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May 4, 2012
Issue 14, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
We are back from AOTA and had a great show.  The LessonPIx giveaway was a hit and so were our Pinterest Boards. 

The biggest buzz however, seem to be reserved for our brand new app for therapists that we debuted at the show.  TxTools, available now in the Apple App Store, is a free collection of tools -  conveniently bundled as one app - to assist therapists in their day to day sessions with clients/students.  Currently, the app has four modules: IEP Scheduler, Age Finder, Percent Right and Tally This.  Read more about TxTools (including our first reviews) further down this newsletter and download it HERE.

Let's give a big PediaStaff welcome to Danielle Reed of Sublime Speech who joins our team of contributors this week!   Great to have you, Danielle!

It's May, and that means its Better Hearing & Speech Month!  Be Sure to Check out our blog post of BHSM resources below!

Here is our newsletter offering for you this week:
 
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources

Articles and Special Features 

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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Back From AOTA:  What a Great Show! 

 

We are back from chilly Indianapolis and AOTA 2012!  What a great show we had.   The app and LessonPix giveaways were a big success.  Booth visitors were especially excited about the Chronological Age and IEP Calculator parts of the app.   We also gave away some Melissa and Doug products, and an iPad!

 

Feel Good Story of the Week: Roosevelt the Collie Who Uses a Wheelchair!
Editor's Note:  I saw this article come across my feed while we were at AOTA and couldn't wait to share it with you.  Please share it with your kiddos as a perfect example that all creatures great and small can do anything!

He may have been forced to rely upon a wheelchair after contracting polio, yet President Franklin D. Roosevelt remained famously upbeat, using 'Happy Days Are Here Again' as his campaign song.

And, as well as his name, this positive outlook is something Roosevelt the collie dog has adopted - after he was born with deformed legs and also needs a wheelchair to get around.

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Bilingualism in the News: Bilingualism Fine-Tunes Hearing, Enhances Attention

[Source:  Medical News Today]

 

A Northwestern University study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) provides the first biological evidence that bilinguals' rich experience with language in essence "fine-tunes" their auditory nervous system and helps them juggle linguistic input in ways that enhance attention and working memory.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Selective Mutism in the News:  Video from the Mind Institute Featured on Parents.com 
Here is a nice item to see, Parents.com featured a video this week of the Sr. Director at the Child Mind Institute, speaking about Selective Mutism

 Watch this Video on our Blog
Remarkable Children with Autism in the News: Six Year Old Boy With Autism Catches Billy Joel's Attention with his Rendition of 'Piano Man'
This video of Ethan playing Billy Joel's 'Piano Man' has became an internet sensation last weekend.  Even Billy Joel has commented that he likes Ethan's intro better than his own, and this week, Ethan is made the talk show circuit, appearing on the Today show.  Enjoy!

 

Watch the Video and See Ethan on Today Through a Link on our Blog
Autism Research in the News: Experimental Drug Reduces Autism Symptoms in Mice
(CBS News) Autism affects one out of every 88 American children and while there are available treatments for early intervention, there is no cure. A new government-funded study has found an experimental treatment is effective at reversing symptoms of autism in mice.

For the study, published in the April 25 issue of Science and Translational Medicine, researchers from the National Institutes of Health bred a strain of mice to display autism-like behaviors. Similar to how children with autism have social deficits and engage in repetitive

 

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Down Syndrome in the News: Stunning Inner Space Observations Could Impact Treatment Of Down Syndrome and More
[Source: Medical News Today]

 

Scientists using high-powered microscopes have made a stunning observation of the architecture within a cell - and identified for the first time how the architecture changes during the formation of gametes, also known as sex cells, in order to successfully complete the process.

 

The findings by the international team led by the University of Leicester could impact on the treatment of disorders caused by a misregulation of cellular structures called microtubules. These disorders include Down's Syndrome, lissencephaly (a brain formation disorder) or cancer.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD in the News: Study That Sheds New Light on How Dopamine Determines Individual Behavior Differences Could Have Important Implications for the Treatment of ADHD

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

Slacker or go-getter? Everyone knows that people vary substantially in how hard they are willing to work, but the origin of these individual differences in the brain remains a mystery.

Now the veil has been pushed back by a new brain imaging study that has found an individual's willingness to work hard to earn money is strongly influenced by the chemistry in three specific areas of the brain. In addition to shedding new light on how the brainworks, the research could have important implications for the treatment of attention-deficit disorder,

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Brand New (and FREE) App from PediaStaff: TxTools is Here! Download Our Very First (and FREE) App for iPhone, iPad
PediaStaff is tickled to announce 'TxTools' our very own, first (and free) App for Apple iDevices.  TxTools, available now in the Apple App Store, is a free collection of tools -  conveniently bundled as one app - to assist therapists in their day to day sessions with clients/students. Now, before you get too excited, let me state up front, that we know that this is a VERY simple app.   We specifically created it simple, (yet we hope extremely useful) to learn how to go through the App creation process (finding programmers, working with Apple, etc.)  Now, that we understand the process we will be able to create more exciting and substantial apps for

Download TxTools (and Read our First Reviews) Through a Link on our Blog

Therapy Idea of the Week : Simple Kids Flower Sewing for Fine Motor Practice
Here is a really cute idea posted last year on the excellent blog Childhood 101 that was brought to our attention by Margaret at Your Therapy Source.   Would be a fun 'craftivity' for Mother's Day!

