June 13, 2014
Issue 24, Volume 7
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  We sure are.  Please enjoy this, first of two "summer vacation" editions with stories from our archives that have not yet been featured in our newsletter.  
News Items:
  • Hospital Infection in Pregnancy Tied to Higher Risk of Autism
  • Podcast on One-Eyed Depth Perception
  • Balance Skills and Girls with Visual Impairment
  • Cultural Differences? Researchers Examine Media Impact in Multiple Countries
  • Naming Tests: Study On Dyslexic Versus Average Children
  • New Gene Responsible for Cleft Lip, Palate Syndrome Identified
PediaStaff News/Resources
  • The PediaStaff Jobs Feed
  • PediaStaff Interview Question of the Week 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • App of the Week: Educreations Interactive Whiteboard
  • "Greatest Hits" from Pinterest: Velcro Dots!
  • Sensory Motor Activity - Kid Boxing
  • SLP Resource of the Week:  The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner: The Vestibular System Goes To School
  • SLP Corner: Choosing Words and Building Language for Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) and other Severe Speech Sound Disorders
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Rett Syndrome Fact Sheet
  • Worth Repeating: Developing Working Memory Skills for Children with Down Syndrome
  • Also Worth Repeating: The Role of the Behavior Analyst in the IEP Team
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Autism Risks in the News:  Hospital Infection in Pregnancy Tied to Higher Risk of Autism

[Source:  Medical News Today]


A new study finds that hospital-diagnosed bacterial infections in pregnancy are associated with a higher risk of autism spectrum disorders.  


Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research report their findings in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.  


The study brings new evidence on the role of infection in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and suggests further areas to explore.


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

Visual Perception in the News: Podcast on One-Eyed Depth Perception

The following story appeared a couple of years ago but is excellent reference!


Eye movements combined with the motion of objects in the field of vision enable some depth perception even with only a single eye. Cynthia Graber reports.


Podcast Transcript: You probably take your depth perception for granted. It allows you to easily judge distances. Each eye sends a different signal to the brain, and the brain compares the two pictures. But even using just one eye, the world doesn't suddenly appear flat. So how can just one eye provide depth perception? A team at the University of Rochester recently published a possible answer to that question 


Listen to this Podcast Through a Link on our Blog

Visual Impairment and Balance in the News:  Research on Functional Balance  

[Source:  Pediatric Physical Therapy via Your Therapy Source]


Pediatric Physical Therapy published research on functional balance abilities in girls with visual impairment.  The participants included 26 girls, 10-15 years old, with visual impairment who were assessed with the Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS) and stabilography.  The following results were recorded: 


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Media Impact on Children in the News:  Cultural Differences? Researchers Examine Media Impact in Multiple Countries 

[Source:  Science Daily]


A cross-cultural study, led by Iowa State University researchers, shows prosocial media and video games positively influence behavior regardless of culture. The study, a first-of-its-kind, tested levels of empathy and helpfulness of thousands of children and adolescents in seven countries.Researchers surveyed adolescents and young adults in Australia, China, Croatia, Germany, Japan, Romania and the United States for the study, published in Psychological Science.

"Most of the media effects research has been done in Western Europe or the U.S. and focuses only on one country at a time," said Sara Prot, lead author and graduate student in psychology. "In our study, we wanted a large international sample to be able to test these effects across different cultures."


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Dyslexia in the News:  Naming Tests: Study On Dyslexic Versus Average Children 

[Source:  Science Daily]


In this article by Zoccolotti, De Luca, Lami et al, published in Child Neuropsychology,Rapid Automized Naming (RAN) tests were conducted on 43 average children and 25 with developmental dyslexia. The task involved naming colors, digits, pictures words and word lists displayed multiple times and in discrete form.  Participants' response times and error rates were recorded.  Dyslexic children not only have trouble identifying strings of letters, but also programming eye movements and synchronizing speech output. Thus reading is a multiple component task presenting difficulty for dyslexic children.  During the article the authors outline the results of the tests and analyze reasons for the differences between the two groups.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Cleft Lip / Cleft Palate in the News:  New Gene Responsible for Cleft Lip, Palate Syndrome Identified  

[Source:  Science Daily]


An international team led by researchers from Karolinska Institutet has identified a new gene related to the Van der Woude syndrome, the most common syndrome with cleft lip and palate. The study is published in the scientific periodical American Journal of Human Genetics and can lead the way to improved genetic diagnostic of individuals and families with orofacial clefts.


Cleft lip and palate is one of the most common birth defects and can be found in the form of cleft lip or cleft palate alone; or cleft lip and palate together. They may occur together with other malformations, forming a syndrome. There are more than 350 syndromes with clefts, of which Van der Woude syndrome (VWS) is the most common. Approximately 70 per cent of the individuals with VWS have a mutation in a gene called interferon regulatory factor 6 (IRF6).


