June 21, 2013
Weekly Edition 
Issue 19, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Greetings!

Please enjoy our weekly Newsletter offering.  Have a great weekend!
 
News Items:
  • Why Kids With Autism May Avoid Eye Contact
  • Targeting an Aspect of Down Syndrome
  • Common Protein Known to Cause Autism Now Linked to Specific Behaviors
  • MRI Study: Breastfeeding Boosts Babies' Brain Growth
  • Specific Changes in Brain Structure After Different Forms of Child Abuse
  • Games that Train Attention May Remediate Reading Disabilities
  • ADHD Meds Don't Raise Risk of Drug Abuse in Adulthood: Review

 

PediaStaff News and Resources 
  • PediaStaff Featured Jobs of the Week: Explore Southern New Mexico!  
  • PediaStaff Resource of the Week: The PediaStaff Twitter Jobs Feed 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Therapy Idea of the Week: Affordable Magnetic Alphabet (or whatever) Board 
  • App of the Week: Photo Dice
  • Pinterest Pinboard of the Week:  July 4th and Patriotic Themed Therapy Activities
  • OT Activity of the Week:  Paper Towel Butterflies!

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner: 30 Fun Multisensory Writing Activities  
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Helping Your Child Eat - The Gag Desensitization Methodx
  • SLP Corner: Pictures, Autism & Creative Language: Using Pictures to Increase Creative Language Use  
  • Worth Repeating: Teaching Self-Calming Skills  
  • Also Worth Repeating: Worth Repeating: Should Schools Reconsider the Benefits of Recess and Play?
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





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School Psychologist Jobs 

Autism in the News: Why Kids With Autism May Avoid Eye Contact 

[Source: Live Science]

 

Children with autism often have difficulty making eye contact, and now a new study suggests this may be due in part to how their brains process visual information, rather than being purely a social deficit.

In the study, children with autism showed activity over a larger area of the brain's cortex when an image

 


Down Syndrome in the News:  Targeting an Aspect of Down Syndrome   

[Source: Science Daily]

 

University of Michigan researchers have determined how a gene that is known to be defective in Down syndrome is regulated and how its dysregulation may lead to neurological defects, providing insights into potential therapeutic approaches to an aspect of the syndrome.

Normally, nerve cells called neurons undergo an intense period of extending and branching of neuronal protrusions around the time of birth. During this period, the neurons produce the proteins of the gene called Down syndrome cell-adhesion molecule, or Dscam, at high levels. After this phase, the growth and the levels of protein taper off.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Autism in the News:  Common Protein Known to Cause Autism Now Linked to Specific Behaviors  

[Source:  UCLA Newsroom]

 

The genetic malady known as Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited autism and intellectual disability. Brain scientists know the gene defect that causes the syndrome and understand the damage it does in misshaping the brain's synapses - the connections between neurons. But how this abnormal shaping of synapses translates into abnormal behavior is unclear.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Brain Development in the News:  MRI Study: Breastfeeding Boosts Babies' Brain Growth  

[Source: Science Daily]

A study using brain images from "quiet" MRI machines adds to the growing body of evidence that breastfeeding improves brain development in infants. Breastfeeding alone produced better brain development than a combination of breastfeeding and formula, which produced better development than formula alone.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Neurological Changes in the News:  Specific Changes in Brain Structure After Different Forms of Child Abuse   

[Source: Science Daily]

 

Different forms of childhood abuse increase the risk for mental illness as well as sexual dysfunction in adulthood, but little has been known about how that happens. An international team of researchers, including the Miller School's Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has discovered a neural basis for this association. The study, published in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, shows that sexually abused and emotionally mistreated children exhibit specific and differential changes in the architecture of their

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Attention Training in the News:  Games that Train Attention May Remediate Reading Disabilities    

[Source: Special Ed Post]

 

by Dave Owen

 

While the contention that video games are bad for kids is slowly, stubbornly slipping from the public conscious, it seems that study at the other end of the spectrum - how video games might be good for children - is still very much in its infancy, and often met with skepticism and disdain.


 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

ADHD in the News:  ADHD Meds Don't Raise Risk of Drug Abuse in Adulthood: Review     

[Source: Health Day/US News and World Report]

 

 Analysis shows no greater threat of addiction to alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine or other drugs

Children taking stimulants to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) don't face a greater risk of becoming drug addicts in adulthood, researchers report.

Whether or not these medications (such as Ritalin or Adderall) increase the odds of children becoming addicted later to alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine or other drugs has been debated for years, with studies coming to conflicting conclusions.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff Featured Jobs of the  Week:  Explore Southern New Mexico!

