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February 24, 2012
Issue 2, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Hello and Happy Friday to you.    Welcome to our monthly newsletter.   We had some great participation in our new Social Discussion Groups this week that you should find useful!  

Please enjoy our February issue with our complements.  
 
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Book Review:  Autism Every Day  
  • App Review: Make Your Own iPad Activities using pdf-Notes for iPad 
  • Kids Activity for Following Directions 
  • Pinterest Pin of the Week: Entire Board of Photos For Working on Emotions and Facial Expressions
  • Therapy Resource of the Week: SoundFinder - Nifty (and Free) Tool to Find Words by Speech Sound
  • Some Fun That is Funny in Speech Class - Articulation and Rhyming Games! 
Upcoming Events 
  • Meet PediaStaff at TSHA 
Discussion Group Topics  
  • Social OTs/PTs Discussion Round-Up: What Does it Feel Like for a Kid with SPD? 
  • SLPeeps on Discussion Round-Up: Children's Books by Speech Sound 
  • New Pin for Discussion: Let's Brainstorm Social Problem Solving Situations

Articles and Special Features 

  • SLP Corner: Book Excerpt from Happy Mealtimes With Happy Kids: How To Teach Your Child About the Joy of Food
  • OT Corner:   Fun Activities that Boost Focus and Performance at School 
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Feet for Occupational Therapists (by a Physical Therapist)  
  • Focus on Bilingualism:  Assessing Speech Skills in Bilinguals 
  • Special Feature: Adding Pediatric Massage to your Skill Set: Why and How to get a Certificate in Pediatric Massage
  • Meet PediaStaff:  Kary Utley, Sr. Staffing Consultant 
  • Worth Repeating: Comparing CAS, Dysarthria, & Phonological Disorder  
  • Also Worth Repeating: The Dyslexic Brain Brock and Fernette Eide on the Diane Rehm Show             
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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Language Development in the News:  Kids' Language Issues Tied to Mom's Low Vitamin D

[Source:  Reuters, via FoxNews]

 

Mothers who had low vitamin D levels while they were pregnant are more likely to have a child with a language impairment than moms who had higher levels of the vitamin, according to a new study from Australia.

 

While the results do not prove that low vitamin D is to blame for later problems, "they point to a very plausible association that warrants more attention," said Lisa Bodnar, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in this study.
 

Read the Rest of this Story Through a Link on our Blog
Autism the News: Autism Signs Appear in Babies' Brains as Early As Six Months
[Source:  MSNBC.com]

The early signs of autism are visible in the brains of 6-month-old infants, a new study finds, suggesting that future treatments could be given at this time, to lessen the impact of the disorder on children.


Researchers looked at how the brain develops in early life, and found that tracts of white matter that connect different regions of the brain didn't form as quickly in children who later developed autism, compared with kids who didn't develop the disorder.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News:  African-American Children Tend to be Diagnosed Later for Autism

[Source:  The Autism News]

 

The rate of diagnosis for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is the same among all racial groups - one in 110, according to current estimates. However, a study by a Florida State University researcher has found that African-American children tend to be diagnosed later than white children, which results in a longer and more intensive intervention.

 

The reasons for later diagnoses include a lack of access to quality, affordable, culturally competent health care, according to Martell Teasley, an associate professor in Florida State's College of Social Work who has conducted a comprehensive review of research literature on autism and African-American children. In addition, the stigma attached to mental health conditions within the black community contribute to misdiagnoses of autism, and underuse of available treatment services.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Speech Delay in the News: New Approach Urged for Late-Talking Bilingual Babies
[Source: AFP via Yahoo News]

Babies who are raised in homes where two or more languages are spoken may appear to talk later than those learning just one language, leaving parents puzzled and concerned as to the reasons why.

 

Conventional wisdom often suggests that such children are confused and so they take longer to talk. Or, parents may hear that any apparent delay is just an illusion because kids are little geniuses who can learn many languages quickly and easily.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News: New Theory Explains Face Recognition Barriers in Autism

[Source:  The Autism News]

 

Face recognition is something that people have difficulty with. For people with autism, the process of face recognition is much harder.

