October 12, 2012
Weekly Edition
Issue 31, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Greetings!  

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter offering.  Enjoy your weekend!
 
News Items:
  • Nearly Half of Children with Autism Wander or 'Bolt' from Safe Places 
  • Language Learning Makes the Brain Grow, Swedish Study Suggests
  • Maternal Depression Affects Language Development in Babies   
  • Mother's Fish Mercury Intake Tied to Kids' ADHD Risk 
  • Brain Scans Predict Children's Reading Ability
  • The Marshmallow Study Revisited: Delaying Gratification Depends as Much On Nurture as On Nature
  • Tell Us How You Read Us and Enter to Win a Scotch Brand Laminator!  
  • ASHA 2012 is Getting Closer!  Excitement Builds for the '#SLPeeps Social Media Learning Center' Sponsored by PediaStaff  
  • HBO Documentary to Feature Dyslexia 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week: 21 - 5 Sense Activities for Kids
  • Test Review: Children's Communication Checklist (CCC-2)
  • Therapy Idea of the Week: Spooky Messages

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner: Questions about Oral Motor Input and their Answers 
  • SLP Corner: Using Food to Teach a Child Colors 
  • Physical Therapy Corner: Hydrocephalus and Ventriculoperitoneal Shunts
  • Worth Repeating: Top 8 Autism Therapies - Reported by Parents 
  • Also Worth Repeating: Why Handwriting Matters 
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
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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: Nearly Half of Children with Autism Wander or 'Bolt' from Safe Places   

[Source:  USA Today]  

 

The fear that overtakes a parent when a child wanders away from home or other safe place is easily compounded when that child has an autism-spectrum disorder. A new study shows that such behavior occurs more often than in other kids, and that the hazards can be significant.  

In a sample of 1,200 children with autism, 49% had wandered, bolted or "eloped" at least once after age 4; 26% went missing long enough to cause their family concern. By comparison, only 13% of 1,076 

 

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

Language Acquisition in the News:  Language Learning Makes the Brain Grow, Swedish Study Suggests

[Source:  Science Daily.com]

At the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, young recruits learn a new language at a very fast pace. By measuring their brains before and after the language training, a group of researchers has had an almost unique opportunity to observe what happens to the brain when we learn a new language in a short period of time.

 

At the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy in the city of Uppsala, young people with a flair for languages go from having no knowledge of a language such as Arabic, Russian or Dari to speaking it fluently in the space of 13 months. From morning to evening, weekdays and weekends, the recruits study at a pace unlike on any other language course.

 

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

More Language Development in the News: Maternal Depression Affects Language Development in Babies 

[Source:  Science Daily.com]

Maternal depression and a common class of antidepressants can alter a crucial period of language development in babies, according to a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia, Harvard University and the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) at BC Children's Hospital.

Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study finds that treatment of maternal depression with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) can accelerate babies' ability to attune to the sounds and sights of their native language, while maternal depression untreated by SRIs may prolong the period of tuning.

 

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

ADHD in the News: Mother's Fish, Mercury Intake Tied to Kids' ADHD Risk 

[Source:  Reuters.com]

Editor's Note:  This is an interesting study.  Some parents (including one on our staff) swear by fish oil for their children as a natural supplement to reduce ADHD symptoms.  This study also seems to advance the developing belief that mercury levels in our fish supply are definitely reducing its benefits to our populace.
 

Researchers writing in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that eating at least two servings of fish per week was linked to about a 60 percent lower risk of kids developing certain ADHD-like symptoms.
 

But elevated mercury levels, which can also come from eating more fish - depending on the fish - were tied to a higher risk of developing the symptoms, such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness.

 

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

Pediatric Neurology in the News: Brain Scans Predict Children's Reading Ability

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

If a 7-year-old is breezing through the "Harry Potter" books, studies indicate that he or she will be a strong reader later in life. Conversely, if a 7-year-old is struggling with "The Cat in the Hat," that child will most likely struggle with reading going forward.

 

The study findings could eventually influence reading lessons for pre-elementary children, tailoring lesson plans to individual needs.

 

New research from Stanford shows that brain scans can identify the neural differences between these two children, and could one day lead to an early warning system for struggling students.

 

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

Pediatric Psychology in the News:  The Marshmallow Study Revisited: Delaying Gratification Depends as Much On Nurture as On Nature   

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

For the past four decades, the "marshmallow test" has served as a classic experimental measure of children's self-control: will a preschooler eat one of the fluffy white confections now or hold out for two later?

 

Now a new study demonstrates that being able to delay gratification is influenced as much by the environment as by innate ability. Children who experienced reliable interactions immediately before the marshmallow task waited on average four times longer - 12 versus three minutes - than youngsters in similar but unreliable situations.

 

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

We Have a Giveaway!  Tell Us How You Read Us and Enter to Win a Scotch Brand Laminator!  

What is a school based therapists favorite classroom tool?  His or her OWN laminator.     We have one to give away!   All we ask is for you to participate in our completely and totally non-scientific survey by answering a couple of simple questions about your relationship with PediaStaff.   All pediatric and school-based therapy clinicians are welcome to enter!

