August 2, 2013
Issue 24, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Happy Friday!  Hope you had a great week!

Here is our weekly newsletter.  Enjoy!
 
News Items:
  • Give Them a Hand: Gesturing Children Perform Well On Cognitive Tasks
  • Mercury And Autism Not Linked, Again
  • An Inborn Deficit Causes Children with Dyscalculia to Have an Imprecise Representation of Numbers
  • Feel Good Story of the Week: New Clothing Line for People with Down Syndrome
  • Breastfeeding for Longer 'Improves Child's Intelligence'
  • Diets Lacking Omega-3s Lead to Anxiety, Hyperactivity in Teens
  • 700,000 Children Have Cerebral Palsy in Nigeria
PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week: Congrats to SLP Taylor S.!  
  • Featured Job of the Week:  Outpatient Pediatric Occupational Therapist - Dover, DE 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • App Review of the Week: Create Narrated Slide or Video Shows with Videolicious
  • Inspiration of the Week:  How Did This Young Boy Go From His Wheelchair To Breakdancing In A Single Afternoon?
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week: Apps4Stages App Wheels
  • OT Activity of the Week:  Oil and Water Droplet Painting - Great for Pincer Grasp!  

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner: Making Sense of Occupational Therapy Goals
  • SLP Corner: 9 Car Games to Boost your Child's Speech Development
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  PECS Tricks of the Trade
  • Worth Repeating: Creative Ideas for Using a Recorder During Speech Therapy
  • Also Worth Repeating: Dating Difficulties -  Help for Teens on the Autism Spectrum  
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





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Recent Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 

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Gesturing in the News:  Give Them a Hand: Gesturing Children Perform Well On Cognitive Tasks

[Source: Science Daily.com]
 

In the first study of its kind, SF State researchers have shown that younger children who use gestures outperform their peers in a problem-solving task.

 

The task itself is relatively simple - sorting cards printed with colored shapes first by color, and then by shape. But the switch from color to shape can be tricky for children younger than 5, says Professor of Psychology Patricia Miller.

 

In a new study due to be published in the August, 2013 issue of Developmental Psychology, Miller and SF State graduate student Gina O'Neill found that young children who gesture are more likely to make the mental switch and group the shapes accurately.  

 

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

Autism in the News: Mercury And Autism Not Linked, Again

[Source: the University of Rochester Medical Center]

 

The potential impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the developing brain - specifically by women consuming fish during pregnancy - has long been the source of concern and some have argued that the chemical may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. However, a new study that draws upon more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles reports that there is no association between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors.

 

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

Dyscalculia in the News:  An Inborn Deficit Causes Children with Dyscalculia to Have an Imprecise Representation of Numbers   

[Source:  Medical News Today]

 

Dyscalculia is a severe and persistent disability in learning arithmetic that is often highly selective, in that it can affect children with normal intellectual ability.

 

Karin Landerl and her team at the University of Graz, Austria, investigated the development of numerical processing in elementary school children with dyscalculia and a control group with good arithmetic skills. Children from grades 2 through 4 were asked to repeatedly perform simple computer tasks, for example selecting the larger number or set of dots, counting dots, or placing numbers on a number line.

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Feel Good Story of the Week: New Clothing Line for People with Down Syndrome 

[[Source:  Care2.com]

 

Disabled people like being fashionable too, and that includes people with Down syndrome. However, it can be tough for them to find trendy clothes that fit well, because the nature of their chromosomal disorder can cause distinctive physical anomalies that are incompatible with off-the-rack clothes.

That started to be a source of frustration to Ashley DeRamus, a vibrant 30-year-old woman with Down syndrome who adores fashion, so she decided to do something about it: she started designing her own clothes, and she just launched her own line specifically developed for people with Down syndrome,  

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

The Benefits of Breastfeeding in the News:  Breastfeeding for Longer 'Improves Child's Intelligence'  

[Source:  Medical News Today]

 

Researchers have discovered that the longer a mother breastfeeds, the more intelligent their child will become later in life.

 

A study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics has provided evidence that breastfeeding in infancy leads to better cognitive development later in life, but it depends upon how long the infant is breastfed.

 

Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital say previous work has suggested that breast milk can boost an infant's brain as it contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which helps cognitive development. They add that fish intake during lactation is a good source of DHA.  


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Cerebral Palsy in the News:  700,000 Children Have Cerebral Palsy in Nigeria   

[Source:  The Nation]

 

No fewer than 700,000 children are living with cerebral palsy, consultant paeditrician, Prof Afolabi Lesi has said.

 

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person's ability to move. CP is a permanent life-long condition, but generally does not worsen over time. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  Congrats to SLP Taylor S.!   

Congratulations to Speech-Language Pathologist Taylor S.  who moving right along while returning to PediaStaff for her sixth year with us!  This will be her third client placement through PediaStaff.

So glad to have you back again, Taylor!!

Featured Job of the Week:  Outpatient Pediatric Occupational Therapist - Dover, DE   

'Our client is a therapy provider for children in the Dover, DE area.  We are searching for a full time or part time occupational therapist to work with children ages birth to 21.  80% community based early intervention.   20% center based children birth to 6 years old. Most of the early intervention part of the caseload is serving children ages birth to three in homes or day care centers.  The therapist will also treat older children in a center based setting.  Responsibilities include:

 

Read More / Apply for this Job on our Blog

App Review of the Week:  Create Narrated Slide or Video Shows with Videolicious   

by Sean Sweeney, Speech Techie

I am giving a session on Digital Storytelling in speech and language intervention at ASHA Schools conference in Long Beach, CA, and thought I would feature one of my favorite tools in this genre.

