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February 17, 2012
Issue 6, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Happy Friday everyone!  I hope everyone is well, and getting ready for Spring!  We have another big issue for you.  Now that we are doing the Pinterest discussion groups, I can see that even our weekly offering for it is getting pretty longish.   Let us know if we are overstaying our welcome (HA!)

Here is what we have for you today:
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
Discussion Group Topics 
  • Social OT/PT on Pinterest Discussion Round-Up: Masking Tape Maze 
  • SLPeeps on Pinterest Discussion Round-Up: Log Cabin Word Sort
  • New Pin for Social OT/PT Discussion Simulating Sensory Overload for Parents & Teachers 
  • New Pin for SLPeeps Discussion:  Let's Make a Longer List of Children's Books by Speech Sounds 

Articles and Special Features 

  • SLP Corner: Making Sessions Functional
  • Occupational Therapy Corner:  Hand Strengthening Activities for Children
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Let Your Fingers Do the Artmaking 
  • Worth Repeating: Speech-Based Activities for Kids with Apraxia 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Oral Care for Those with Down's Syndrome        
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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ADHD in the News:  A Western Diet High in Sugars and Fat Could Contribute to ADHD

Thanks to Loren Shlaes of the PediatricOT blog for the heads up on this article


Editor's Note:   I think most for most therapists and pediatric clinicians, this article won't be "news" but it is surely worth sharing with parents.


[Source:  The Atlantic.com]


There doesn't seem to be one particular kind of diet that works best for treating the symptoms of ADHD, but unhealthy food could be a culprit.


While there doesn't seem to be any one particular diet that works to treat the symptoms of ADHD in children, a review of the research on various dietary regimens suggests that plain old healthy eating may work the best.


Dr. J. Gordon Millichap, a neurologist, and Michelle M. Yee, a nurse-practitioner, both researchers at Children's Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University in Chicago, reviewed 70 studies dating back to 1976 on the use of diet and dietary supplements for the treatment of ADHD.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
PediaStaff in the News: PediaStaff Chooses LessonPix.com for Online Materials, Symbols & Visuals
[Source:  Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists]

,  a nationwide, niche-oriented staffing company focusing on the placement and staffing of pediatric therapists, today chose LessonPix.com as its provider for online teaching materials, classroom and therapy visuals and symbol libraries. "This agreement with LessonPix really lets us provide a great resource to all of our team members," said Heidi Kay, Senior Partner and co-founder of PediaStaff.  "We want our people to walk into the classroom or therapy setting with a familiar set of tools, accessible from any PC, Mac, tablet or phone without costing the school district or private client a penny.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Neurobiology in the News: Neurophysiologists ID Two Areas of the Prefrontal Cortex Critical for Distinguishing Emotions from Facial Expressions
[Source:  McGill University]

New research points to brain regions that recognize facial expressions-or do not


It's Valentine's Day, he forgot to bring flowers, and somehow that painfully sad look on her face is simply not registering in his mind.  Could be it's a problem in his prefrontal cortex?


Neuropsychology researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital - The Neuro, McGill University, have found that two areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are critical for either detecting or distinguishing emotions from facial expressions.  People with damage to these areas cannot understand the wide variety of facial expressions that convey social signals, which are important for anyone trying to navigate their way in society.  And not only on Valentine's Day.

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Developmental Coordination Disorder in the News:DCD (Widely Known as Dyspraxia) Often Misdiagnosed as ADHD
[Source:  Medical News Today]

Children showing difficulty carrying out routine actions, such as getting dressed, playing with particular types of games, drawing, copying from the board in school and even typing at the computer, could be suffering from developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and not necessarily from ADHD or other more familiar disorders, points out Prof. Sara Rosenblum of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Haifa, whose new study set out to shed new light on DCD. "In quite a few cases, children are not diagnosed early enough or are given an incorrect diagnosis, which can lead to frustration and a sense of disability. It can even result in a decline that requires psychological therapy," she explains.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Angelman Syndrome in the News: The Findings from a New Gene Study Could Lead to a Treatment

[Source: Advance for Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists]


The results of a new study from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill may help pave the way to a treatment for a neurogenetic disorder often misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy or autism (Nature, online, Dec. 21, 2011).