 

To enter, please send an email to me at heidi at pediastaff dot com with the subject line "Laminator Giveway."  In the body of the email please include the following:

 

Learn How to Enter to Win on our Blog

Upcoming Event:  ASHA 2012 is Getting Closer! Excitement Builds for the '#SLPeeps Social Media Learning Center' Sponsored by PediaStaff  

The annual ASHA Convention is definitely the highlight of the year's activities at PediaStaff.    Thousands of speech-language clinicians descend on an unsuspecting city every November and share a dazzling amount of information.   Whether its understanding the latest research, seeing new products and technology, exploring professional development and career opportunities, or just getting jazzed up to see old friends, the excitement leading to ASHA always spreads a good vibe!

 

 Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Dyslexia in the News:  HBO Documentary to Feature Dyslexia   

[Source:  Special Ed Post.com]

Though up to 20% of students are dyslexic, many pass through school unidentified, misunderstood and performing below their potential. Paradoxically, these disorders are often found in highly intelligent, creative minds, and can also be seen as a gift, because many people with dyslexia naturally think outside the box and see the big picture, finding alternative solutions to problems that others might not see.

 

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

Pinterest Pin of the Week:  21 5-Sense Activities for Kids 

Once again, No Time for Flashcards Delivers!  Take a look at last weeks most popular resource from the PediaStaff Pinterest site with over 260 repins!

 

Read Links to this Great Post Through a Link our Blog

Test Review:  Children's Communication Checklist (CCC-2) 

by Lee Wilkinson

 

As a group, higher functioning students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) tend to demonstrate strength in formal language, but a weakness is pragmatic and social skills. As a result, they often fail to qualify for speech-language services because they present strong verbal skills and large vocabularies, and score well on formal language assessments. Nevertheless, significant and severe deficits in the ability to communicate and interact with others can limit their participation in mainstream academic settings and community activities. Moreover, pragmatic deficits tend to become even more obvious and problematic as social

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Therapy Idea of the Week:  Spooky Messages 

by Kim Lewis, M.S. CCC-SLP

 

Halloween is such a fun holiday. There's lots of fantasy and candy, no pressure of presents or entertaining. The kiddos love it, though I know plenty of parents who are sent into fits over costumes.

 

My household is filled with very active imaginations so truly creepy wasn't a good fit for us and as a result my Halloween projects tend to focus on sweet excitement.  This project is very easy to put together and can be used for early language or specific articulation work.  It incorporates some great fine motor skills as well so your OT will be happy.  (Click on the photo above for a better view; the camera doesn't really do the effect justice.)  

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

OT Corner: Questions about Oral Motor Input and their Answers 

Editor's Note:  The following article was written by an OTR for parents.  We thought it was an excellent piece for you to share with the parents of your kiddos as well.  

 

by:  Stephanie Erickson OTR/L, OTD

 

Why is my child always  putting things in his or her mouth?
When a child puts something in his mouth, he or she may be seeking oral motor input, which basically includes anything that gives the child sensory input to the mouth and may result in a motor behavior such as sucking or chewing. In short, oral motor input is organizing, meaning that it provides us with sensory input that elicits motor behaviors that help us calm down and focus. This is true not only for infants and children, but across the lifespan. In fact, before babies are

 
Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: I Spy Blue!  Using Food to Teach a Child Colors

by: Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

 

As a speech language pathologist who specializes in feeding, I can't resist combining speech and language lessons with food activities.  Here's my method of teaching colors while learning about new foods!

 

Blue with Blue!  Red with Red!

One of the first language concepts parents enjoy teaching their preschoolers is colors - but did you know that learning to identify "blue" begins with learning to match two blue objects? I teach children the primary colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple (add pink if your little princess identifies with that one early on!) in a hierarchical process, beginning with matching two colors.  Start with red and blue.  Keep in mind that the most common form of color blindness is difficulty distinguishing between red and green or between blue and yellow.  Save those pairings for later in this process.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Physical Therapy Corner: Hydrocephalus and Ventriculoperitoneal Shunts

by Stephanie LaBandz, PT

My high school muscle man with a history of spina bifida who was excited to start the fall weight training class is on strict no-lifting precautions for the first month of school following surgery for a shunt revision. A preschool teacher was concerned that she might damage another student with the magnets on her whiteboard. Another preschooler was unsteady on her feet with extra challenging behavior the first week of school, and is doing much better now that her shunt malfunction has been repaired.


 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Top 8 Autism Therapies - Reported by Parents

Editor's Note:  Recently, the people at MyAutism Team completed a survey on parents' favorite autism therapies.   Eric Peacock emailed me to share the results below!

 

by: Eric Peacock, My Autism Team

 

Every parent of a child with autism asks themselves, "Am I doing enough to help my child?"  They look to doctors, specialists, and (particularly) other parents with kids just like theirs for ideas and for validation that they are on the right course.  With more therapies out there than there are hours in the week and dollars in the bank account / second mortgage to pursue them, parents are forced to prioritize.  So what are the "best" therapies out there?  Which ones work best for other kids just like yours?  We asked the world's foremost experts -

 

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

Also Worth Repeating: Why Handwriting Matters

Thanks to Margaret Rice at Your Therapy Source for recommending this article

[Source:  The Guardian UK]

by Philip Hensher

 

About six months ago, I realised that I had no idea what the handwriting of a good friend of mine looked like. I had known him for over a decade, but somehow we had never communicated using handwritten notes. He had left voice messages for me, emailed me, sent text messages galore. But I don't think I had ever had a letter from him written by hand, a postcard from his holidays, a reminder of something pushed through my letter box. I had no idea whether his handwriting was bold or crabbed, sloping or upright, italic or rounded, elegant or slapdash.

 

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

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