April 11 2014
Issue xxx, Volume 7
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!

Please enjoy this week's PediaStaff Newsletter
News Items:
  • Study Shows Autism Begins During Pregnancy
  • Social Feedback Loop Aids Language Development
  • Sesame Street To Focus On Autism
  • Paralyzed Men Move Legs Following Spinal Shock Treatment
  • German Company Makes a 3D Food Printer for Those with Dysphagia
  • DynaVox Affiliates File For Bankruptcy
PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff Tip of the Week - Resume Tip:  Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
  • Job of Week:  Early Intervention SLP, Suburban Indianapolis, Indiana
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Instagram Post of the Week:  Egg Matching
  • Autism Resource of the Week:  Children's Book List for Autism Awareness Month
  • Resources of the Week: Great Easter Materials from Chapel Hill Snippets
  • Therapy Idea of the Week: Flip Top Game for Phonics (Or Anything) 

Articles and Special Features 

  • School Psychology Corner:  A How-To for Portable Picture Schedules
  • Career Corner:  Bringing Your School Psychology Vita to Life
  • OT Corner: Making Use of the Junk Drawer
  • SLP Corner: Strategies for EI - Says WHO?
  • Worth Repeating: Dyslexia and the English Learner Dilemma
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Feel Good Story of the Week: Study Shows Autism Begins During Pregnancy

[Source:  Psych Central]


Emerging research presents new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy.


Investigators analyzed 25 genes in postmortem brain tissue of children with and without autism. These included genes that serve as biomarkers for brain cell types in different layers of the cortex, genes implicated in autism and several control genes.


Their findings are published in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.


"Building a baby's brain during pregnancy involves creating a cortex that contains six layers," said Eric Courchesne, Ph.D., professor of neurosciences and director of the Autism Center of Excellence at University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego).


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

Language Developement in the News:  Social Feedback Loop Aids Language Development  

[Source:  Association for Psychological Science]


Verbal interactions between parents and children create a social feedback loop important for language development, according to research forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. That loop appears to be experienced less frequently and is diminished in strength in interactions with autistic children.


"This loop likely has cascading impacts over the course of a child's development," says psychological scientist and study author Anne S. Warlaumont of the University of California, Merced. "Understanding how it works and being able to monitor its components while the children go about their daily lives may eventually lead to better strategies for helping parents and other adults interact most effectively with autistic children."


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Autism in the Media:  Sesame Street To Focus On Autism 

[Source: Disability Scoop]


The nonprofit behind Big Bird, Elmo and Abby Cadabby is launching a new effort to reduce stigma surrounding kids with autism and help those with the developmental disorder learn life skills.


Through a new initiative dubbed "See Amazing in All Children," Sesame Workshop said it will create digital tools to help children with autism learn to play with others and complete everyday activities like brushing teeth, getting dressed and trying new foods.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Treatment for Paralysis in the News:  Paralyzed Men Move Legs Following Spinal Shock Treatment 

[Source:  Medical News Today]  


With the help of an implanted device that delivers an electrical current to the lower spinal cord, four young men who have been paralyzed for years are now able to move their legs voluntarily.


All four men were completely unable to move their legs before being implanted with the device, which sends the lower spinal cord a continuous electrical current similar to signals transmitted by the brain.


The treatment, called epidural stimulation, delivers an electrical current of varying frequency and intensity to specific parts of the lumbosacral spinal cord, which is connected to dense bundles of nerve fibers that control movement in the hips, knees, ankles and toes.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Technology in the News:  German Company Makes a 3D Food Printer for Those with Dysphagia  

[Source:  USA Today]


A German company, Biozoon, is working on a 3D-printed food extruder that creates food that literally melts in your mouth, allowing elderly patients with dysphagia - the inability to swallow - to eat without choking.


Biozoon uses molecular gastronomy to create food that can be "printed" using a standard extruder-based printer. The food solidifies and is completely edible but when it's eaten it quickly dissolves in the mouth. Over 60% of older patients have problems swallowing. This could save lives by ensuring they don't aspirate food crumbs into their lungs.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

AAC in the News:  DynaVox Affiliates File For Bankruptcy   

[Source: Disability Scoop]


Three affiliates of DynaVox filed for bankruptcy this week, but the entity responsible for the assistive technology products long used by people with disabilities says it is unaffected.


DynaVox Inc. as well as DynaVox Intermediate, LLC and DynaVox Systems Holdings, LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week.


The move, however, does not affect DynaVox Systems, LLC, the entity that produces education and 

communication products for those with special needs, officials with the company said.


"DynaVox will continue to serve its customers with the very best augmentative communication and educational products and services while focusing on accelerating the launch of several new products. The bankruptcy filings by non-operating affiliated entities will have no impact on the operations of the company," Derek Harrar, interim CEO of DynaVox Systems, LLC said in a statement.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff Tip of the Week - Resume Tip:  Don't Sweat the Small Stuff  

Many people include too many jobs on their resumes that are irrelevant to their desired career path.  For example, while its important to show that you worked your way through college, its OK to consolidate those job experiences under your employment section in bullet form.


The interpersonal and problem solving skills you developed are probably more important to mention in this section, than all the specific duties in those positions.   Subsequently, use the space that you've saved, and add in more details about advanced coursework in your field of study, information about important projects, and ample description of career oriented internships.

