February 27, 2015
Issue 8, Volume 8
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!

Here is our weekly newsletter.  Enjoy!
News Items:
  • Autism Genes Activate During Fetal Brain Development
  • Why Slowing Down Stimuli to Real Time Helps a Child's Brain
  • Infants are Hardwired to Link Images & Sounds as They Learn to Speak
  • How Brain Waves Guide Memory Formation 
  • Growth Hormone Can Significantly Improve Social Skills in Autism
  • Two New Studies Shed Light on Stuttering Treatment and Possible Link
Hot Jobs 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Fine Motor Activity of the Week: Sorting & Matching Pom Poms
  • Book of the Week: Green Shamrocks
  • Pinterest Pinboard of the Week: St. Patrick's Day Themed Therapy Activities 
  • Toilet Training & Autism: Ideas for OT Practitioners Infographic

Articles and Special Features 

  • ADL Corner: 5 Ways to Teach an Older Child with Special Needs about Hygiene
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  9 Awesome Movement Songs for Kids
  • SLP Corner: The Power of Perspective
  • OT/PT Corner: Simple Baby Play: Tissue Paper Kicking
  • AT Corner: Cool AT Tool, Programs Simplify and Read Aloud Text
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 Blogtrottr and have our blog posts delivered right to your email.

Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

The Career Center

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Recent Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 

Autism Genes Activate During Fetal Brain Development

[Source: Medical News Today]

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that mutations that cause autism in children are connected to a pathway that regulates brain development. The research, led by Lilia Iakoucheva, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is published in the journal Neuron.

The researchers studied a set of well-known autism mutations called copy number variants or CNVs. They investigated when and where the genes were expressed during brain development. "One surprising thing that we immediately observed was that different CNVs seemed to be turned on in different developmental periods," said Iakoucheva.


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

Why Slowing Down Stimuli to Real Time Helps a Child's Brain

By Eric Westervelt, NPR via MindShift

Our "Tools of the Trade" series is taking a look at some of the iconic objects that form a vital part of our educational lives. For an upcoming piece, I'm reporting on how young children learn through that most basic of preschool education tools: simple wooden blocks.

Dr. Dimitri Christakis has done done extensive research on blocks and play and lectured on media and children. He is the Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute. He's also a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.


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

Infants are Hardwired to Link Images & Sounds as They Learn

[Source: Science Daily]

In a paper published in the journal Cortex, an international team of researchers in the UK and in Japan, including those at the University of Warwick, examined the electrical activities of the brain in 11 month-olds at the initial stages of word learning.

They used novel words ('kipi' or 'moma') to refer to pictures of a spiky or a rounded shape. They found the infants very quickly began to match the word to the image.

One of the authors, Dr Sotaro Kita from the University of Warwick said: "The oscillatory activity of the infant brainincreased when the word they heard matched the shape they were shown, compared to when it did not. This suggests that the infant brain spontaneously engages in matching visual and auditory input."


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

How Brain Waves Guide Memory Formation

[Source:  Science Daily]

Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of neuron activity, recent studies suggest that these waves may play a critical role in communication between different parts of the brain.

A new study from MIT neuroscientists adds to that evidence. The researchers found that two brain regions that are key to learning - the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex - use two different brain-wave frequencies to communicate as the brain learns to associate unrelated objects. Whenever the brain correctly links the objects, the waves oscillate at a higher frequency, called "beta," and when the guess is incorrect, the waves oscillate at a lower "theta" frequency.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Growth Hormone Can Significantly Improve Social Skills in Autism

[Source:  Medical News Today]

A growth hormone can significantly improve the social impairment associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in patients with a related genetic syndrome, according to a pilot study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published on Pub Med, a public database of biomedical topics maintained by the National Institutes of Health (study originally published in the December 12 issue of the journal Molecular Autism).


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Two New Studies Shed Light on Stuttering

[Source:  Medical Xpress]

Stuttering-a speech disorder in which sounds, syllables or words are repeated or prolonged-affects more than 70 million people worldwide. That's 1 percent of the global population. Four times as many men as women are afflicted with the disorder and, while the condition is not life-threatening, it is debilitating as it interferes with effective communication and erodes self-esteem and confidence.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Hot Jobs of the Week:  Sign Language Interpreters - Northern CA!  

We have several school clients in California who have asked PediaStaff to assist them in locating Sign Language Interpreters (ASL) for their schools.  These positions would be working with students in their classrooms.  Most are one-school locations.  These are full-time jobs working school hours...NO nights, weekends, or working holidays!

Qualifications: National certification by the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment´┐Ż (EIPA). Must reach proficiency level of 4.0 on the EIPA, ESSE or NAD/AACE Exam.

Pay for these positions will be between $61-69 an hour based on your level of relevant experience and other factors.  If you meet the qualifications for Per Diem, some portion of your pay will be non-taxed to assist in housing.  


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Placement of the Week:  Maternity Leave School-Based SLP in Ohio

Congratulations to Denise M., on her new position to fill a 6-week maternity leave with a charter school client of PediaStaff's.   The therapist will service children kindergarten through 8th grade at two charter schools in close proximity to one another.

