November 22, 2013
Issue 40, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday to everyone. 

Back from ASHA means we are heading into the homestretch of 2013 and into the holidays.  Please enjoy our weekly newsletter!   If you are beginning your travels this weekend, please be safe!
News Items: 
  • A Camp For Kids Who Don't Feel Pain
  • Hippotherapy and Children with Autism
  • Toddlers Can Learn Verbs Even in Non-Social Contexts
  • Computer Processes Sound, Filters out Background Noise for the Hearing-Impaired 
  • Brainstem Abnormalities Found in SIDS Infants, in All Sleep Environments
  • People with Autism May Have a Tangling of the Senses 
  • Differences in Brains of Children With Nonverbal Learning Disability 
PediaStaff Resources 
  • Interview Like a Pro: The Pediatric Therapy Clinician's Guide (Four Parts) 
    • Part One: The Preparation
    • Part Two: Interview Basics
    • Part Three: Specific Clinical Questions to Be Prepared For and to Ask
    • Part Four: They Are Interested! Now What?
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Book Review:  Late, Lost and Unprepared
  • Therapy Activity of the Week: Powerful Lesson on Bullying
  • Product Review: The ABC's of Movement - Movement Flash Cards That Focus
    on Learning the Alphabet

Articles and Special Features 

  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Visual Thanksgiving Recipes
  • Career Corner: Is Your Body Language Making You Fail Interviews?
  • SLP Corner:  Planning for Holiday Meals with a Picky Eater
  • Worth Repeating: Clients Who Threaten Suicide-and Our Responsibilities
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Special Places in the News:  A Camp For Kids Who Don't Feel Pain

[Source:  ABC / Good Morning America]  

While most kids end up at camp during the summer, canoeing and rock climbing during the warmest months of the year, the campers of Camp Painless But Hopeful, which kicks off Friday, have to wait until there is a chill in the air before packing up and heading to the lake.


That is because the kids who attend Camp Painless but Hopeful all suffer from an extremely rare genetic disorder called congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA. The disorder disrupts signals sent in the nervous system and results in both the inability to feel pain and to sweat, which makes people with CIPA extremely vulnerable to becoming overheated.

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

Hippotherapy in the News: Hippotherapy and Children with Autism

Editor's Note:  Yes, this is a small study, but results were quite significant!


[Source:  AJOT via Your Therapy Source]

The American Journal of Occupational Therapy published a pilot study on 6 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who participated in 45 minute hippotherapy sessions for 12 weeks.  To determine pre and post intervention scores the following were used: the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II, the Child Activity Card Sort, force plates and a video motion capture system and force plates.

The results indicated the following:


Read the Rest of This Abstract and References Through a Link on our Blog

Language Acquisition in the News:  Toddlers Can Learn Verbs Even in Non-Social Contexts  

[Source:  Science Daily]


Language acquisition has traditionally been considered a social, interactive process, however new research from Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College reveals that toddlers are able to acquire the meanings of words even in "socially impoverished contexts" where social or visual information is absent.


Sudha Arunachalam, Ph.D., director of the BU Child Language Lab and assistant professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Sargent College authored the study which provides new evidence that just overhearing words may be enough for children to learn them.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Hearing Loss Treatment in the News:  Computer Processes Sound, Filters out Background Noise for the Hearing-Impaired 

[Source:  Medical News Today]


Computer engineers and hearing scientists at The Ohio State University have made a potential breakthrough in solving a 50-year-old problem in hearing technology: how to help the hearing-impaired understand speech in the midst of background noise.


In the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, they describe how they used the latest developments in neural networks to boost test subjects' recognition of spoken words from as low as 10 percent to as high as 90 percent.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

SIDS in the News:  Brainstem Abnormalities Found in SIDS Infants, in All Sleep Environments 

Investigators at Boston Children's Hospital report that infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly, in both safe and unsafe sleep environments, have underlying brainstem abnormalities and are not all normal prior to death.


The researchers also point to the need to detect and treat this underlying vulnerability early, the focus of their current work. They report their findings in the December issue of Pediatrics.


The investigators, led by Hannah Kinney, MD, a neuropathologist at Boston Children's, have shown over the past two decades that infants who die suddenly, unexpectedly and without explanation - whose deaths are generally attributed to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - have differences in brainstem chemistry that set them apart from infants dying of other causes.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

"Synesthesia" in the News:  People with Autism May Have a Tangling of the Senses 

[Source:  Science Now]


People with autism experience a more extreme version of the world than the rest of us. For more than 90%, sounds are louder, colors are brighter, and touch can be a disturbing intrusion. The reason, according to a new study, may be that many autistic people also have synesthesia, a condition of intertwined perception in which one sense stimulates another.


Most people with synesthesia don't find the condition disturbing; many enjoy it. It certainly makes the world a more interesting place. Synesthetes may see the sound of a symphony as a skein of rippling lines, for example, or a black letter "A" as bright red. People with synesthesia say their experience is not the same as imagination, but they also realize their perceptions are in their own mind and not part of objects in the outside world. "Their experience is somewhere in between, neither imaginary  


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Nonverbal Learning Disability in the News:  Differences in Brains of Children With Nonverbal Learning Disability 

[Source: Science Daily]


A Michigan State University researcher has discovered the first anatomical evidence that the brains of children with a nonverbal learning disability - long considered a "pseudo" diagnosis - may develop differently than the brains of other children.


The finding, published in Child Neuropsychology, could ultimately help educators and clinicians better distinguish between - and treat - children with a nonverbal learning disability, or NLVD, and those with Asperger's, or high functioning autism, which is often confused with NLVD.