PediaStaff Job of the Week:  Early Intervention SLP, Suburban Indianapolis, Indiana  

Our client is a private pediatric practice near Avon, IN. We are searching for a speech-language pathologist to treat children ages birth to 21 in their clinic and to provide early intervention services in the western suburbs of Indianapolis. There are part time and full time opportunities available. The practice provides rehab therapy services in a variety of practice areas including clinic, schools, hippotherapy, and home based settings.

Ideal candidates will have a background in pediatric therapy and have a basic knowledge of feeding, oral motor, autism, and other speech related impairments. An important aspect of the position is educating parents and other family members for carry over therapy. The therapist will have the opportunity to work with other skilled clinicians. CFY clinicians are welcome to apply. Client will pay for First Steps enrollment.


Learn More About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Instagram Post of the Week:  Egg Matching  

Here's a great fine motor and visual discrimination activity. Create eggs to match patterns on cards! 
Thanks to @justformeot on Instagram for permission to regram this photo of an activity she found on Pinterest (of course!)


Check out this Fun Activity on our Blog

Autism Resource of the Week:  Children's Book List for Autism Awareness Month  

[Source: The Speech Bubble]


As part of Autism Awareness month I wanted share some books that you can share with your students:

See the list with links on our blog


Read this List and Learn About this Books Through a Link on our Blog

Seasonal Resources of the Week:  Great Easter/Spring Materials from Chapel Hill Snippets  

Ruth Morgan has collected some of her best Easter/Spring adapted books and activities and put them on her blog, Chapel Hill Snippets this week.   Run, don't walk to download them!


Download these Fine Materials from a Link on our Blog

Therapy Idea of the Week:  Flip Top Phonics (Or Anything) Game for Kids  

Once again, leave it to No Time for Flash Cards to come up with a fantastic idea to create a fun and colorful idea for all sorts of therapy goals.


We want Allison at No Time for Flash Cards to get your web hits, so i will say no more about what materials she uses, - and how to make it reusable - and let you learn all that when you get to her site.



Learn and Look at this Great Idea Through a Link on our Blog

School Psychology Corner: A How-To for Portable Picture Schedules

by Stephanie Brown, Certified School Psychologist


I first started using picture schedules after attending a TEACCH workshop for working with children with autism. But over the years, I've found them to be a great tool for children with a whole host of needs, including children who are visual learners, struggle with transitions, have deficits with receptive language, and difficulties focusing attention. As a mom, I even use visual schedules to help my  2.5 yr old gain independence with household routines like getting ready in the morning and using the potty.


Traditionally, picture schedules are mounted in the form of a poster on the wall, like this one at 


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

Career Corner: Bringing Your School Psychology Vita to Life

[Source:  National Association of School Psychologists]

A Curriculum vitae, also known as a CV or Vita, is a document used in our profession to record career accomplishments and achievements that can be included as part of the application process for externships, internships, and practitioner or university positions.

R�sum� or Vita: What is the Difference?

The differences between curricula vitae and r�sum�s are more than semantics. Typically, a
r�sum� is limited to one or two pages, highlighting only those experiences and credentials that the author considers most relevant to a desired position. On the other hand, a Curriculum vit�-a Latin phrase meaning "course of life,"-encompasses a much broader range of skills and experiences.

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

OT Corner: Making Use of the Junk Drawer

by Stacy Menz, DPT, DPT, Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist

Wait don't throw that away! Our junk drawers can hold some quick and easy fine motor and visual activities for our kids. Let's get creative with what we unknowingly have in our possession already. Here are some great ideas and activities to do with 3 things that may be in a junk drawer:


Rubber band:

  • Place the rubber band on the index finger and thumb and have them open their fingers against the resistance of the rubber band. They can also put the band on their thumb, index and middle finger to work on strengthening the tripod grasp as well.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Strategies for EI - Says WHO?

by Samantha Weatherford, SLP


When "Simon Says" Doesn't Work: Alternatives to Imitation for Facilitating Early Speech Development


Laura S. DeThorne, Cynthia J. Johnson, Louise Walder, Jamie Mahurin-Smith; When "Simon Says" Doesn't Work: Alternatives to Imitation for Facilitating Early Speech Development. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 2009;18(2):133-145. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2008/07-0090).


As you know, I work with children 0-3 (I'd say the average age I get referrals is probably 26 months) in group center-based, individual center-based, and home-based therapy. I often make suggestions to parents on the very first day I see a child, maybe even in the evaluation - but I've often wondered ...where do I get this stuff? Says who?

I saw this article while I was trying to find an article that supports the notion of putting an object near the face when you label it to gain attention and encourage imitation. I found a variety of sources that make the same suggestion but I have not seen any studies (if you know of one throw it my way). I seriously make this suggestion like three times a week but WHY? Who says it actually does anything? Somebody out there has to know. 


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Dyslexia and the English Learner Dilemma

Thank You to Reading Rockets for alerting us to this article.

[Source:  Language Magazine]

The American educational system has a difficult time understanding dyslexia and an even harder time identifying children with dyslexia in order to provide the correct intervention for students who are native English speakers. When a school has the added challenge of identifying struggling English language learners (ELLs), the task becomes an even more complicated process, and often, these kids are completely missed.

But that does not have to be the case. Children who are learning English are just as likely to have dyslexia as their native-English-speaking counterparts, and there is a way to identify dyslexia in these children. The difference is that dyslexia might appear in the native language quite as vividly as it will when they attempt to learn English.

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