April 25, 2014
Issue 17, Volume 7
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter offering!
News Items:
  • Brain Appears Hardwired for Some Aspects of Language
  • Scientists Discover Brain's Anti-Distraction System
  • Prenatal Exposure to SSRIs Associated with Autism & Developmental Delays in Boys
  • Link Uncovered Between Down Syndrome and Leukemia
  • Biting vs. Chewing: Cutting Their Food Helps Kids Behave Better 
  • Study Suggests Storybooks as Effective as Vocabulary Books for Learning Facts  
PediaStaff News
  • PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week: SLP in SW Indiana
  • PediaStaff Job Search Tip of the Week: Is Your Best Face Forward on Facebook?
  • Featured Job of the Week:  School SLP - North Charlotte, NC
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Therapist Tip of the Week: Printing Sticky Notes for Executive Function Help
  • Speech-Language Activity of the Week: Beginning Sound Letter Hunt
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week: Alphabet Match Fine Motor Activity
  • Featured (and Free) App of the Week - DialSafe Pro 

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner: How to Create the Right Sensory Environment for a Good Night's Sleep
  • School Psychology Corner: A 'Thank You Letter' to Families Affected by Autism
  • SLP Corner: Do's and Don'ts of Sign Language with Young Children
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher (and School-Based Therapist) Burnout 
  • Worth Repeating: Inventive Games That Teach Kids About Empathy and Social Skills
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 Blogtrottr and have our blog posts delivered right to your email.

Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Language Acquisition in the News:  Brain Appears Hardwired for Some Aspects of Language 

[Source:  Psych Central]

A new study discovers that human brains share common linguistic restrictions on the sound pattern of language.


The understanding that language is hard-wired helps to explain why language is so constrained. For example, people blog, they don't lbog, and they schmooze, not mshooze.


The groundbreaking study is published in PLOS ONE by psychologist Dr. Iris Berent of Northeastern University and researchers at Harvard Medical School.


Investigators discovered the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language universals. Syllables that are frequent across languages are recognized more readily than infrequent syllables.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

ADHD in the News:  Scientists Discover Brain's Anti-Distraction System  

[Source:  Science Daily]


Two Simon Fraser University psychologists have made a brain-related discovery that could revolutionize doctors' perception and treatment of attention-deficit disorders.


This discovery opens up the possibility that environmental and/or genetic factors may hinder or suppress a specific brain activity that the researchers have identified as helping us prevent distraction.

The Journal of Neuroscience has just published a paper about the discovery by John McDonald, an associate professor of psychology and his doctoral student John Gaspar, who made the discovery during his master's thesis research.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Prenatal Health & Autism in the News:  Prenatal Exposure to SSRIs Associated with Autism and Developmental Delays in Boys   

[Source:  Medical News Today]


In a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs, researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public health found that prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a frequently prescribed treatment for depression, anxiety and other disorders, was associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delays (DD) in boys. The study, published in the online edition of Pediatrics, analyzed data from large samples of ASD and DD cases, and population-based controls, where a uniform protocol was implemented to confirm ASD and DD diagnoses by trained clinicians using validated standardized instruments. 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Down Syndrome in the News:  Link Uncovered Between Down Syndrome and Leukemia    

[Source: Medical News Today]


Although doctors have long known that people with Down syndrome have a heightened risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during childhood, they haven't been able to explain why. Now, a team of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators has uncovered a connection between the two conditions.


In a study posted online by the journal Nature Genetics, the researchers track the genetic chain of events that links a chromosomal abnormality in Down syndrome to the cellular havoc that occurs in ALL. Their findings are relevant not only to people with Down syndrome but also to many others who develop ALL.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

The Mechanisms Behind Eating in the News: Biting vs. Chewing: Cutting Their Food Helps Kids Behave Better

Editor's Note:   So maybe when we "rip into our food," somehow our base animal instincts come out?   The study doesn't give any theory for these results.   Very small sample size, but quite intriguing.  We would love to see more!


[Science Daily]


There's a new secret to get your child to behave at the dinner table - cut up their food and they'll relax.

During a 4-H summer camp, 12 elementary children were observed for this 2-day study.


A new Cornell study published in Eating Behaviors, found that when 6-10 year old children ate foods they had to bite with their front teeth - such as drumsticks, whole apples, or corn on the cob - they were rowdier than when these foods had been cut. "They were twice as likely to disobey adults and twice as aggressive toward other kids," said Brian Wansink, Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab


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

Learning Through Literacy in the News:  Study Suggests Storybooks as Effective as Vocabulary Books for Learning Facts

[Source: Science Daily]

Children hear as much sophisticated information about animals when parents read picture book stories about animals as when they read flashcard-type animal vocabulary books, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.


"Marketers tell parents and educators that vocabulary books are more educational, so picture books are often dismissed as being just for fun," said the study's author, Professor Daniela O'Neill. "But our findings show that reading picture books with kids exposes them to information about animals in a way that allows children to readily apply this knowledge more broadly. This is key to learning."


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

PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  SLP in Southwestern Indiana  

Congratulations to Sierra S., SLP who has just landed a school-based speech and language position through PediaStaff in southwest Indiana. They had a need for an SLP for an elementary aged caseload to work from October until late May and Sierra fits the bill! The caseload includes general education, moderate to severe and transitional classes. One school location. Hours are 7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Great job, Sierra!

PediaStaff Job Search Tip of the Week:  Is Your Best Face Forward on Facebook?  

Would you want a potential employer to see your Facebook page as it stands today?

A recent study commissioned by Career Builder, has found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource. 34 percent of hiring managers said they had come across something that caused them not to hire a candidate. In nearly half of these cases, the person posted a provocative photo or had made reference to drinking or drug use.