"Children with nonverbal learning disabilities and Asperger's can look very similar, but they can have very different reasons for why they behave the way they do," said Jodene Fine, assistant professor of school psychology in MSU's College of Education


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff Resource of the Week:  Interview Like a Pro: The Pediatric Therapy Clinician's Guide (Four Parts) 

You worked exceptionally hard to get where you are.   Now, it's time to make the most of all of that and land the speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, or physical therapy job of your dreams.    The following series of blog posts will help you prepare and interview with confidence and poise!    

Book Review:  Late, Lost and Unprepared  

Book by:  Joyce Cooper-Kahn, PhD and Laurie Dietzel, PhD

Book Review by:  Rachel Jones, CCC-SLP


I am child number 3 out of four children, and both of my brothers, in their own way, struggle with executive functioning. My older brother (we'll call him Matt) is 30, married, working, and a fully functioning adult. When he was growing up, executive functioning wasn't quite yet a "thing", and if it was, my parents in small town Midwest didn't know it existed. That all changed when my younger brother, currently a senior in high school (we'll call him Dan), was diagnosed with ADHD this spring. My parents always said from the time Dan was born, that he and Matt were practically identical. Now, Matt doesn't have a diagnosis, but has identical difficulties to Dan.


I really like this book, on a couple different levels. It's written towards parents so if you're looking for in-depth therapy strategies, steps, and procedures, this isn't what you want. It is what you want if you're  


Read the Rest of this Book Review on our Blog

Therapy Activity of the Week:  A Powerful Lesson in Bullying Using Only an Apple!  

Editor's Note:  Thanks to our staff member, and awesome recruiter, Shelli who shared this article (which once you read it you will see that its actually an activity you can do in your classrooms!) with me.   What a powerful, yet simple way to illustrate the pain and damage caused by bullying!   Re-blogged by Dan Pearce of Single Dad Laughing, written by his teacher friend identified only as "Jaime,"  We reblog the first part of it again here with a link to Single Dad Laughing for the rest.

I have this good friend named Jaime. She teaches fifth grade, and she genuinely loves her students. Lately she's been struggling with bullying problems with some of her students, and she did something pretty amazing with them that she shared with me and I now want to pass along to all of you.


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

Product Review:  The ABC's of Movement - Movement Flash Cards That Focus on Learning the Alphabet  

Review by Natalie Lopez,  DPT

My fellow pediatric physical and occupational therapists have been using The ABC's of Movement flash cards for the last 2 months and have really enjoyed using them as a part of our treatment sessions.

We have found that the flashcards work best with our patients that are about 3 years old and older.  I have used the flashcards with younger kiddos as an attractive target to try to grab due to the cards bright colors and pictures.


One of our favorite features about the flashcards is their size, which are visually appealing to our patients and easy for them to hold.


Read the Rest of This Product Review on Our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Visual Thanksgiving Recipes

[Source:  The Autism Helper]  

I am a go all out kinda girl. I like to do things big - borderline over the top, in the gray area of ridiculousness, and questionably out of control. I want a 12 foot Christmas tree, 6 inch stilettos, unlimited toppings on my ice cream sundae, 3 layer birthday cakes, and purses that are bigger than the left side of my body. I like to bring the best present with the biggest bow. You get the picture. I especially I am like this with my beloved babies at school. I spoil them and I know it. I don't even care. I think some of my kiddos don't get spoiled enough and they deserve it. So in the spirit of over-the-topness, let me explain our Thanksgiving party.  

Instead of doing a typical Thanksgiving party with a little turkey craft and November Bingo, we have a feast. And when I say feast - I mean feast. If you can make it in the microwave or on a hot plate - we make it! Stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, 


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Career Corner: Is Your Body Language Making You Fail Interviews?

At your last interview, you did everything right. You used the industry lingo. You answered the competency questions well. You demonstrated your skills, knowledge and experiences. You said everything right.


Yet, you did not get the job.


What could be happening then? It may be that you are overestimating your performance. However, an usual cause of failure in interviews is bad use of body language.


When you go on an interview, you have to watch both what your mouth is saying and what your body is saying. Ninety percent of all communication is non verbal. This means what you are saying is not really as important as how  you say it. In your interview, how do you move? How do you sit? What gestures do you make? The answers to those questions are often very important to the outcome of your interview.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Planning for Holiday Meals with a Picky Eater

by Melanie Potock


As an SLP focused on the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders,  there is one common denominator among all the families on my caseload:  The stress in their homes at mealtimes is palpable.   Now that Thanksgiving and other food-centered holidays are approaching,  the anticipation of an entire day focused on food has many parents agonizing over the possible outcomes when well-meaning relatives comment on their child's selective eating or special diet secondary to food allergies/intolerances.


This time of year, I try to find practical ways to reduce the stress for these families.   One of the first steps in feeding therapy is for parents to lower their own stress level so that their child doesn't feed into it (pardon the pun).   I often address parent's worries with a "What IF" scenario.  I ask, "What's your biggest fear about Thanksgiving?"   The top 3 concerns are as follows:


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

Worth Repeating: Worth Repeating: Clients Who Threaten Suicide-and Our Responsibilities

Editor's Note:  Judith Kuster did an excellent session just this topic at ASHA in Chicago this past week.  I found her article for the Leader online to share with you on this important subject.

by Judith Maginnis Kuster

There are historical references to suicide or suicidal ideation in persons with communication disorders- Beethoven, who was 28 and living with a severe hearing loss, contemplated suicide; Freud, who was suffering with repeated and extensive surgeries associated with oral cancer, begged for physician-assisted suicide. He died of a morphine overdose, which may have been an attempt to relieve pain or may have been an assisted suicide. Even in our field, 

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