The most characteristic feature of Angelman syndrome (AS) is the absence or near absence of speech throughout a person's life. Other characteristics include intellectual and developmental delay, severe intellectual disability, seizures, sleep disturbance, and motor and balance disorders.

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Technology in the News: Electronic Bodysuit Helps Patients with Nerve Disorders
Thank you to our friend, Stacy Menz of Starfish Therapies for calling our attention to this interesting article!

The Elektrodress is a full bodysuit that helps patients recover from neurological disorders such as Parkison's disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatism. Invented by Fredrik Lundqvist, a Swedish chiropractor, the suit is embedded with a series of electrodes that vibrate to stimulate muscles. Through sessions with a qualified therapist, the rehabilitative suit has helped individuals improve mobility and relaxation.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Stroke in the News: Infections in Childhood Linked to High Risk of Ischemic Stroke

[Source:  Pediatric Super Site]   


Common childhood infections appear to increase risk of ischemic stroke in children, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2012.

Infection is an established risk factor for ischemic stroke in adults, and this study indicates the same is true for children. Researchers found acute infections are more important in triggering stroke than chronic infections over time.   


Although upper respiratory tract infections were the most common, Heather Fullerton, MD, the study's lead investigator, said that no single type of infection predominated.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
App Review of the Week: Action Movie FX: Lights, Camera Action...No Let's Not be Quiet on the Set
Editor's Note: PediaStaff is really excited about the collaborative work by the great clinicians over at TherapyApp411.com.  Moving forward, we will be featuring an app review from their site each week.  

This Very Creative post originally appeared on Cindy L Meester's blog  


I have been having fun with an app call Action Movie FX. This is a free app (with in app purchases). It comes with a Missile Attack, Demolition Rock and Car Smash. I purchased (.99) the Action Pack which included Chopper Down and Tornado Action.


First a caution: The Missile Attach is very cool but.... even though blowing up our lockers was a great scene I decided this probably did not follow our no weapons policy. So now I do not give this as an option when letting the students choose which "disaster" movie they wish to create. It has not stopped me from blowing up the dirty dishes or garbage can at home though!


Read the Rest of this Review on our Blog
Pinterest Pinboard of the Week: Presidents' Day Activities for Therapy 

Presidents' Day is a fun holiday for themed lessons.   It lends itself to a whole lot of comparing and contrasting, and of course, discussion since its one of the few holidays that fall during the year that has its roots in academic topics

Please enjoy this collection of resources we have found that you might consider for speech, language, and motor objectives!

 Visit our Presidents' DAy Activities Pinboard on Pinterest Through a Link on our Blog
Pinterest Pin of the Week: Entire Pinboard of Photos to Elicit Use of Action Verbs
So this week I have spent being inspired by you all!   Last week if you recall, we featured as our "pin of the week" a link to an entire pinboard of photos to use for teaching inference.  Well, that got my little wheels turning about what other pinboards of photos would be especially useful to our pediatric and school based therapists.   I posed the question on our Pinterest site and emailed a couple of friends and got a bunch of ideas.  Three of which I have developed.  Here here is the first: 

 A Whole Pinboard of Photos to Elicit Use of Action Verbs
Another Pinterest Pin of The Week: Entire Board of Photos to Elicit Use of Adjectives / Work on Descriptive Language
Once I had a decent number of verbs in a board, I took a stab at making a board of photos to elicit adjectives that you can use to work on descriptive language.   Here it is:

Visit our Entire Pinboard of Photos for Working on Descriptive Language Though a Link on our Blog

Therapist Resource of the Week: Children's Literature Titles by Speech Sound

I was looking around for good Dr. Seuss's Birthday stuff for our Pinterest board and stumbled upon this great list of Children's Literature Titles by Speech Sound, by an SLP in Massachusetts - Lannon Twomey.  I didn't count, but it looks like there are about 100 titles listed.

Good stuff!


Read this List of Children's Books by Speech Sound on our Blog

Social OTs/PTs on Pinterest Discussion Round-Up: Masking Tape Maze 
Here is a roundup of the first PT pin we put up that we opened up to OTs this past week.    The activity originates from the 'Hands On As We Grow' blog as a counting activity.  Stacy Menz at Starfish Therapies suggested it would be great for motor work.

 See Great Ideas for a Masking Tape Maze in the OT and PT Room HERE
SLPeeps on Pinterest Discussion Round-Up: Log Cabin Word Sort

So, we didn't get a lot of comments for this one, but I think that is not because it wouldn't be a good speech activity, but because the comments we did get, proposed some excellent and open ended ideas!     


