October 30, 2015
Issue 43, Volume 8
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!  

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter.  Here's hoping you and yours have a safe and fun filled Halloween!
News Items:
  • Sesame Street Introduces First Muppet with Autism
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioral Benefits with Oxytocin for Young Kids with Autism
  • Researchers Solve Longtime Puzzle About How we Learn
  • Weight and Activity Level Matter to a Kid's Ability to Think
  • Sing Rather Than Talk to Babies to Calm Them
  • New Growth Charts Developed for US Children with Down Syndrome
  • Kids with Hearing Loss Benefit from Early Intervention
Hot Jobs and PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff is Ready for ASHA 2015. Will We See You There?
  • Hot Job: Pediatric Outpatient SLP - Corsicana, TX
  • Hot Job: Pediatric OP SLP - Chicago, IL
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week: Paper Punch Color Match Turkey
  • App and Resource of the Week: Sesame Street and Autism
  • Free Printables for: I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie
Articles and Special Features 
  • OT/PT Corner: Help Children to Develop Motor Maps of Their Surroundings
  • OT Corner: 5 Ways to Make Cutting Easier
  • SLP Corner:  Easy Speech Therapy Session
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: VISION...It's MoreThan Meets the Eye
  • School Based Clinician's Corner:  Confessions of an SLP Name Caller
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Sesame Street Introduces First Muppet with Autism
[Source:   NPR.org]
The muppet Julia has not yet made her TV debut, but the wide-eyed little girl with a big smile is the star of her own "digital storybook" called " We're Amazing, 1,2,3."
For over a year now, Sesame Street has been working with organizations such as Autism Speaks and Autism Self Advocacy to help reduce the stigma associated with autism spectrum disorder. As part of the campaign " See Amazing in All Children," the adorable muppet Abby Cadabby explains in one YouTube video, "Lots of kids have autism and that just means their brains work a little differently."
Julia is not the first fictional media  character with autism. But Michael Robb, Director of Research for  Common Sense Media, an organization that rates and reviews media aimed at children,
says Sesame Street's move is "pretty groundbreaking." "It can be difficult to start a conversation about children with disabilities. It's even harder when that difference isn't visible," he says.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Social, Emotional & Behavioral Benefits w/Oxytocin for Young Kids with Autism
A five week treatment with the synthetic hormone oxytocin significantly improved social, emotional and behavioral issues among young children with autism, according to University of Sydney research published today in Molecular Psychiatry.
The study, led by researchers at the University's Brain and Mind Centre, is thought to be the first evidence of a medical treatment for social impairments in children with autism. It is also the first clinical trial investigating the efficacy, tolerability and safety of intranasal-administered oxytocin in young children with autism.

Researchers Solve Longtime Puzzle About How we Learn
[Source:  Medical News Today]

More than a century ago, Pavlov figured out that dogs fed after hearing a bell eventually began to salivate when they heard the ring. A Johns Hopkins University-led research team has now figured out a key aspect of why.

In the current issue of the journal Neuron, neuroscientist Alfredo Kirkwood settles a long-running debate in neurology: Precisely what happens in the brain when we learn? In other words, neurologically speaking, how did Pavlov's dogs learn to associate a ringing bell with the delayed reward that followed? For decades, scientists have had a working theory, but Kirkwood's team is now the first to prove it.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
What's a Kid's Ability to Think? Study Finds Weight and Activity Level Matter 
[Source:  Medical X-Press]
Weight and physical activity levels are both factors in a child's ability to acquire and use knowledge, a new study finds.
"The question this paper asks that has not been asked before is whether it is just fitness that influences children's cognition," said Dr. Catherine Davis, clinical health psychologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. "What we found is weight and physical activity both matter."
Children who were lean and active scored better on cognitive tests than either their lean, inactive peers or overweight, inactive children, according to the study in the journalPediatric Exercise Science. The study provides some of the first evidence that weight, independent of physical activity, is a factor.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
Sing Rather Than Talk to Babies to Calm Them
[Source:  Medical News Today]
When an infant shows signs of distress, a parent's first instinct may be to engage in baby talk in an attempt to calm them down. But according to a new study, singing may be a much more effective strategy.
Researchers found singing to babies kept them calm twice as long as talking to them, regardless of whether they used baby talk.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
New Growth Charts Developed for US Children with Down Syndrome
[Source: Medical News Today]
CHOP researchers publish new CDC-funded resource for assessing growth and nutritional status.
Pediatric researchers have developed the first set of growth charts for U.S. children with Down syndrome since 1988. These new charts provide an important tool for pediatricians to evaluate growth milestones for children and adolescents with this condition. With these new charts, pediatricians will be able to compare each patient's growth patterns with peers of the same age and sex who have Down syndrome.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
Kids with Hearing Loss Benefit from Early Intervention
[Source: Science Daily]
Hearing well impacts every area of a child's life - language and speech development, social skills, and future academic and life success.
Yet little research has been conducted which focuses on infants and preschoolers with mild to severe hearing loss to determine what support or services will help them succeed.
A large-scale, longitudinal study, the first-of-its-kind in the nation, has followed children ranging in age from six months to seven years old who experienced mild to severe hearing loss.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
PediaStaff is Ready for ASHA 2015. Will We See You There?
Please join us at ASHA booth #744 where we will discuss contract and direct hire opportunities at the annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention next month in Denver Colorado.   This year's theme is "Changing Minds. Changing Lives. Leading the Way."

The ASHA Convention has become known as the premier annual event for speech-language pathologists (SLPs), audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Attracting more than 12,000 attendees, this is a once-a-year opportunity for clinicians to learn about the latest research, polish clinical skills, improve techniques, and gain new tools and resources to advance professional development.