Attention School Based SLPs and PTs!   We are currently accepting applications for the 2013/2014 School Year for southern New Mexico.

 

PediaStaff anticipates having both full time and part time contracts available.  Caseloads may include EI/EC, and/or pre-K through 12th grade and will be based on school district needs along with your strengths and desires.

 

 Visit our Blog to Learn More About / Apply For These Positions

PediaStaff Resource of the Week:  The PediaStaff Twitter Jobs Feed   

Did You Know We Have a 'Jobs Only' Feed on Twitter?

If you have been reading this blog for any time, you know that we try hard at PediaStaff to deliver information to you via many different channels.    With this in mind, you might want to know that PediaStaff has a Twitter feed just for the great jobs that are available through PediaStaff.

 Visit our Blog to Learn More About This Resource

Therapy Idea of the Week:  Affordable Magnetic Alphabet (or whatever) Board  

[Source:  The Nic and Kate blog]

 

Here is a GREAT idea for the classroom, home or clinic.  Use a galvanized automotive oil drip tray to make an extremely affordable magnetic board for all sorts of activities!

 

Visit our Blog to Learn More About this Great Idea

App Review of the Week:  Photo Dice for Speech & Language 

[Source: Peachy Speech]  

 

More great ideas from my colleague Gina Gladstone, CCC-SLP

 

I am always looking for ways to use "standard" apps in creative ways for therapy.  One of my favorite non-speech/language-specific apps is Photo Dice.  This app allows me to create customized die using student-created artwork or photographs for practice during treatment sessions.

 

Read the Rest of this App Review Through a Link our Blog
Looking for some fun patriotic activities to do with your kiddos to celebrate the 4th of July?

The board is loaded with fine motor crafts, word work, handwriting and tracing cards, patterning & sequencing activities, healthy treats to make (great for following directions activities) and more.   This year too the TpT Speech-Language bloggers have been hard at work making freebies which we have also pinned!   Have fun!

  

Access the July 4th Pinboard Through a Link our Blog

OT Activity of the Week:  Paper Towel Butterflies!    

Editor's Note: Saw this in my blog feed.  I would change it though so instead of dipping it in the water, you drop the food coloring on it (pincer grasp), and then spray it with a water bottle (hand strengthening) so it spreads.

[Source:  Makeit-Loveit.com]

 

 Learn About this Great Activity Through a Link our Blog

OT Corner: 30 Fun Multisensory Writing Activities     

[Source: OT Mama]

Multisensory play and learning is all the rage right now in early childhood circles. But the truth is, occupational therapists have known for a long time that kids are more likely to learn and retain information when they engage with materials using a variety of senses!

Multisensory learning is helpful for ALL children because all kids have different learning styles. This is especially true when it comes to teaching children to correctly form letters.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog


Pediatric Therapy Corner: Helping Your Child Eat - The Gag Desensitization Method

[Source:  Specialism.com]

My son, Xander, was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). One of his many issues was with eating. Unlike his sister, Jaimie, who has severe tactile defensiveness as her main eating challenge, Xander's eating issues are multi-dimensional.First of all, Xander has weak muscles in his mouth and jaw. This not only prevents him from chewing his food effectively,

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Pictures, Autism & Creative Language: Using Pictures to Increase Creative Language Use  

by Becca Jarzynski,  MS, CCC-SLP

 

Over the past thirteen years of working as a pediatric speech-language therapist, I've found that pictures can be a highly effective tool for working with children who have a diagnosis of autism. Children with autism are often highly visual and concrete learners; pictures have a way of slowing language down and making it more concrete. I use pictures in a wide variety of ways, but today I want to share with you how I use pictures to facilitate multi-word phrases with children who are just learning to use language creatively.

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Teaching Self-Calming Skills

[Source: Special Education Advisor]

"You need to calm down."

 

This is something I hear a lot in my work as a behavior specialist when a student starts to get agitated- answering rudely, refusing to work, making insulting comments or whining. A teacher might tell a child to "go sit in the beanbag chair and calm down" or simply "relax."

 

The problem is, many students don't know how to calm down. This is especially true for children who display chronic agitation or defiance.

 

When a child behaves inappropriately, I find that it's almost always due to an underdeveloped skill. If we don't explicitly teach the student this skill, their behavior is unlikely to change for the better.


Also Worth Repeating: Should Schools Reconsider the Benefits of Recess and Play?

[Source:  Education News.org]

Olga Jarrett, an associate professor of early childhood education at Georgia State University, asserts that recess is a crucial part of the day for children. It serves as a time for kids to have fun and stay active, but more importantly recess can improve students' behavior, help them develop social skills and allow them to reenter the classroom refreshed and ready to learn, reports Molly  

 

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

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