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June 1, 2012
Issue 17, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!  Happy Summer to so many of you who work in school-based therapy settings. 

Here is our newsletter offering for you this week.  
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
Articles and Special Features 
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Autism in the News:  Study Shows that Fever During Pregnancy More Than Doubles Risk of Autism or Developmental Delay
[Source:  Medical XPress]

A team of UC Davis researchers has found that mothers who had fevers during their pregnancies were more than twice as likely to have a child with autism or developmental delay than were mothers of typically developing children, and that taking medication to treat fever countered its effect.


"Our study provides strong evidence that controlling fevers while pregnant may be effective in modifying the risk of having a child with autism or developmental delay," said Ousseny Zerbo, lead author of the


Sensory Processing Disorder in the News: Pediatricians Raise Caution on Sensory Based Therapy
Editor's Note:  We are very curious as to what our readers think of this story.  Please comment away

[Source:  Reuters Health via the Chicago Tribune]

Occupational therapy for kids who are over- or under-sensitive to sound, touch or other senses could help improve their symptoms - but parents and doctors should be careful not to miss an underlying disorder in those children, pediatricians said today.


So-called sensory integration therapy, in which occupational therapists use brushes, swings, balls, music and other tools to help kids adapt to external stimuli, has been controversial among doctors.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog
Response to Intervention in the News: New Guidelines on Identifying Students with Learning Disabilities Released
[Source:  Education Week]

Who are students with learning disabilities? It depends on what state or school district you live in.  

The combination of a surge in the use of response to intervention and a lack of consensus about how much of a role cognitive assessment should play in an evaluation prompted the National Center for Learning Disabilities this month to issue a new set of guidelines on its view of how students with specific learning disabilities should be identified.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week: Teen Born Without Arms Learns How to Drive
Thanks to AOTA's PR Department (AOTAIncPR on Twitter) for calling our attention to this great story!

[Source:  Newsleader.com]


His head cocked right, James Dennehy carried the keys to his parents' car tucked between his shoulder and jaw line. He clutched his learner's permit between his teeth.  


Once in the driver's seat of his family's SUV, he took the seatbelt between the toes of his feet and pulled the strap down. After some supple twisting, he clicked the buckle in place.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism Research in the News: Pilot Study Finds Promise for Autism in Antioxidant Therapy
[Source: PsychCentral.com]

A new pilot study suggests a specific antioxidant supplement may be an effective therapy for some features of autism.


Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital studied 31 children with the disorder.


The antioxidant, called N-Acetylcysteine, or NAC, effectively reduced irritability in children with autism and moderated repetitive behaviors. The researchers emphasized that the findings must be confirmed in a larger trial before NAC can be recommended for children with autism.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Animal Assisted Therapy in the News:  Elephants help Children with Autism in Thailand (Video!)
[Source:  The Autism News]

Animals have been used worldwide to treat Autistic children, but this is the first time that Elephants are being part of a therapy to help children gain confidence and overcome their fear of the unknown.  

This Elephant camp in Thailand provides a special program with the supervision of therapists, where children bath, feed and take care of trained Elephants.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Parenting a Child with Disabilities in the News: Very Nice Essay on HuffPo

[Source: Huffington Post]   by Amy Julia Becker   


William came home from school a few weeks back and he said, "Mom." He said it as a sentence, the way he does when he has something important to tell me. And then again, "Mom. My friend Ashley is not good at listening. And she screams."


William is three. He attends a local public preschool, and he's in an "integrated" classroom, which is to say, a classroom where typically developing children learn and play alongside children with special needs. Three years ago, William's older sister Penny was in the same classroom, but she entered it with an "I.E.P.," an Individualized Education Plan. Penny has


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Another Feel Good Story: Special-Needs Unit of Young Marines Teaches Youths to Serve

[Source: Washington Post]


BALTIMORE - Bob Nobles and Cornell Wright might not have a chance to serve their country when they are adults. No matter: They are serving it now.  

"Good morning, Young Marines," barked 1st Sgt. Vivian Price-Butler, greeting Bob and Cornell and eight other boys Friday morning in her small classroom at Kennedy Krieger High School.

"Good morning, First Sergeant," they replied in unison, standing straight and still.   


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Not Peds, but Worth Sharing: 'Push Girls' - New Reality Show Shows Life After Paralysis Like Never Before Shown on TV
Editor's Note:  So, as you know, we usually stick to strictly pediatric and school-based topics here on the PediaStaff blog, but sometimes we just have to share.    This is pretty cool.