 

A popular theory states that the difficulty in facial recognition starts from childhood. Children with autism are likely to avoid encountering different faces during childhood, which harms the development of the brain area for processing faces. Darren Hedley, a PhD graduate from Flinders University proposes another theory that could explain this situation. According to Hedley, people with autism might have an early or unconscious memory of faces and the problem is the way they process the information in their later years.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Motor Skills Development in the News:  Motor Skills Affected By Autism

[Source:  Medical News Today]

 

Often, children with autism have difficulties developing motor skills, such as throwing a ball, learning how to write, or running. However, a study published in the journal Autism, suggests that autism itself, not genetics, may be to blame. The research was conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

 

Claudia List Hilton, Ph.D., lead researcher of the study, assistant professor in occupational therapy and an instructor in psychiatry, explained:

 

From our results, it looks like motor impairments may be part of the autism diagnosis, rather than a trait genetically carried in the family. That suggests that motor impairments are a core characteristic of the diagnosis."

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week: Better than the "Linsanity:" David Andrews, HS Student with Down Syndrome Comes off the Bench to Help His Team Win Championship!
I like this story more than all the Jeremy Linsanity!  Read and watch this story about David Andrews, who came off the bench to start and help his team win the County Championships!

 

Friends of PediaStaff in the News: PediaStaff Therapists and Contributors Featured on "Love That Max"
Thank you to Ellen Seidman for inviting PediaStaff Occupational Therapist, Rona Silverstein, PediaStaff Clinical Coordinator Joleen Fernald, and guest blog contributors Melanie Potock, Stacy Menz, Becca Jarzynski, Karen Head and Meghan Graham to participate in a wonderful story on the Better Therapy Sessions for Kids with Special Needs on the Love that Max Blog!

Read This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Book Review : Autism Every Day 
Review by Barbara Smith, OTR/L
Book by:  Alyson Beytien
Published by: Future Horizons

Teacher, autism trainer and mother -Alyson Beytien has performed a magic act. I don't mean raising three boys with autism and not going insane- I mean writing an entertaining book about the challenges and joys of raising her unique and lovable guys while making the reader LOL (you  know... "laugh out loud") and  wonder - HDSDI (how does she do it!).
 

"Autism Every Day" is Alyson's story of a life filled with the many acronyms familiar to every parent of a special needs child, the funny and not so funny experiences that make her laugh and cry and the strategies she has learned through her training and on the job parenting. I use the author's first name because readers will quickly feel like they know Alyson. She is the shopper in Walmart trying to diffuse a tantrum, the parent who cries at IEP meetings and friend who dances next to her child in public to explain away his unusual body movements (it's a family dance she says!!).

 

Read the Rest of this Book Review on our Blog

App Review of the Week: Make Your Own iPad Activities using pdf-Notes for iPad
Editor's Note:  This post originated on Your Therapy Source.  Thank you to Margaret Rice for allowing us to cross post it here

I was so excited when I learned from @lloydcrew on Twitter about this app that allows you to mark up pdf's on your iPad. Basically this free app allows you to mark and draw on the iPad with pdf documents. Therefore, if any of you have ordered some of our visual motor electronic books you can now store them on your iPad and have the children practice visual motor skills using the iPad instead of paper. Here is how you do it:!

Read the Rest of this App Review on our Blog
Therapy Activity of the Week: Kids Activity for Following Directions  
This was a simple activity that I carried out with a group of student to work on following directions. I began with a sheet of red construction paper. I prepped ahead of time by gluing a blue stripe across the center and a green and yellow stripe running up and down.

You can use a variety of small items for the rest of the project. I decided on the following: I had the students cut a circle out of purple construction paper, they cut a piece of string in half, a small orange square sticker, a small bead, a small sponge. For the activity, I just gave them simple directions. "Cut out the purple circle and glue it under the blue line." Then I told them,

 

Read the Rest of the Activity (With Photos) on our Blog

Pinterest Pin of the Week: Entire Board of Photos For Working on Emotions / Facial Expressions   

We are getting great feedback on all our photo pinboards on Pinterest, so I thought I would make more based on your requests!
 

Here is a Pinboard of Photos to use for Working on Emotions!   We have 81 pictures in there as of today.

