October 25, 2013 
Issue 36, Volume 6
It's All About the Choices!     
Hello and Happy Friday! 

Please enjoy our newsletter and the fall weather this weekend!
News Items:
  • Changes in Fine Motor Control Through Teenage Years
  • Spatial, Written Language Skills Predict Math Competence
  • Growing Up Poor, Stressed Impacts Brain Function as Adult
  • Feel Good Story of the Week: Josh Sundquist Turns Disability on its Head!
  • How and when the Auditory System Registers Complex Auditory-Visual Synchrony
  • Child Neurologist Finds Potential Route to Better Treatments for Fragile X, Autism
PediaStaff News
  • Going to ASHA? Come Meet PediaStaff for Great Jobs, Social Media Learning & More! 
  • PediaStaff Therapist Placement of the Week: In Beautiful North Dakota!
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Retro Baby: A Book Review
  • OT Activity of the Week: Jack-O-Lantern Challenge Maze
  • Instagram Activity of the Week: Halloween Would You Rather Questions
  • SLP Resources of the Week: 4 Free Printable Halloween Books and More 

Articles and Special Features 

  • OT Corner: Therapy on a Shoestring Budget - Easy to Make Slant Board
  • SLP Corner: Using Vintage Material in Therapy with Adolescents 
  • Focus on Bilingualism: 12 Autism Resources For Those Who Speak Spanish 
  • Worth Repeating: Picky Eating VS Problem Feeder
  • Also Worth Repeating: Tips on Picking an SLP: What to Look Out For
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Fine Motor Development in the News:  Changes in Fine Motor Control Through Teenage Years

[Source:   Journal of Neurophysiology and the Journal of Neuroscience via Your Therapy Source]

The Journal of Neurophysiology and the Journal of Neuroscience published research on 130 typically developing children ages 4 to 16 using a new tool to precisely measure fine motor control.  The findings indicated that even the 16 year old teenagers were continuing to improve fine motor skills.  This ability was not only tied to brain maturation but also to the child's muscular development.  The researcher, Francisco Valero-Cuevas - a professor of biokinesiology and physical therapy, stated that physical


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

Cognitive Skill Development in the News: Spatial, Written Language Skills Predict Math Competence

[Source: Science Daily]


Early math skills are emerging as important to later academic achievement. As many countries seek to strengthen their workforces in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, understanding the early contributions to math skills becomes increasingly vital. New longitudinal research from Finland has found that children's early spatial skills and knowledge of written letters, rather than oral language skills, predict competence in this area. 


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

"Nurture" and Development in the News:  Growing Up Poor, Stressed Impacts Brain Function as Adult  

[Source: Science Daily]


Childhood poverty and chronic stress may lead to problems regulating emotions as an adult, according to research published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."Our findings suggest that the stress-burden of growing up poor may be an underlying mechanism that accounts for the relationship between poverty as a child and how well your brain works as an adult," said Dr. K. Luan Phan, professor of psychiatry at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and senior author of the study.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Feel Good Story of the Week:  Josh Sundquist Turns Disability on its Head! 

[Source: The Daily Mail]


A one-legged Paralympian known for his hilarious Halloween getups that utilize his disability has bested himself with an amazing flamingo costume.


Using a bright pink body suit, similarly colored crutches, and a slipper made to look like the tropical bird's head, Josh Sundquist does a striking impression of a flamingo.


But only when he flips upside down.


See This Amazing Costume, Read the Rest of this Article, and Watch a Video Through a Link our Blog

Audio-Visual Processing in the News:  How and When the Auditory System Registers Complex Auditory-Visual Synchrony 

[Source:  Medical News Today]


Imagine the brain's delight when experiencing the sounds of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" while simultaneously taking in a light show produced by a visualizer.


A new Northwestern University study did much more than that.


To understand how the brain responds to highly complex auditory-visual stimuli like music and moving images, the study tracked parts of the auditory system involved in the perceptual processing of "Moonlight Sonata" while it was synchronized with the light show made by the iTunes Jelly visualizer.