Thanks so much for helping out Denise!

Hot Job:  School Psychologist: Worthington, OH  

We have a wonderful school job opportunity for a full-time School Psychologist to work in a district north of Columbus. This is a full-time position beginning in March and running through early June to finish out the school year.

The Psychologist would work at three school sites in close proximity to one another and service children from preschool to high school. Qualified candidates must have experience with report writing and testing and be able to hit the ground running. 


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Fine Motor Activity of the Week:  Sorting & Matching Pom Poms  

[Source:  Stay at Home Educator.com]

Sorting and matching pom poms is an easy preschool measurement activity that requires very little set-up. In fact, it takes less than five minutes to prepare and is a fun way to introduce preschoolers to basic measurement.

Remember I said this activity is crazy fast to set up? Well, it certainly is. Grab some pom pomsof various sizes, (I used red and green since I offered this activity as a center around Christmas time) and coordinating markers and several sheets of printer paper. Eyeball the size of the pom poms and draw matching circles in size and color on the paper. 


Read All About this Terrific Activity Through a Link on our Blog

Seasonal Book of the Week:  Green Shamrocks  

[Source:  Pre-Kpages.com]

Green Shamrocks by Eve Bunting is the story of a rabbit who plants shamrock seeds in hopes of having enough to create a necklace to wear to the St. Patrick's Day parade.

He plants them, waters them and then waits. One day, he discovers his pot of shamrocks has disappeared and he sets off to search for it.

He finds them just in time and is able to make his necklace. During his search he makes a friend who attends the parade with him.

Gather the children close so that they will all be able to see the pictures while you read. Remember to read with expression.


Read More About this Book and a Companion Activity on our Blog

Pinboard of the Week: St. Patrick's Day Themed Therapy Activities  

Are you excited for St. Patrick's Day?   Its such a fun holiday to celebrate in the therapy room!  Come on by our Pinterest St. Patrick's Day board (now in year three already!) and check out the almost 300 Activities, Resources and Treats you can make for the kiddos!   Follow the board too, as it will grow quite a bit over the next couple of weeks.

Access this Great Pinterest Board Through a Link on our Blog

Resource of Week: Toilet Training & Autism: Infographic for OTs 

This s a great resource that AOTA just put on their website!


[Source:  AOTA]

The feature article in the February 9 issue of OT Practice is about toilet training for children with autism. What is your role as an occupational therapy practitioner? Practitioners are in a perfect position to address self-care skills development, sensory issues, environmental adaptations, and family goals and expectations that make up the toilet training process. 


Download this Infographic Through a Link on our Blog

ADL Corner: Teaching an Older Child Special Needs about Hygiene

[Source:  Friendship Circle]

As a speech language pathologist who works with young adults, I often use the topics of hygiene, community and daily living to help facilitate speech and language goals.

Many older children, teenagers, and young adults are challenged with how to maintain good hygiene and have a decreased awareness. These individuals often rely on the adults in their life to help remind and guide them to wash hands, shower every day, shampoo hair, etc.

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

Pediatric Therapy Corner: 9 Awesome Movement Songs for Kids

[Source:  Inspired Treehouse]

In my personal and professional experience, musical activities and songs for kids are second to none when it comes to getting everyone moving!

Even I can't resist a little head bobbing or shoulder shrugging when I hear a great beat - I will leave the full-fledged dancing to everyone else!

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: The Power of Perspective

by Debra L. Kerner M.S. CCC/SLP

I had only been an SLP for a few years and still had the grandiose ideas about life and speech therapy. I just KNEW that in Suburbia, MY students were going to be fixed and would make their way in the world as successful graduates.

My high school students always started January sad and dragging after being on holiday break. This was the month I focused on helping my students create resolutions and goals not only for speech therapy, but also towards graduation and beyond. My students seemed to enjoyed the goal-writing process and thinking about life after speech therapy and high school, or at least with minimal grunting.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

OT/PT Corner: Simple Baby Play: Tissue Paper Kicking

[Source:  Mama OT]

Today Occupational Therapist and owner of CanDo Kiddo, Rachel Coley, M.S., OTR/L, is here to share one of her many  creative  baby  play activities. She also has a pretty awesome, one-of-a-kind product she has created to equip new parents to know how to play with their babies and promote healthy development in the first four months of life. 

. . . . .

Around the time your little one is in his second and third months (5-12 weeks old), he'll begin working on new movements that will strengthen and coordinate his belly and leg muscles in preparation 

AT Corner: Cool AT Tool, Programs Simplify and Read Aloud Text

[Source: Reading Rockets]

by June Berhmann


For some students, hearing passages aloud is enough for them to understand the content. For those learners, human and/or electronic readers keep them involved with learning across the curriculum. Sometimes those learners combine an audiobook and keep a printed copy in hand or on their lap. They also do well if the assigned text is converted to an accessible digital format that runs on their computer or mobile device. But other students struggle with those choices. 

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

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