 

Therapy Resource of the Week: SoundFinder - Nifty (and Free) Tool to Find Words by Speech Sound

Last week, we announced that  PediaStaff has just contracted with LessonPix to provide their great interactive software for visuals and materials. 

 

Its really a terrific product and is a wonderfully inexpensive alternative to Boardmaker and other symbol/picture systems out there.

 

But the best kept secret of all is the free tool embedded in the site for you to find words by speech sound (and position of that sound inside the word) regardless of how those words are spelled.  - SoundFinder.   I think you SLPs are going to love it!

 

Learn More About SoundFinder Through a Link on our Blog

Therapy Activities of the Week: Some Fun that is Funny in Speech! - Cat in the Hat Artic and Rhyming Games by 'The Speech Ladies'
Thanks so much to two of the newest members of our blogging team, Kristina and Cindy over at The Speech Ladies, who at our request made two great printable games to help celebrate Dr. Suess Week in the classroom.

First is an artic game Cat in the Hat Says. Just print, cut out the cards and laminate. Then have a student draw a card. Then do as the Cat in the Hat says! He may say to say your target word 5 times and quack like a duck or to wiggle your arms! This game provides a way for students to work and move around!

Learn More About the Second Game and Download Both Through a Link on our Blog
Upcoming Events: Meet PediaStaff at TSHA 

Coming to the TSHA Convention in San Antonio?  It will be help March 8 and 9 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.   We are excited to meet all our therapy friends in Texas.

 

Come meet PediaStaff at Booth #529 and get your free Toobaloo Fluency Device while supplies last!

Still need to register for TSHA or want to Learn More?

 

Visit the Texas Speech Language Hearing Association Website Through a Link on our Blog

Social OTs/PTs on Pinterest Discussion Round-Up: What Does it Feel Like for a Kid with SPD?
We certainly had no shortage of great ideas for this week's OT/PT Pinterest Pin for Discussion.  Here is a round up of ideas that therapists (and parents!) came up with that might simulate what its like to have Sensory Processing Disorder

Read the Round-Up on our Blog
SLPeeps on Pinterest Discussion Round-Up: Children's Books by Speech Sound
When I posed this question I expected more individual responses, but between the web list originally mentioned in our pin, and the recent ASHA Blog post with a second great list of books, I am guessing most SLPs were stumped to come up with even more.   Regardless, these two lists and the suggestions that we we did get make for a great collection of books by speech sound!

New Pinterest Pin for Discussion Let's Brainstorm Social Problem Solving Situations/Scenarios for a Photo Pinboard 
I am going a very practical route for this week's Pinterest Pin for Discussion.   Per request of several of our clinicians on Pinterest, we have started a pinboard of photos for helping children with social problem solving.   I thought I would use the pin of the week forum to ask for everyone's suggestions for scenarios that could be illustrated with a photo and added to this pinboard.  

I am looking for concrete suggestions and also for free resources where I might find lists of scenarios/situations that I could use for ideas.   I am excited with the potential this pinboard can have with your help once we get a decent number of photos!

Access this Discussion Through a Link on our Blog
SLP Corner: Book Excerpt from Happy Mealtimes With Happy Kids: How To Teach Your Child About the Joy of Food

by:  Melanie Potock, M.S. CCC-SLP 

 

Chapter Three:  I Can Do it Myself! - Messy Steps to Self Feeding

Isaac's grandmother diligently swiped his chin with the tip of the spoon after every bite, ensuring that no puree remained on his face. She kept a wet washcloth nearby for swiftly wiping down soiled fingers and the high chair tray should any food drip off the spoon. "He likes to be neat and clean," she stated proudly. Isaac was 18-months-old and had yet to touch a spoon or any food on his tray. Thankfully, this grandmother was open to my suggestions and, months later, Isaac, Grandma and I were elbow-deep in chocolate as we played pudding car wash on his back patio! That grandmother later told me: "If you haven't played pudding car wash, you're missing out on life!"

