June 5, 2015
Issue 21 , Volume 8
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings and Happy Friday!  

I hope everyone is having a great week.  Summertime is in full swing where I am.  Hope you have great weather where you are.
News Items:
  • Brain Waves Show How Different Teaching Methods Affect Reading Development
  • Teen Brain Matures Differently in Bipolar Disorder
  • Breakthroughs in Providing 'Sensory Feedback' From Artificial Limbs
  • Study Links Exposure to Common Pesticide with ADHD in Boys
  • OT Student in the News!
  • Vestibulo-Ocular Dysfunction in Kids with Sports-Related Concussion
Hot Jobs 
  • Hot Job: School-Based SLP Needed with ASL - Spartanburg, SC
  • Hot Job: School-Based Bilingual SLP - Houston, TX
  • Hot Job!! School based SLP - Detroit, MI
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Therapy Idea of the Week: Agility Ladder for Nimble Minds
  • Digging For Dinosaur Fossils Sensory Bin
  • Move & Learn! Giant Dot To Dot
  • SLP Activity of the Week:  Snap! End of Year Craft

Articles and Special Features 

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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

The Career Center

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Recent Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 

Brain Waves Show How Teaching Method Affects Reading Development

[Source:  Science Daily]


Beginning readers who focus on letter-sound relationships, or phonics, instead of trying to learn whole words, increase activity in the area of their brains best wired for reading, according to new Stanford research investigating how the brain responds to different types of reading instruction.

In other words, to develop reading skills, teaching students to sound out "C-A-T" sparks more optimal brain circuitry than instructing them to memorize the word "cat." And, the study found, these teaching-induced differences show up even on future encounters with the word.


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

Teen Brain Matures Differently in Bipolar Disorder

[Psych Central]

A new imaging study shows that for adolescents with bipolar disorder, key areas of the brain that help regulate emotions develop differently.

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine discovered adolescents with bipolar disorder experienced a loss of "size" or volume in the right insula and frontal cortex brain areas, compared to adolescents without bipolar disorder.

Scientists found these individuals lose larger-than-anticipated volumes of gray matter, or neurons, and show no increase in white matter connections, which is a hallmark of normal adolescent brain development.


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

Breakthroughs: Providing 'Sensory Feedback' From Artificial Limbs

[Source:  Medical News Today]

Researchers are exploring new approaches to designing prosthetic hands capable of providing "sensory feedback." Advances toward developing prostheses with a sense of touch are presented in a special topic article in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery?, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Emerging sensory feedback techniques will provide some sensation and enable more natural, intuitive use of hand prostheses, according to the review by ASPS Member Surgeon Paul S. Cederna, MD, of University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues. They write, "These breakthroughs pave the way to the development of a prosthetic limb with the ability to feel."


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Study Links Exposure to Common Pesticide with ADHD in Boys

[Source: Science Daily]


A new study links a commonly used household pesticide with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and young teens.

The study found an association between pyrethroid pesticide exposure and ADHD, particularly in terms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, rather than inattentiveness. The association was stronger in boys than in girls.

The study, led by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, is published online in the journal Environmental Health.

"Given the growing use of pyrethroid pesticides and the perception that they may represent a safe alternative, our findings may be of considerable public health importance," says Tanya Froehlich, MD, a developmental pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's and the study's corresponding author.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

OT Student in the News!

We all know what it's like to wake up and wish we had another couple hours' slumber before beginning our day, but children with cerebral palsy have a hard time falling asleep in the first place.

University of Alberta student Risha Dutt says children with cerebral palsy can benefit from a cozy, quiet and darkened bedroom to help get a good night's rest. Dutt is studying the link between bedroom conditions and nighttime behaviour, and recently presented her early findings to the Delhi Branch of All India Occupational Therapists' Association.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Vestibulo-Ocular Dysfunction in Kids with Sports-Related Concussion

[Source: Science Daily]

Researchers from the Canada North Concussion Network in Manitoba investigated the frequency of vestibulo-ocular dysfunction in children and adolescents with sports-related concussion and found that its presence was predictive of a prolonged recovery. Findings in this study are reported and discussed in "Vestibulo-ocular dysfunction in pediatric sports-related concussion" by Michael J. Ellis, MD, and colleagues, published online, ahead of print, in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Hot Job: School-Based SLP Needed with ASL - Spartanburg, SC  

What is your passion?  Do you love working with the Deaf & Blind community and enjoy American Sign Language?  Consider mixing your passion with Pediastaff.  We are interviewing this week for SY15/16.  Dates:  Mid August 2015 to end of May 2016. The position is full time and located in beautiful Northern South Carolina.  We need your experience with ASL.  Apply now to learn more about being a part of our team.

Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Hot Job: School-Based Bilingual SLP - Houston, TX 

Welcome to the South Side of Houston, TX!  We are currently interviewing for a Bilingual SLP to join our team and work with the wonderful kids of our district!  Ages from Pre-K through High School are available.  Your caseload would vary...as this district assigns case load on severity of need...not just numbers.  Bilingual Skills are critical in this school setting...we need to talk to exchange additional information.  Confidential interviews arranged quickly!


