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April 27, 2012
Issue 4, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
It's AOTA Time!  Hope we will get to meet you this weekend in Indianapolis.  Come see us at Booth #325 and take home a code for our brand new PediaStaff Therapy Tools App and a great giveaway from LessonPix!

Please enjoy this week's issue.  Since we are traveling this week, we have taken the liberty to feature a few stories and items that hit our blog and/or our social media sites earlier this month but for space reasons never got into the newsletter. 

News Items:  
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Pinterest Pin of The Week:  Sit a Chair Through a Box to Reduce Fidgeting!  
  • App Review of the Week:  Profile of Phonological Awareness  
  • SLP Resource of the Week:  'EasySpeak' Magazine

Articles and Special Features 

  • Pediatric Therapy Corner (For Everyone!): What Does Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Have to do With MY Therapy?  
  • OT Corner:  The Essential Professional Triad: Passion, Nurturance, and Advocacy 
  • SLP Corner: The Challenge of Persistent R Distortions; Clinical Thought and Therapy Ideas
  • Focus on Bilingualism:  And Miles to Go...  
  • Special Feature:  Advice From an OT, Part 4:  Teach Your Students the Right Way to Write 
  • Worth Repeating: How Parents Are Changing the Course of Autism Research
  • Also Worth Repeating: A Heart Shattered by a Glimpse into 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
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





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Help a Child Win an Adaptive Bike!:   Submit Your Nomination of a Child with Special Needs for the Great Bike Giveaway! 
PediaStaff is so very excited to be a promoting partner in the 'Great Bike Giveaway.'   Friendship Circle of Michigan has partnered with adaptive bicycle companies to give 18 children with special needs a free adaptive bicycle in a contest called "The Great Bike Giveaway."

 

 Learn More About the Great Bike Giveaway on our Blog
Advocacy in the News: States Look To Lower Speech, Occupational Therapy Costs

[Source: Disability Scoop]

 

Should a physical therapy session cost a patient as much as a visit to a neurosurgeon or other specialist?

 

Therapists think not.

 

They are backing proposals in several states to limit the amount insurers can require patients to pay for physical, occupational or speech therapy. Legislation is pending in Pennsylvania, Missouri and New York. Lawmakers in South Dakota and Kentucky have already passed measures.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog 
Feel Good Story of the Week: Girl Without Hands Wins National Handwriting Award
[Source:  Disability Scoop]

Annie Clark was born with no hands, but that's not stopping the Pennsylvania first-grader who just won a national penmanship contest.

 

Clark, 7, was honored this week by Zaner-Bloser, an education publishing company, as one of two winners of its annual handwriting contest for students with disabilities. She received a trophy and a $1,000 prize.

 

Despite her disability, Clark's parents say she's committed to doing for herself.

 

In order to write, Clark wedges a pencil between the ends of her arms. She uses a similar technique to do everything from eating to dressing and painting her toenails. Admittedly, Clark says she must take her time when writing.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog 
Cerebral Palsy in the News: Cerebral Palsy Drug May Offer Hope for Treatment
[Source:  Fox News]

It may be possible to treat cerebral palsy after birth with a new drug designed to target specific cells in the brain, a new study in animals suggests.

 

In the study, rabbits with a cerebral palsy-like condition who were treated with the drug soon after birth showed substantial improvements in their ability move around, compared with rabbits not given the drug.

 

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders characterized by problems with movement, including difficulties with maintaining balance or posture. It is caused by injury to the brain sustained either in the womb, shortly after birth, or within the first years of life. It is a lifelong disorder for which there is currently no cure.


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog 
Robotics in the News: Swiss Scientists Demonstrate Mind-Controlled Robot

Swiss scientists have demonstrated how a partially paralyzed person can control a robot by thought alone, a step they hope will one day allow immobile people to interact with their surroundings through so-called avatars.

 

Similar experiments have taken place in the United States and Germany, but they involved either able-bodied patients or invasive brain implants.

 

On Tuesday, a team at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne used only a simple head cap to record the brain signals of Mark-Andre Duc, who was at a hospital in the southern Swiss town of Sion 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog 
Pinterest Pin /Therapy Idea of the Week: Sit a Chair Through a Box to Reduce Fidgeting 

With almost 350 pins this week, here is our Pinterest Pin of the Week!

 

So Simple, yet so smart!!

 

Check out This Idea on our Blog

App Review of the Week: Profile of Phonological Awareness

Pro-PA examines a variety of phonological awareness skills, including the following: identification and production of rhymes; blending syllables and phonemes; isolation of initial, medial and final phonemes; segmenting words; syllables and phonemes; deleting syllables and initial phonemes in words; substitution of initial or final phonemes of words. 

 

Read the Rest of this App Review on our Blog

SLP Resource of the Week: 'Easyspeak Magazine'

We are very excited to tell you about a new electronic magazine that is launching for speech-language pathologists.   It's called EasySpeak Magazine, and it is published by one of our very own #SLPeeps - Shareka Bentham who also writes the Easy Speech and Language Ideas blog that we have featured on these pages. 

