts Health Research, the social enterprise developing creative approaches to tackle healthcare issues, has designed a new therapy to help young people suffering from hemiplegia.

 

With the help of mentors from Lloyds Banking Group, Breathe is looking to expand its work to benefit children nationally and has signed up British Paralympic athlete, Bethy Woodward as the social enterprise's patron.

 

Hemiplegia is a condition which severely limits the use of one side of the body, and Breathe designs programs that help children suffering with this disorder to overcome their disability through the use of

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Auditory Processing in the Mainstream News:  Autism Linked to Increased Genetic Change in Regions of Genome Instability  

[Source:  Penn State.edu]

Children with autism have increased levels of genetic change in regions of the genome prone to DNA rearrangements, so called "hotspots," according to a research discovery to be published in the print edition of the journal Human Molecular Genetics. The research indicates that these genetic changes come in the form of an excess of duplicated DNA segments in hotspot regions and may affect the chances that a child will develop autism -- a behavioral disorder that affects about 1 of every 88 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Sense of Self in the News:  Body Representation Differs in Children and Adults  

[Science Daily.com]

 

Children's sense of havig and owning a body differs from that of adults, indicating that our sense of physical self develops over time, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

 

Many of our senses - vision, touch, and body orientation - come together to inform our perception of having and owning a body. Psychological scientist Dorothy Cowie of Goldsmiths, University of London and colleagues hypothesized that there might be age differences in how these processes come together. To test this hypothesis, they relied on a well-known sensory illusion called the "rubber-hand 

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

The Structure of Language in the News:  Language by Mouth and by Hand 

[Source: Science Daily]

 

Humans favor speech as the primary means of linguistic communication. Spoken languages are so common many think language and speech are one and the same. But the prevalence of sign languages suggests otherwise. Not only can Deaf communities generate language using manual gestures, but their languages share some of their design and neural mechanisms with spoken languages.

New research by Northeastern University's Prof. Iris Berent further underscores the flexibility of human language and its robustness across both spoken and signed channels of communication.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

RTI in the News:  Response to Intervention Policy and Practice Inconsistent Across States    

[Source:  Education Week; On Special Education]

More than half of the states allow, or require, response to intervention to be used as a method to evaluate if students have specific learning disabilities.

 

But many states and districts do not have a way of determining if RTI has been successful in reducing the number of children identified as learning disabled. Districts also differ widely in when-or if-they seek parental consent to place children in a response to intervention framework, and how long the children stay once placed there.

 

This information was presented in a "poster session" at the annual convention for the Council for Exceptional Children, being held this year in San Antonio. (Poster sessions allow researchers to present preliminary, unpublished data from their work.) The RTI information will

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Comparative Cognition in the News:  Sense of Rhythm Limited to Animals that Can Mimic Human Speech? Not So Fast Says Ronan the Sea Lion!     

Editor's Note:  Here is something fun to brighten up your day that will also take you back to your comparative cognition studies!

Ronan is a now four-year-old sea lion who knows how - disputing long-held notions that only animals who can mimic human speech can do so -  to rock to the beat. Found in 2009 on California's Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo, she lives at the Pinniped Cognition & Sensory Systems Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory.

 

Read the Rest of this Article and Watch Ronan Rock out to Backstreet Boys Through a Link our Blog

OT Resource of the Week:  Video for Teaching Shoe Tying   

 

[Source:  Pediatric Occupational Therapy Tips]

 

by Anne Zachry, OTR/L

 

Tying shoes is a challenging skill that requires motor planning and dexterity.  A child should be independent with shoe tying by 7 years of age, but many children master this skill much earlier. When teaching shoe tying, it's a good idea to practice with a shoe that is placed just in front of the child, either on the floor or a table (rather than on their foot).  Here is a video of one strategy that I frequently use with 

 

Watch this Video on our Blog

Book Review of the Week:  'Missing Mommy'  

[Source: New York Times.com]

 

Review by Pamela Paul

 

The death of a parent is a subject most people instinctively shy away from. That is, until it hits home; then parents, teachers, therapists and other caregivers are grateful for picture books that grapple with the hardest stuff faced by young children - whether it's the loss of a grandparent or a pet, or in the case of "Missing Mommy," one of the worst experiences of all.