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff Featured Resource of the Week:  The PediaStaff Jobs Feed on Twitter  

If you have been reading this blog for any time, you know that we try hard at PediaStaff to deliver information to you via many different channels.    With this in mind, you might want to know that PediaStaff has a twitter feed just for the great jobs available through PediaStaff.


Learn More on our Blog

PediaStaff Interview Question of the Week:  Handling Interruptions  

How do you handle interruptions or changes to your daily schedule? Give me an example?  

By answering some of these questions ahead of time, you will find yourself more able to think on your feet when you get thrown an open ended question you haven't heard yet!


For More Interview Tips, Check out our Guide, Interview Like a Pro

App of the Week:  Educreations Interactive Whiteboard  

[Source: Smart Apps for Special Needs]

Seriously, try this app.


There are "free" apps and then there are "Holy crud I can't believe this is free!" apps. Educreations turns your device into a recordable white board and allows you to share your designs and use designs shared by others.  No in-apps or ads.


Don't let the image make it seem complicated. It's not...the videos and images you (or your child or student) create will be as simple or complicated as you want them to be. The video below was done by my seven-year old after about five minutes of training.


Download this App Through a Link on our Blog

"Greatest Hits" of Pinterest:  Velcro Under the Desk for Soothing Tactile Stimulation  

This past Pinterest Pin of the Week (originally pinned by Katie Danner) has been repinned over a thousand times since we shared it a couple of years ago.


To help a child with SPD receive soothing tactile stimulation, and reduce fidgety behavior, apply a strip of Velcro under their desk to provide them with an instant source of tactile input. Simple, but it can be effective!


Check out this Excellent Sensory Idea on our Blog

Sensory Motor Activity of the Week:  Kid Boxing  

Thank You Margaret Rice at Your Therapy Source for this great sensory motor activity. 


Watch a Video Tutorial  on our Blog

Therapy Resource of the Week:  The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity    

The mission of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity is "to uncover and illuminate the strengths of those with dyslexia, disseminate information, practical advice, and the latest innovations from scientific research, and transform the lives of children and adults with dyslexia." 


Learn More About the Yale Center for Dyslexia Through a Link our Blog


OT Corner: The Vestibular System Goes To School

By: Mary J Kawar, MS, OT/L

In addition to our 5 basic senses, we have a special sense known as our vestibular system, which is so important that it is protected inside of bone in our inner ear. It consists of gravity receptors that detect linear movement of our body in the gravitational field and semicircular canals that detect rotary movement of our head in space. It operates similar to a gyroscope on a space ship, keeping us informed at all times regarding where we are in time and space. Our body balance and our very survival depends on accurate movement detection. The vestibular system is also responsible for balancing or modulating all of the various types of sensory input, including vision and hearing, so as to enhance learning and memory.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Choosing Words and Building Language for Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) and other Severe Speech Sound Disorders

by:  Nancy Kaufman, CCC-SLP


When children present with severe speech sound disorders, our focus is understandably upon the child's ability to produce vowels and consonants that are not within their repertoire. Another area of therapy focus is usually upon helping the children to say full words with accuracy. Many children with restricted phoneme repertoires or difficulty coordinating vowel and consonant movement patterns employ phonological processes as a simplifying device. In fact, a "phonological process is defined as a simplifying device. It is the way that adult phonology is simplified, either linguistically or motorically, based on the principal of the least physiological effort" (Weiner, 1979). We can make better decisions about what words to choose for children who struggle to speak by thinking about phonological processes. These are such terms as final consonant deletion, cluster reduction, fronting, voicing, devoicing, gliding, etc. If we choose words that are already 


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Rett Syndrome Fact Sheet

Reprinted from the NINDS website as originally published on their website

What is Rett syndrome?  

Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmenal disorder that affects girls almost exclusively. It is characterized by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development, loss of purposeful use of the hands, distinctive hand movements, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures, and intellectual disability.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Developing Working Memory Skills for Children with Down Syndrome

[Source:  Down Syndrome Education Online]  


by Julie Hughes


Working memory is a temporary storage and processing system essential to everyday functioning. It is the system in the brain that supports the daily processing of visual and verbal information as people go about their lives. As well as being essential for language processing, it supports activities that involve holding and manipulating information such as reading and understanding written information, planning and writing a message, or remembering and dialling a phone number  
Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog

Also Worth Repeating: The Role of the Behavior Analyst in the IEP Team

[Source: Wellspring Educational Services] 
When a child receives a diagnosis related to a developmental disability that requires special educational needs, the first step in the process is putting together an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). The IEP is designed to provide the child with an educational program taking into consideration all areas related to the disability. The goal of the IEP is to provide the child access to the general education curriculum and to allow the student be successful in the least restrictive environment. The IEP team comprises professionals from a multitude of disciplines, which may include a school psychologist, a speech & language pathologist, an occupational and physical therapist, a behavior analyst and more depending on the child's needs. 
Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog

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