Growing pediatric outpatient clinic seeks qualified Speech Language Pathologist to join their team on a full time or part time basis in Corsicana, TX.  You'll work about 75% of the time in the clinic and also see just a few home health patients.  Compensation is very competitive for the area and benefits are also available.  The clinic prides itself on offering a sensory approach.  Current therapist does vital stim, feeding, voice fluency, artic.  Applicant must have strong documentation skills and enjoy a fast paced environment.  We are accepting strong CF candidates!

Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog
A part time Speech-Language Pathologist with their C's and a minimum of three years' experience in pediatrics is needed in a growing, full service pediatric outpatient clinic in the vicinity of Frankfort/New Lenox.

We seek a candidate with a positive, teamwork attitude, a passion for working with children, Autism spectrum disorder experience, experience with Childhood Apraxia of Speech & motor speech disorders, outstanding written and verbal communication skills and  the ability to work independently or as part of a team.  Experience with DIR Floortime experience is an added plus! Hours are 8:30-6:00 Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.    Qualifications: Must hold a Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology or Communication Disorders; a current state license (or eligible) if applicable.

Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog
Pinterest Pin of the Week: Paper Punch Color Match Turkey  
[Source:   Lalymom.com]
We are still on a fine motor skills kick in our house so I wanted to do a CUT-Punch-PASTE project to make a Thanksgiving Fine Motor Activity. I thought back to our L is for Leaf Paper Punch Puzzle and thought we could do something similar with turkey feathers. I put the whole thing on sticky back paper and slapped it up on the window to change up the orientation from our usual flat table. It didn't take too much time to cut out the free hand shapes or punch the circles.

Read the Rest of this Through a Link on our Blog
App and Resource of the Week: Sesame Street and Autism
Editor's Note:  The internet is exploding with the news that Sesame Street has launched an autism initiative.  Check out the resources on the Sesame Street website here, then download this new, free app!
[Source:  OTs with Apps]
Sesame Street, with the support of American Greetings, has created the  Sesame Street and Autism App,  providing awareness of autism to families and others with videos, stories and resources on autism within this app. Available for free for iPad, the contents of this app is also available on 

Download the App Through a Link on our Blog
[Source:  Chapel Hill Snippets]

hope everyone has had a great October so far!   We are just finishing our first quarter of school, leaves are changing, and there is a chill in the air at night.

I'm thinking ahead now to my favorite holiday-Thanksgiving.  A fun book to read with the kids is "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie".  If you don't have it, you purchase it on Amazon.  

I've made a few visuals and questions to go with this book. They aren't fancy-they consist of icons to match the items that the old lady swallows, comprehension questions, and a sequencing activity.  Clip art is copyrighted by Smarty Symbols, and is not to be used for other materials.  I have a commercial license.

Download this Freebie Through a Link on our Blog
OT/PT Corner: Help Kids Develop Motor Maps of Their Surroundings
[Source:  Your Therapy Source]
Many pediatric occupational and physical therapists work with children who exhibit decreased sensory processing such as decreased body awareness, motor planning and proprioception. |

These difficulties of sensing where a child is in space can interfere with motor skill development, peer interaction and safety. We are all familiar with therapy sessions that focus on proprioceptive input, following motor commands and activities that encourage the children to learn where their body is in space. One additional activity to consider is fully exploring the environment where the functional skills are to be learned.

OT Corner:  5 Ways to Make Cutting Easier
[Source:  Your Therapy Source]
Here are 5 ways to help children learn how to use scissors and to make cutting a little bit easier.

1.  Use thicker paper when cutting.  Recycled mail, greeting cards or playing cards are fun and easier to cut up than regular paper.  Make it functional and the children can cut up junk mail to recycle it. Cut up greeting cards to make a simple puzzle.

SLP Corner:  Easy Speech Therapy Session
[Source:  Play on Words]
Okay, now that I have your attention-ha! The funny thing is that last week I had the hardest session with this little 3 year-old girl. When I arrived at her house, she had a grumpy face and was saying, "No" to everything her nanny said. I knew it was going to be a long hour. The next week thankfully her mother had talked to her about cooperating and the consequences of her obeying. I had my usual bag packed with lots of different activities-a craft, a puzzle, PlayDoh, and figures. At the last minute I threw in a Frozen magic coloring book that I picked up in the grocery store checkout line.

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

Pediatric Therapy Corner: VISION...It's More Than Meets the Eye
By:  Cara Koscinski, MOT, OTR/L,  The Pocket Occupational Therapist

My son with autism complained of frequent headaches, squinted, and showed difficulty reading. His pediatrician recommended an evaluation by an eye doctor.  We anxiously awaited the appointment with the ophthalmologist and felt we would get answers.  It was a surprise that James' vision was 'normal.'  He was seeing a perfect 20/20 for distances both near and far (perfect visual acuity).  We left with no answers about the problems James was having. I'm guessing many of you have had similar experiences.
School Based Clinician's Corner:  Confessions of an SLP Name Caller
[Source: Crazy Speech World]

I've done something.  I've done it my entire career.  In fact, I've done it my entire life.  I call kids names.  It's true. 

A few days back (or maybe more, I have no idea) I read some comments on a post in an SLP group about using names for kids.  Specifically, the word 'kiddo'.  I read people horribly disgusted by the use of the word, and those defending it.  I had a pretty strong internal reaction, but in my 30's I've learned to step back and think before speaking.  Being a passionate person, this has always been a real weakness for me, but the words I read really made me reflect.  So much that, I've continued to think about it and felt the need to write this post.

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

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