How do YOUR Facebook (Twitter and Instagram) accounts reflect you? Chances are, if there is something on your page that you wouldn't want your grandmother to see, you should delete it.    Also, double check your privacy settings to make sure that nothing compromising or embarrassing is visible to the public.

Featured Job of the Week:  School Speech-Language Pathologist - North Charlotte, NC  

We are seeking a school experienced Speech Language Pathologist for a school in North Charlotte, North Carolina.  This position is a short-term position.  Applicants should be available to start immediately with North Carolina license in hand.  
Pay is between $39-40.00  +/- based on experience and taxable status. 


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Therapist Tip of the Week:  Printing Sticky Notes for Executive Function Help  

by Tara Roehl CCC-SLP

Disclaimer: I don't know about you, but I have a ton of clients who avoid writing like the plague. And that isn't even an over dramatization. There is so much anxiety around it for so many of my students. Whether is sensory, motor planning, task initiation ... they all have a valid reason for their dislike. I'm a firm believer in "picking your Alamo", and writing just is not one of them for me. I may make a few OTs angry at me with this post but I'm going to say it: I let my clients avoid writing. Heck, I even help them! Here's why: I get a very short amount of time with them each week (40 minutes). I am NOT going to spend 20 of it convincing them to START writing. There are different topics that take a priority for us. Not better, not worse. Just different. Ok, now that is out of the way...

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

Speech-Language Activity of the Week:  Beginning Sound Letter Hunt  

[Source: I Can Teach My Child] 

Little Brother and I are working on learning (and reinforcing) letter sounds.  I am also in the throes of learning how to juggle 3 kids...while nursing a newborn about 7-8 times each day.  Needless to say, activities these days must be SIMPLE and QUICK.  This beginning sound letter hunt met all the above criteria and Little Brother just happened to love it because it felt like a game!  :)  In addition to learning letter sounds, this is a great phonemic awareness activities for dissecting the sounds heard in words and identifying the onset (initial sound heard in a spoken word).


Read More About this Activity Through a Link on our Blog

Pinterest Pin of the Week:  Alphabet Match Fine Motor Activity  

[Source: Teacher Resources for Parents]

This activity is really easy to put together and is perfect for kids that are learning their letters. It is also a great way to work on fine motor skills.


Check out this Super Activity and a Link to the Original Post on our Blog

Featured (and Free) App of the Week:  DialSafe Pro  

[Source:  Smart Apps for Kids]


We all love apps that help teach our kids about the ABCs, history, science or any number of other subjects important to their education, but there are also apps that assist parents with something even more important: their safety.


DialSafe Pro is one of those apps and it helps children learn how to use a phone and dial important numbers, such as 911 and any other numbers programmed by parents. The parent can also add three audio answers, so that when the child dials the number correctly, they hear who they called answer the phone!


Learn More About and Download This App on our Blog

OT Corner: How to Create the Right Sensory Environment for a Good Night's Sleep

[Source:  Friendship Circle]

A sensory-friendly bedroom has only one purpose: to create an environment that maximizes the possibility for a long night of restful sleep.


Insomnia, night-waking and other sleep disturbances are frequent complaints of people with neurological differences, anxiety disorders, thyroid conditions, respiratory problems and digestive disorders.  The good news is that modifying the sleep environment can help increase the length and quality of sleep in many cases.


My family has tried many different modifications over the years, and will probably try several more in the years to come, because we haven't used up all of our tricks yet!  Here is our working list for an ideal sensory bedroom, with elements from our past, present and future dreams of a good night's sleep. 


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

School Psychology Corner: A 'Thank You Letter' to Families Affected by Autism

by Stephanie Foster Brown, Certified School Psychologist

When I chose a career as a school psychologist, I knew I would work with many families affected by autism. But what I didn't anticipate, was just how much I would learn from those exceptional parents and their children. The experience challenged me, as a professional, to always filter what I learned in my training through my heart. And as a mom, it has inspired me to parent with greater tenacity, perseverance, and patience. While I'm not sure words can capture my immense gratitude for what I've gained from our crossing of paths, I salute families affected by autism this month and always with sincerest thanks . . .

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Do's and Don'ts of Sign Language with Young Children

[Source:  Sprout Pediatrics]


If you are a parent or professional working with typically developing young children or children who are challenged, you have probably been introduced to the notion of using sign language with them. 


As a pediatric team of professionals, we find sign language to be the one of the most exciting skills children learn and grow from using.  We use sign language with our late talkers, our children who have signs of Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Down Syndrome, Autism, and many other developmental and genetic disorders.  Here are some do's and don't of using sign language with young children.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher (and School-Based Therapist) Burnout

Editor's Note:  This article works great if you replace the word "teacher" with "school-based therapy clinician" as well!  Please enjoy!


[Source:  Edutopia]


"Why did I want to be a teacher?" We all face burnout, sometimes on a daily basis, and in my case, especially after fourth period. Most of the time, we can pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and go back to the drawing board to try another strategy to find success with student learning.


I have to admit that it is getting more and more difficult to make that transition back to a willingness to try again. I can't help to think students are more difficult than they used to be a few years ago, and pressures from accountability are becoming more oppressive. And of course, the pay for teachers is inadequate. With all of this we may ask, is it worth it? 


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

Worth Repeating: Inventive Games That Teach Kids About Empathy and Social Skills

[Source:  MindShift]

By Tanner Higgin

Play is nothing if not social. Games organize play, allowing us to wrangle and experiment with the world. When we play games, more often than not, it's us under the microscope.


Video games, however, have been a bit of an aberration in the history of play and games. Many of them have been solitary experiences. That's changing, though. We're in the midst of a multiplayer video game renaissance that's bringing people together. Equally exciting is the trend in design toward video games that build social skills and encourage players to reflect on themselves and their relationships. Here are a few games that do just that.

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