[Source:  The Daily Beast]


When the Push Girls roll into a room, your eyes do not focus on the shiny wheelchairs underneath them. That's because you really haven't seen anything like this formidable posse before-five women bonded by the common obstacle life has thrown at them, but even more so by how they've chosen to handle it. Gorgeous, joyous, and sentenced to sit for the rest of


Learn More About Push Girls, Watch the First Episode Through a Link on our Blog

Fun Speech / Voice Story for a Friday! In A World Where One Teen's Voice Is An Internet Hit

Editor's Note:  I was catching up on my podcasts this morning and stumbled on a story that I thought would interest our #SLPeeps!  Not sure how I missed the story in April, but no matter.


Meet Jake Foushee, a 14 year old boy from Chapel Hill, NC who woke up one day with a voice made for the movies - movie trailers that is.


Watch Jake's Viral Video and his Appearance on Ellen on our Blog

App Review of the Week: Dexteria

Reviewed by: Abby Brayton, MS, OTR/L  

App Name/PublisherDexteria by BinaryLabs  


Description: Dexteria consists of three sets of hand exercises to enhance fine motor skill development and promote handwriting readiness. Tap It promotes finger isolation, Pinch It promotes the development of a pincer grasp, and Write It promotes the development of more advanced finger movements required for tracing letters.

Read the Rest of this App Review our Blog
Therapist & Family Resource of the Week: Brain Injury Hub

Here is a great resource I was introduced to through Twitter.  Unfortunately, I was not good enough to remember who tweeted it.  My apologies!

The Children's Trust is a national charity working with children who have multiple disabilities and complex health needs.  Based at in Tadworth, Surrey, it is the largest residential brain injury rehabilitation unit in the UK and also offers a nationwide community service for children and young people with ABI.   The Brain Injury Hub was conceived as a way of sharing the expertise at the Trust with a wider audience.

Learn More About this Resource on our Blog

Pinterest Pinboard of the Week: Flowchart of the Speech Steps from Isolation to Spontaneous Sentences

Sometimes you just never know which pins will be most popular.    Check out this post from Testy yet Trying which received over 150 repins last week.


"This is a description of the variety of ways you can use the exact same set of stimuli to work with children who are at vastly different levels of proficiency with a target sound. Or, alternately, a description of the set of incremental steps you can go through using the same set of stimuli to take a child from producing a sound in isolation to using that same sound in spontaneous sentences"


Check out this Excellent Flowchart 'Pin of the Week' Through our Blog

SLP Corner: The Other Side of the Coin: Can Apps Substitute Speech Therapy Services

by Barbara Fernandes, CCC-SLP


Article Reprinted with Permission as appeared on GeekSLP.com  


I am now on my way back home from four very busy days in St. John's, Newfoundland - Canada! I was invited to attend the CASLPA conference and present a seminar for 3 hours. I have to confess that it is both a bit intimidating and exciting to present in a different country about a topic that while it may seem at first glance that the approach to apps is universal, it turned out to open up my perspective of viewing apps for education by how each countries' individual social reality and circumstance affects it.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: End of Year Lists for Students by the Students
Article Reprinted with permission of Your Therapy Source as it appeared on their blog

Have you ever considered having the children you currently work with create a list of advice or tips for other children for the next school year?  You could ask the children to submit tips and suggestions that make functional tasks easier for them.  This activity will hopefully empower the children to see that they can help others.  It may also allow them to think about different aspects of functional tasks possibly leading to goal setting for the following school year.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Why is He Behaving 'That Way?'
By: Dr. Gary G. Brannigan and Dr. Howard Margolis

Editor's Note: 
This article was written for parents and might be useful for pediatric clinicians/therapists to share with others.

Ever wonder why your child behaves in troubling ways that drive you crazy: dawdles, won't read, fights with David and Brian? We can't explain everything that might influence his behavior, like his genes, his DNA, his neurology, his body chemistry, or David and Brian's behavior. We know little about these. But we can tell you about PEATERR (pronounced Peter).  PEATERR identifies many important factors that cause behavior. Using it might help you learn what's currently causing your child's troubling behavior, an important step in finding solutions.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - What Causes Speech Delay in Twins (Video and Article)
[Source:  North Shore Pediatric Therapy]

According to the 2006 National Vital Statistics Report, about 32 twins are born per 1,000 births in the United States. For expecting parents, the prospect of twins can be incredibly exciting. But it can also be just as overwhelming, with double the responsibility and half the time. Raising twins differs from raising singletons in several ways, requiring parents to carefully plan and prepare. Knowing what to expect can reduce anxiety and empower parents to handle their new role with double the confidence.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - The Importance of Evidence Based Practice in Down Syndrome Treatment

[Source:  Down Syndrome Education Online]


by:  Sue Buckley


What is evidence-based practice? 

In this issue we have several contributions that raise the issue of how we decide if a treatment, therapy or educational approach is evidence-based. I have spent my career advocating evidence-based practice and I was recently challenged to explain what I mean. This is not just a research issue, it is an issue which confronts parents, physicians, teachers and therapists daily and there is not a simple answer.


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