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July 13, 2012
Weekly Edition,
Issue 22, Volume 5

It's All About the Choices!     
Good Day to you!   Here is our weekly newsletter offering for you. 
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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ADHD Research in the News:  New Study Reveals That Levels of a Brain Neurotransmitter May Be Key in ADHD
[Source: Psychology Today]

Findings from the first study directly examining gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) concentrations in the brains of children with ADHD were published last week in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In this new article researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center report finding significantly lower concentrations of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the cerebral

Autism Research in the News: Success Reported in Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mice

[Source:  Science Daily]

Using a mouse model of autism, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have successfully treated an autism spectrum disorder characterized by severe cognitive impairment.

The research team, led by Joe Clark, PhD, a professor of neurology at UC, reports its findings online July 2, 2012, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a publication of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric TBI Research in the News: After Brain Injury In Children, Outcomes Difficult To Predict And Highly Variable
[Source:  Medical News Today]

Outcomes for children with brain injury acquired during childhood are difficult to predict and vary significantly, states an analysis of evidence on the topic published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

"There is no single best approach to describing outcome after acquired brain injury during childhood, and the one chosen must be appropriate to the purpose at hand (e.g., identifying individual, population, global or domain-specific outcomes)," writes Dr. Rob Forsyth, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University and Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, with coauthors.


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Visual Impairment Research in the News:  Novel 'Sensory Substitution' Device Guides the Blind by Turning Images into Music
[Source: Gizmag]

Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) use sound or touch to help the visually impaired perceive the visual scene surrounding them. The ideal SSD would assist not only in sensing the environment but also in performing daily activities based on this input. For example, accurately reaching for a coffee cup, or shaking a friend's hand. In a new study, scientists trained blindfolded sighted participants to perform fast and accurate movements using a new SSD, called EyeMusic. Their results are published in the July issue of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Sensory Processing / Deafness in the News: NIH Study Shows the Deaf Brain Processes Touch Differently
[Source:  National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders]

People who are born deaf process the sense of touch differently than people who are born with normal hearing, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health.  The finding reveals how the early loss of a sense- in this case hearing-affects brain development. It adds to a growing list of discoveries that confirm the impact of experiences and outside influences in molding the developing brain. The study is published in the July 11 online issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

The researchers, Christina M. Karns, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research associate in the Brain Development Lab at the University of Oregon, Eugene, and her colleagues, show that deaf people use the auditory cortex to process touch stimuli and visual stimuli to a much greater degree than occurs in hearing people.  The finding suggests that since the developing auditory cortex of profoundly deaf people is not exposed to sound stimuli, it adapts and takes on additional sensory processing tasks.


 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week: Boy with Cerebral Palsy Completes Charity Triathlon for Other Kids with CP!
[Source:  The Daily Mail]

Cerebral palsy sufferer, 10, who learned to walk two years ago completes triathlon to raise money for schoolgirl with the same condition   


A ten-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who learned to walk just two years ago took part in a triathlon to raise hundreds of pounds for a girl with the same condition. 


Aspiring paralympian Jack Lawrence is so delighted with his progress since undergoing a groundbreaking operation in 2009 that he wants to spread the word and help others walk like he does.

The selfless schoolboy ran half-a-mile, cycled half-a-mile and did 25 lengths in his local swimming pool in Filey, North Yorks., to raise 832 pounds to help India Robertson, 11, reach her fundraising goal for the procedure in America.


A ten-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who learned to walk just two years ago took part in a triathlon to raise hundreds of pounds for a girl with the same condition.


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

Neurobiology in the News:  Schizophrenia, Autism May be Linked in Families
[Source:  Fox News]

Families with a history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are also more likely to have a child with autism, new research from Sweden and Israel suggests.


Researchers found that kids whose parents or siblings had been diagnosed with schizophrenia were almost three times more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder, including autism and Asperger syndrome.

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week: Surfers for Autism Helps Children Hit the Waves in Florida
[Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Amick Olson crumpled onto the 10-foot orange paddle board and pressed his hands to his the ears. His flower-print swimming trunks were soaked in saltwater. His blond hair was tousled. His face was scrunched into a ball of frustration.


Amick is 6 years old and autistic. He covers his ears when he's overwhelmed, and at that moment, he was a bit overwhelmed. But not in a bad way.