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Hot Job: School based SLP - Detroit, MI

We have a fantastic school position southwest of Detroit for a Speech-Language Pathologist for the 2015-2016 school year. This opportunity is for 30-34 hours a week working with older elementary and high school students at two schools located within five minutes of one another. The caseload varies from year to year, but it was around 45 this past year and is expected to stay around that number. The therapist will see a range of disabilities with most of the elementary students having minor speech delays, and the high school caseload is mainly learning disabled students.


Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Therapy Idea of the Week: Agility Ladder for Nimble Minds  

I saw this article today online about the benefits of agility ladders for all around nimbleness, and thought that the agility ladder would make a GREAT brain break to get kids up and moving in therapy and the classroom!  It doesn't have to be about speed, either.  Just get through it!


I would love to hear YOUR ideas for how to use an agility ladder in therapy or as a brain break!

Sensory Idea of the Week:  Digging For Dinosaur Fossils Sensory Bin 

Source:  Learning 4 Kids.net]


Digging For Dinosaur Fossils Sensory Bin: I previously shared an activity here on How to make Dinosaur Fossils?  This is how we played with them!


We simply painted white circles onto the back of the dinosaur fossils and with a black permanent marker pen drew on uppercase and lowercase letter d.


The idea of the of the Digging for Dinosaur Fossils Sensory Bin is to search through the sand to find and sort the dinosaur figurines, dinosaur fossils with lowercase letter d and uppercase letter D into the matching baskets. It is a great opportunity to expose children to the letter D, and talk about words that begin with this letter sound.


Learn More About this Activity on our Blog

Move & Learn! Giant Dot To Dot  

Editor's Note:  I absolutely LOVE this!!!!

[Source:  I Can Teach My Child]


My three year-olds are intrigued by dot-to-dot puzzles, but struggle with the fine motor skills required to draw the line from one dot to the next. They often can't tell what the picture is when they are done and are starting to lose interest in them. Dot-to-dot puzzles are a fun way to practice number and letter sequence as well as fine motor skills, so I really wanted to encourage them to keep working on dot-to-dot puzzles. I thought, "Why not turn it into a gross motor activity where they can't miss the next dot?" 


Learn More About this Activity on our Blog

SLP Activity of the Week:  Snap! End of Year Craft

[Source:  Teach Speech 365 via Speechie Freebies]

Holy moly, the end of the year is upon us! There's so much going on at this time of year, I need something quick and easy. This is a simple one page worksheet. In the middle of the lens, the students can draw a picture and then write a sentence or two on the provided lines about what they liked best at speech therapy. You can mount them on construction paper and even make yourself a book with all the students' pages!


Download this Freebie Through a Link on our Blog

Peds Tx Corner: Early Motor Skills and Language Development

[Source:  The Conversation via Your Therapy Source]

Learning to sit up, crawl and walk are all major milestones in a child's early development - and parents often record these actions in baby diaries, photographs and videos. Developing motor skills allows the child to become more independent. But our research, backing a number of other studies, has shown that it may also say something about the rate of a child's cognitive development such as talking.

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

EI Corner: Why Does EI Look Like "Just Playing?"

[Source:  Day 2 Day Parenting via Sensory Spectrum]

By: Michelle Searock, SLP

Many parents are surprised when their EI speech therapist comes to their home and starts playing with their child and does not sit down at a table and practice flash cards of new words.  Parents may be concerned because their child is not talking, but what may be of more concern to an EI Speech therapist is that their child is not imitating.  The ability to imitate is one key to communication development because it involves the idea that "I see you do something and then I can do it too", including imitating sounds and words.  For a child to be able to imitate they need to be socially connected and pay attention to the other person involved in the activity as well as having the motor and cognitive abilities to imitate the action.  Many young children that we work with are not developmentally ready to start working on single words because they have not mastered the skill of imitation and therefore we need to back up and work on the beginning levels of imitation.

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

SLP Corner: The Monolingual Bilingual SLP

[Source:  Bilinguistics]

I'm a bilingual SLP, but when it comes to evaluating students who speak Kenyarwanda, Pashto, Tosk, and Thai, I am just as monolingual as the 95 percent of our field who self-report themselves as monolingual.  Unlike many of the SLPs I talk to about this topic, I actually get excited when one of these evaluations shows up in my in-box.  Over the years, we've put together a solid framework for evaluating students who speak a native language other than English.  Today, I want to share it with you.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

AAC Corner: Video Modeling for AAC

[Source:  Teaching Learners with Special Needs] 


Video Modeling is an evidence based practice in special education.  Entire new companies have popped up claiming their way of doing it is magical even!  However, it doesn't take much to do effective video modeling for any skill, including Augmentative and Alternative Communication.  Essentially all you need is the child's communication system or a duplicate of it and a way to record video - which can be your phone, a tablet or a camera. 

Autism Corner: Strategies for Parents of Kids on the Spectrum

Editor's Note: This is a great post to forward to the parents and guardians of your clients on the spectrum! 

[Source:  My Aspergers Child]

t's summer vacation time. Almost 3 months with your "special needs" child at home. What are you going to do with him? I know exactly what you're thinking: it's not that you don't love him, or even that you don't want him home ...it's just that everything changes when he is around "all day." Sleep schedules change, there's more fussing and fighting, more dirty clothes, more dishes, more stuff to pick up off the floor - and of course, there's more "I'm BORED!"

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

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