Videolicious is a simple video creator- it allows you select photos or videos from your photo library/camera roll and talk over them, effectively creating a narrated video. What a great language tool- and did I say it's free? It's freeness comes with two limitations- videos are limited to 10 minutes, and the saving process sends your video to the service's website (unless you follow the directions below).

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

Inspiration of the Week:  How Did This Young Boy Go From His Wheelchair To Breakdancing In A Single Afternoon?   

Special thanks to Catherine Pergamo Whiting of the Pediatric Occupational Therapists Group on Facebook for posting this link.  It totally made my day.  I hope it makes yours!

[Source:  Upworthy]

After Matej Peljhan heard 12-year-old Luka express his dreams of seeing himself in a photo "walking around and doing all sorts of mischief," the photographer / psychiatrist doubted there was much could to do help the boy. Luka suffers from muscular dystrophy and barely has enough strength to wiggle his fingers. After realizing he just needed a change of perspective, Peljhan figured out a way to use his camera to make Luka's dreams a reality.

 

 Check out this GREAT Photo Shoot Through a Link on our Blog

Pinterest Pin of the Week:  Apps4Stages App Wheels 

'Our pin of the week is a link to an excellent web page on the Apps4Stages Wiki that recommends apps for students with special needs on three wheels - apps for students with ASD,  apps for middles school students with special needs,

 Check out these App Wheels Through a Link on our Blog

OT Activity of the Week:  Oil and Water Droplet Painting - Great for Pincer Grasp!  

[Source: Stay at Home Educator.com]

 

Oil and water droplet painting is the result of mixing cooking oil and colored water to create a beautiful, slightly marbleized effect.  You can find such paper at a craft or stationary store, or you can invite your kids to help you make some of your own.

 

Supplies needed are a shallow pan (same size or bigger than the paper), cooking oil, plain water, dyed water (we used liquid food coloring), heavy paper (we used heavy sketching paper, but watercolor paper would be even better), large baking sheets, and eye droppers.


 Learn How to Do this Activity Through a Link on our Blog

OT Corner: Making Sense of Occupational Therapy Goals

by the Anonymous OT

Therapy revolves around one central theme: meeting goals.

 

It seems straightforward - goals are the way therapists track progress and determine necessity of services. They should be objective, measurable, and attainable. However, a lot more goes into the goal making process than you may realize, and it can be complicated by a number of factors.

 

Step 1: Determine areas of skill development that the child needs to work on.
Therapists will look at evaluation results and determine which skills need to be addressed.  


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog


SLP Corner: 9 Car Games to Boost your Child's Speech Development

Thank you to my friends Ellen Seidman of Love that Max and to Katie Yeh of Playing with Words 365 for teaming up on this terrific post on how to make the most of your summer-time (and any time) car rides.   When I was a kid, car rides were all about language and we played all sorts of word games.   Nowadays it seems that most kids have their heads buried in their iPads and PSPs.    Let's take it back to basics.  This article is a great start!

[Source:  Love that Max]

 

by Katie Yeh, M.A. CCC-SLP

 

It's SUMMER, the most popular time of year to jump in the car for a day-cation, or better yet, a road trip! If you have children with speech and language delays, long rides can be a great time to play games that target these skills. Most of these activities have a language base but can be used to target speech skills as well. (Wondering what the difference is between

 

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

Pediatric Therapy Corner: PECS Tricks of the Trade

by Ryan Knoblauch, MA.  CCC-SLP

Whether you're a PECS veteran or you're just getting started, an important part of using PECS is having a good supply kit.  Usually this consists of velcro (lots of velcro), binders, and picture cards (likely made using special software like Boardmaker).  Over the past eight years, my creation of PECS cards and books has evolved.  Luckily, I work in a school that either provides the materials or funds (your classroom/speech funds) to purchase the essentials.  So, I thought I'd share with you my current trend with creating PECS cards and books.

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Creative Ideas for Using a Recorder During Speech Therapy

Very excited to see our friend Karen Head of All4MyChild featured on Special-ism this morning.

[Source: Special-ism.com]

The recorder can be used in a number of ways to enhance a therapy session. Karen provided the following suggestions:

  • "Oral-Motor Function. Playing a recorder can help with jaw stabilization. A stable jaw is critical for the clear production of /s/ and /r/ as well as for overall clarity of speech. The way that a child holds a recorder in her mouth promotes this stable jaw position.
  • "Understanding of Pitch Differences. Conversational speech has many musical properties. Pitch is an important one. When we ask a question, the pitch rises at the end. When we are making a serious point, we use a lower pitch, and so on. Playing the recorder while 

Also Worth Repeating: Dating Difficulties -  Help for Teens on the Autism Spectrum

[Source: My Aspergers Child]

Dating tends to be a puzzling part of any adolescent's life. But many of the challenges related to dating are particularly relevant for adolescents with Asperger's (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA). With these difficulties in mind, I've listed 20 important guidelines for helping your "special needs" adolescent to approach dating and intimacy (how you apply these guidelines should depend on the age and experience of your son or daughter):

1. If your adolescent hasn't already brought up the topic, look for a time when he is in a good mood and mention your willingness to talk about dating and sexuality whenever he is ready. Highlight that each individual becomes interested in these experiences at different ages - and that's okay.

Did You Get This From a Friend?

 

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