His father, Lars, floated in the warm water next to him. Amick wobbled to his feet. One hand clutched his dad. The other stayed on his ear.


"It's all you, Amick," Lars told him.


Then, for just a moment, Amick let go. He stood on the board by himself. He flashed a crooked smile. He was surfing.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Fine Motor Activity of the Week:Coffee Filter Olympic Rings

Here is a great activity I found on one of my favorite sites, No Time for Flashcards!  Great for cutting and tripod grasp practice!   


[Source:  No Time for Flashcards]


I love the Olympics and I am so excited to cheer on my country . This craft is easy to make and can be made by one child or as a group. My kids and I all pitched in for a team effort  


Learn About this Great Activity Through a Link on our Blog

Therapist Resource of the Week :  The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity
Special Thanks to Lexercise for sharing this resource on their blog that we might share it with you!

The mission of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity is "to uncover and illuminate the strengths of those with dyslexia, disseminate information, practical advice, and the latest innovations from scientific research, and transform the lives of children and adults with dyslexia."


Learn More About the Yale Center Through a Link on our Blog

Pinterest Therapy Pin of the Week: Daily Activities to Improve Fine Motor Strength
This excellent list of ten fine motor activities for parents to do with kiddos at home is our Pinterest Pin of the Week!


Check out our Pinterest Pin of the Week on our Blog

Social Skills Resource of the Week: Sesame Street - 'Share It Maybe'

Kiddos love when therapy and pop culture (especially clean top 40 tunes) converge.   And it's even better when there's Cookie Monster!


Special thanks to our friends at NEPA Special Needs Networking  for sharing this great Sesame Street parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's hit song 'Call me Maybe' video, 'Share it Maybe!  


Check out This Fun Video for Social Skills Work on our Blog

SLP Corner: Comprehension Lessons in Speech Therapy

by Sherri Artemenko, M.A., CCC-SLP


It's fun to be on a school team again twice a month when I meet with the public school special education team working with my kindergarten client. My little friend is on the higher end of the autism spectrum and working on listening and comprehension. He has difficulty staying focused during story time and even individually in therapy.


One of the advantages of team work is learning new ideas to incorporate into my therapy. This little boy had an outstanding teacher who advanced kids' language skills at every

Occupational Therapy Corner: Book Review: Schoodles Pediatric Fine-Motor Assessment

Review by Barbara Smith, OTR/L
Book written by Marie Frank, OTR/L & Amy Wing, OTR/L, illustrated by Kate Badger



I had heard good things about this fine-motor assessment and with a name like "Schoodles" I had to check it out. The publisher kindly sent a copy of the evaluation for my review. 

I have always been a big believer in detailed evaluation narratives packed with clinical observations, with minimal focus on test scores. I have found that standardized test scores do not always accurately reflect the student's classroom abilities and needs- after all, sometimes students who would benefit from OT services score in the average range on standardized tests. On the other hand, sometimes students who score in the below average range on select fine- motor or visual perceptual subtests have adequate foundational skills, but may benefit from

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Picky Eater Olympics
by Jennifer Hatfield, MS CCC-SLP

So, I'm not feeling that hot tonight and have been perusing Pinterest while I lay on the couch and seeing a lot of Olympic posts and one about "eating around the world" and it hit me...an Olympic theme for our picky eaters.


One of the ways to get your picky eater to become a little more adventurous is to "teach" them about the food and where it comes from.

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - 8 Ways to Work on Motor Skills at the Park
[Source:  North Shore Pediatric Therapy]

Oftentimes, playgrounds are overlooked as just places where children can run around and  burn some energy. While this is true, playgrounds are also a great environment to practice your child's gross motor skills, such as balance, trunk control, motor planning, bilateral skills, hand-eye coordination, and strength. Below are several ways to use various pieces of equipment at your local playground to improve your child's motor skills. Feel free to let


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - 8 Sensory-Motor Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
[Source:  Special-Ism.com]

by Joni Redlich, DPT


Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of all the therapeutic benefits of swimming and playing in the pool. Many children who have difficulty controlling their bodies for sports and gross motoractivities will have success moving in the water. Its also such a calming and organizing sensory environment that it can provide a grounding experience for the child that can often last for the remainder of the day.


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