 

Read the Rest of This Book Excerpt on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: Fun Activities that Boost Focus and Performance at School

by Lindsey Biel, OTR/L 
 

Introduction:

My coauthor, Nancy Peske, and I wrote a lot about working with schools and teachers in our book, Raising a Sensory Smart Child- including school-based sensory diet activities, accommodations, and tasks modifications for the classroom. There is also information on working with schools on the sensorysmarts.com website, including a checklist for teachers you can download and print to help them recognize sensory issues in students.

Educators and occupational therapists make great partners; we have so much to teach each other! When I consult with schools, conduct staff trainings, or have meetings for

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Feet for Occupational Therapists (by a Physical Therapist)

By: Dr. Joni Redlich, DPT

 

As a physical therapist working with children I have worked very closely with pediatric occupational therapists in a variety of settings.  There are areas of overlap that both OTs and PTs address, and also areas that we can consult with each other to maximize the child's outcomes.

 

PTs have a strong knowledge base in movement systems, particularly the musculoskeletal system for motor function.  OTs have a strong foundation in maximizing a child's overall abilities to function in daily life.  One problem area that OTs and PTs will both often address is balance.  If balance and gross motor skills are impaired, it is important to look at postural alignment from head to toe.  An area that OTs have less training in observing and assessing in the alignment and function of the feet.  Feet serve as the basis for balance and gross motor skills in standing. 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Focus on Bilingualism: Assessing Speech Skills in Bilinguals

by: Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and Alejandro Brice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

 

There is a considerable amount of information available about the assessment of speech skills in Spanish-English bilinguals but it is more difficult to find information about other languages.   We provide here a framework for taking both languages of the bilingual into consideration in the assessment of speech skills.  

There are three key pieces of information that are needed to effectively evaluate speech skills in a bilingual child.  They are:

  • Shared and unshared sounds/processes
  • Developmental acquisition within each language
  • Phonotactics of each language

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Special Feature: Adding Pediatric Massage to your Skill Set: Why and How to get a Certificate in Pediatric Massage

By: Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT

 

Providing massage and touch therapy is within the scope of practice of many health care providers including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists and occupational therapists. However, massage is not frequently practiced by these practitioners because of time constraints or lack of comfort with providing massage therapy. Qualified practitioners, whom practice massage therapy for pediatric clients and patients, provide numerous benefits to the child and improve their family's satisfaction with the care their child receives. This compassionate care can also contribute to a positive healing environment, which has been shown to improve the satisfaction of members of the health care team.

 

Massage provides global benefits to a child's health
The physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of touch for infants, children and pediatric patients who are hospitalized have been well documented in published research studies. Equally documented are the effects of touch deprivation in hospitalized children.

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Meet PediaStaff: Kary Utley, Sr. Staffing Consultant  

Kary has twenty plus years experience working in Human Resources and Recruiting, with over 14 in the Healthcare Arena. Until joining PediaStaff as a Senior Consultant in 2006, Kary owned and operated his own Healthcare Recruiting Company, specializing in the placement of Allied Health Professionals with clients from coast to coast.

 

In addition to working with healthcare, Kary has many years experience working with professionals in engineering, IT, financial management, and others. Kary got his start in recruiting while a member of the United States Air Force, where he served our country for 23 years.  Kary has always worked utilizing a simple motto - "do what's right"! These few simple words have garnered him the respect of candidates, clients, and fellow recruiting professionals for many years. Without a doubt, his relationship building has been the cornerstone of success with PediaStaff, as well as his many other endeavors.

 

Read More About Kary on our Blog

Worth Repeating - A Comparison of Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Dysarthria, and Severe Phonological Disorder
Thanks to our friends at Apraxia Kids for tweeting an excellent chart comparing CAS, Dysarthria and Severe Phonological Disorder

Read and Print This Chart Through a Link on our Blog 
Also Worth Repeating - The Dyslexic Brain - Transcript of Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide on the Diane Rehm Show
[Source:  The Diane Rehm Show]

  

MS. DIANE REHM:  Thanks for joining us. I'm Diane Rehm. People with dyslexia often have trouble reading, spelling and other academic skills, challenges that can be clear disadvantages revealed in a new book. Co-authors Doctors Brock and Fernette Eide argue dyslexics often have particular abilities as well. Their book is titled, "The Dyslexic Advantage." Brock Eide joins me from a studio at KQED in San Francisco.

 

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