We attend a great playgroup once a week and this was one of our recent creative projects - a cardboard flower with holes punched for threading a long length of wool through. I thought it was a great idea and immediately thought to make a more permanent version for Immy's sewing basket.

See the Rest of this Activity (with Pictures) on our Blog

Literacy and Language Resource of the Week: Tarheel Reader 
Two of my favorite bloggers (Ruth Morgan at Chapel Hill Snippets and Adeline's Mom at We Can Do All Things) have written about this site recently and I wanted to make sure all of you knew about it too!

Tar Heel Reader - a result of a collaboration between Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and the department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - is a collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics. The books may be downloaded as slide shows in PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash format. Each book can be speech enabled and accessed using multiple interfaces, including touch screens

 Learn More About Tarheel Reader Through our Blog
App Review of the Week: Articulation Station 

by:  Sherry Artemenko

 

"Articulation Station" by Little Bee has all the app-tributes for an engaging, fun, successful therapy session. Organized in a thoughtful way, it promotes practice of the 22 sounds of the English language, by initial, medial and final placement in a word as well as blends, and in increasingly difficult contexts through the word, sentence and story levels. What stands out in this app is the rich variety of images - photographs of a close-up rose, blowup rainbow, 3-D robot or a watermelon that you'd like to taste-so identification is clear and appealing to the student.  

 

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Pinterest Pin of the Week : 20 Ways to Play with Shaving Cream 
Shaving cream is a sensory and messy delight for children and for great Occupational Therapy!   No surprise that this blog post by 'Play Create Explore' was our Pinterest Pin of the Week this week with close to 300 repins!

 

Check out 20 Ways to Play With Shaving Cream Through a Link on our Blog

SLP Resource of the Week: Better Hearing and Speech Month Resources 
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Here are some great resources from ASHA and Beyond to Help you spread the word!

 

Access BHSM Resources on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: Advice From the OT: Part 5 - Why Some Children Pay Better Attention Than Others
by Loren Shlaes, OTR/L

 

Scene: A typical kindergarten classroom. Children are working independently and in small groups.  The room is busy and noisy.  Scents from the cafeteria are wafting up because it's close to lunch time.  Now let's focus in on three children as they go about their school day: 

Child A walks aimlessly around the perimeter of the room.  He is occasionally instructed to pick an activity from the shelves and get started on it, or to join other students as they work at one of the small tables coloring and cutting.  He picks up a random item and attempts to comply, but as soon as the teacher's back is turned, he resumes wandering.

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: It "Sounds" Like Love: Learning to Love Articulation/Phonology Therapy and How to Keep it Fresh and Fun for Students and for You!

by:  Danielle Reed, MS CCC-SLPs

 

Prior to the position I currently hold in an elementary school, I had very little experience with true articulation and phonology therapy.  Honestly, it was the furthest thing from my mind when I went into this field because I became a Speech-Language Pathologist to work with students with severe needs, AAC, and the like.  I was not artic's biggest fan.  So, when I accepted my current position I was incredibly excited until I realized that the artic monster would most likely be chasing me throughout the school.  I felt underprepared and lacking in knowledge and skill, and had very few tricks in my bag.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Common Core Standards are Coming - School-Based Therapists Need to Be in the Know
By: Heidi Kay

Common Core Standards for Language Arts and Math are coming to 45 states near you.  While speech and OT services are not specifically subject to the standards, it will be incumbant upon school based therapists to work with general and special educators to align IEPs and related services to conform.  

Barbara Ehren, Jean Blosser, Froma P. Roth, Diane R. Paul & Nickola W. Nelson in their article

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - The Milestones That Keep You Going When You Have A Kid With Autism
Autism Awareness Month is winding down, but there are still so many great articles to share and feature.   Please check out this excellent guest article by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez on Parents.com's To the Max

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - Stuttering and the Bilingual Child

[Source:  The Stuttering Foundation of America]

 

By: Rosalee Shenker, PhD
Montreal Fluency Centre

 

According to the recent United States Census, one in seven, or 31.8 million, people in the United States speak a language other than English in the home. It is unknown how many people who stutter are bilingual, but it is safe to estimate that at least a half million people in the United States who are bilingual also stutter.

 

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
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