 Read the Rest of this Book Review Through a Link on our Blog

PT Video Resource of the Week:  Rewiring a Damaged Spinal Cord 

Thanks to the Daily Dose blog over at the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation for calling our attention to this great article and video from Scientific American

[Source:  Scientific American]

By Luciana Gravotta

When Christopher Reeve became quadriplegic, there was little hope for patients with spinal cord injury. Now researchers are combining what they know about the central nervous system's ability to rewire and regrow with a new understanding of the hidden smarts of the spinal cord to dramatically improve treatments.

Even the most devastating spinal cord injuries usually do not completely sever the link between the brain, spine and the rest of the body. Scientists are now finding ways to make the most of the remaining connections using a variety of technologies. Studies on electrical stimulation and locomotor training (a  

 

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

Pinterest Pins of the Week:  Free Receptive Language Worksheets from Ms. Lane's SLP Materials   

With over 700 repins combined (and counting), please check out 'Ms. Lane's SLP Materials' newest Receptive Language worksheets!  They are all free!

 

Access These Free Worksheets from Links on our Blog

OT Corner: Organizing a Disorganized Child

Editor's Note: Abby Brayton of Notes from a Pediatric Occupational Therapist did a series of posts back in March that I really wanted to share with you.   These are excellent ideas for our kiddos with executive function deficits who have a difficult time getting organized.

Organizational Styles - Did you know there are different organizational styles? This might help explain why the organizational method that works for you, doesn't work as well for your child or your spouse.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog


SLP Corner: The Successive Approximation Method for Children with Apraxia of Speech

All material Copyright � Apraxia-Kids.org
Reprinted with the express permission of Apraxia-Kids as originally published on their website.

 

By: Nancy Kaufman, M.A., CCC-SLP

Children with childhood apraxia of speech cannot easily execute and/or coordinate oral-motor movements to combine the consonants and vowels necessary to form words. Asking children to imitate whole words would be setting them up for failure. Just like any other task that is difficult to master, the task of speaking can be broken down into a more simplified one, in this case word approximations.

 

By examining how children first learn to speak, we can observe that many of the early vocabulary begins with word approximations such as, baw for ball, or bah for bottle, or even wawa for water. Children with CAS who have performed little babbling or practice as infants, may not be able to change what they hear and understand, into the motor act of speaking

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Social Skills - Context Matters

by Tasia Markoff

Reprinted with permission of the Author as it appeared on the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism

 

Last week Nick's science teacher mentioned in an email that he was concerned that Nick is isolating himself socially. The other kids don't know that he's autistic, and they wonder about his odd behavior and lack of social reciprocation. There appears to be a general atmosphere of acceptance in his science classes, and I am not pressuring Nick to disclose his autism. Still, something seemed lacking in his teacher's view, because school is seen as a social place and not just an academic place. A child who doesn't even try to make friends is cause for concern to his teachers no matter how good his grades are.

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: 10 Facts to Bust Those Autism Myths

Editor's Note:  Although our readers know most of these "Myth Busters," this article would be a great one to share during Autism Awareness Month with your colleagues that are less familiar with autism.

[Source:  Care2Causes.com]

 

I've been all too conscious of autism since 1998 when my son Charlie's daycare teachers mumbled something about the delays in his development - no talking, oddly repetitive play (opening and shutting the lid of the CD player ad infinitum) and screams and distress at any sort of change. Charlie was diagnosed with autism in July of 1999 and, ever since, my

Also Worth Repeating: The Touch-Screen Generation


Thanks to Reading Rockets for highlighting this story on their website

[Source:  Atlantic Monthly]

by Hanna Rosen

 

On a chilly day last spring, a few dozen developers of children's apps for phones and tablets gathered at an old beach resort in Monterey, California, to show off their games. One developer, a self-described "visionary for puzzles" who looked like a skateboarder-recently-turned-dad, displayed a jacked-up, interactive game called Puzzingo, intended for toddlers and inspired by his own son's desire to build and smash. Two 30-something women were eagerly seeking feedback for an app called Knock Knock Family, aimed at 1-to-4-year-olds. "We want to make sure it's    

 

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

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