Would love to hear if any of you try the Log Cabin Activity in your classrooms!


See Speechifying 'Log Cabin Word Sort' HERE
New Social OT/PT Pinterest Pin for Discussion Simulating Sensory Overload for Parents & Teachers
This week's Pinterest Pin for Discussion comes from YOU!

Tamsin asks:  I would like to brainstorm with all the OTs here different ways in which we can simulate what it feels like for kids who have SPD. These ideas can then be used for teachers and parents in workshops so that they can get an idea of what the children experience on a day-to-day basis.   Even those of us without SPD have sensory needs, but if we could come up with some good analogies of how our kiddos with true SPD perceive their world, it would really be eye-opening for a lot of people.  I am trying to build up a collection of ideas so that I might (and we all could) use the list in workshops, etc.  - Thanks!

Please Join this Conversation Through a Link on our Blog
New SLPeeps Pinterest Pin for Discussion Let's Make a Longer List of Children's Books by Speech Sounds

This week, we pinned a list of Children's Books by Speech Sound compiled by an SLP. The pin has been wildly popular this week (and in contention for next week's 'Pin of the Week'.)

I was thinking that there must be lots of other solid books out there that advance specific speech sound/artic goals.


Who's got books to add to this already excellent list?? Here is the PDF of the list as it was written by Lannon Twomey 


I will post a summary pf all the ideas you can add to this list, next week on our blog!


Please Join this Conversation Through a Link on our Blog
SLP Corner: Making Sessions Functional 

By: Shareka Bentham, SLT 

You know those sessions that go really well, just as you planned them in your head? I know, I know we don't have them very often, but when you actually do isn't it magical.  


I had one of those sessions today so I decided I had to write about it and share with you.


My patient is a 7yo, diagnosed with ASD. He is verbal and I'd say quite high functioning, but he has lots of difficulty coping within social situations and with higher language tasks. His play skills are also delayed for his age, particularly when it comes to symbolic/imaginative play. I've been trying to incorporate lots of his language tasks into many functional play activities that relate to his everyday routines. Today we worked on going grocery shopping.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: Hand Strengthening Activities for Children
by Sari Ockner, OTR/L

There are many muscles that are responsible for the movements in the hand.  To be exact, there are a total of 34 muscles that move the palm, fingers, and thumb.  Our fingers actually do not have any muscles inside; their movement comes from the tendons of all the muscles in the palm and forearm.   Nine individual muscles control the thumb alone!   Many children naturally develop adequate strength in all of these muscles to learn the fine motor skills needed to manipulate toys, dress themselves, and use a pencil and scissors. There are some children however, that do not acquire this strength as easily and need extra attention to gain that necessary strength.


Here are some activities designed to help children with weak hand muscles and poor fine motor skills.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Let Your Fingers Do the Artmaking 

By: Pamela Ullmann, ATR-BC, LCAT


Many years ago, while attending an Art Therapy conference I went to an Open Studio where I participated in a technique called "Touch Drawing". The artist, Deborah Koff-Chapin who created this unique approach to artmaking still offers workshops and literature out in California. Her work is beautiful and ethereal.    


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Speech-Based Activities for Kids with Apraxia
by Leslie Lindsay, R.N., BSN

A lot of parents ask, "How can I help my child with apraxia?"  In fact, it may very well be the number one question I get after "What is apraxia, anyway?"  First things first, childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), is a neurologically-based motor speech disorder in which children know what they want to say, yet they have a difficult time coordinating their thoughts with the complex movements related to speech.  It is a serious childhood speech disorder best remediated by frequent and intense speech therapy conducted by a trained speech-language pathologist (SLP).  CAS can occur alone or with other learning disabilities, Down syndrome, or autism to name a few.
Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - Oral Care for Those with Down Syndrome
by Joshua Harvey, Dentocare

After volunteering in a care home, I know how difficult it can to achieve good oral hygiene in someone with Down Syndrome. What is it that can make cleaning so difficult and is there any way to help prevent dental disease?


Problems associated with Down Syndrome. 

Children born with Down Syndrome, DS, have an extra piece of DNA that causes various effects all over the body. However, there are some specific effects which can make cleaning teeth much more difficult.


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