 

Sign up for this New Resource Through a Link on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: What Does Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Have to do With MY Therapy?

by: Kerry Peterson, MA, CCC-SLP, BCBA

 

Speech pathologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists often work together when treating children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental delays.  As a speech therapist treating young children age birth to six, I often worked with an occupational or physical therapist in a co-treatment model.  We were able to target sensory processing, communication, and fine and gross motor skills through shared activities. We shared a basic understanding of each other's area of expertise and we valued each other's input.

 


It is less common to find a behavior analyst (BCBA) working directly and collaboratively with speech pathologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists toward unified goals.

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: The Challenge of Persistent R Distortions; Clinical Thought and Therapy Ideas

by: David W Hammer, MA CCC-SLP, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, PA of UPMC

  

Author's Note: I will be using the term "client" to refer to the children and adolescents in this article.  I feel this is a happy-medium between "patient" in a hospital setting and "student" in a school setting.]

 

As a practicing therapist for over 30 years, one of the most intriguing speech sound production disorders to me has been persistent "r" distortions.  While we are inclined to think of single sound errors as "mild" when referencing severity levels, a persistent "r" distortion, especially for adolescents who have been through years of therapy without success, is anything but "mild".  In the English language, unfortunately, this sound is so frequently occurring in consonantal and vocalic forms.  I have treated many older school-age children and adolescents with persistent "r" distortions over the years, and was asked to share some thoughts about how I approach this challenge and to provide therapy ideas that I have found successful.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: The Essential Professional Triad: Passion, Nurturance, and Advocacy
by Angela Hissong, DEd, OTR/L,CMCP

The celebration of April is Occupational Month has been a constant in my life since 1987; the year occupational therapy became my official career path.  This article will encourage occupational therapy practitioners to pause and take a moment to ponder their OT Core Story.  This encompasses how passion, nurturance, and advocacy fit into their journey within the occupational therapy.  From the first day occupational therapy found me, I have had a passion for the philosophy of engaging others in meaningful occupational to enhance, maintain, or find their well-being.  In 2009, as I sat in on my 15th Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture and listened to Dr. Swartz speak of OT's need to reclaim our heritage, I felt the passion for occupational therapy fill the room.  However, I knew from past experience that

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Special Feature: Advice from the OT Part 4 - Teach Your Students the Right Way to Write

by Loren Shlaes, OTR/L

 

When to Begin Handwriting
The ability to write is one of the very highest levels of human achievement. Learning to write requires a great degree of fine motor control and visual motor coordination, along with sufficient attention span and frustration tolerance.  Forcing a child to learn to write before these underlying skills are solidly in place is counterproductive.

 

In New York City, where I practice, children are expected to be able to write at the age of four. In my clinical opinion, this is two full years before they are developmentally ready, and does more harm than good.  If a child does not yet have the internal strength and stability to perform such a high level task, in order to comply with the grownups demands, he is going to have to manufacture it by straining and contorting his body in a very unnatural way.  This sets him up for a lifetime of poor posture and bad habits.  

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Focus on Bilingualism: And Miles to Go... 

By Ellen Kester PhD, CCC-SLP

 

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Matagalpa, Nicaragua to serve as a speech-language pathologist on a medical mission with Austin Smiles.  Austin Smiles is an amazing organization that takes teams of surgeons, nurses, speech-language pathologists, and other helpers to do cleft lip and palate surgeries in developing countries.  The experience was incredible and I was amazed at what the team was able to accomplish in one short week, but I left thinking that we, as speech-language pathologists, have so much to do to spread the knowledge that we have attained in our field.

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - How Parents Are Changing the Course of Autism Research

[Source:  The Boston Globe]

 

On a recent Sunday, while Walt was baking gluten-free cookies, his mother had to remind him to check the recipe, put the eggs away, and close the refrigerator door. But he navigated the oven and timer just fine, and carefully used a spatula to shift the warm cookies from the baking sheet to the cooling rack.

 

A few minutes later, after a quick, reassuring hug, the 16-year-old resumed the scrapbook he had started that morning, printing out pictures of his favorite Theodore Tugboats, trimming them to fit, and labeling each one.

 

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating: A Heart Shattered by a Glimpse into Autism
[Source:  CNN]

CNN Editor's Note: Rob Gorski writes for "Lost and Tired," where he blogs about the reality of raising three boys on the autism spectrum. He and his wife, Lizze, have three boys, Gavin,12, Elliott, 6, and Emmett John, 3.

 

Canton, Ohio (CNN) - As the snow started falling, I drove to Giant Eagle to pick up some groceries. With a storm on the way, I needed to stock up on supplies in case we got snowed in.

I pulled into the parking lot of the store and found a spot right in front of the entrance. I sat there for a few minutes, collecting what I needed to take in.

 

As I reached over to the passenger seat to grab my wallet, I glanced over at the car next to me through the passenger window and saw three people who were loading their groceries into their car. I also saw a large man standing there, reaching over the hood of their car. He was wiping the snow and ice off the car's windshield with his bare hands.

 

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