The study shows how and when the auditory system encodes auditory-visual synchrony between complex and changing sounds and images.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Pharmacological Advancement in the News:  Child Neurologist Finds Potential Route to Better Treatments for Fragile X, Autism  

[Source:  Science Daily]


When you experience something, neurons in the brain send chemical signals called neurotransmitters across synapses to receptors on other neurons. How well that process unfolds determines how you comprehend the experience and what behaviors might follow. In people with Fragile X syndrome, a third of whom are eventually diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, that process is severely hindered, leading to intellectual impairments and abnormal behaviors.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

PediaStaff News:  Going to ASHA 2013? Come Meet PediaStaff for Great Jobs, Social Media Learning & More!  

Wow. Can you believe we are more than halfway through October?  The ASHA Convention is just around the corner, November 14-16th at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.  PediaStaff has 30 feet of booth space this year,  so there will be plenty of room to get to know us, even if it's crowded.    Our recruiting staff and Career Center teams will all be in attendance, so you can come meet chat with our staff in one on one!   Please stop by at Booth #1622 in the main exhibit hall.


Learn More About PediaStaffs's Plans for ASHA on our Blog

PediaStaff Therapy Placement of the Week:  In Beautiful North Dakota!  

Congratulations to Amy F., CCC-SLP on her new pediatric outpatient position through PediaStaff in beautiful North Dakota!   This is a ground floor opportunity for Amy to work in a brand new clinic of an established and well-respected therapy company!


Excellent, yes?

Book Review of the Week: Retro Baby  

Review by Dana Moore, OTR/L


If you have ever read my blog, then you know that I am a STRONG advocate for bringing back the good ol' childhood days.  The days when kids would play, you know - with actual toys, not electronics.  And not these fancy toys they have now, but more simple toys that would challenge attention, pretend play, and manipulation skills.  The days when kids had to figure out how to entertain themselves and even play outside.  


As an OT I have seen the change in kids in the last decade.  And I'm quite sure that this change started way before then.  Anyone who has worked with kids for more than a few years has most likely seen the trend of change in abilities to pay attention, play independently, hold their pencils, manipulate their environment, get along with their peers....the list goes on and on. 


Read the Rest of this Review our Blog

OT Activity of the Week:  Jack-O-Lantern Challenge Maze  

Try this Jack-O-Lantern challenge maze.  Draw a line through the matching pumpkin from start to finish. This activity encourages visual motor and higher level visual discrimination skills. 


Download it Free from a Link on our Blog

Instagram Activity of the week:  Halloween 'Would You Rather'  

Here is a very popular activity that we posted to Instagram this week.  Check out these fun  Halloween Would You Rather Questions , on the Minds In Bloom blog


Download this Activity Through a Link on our Blog

SLP Resources of the Week:  4 Free Printable Halloween Books and More  

We love the Chapel Hill Snippets blog.  Ruth works tirelessly to bring great and always FREE resources to SLPs every week.   Today we bring you a link to her post of free printables, including four of her printable books for Halloween.


Download These Four Books and More Through a Link on our Blog

OT Corner: Therapy on a Shoestring Budget - Easy to Make Slant Board

by Anne Zachry, OTR/L

Writing on a slant board is a good thing, because the angle puts the wrist in a nice extended position, and it puts the writing surface in the line of vision which is good for posture.   Slant boards can also be useful for reading.

Yes, I'm a big fan of slant boards, but they can be expensive, especially if you purchase one from a therapy supply store.  If you are on a shoestring budget, here's how to make a slant board for around $8.00 to $10.00.

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Making Connections with the Past: Using Vintage Material in Therapy with Adolescents

By: Karen Clark, M.A., CCC-SLP


When choosing material for lessons that address targeted language skills in adolescents, therapists are often seeking novel and creative resources in order to support curricular activities and maintain student interest. Utilizing vintage material solves that dilemma and provides a unique opportunity for students to practice skills while connecting with the past. With vintage resources, our students are provided engaging opportunities to explore historical themes, values, and styles from bygone eras and apply that knowledge to writing skills, vocabulary, verbal reasoning, cause and effect, pragmatics, etc.


Listed below are suggested examples of vintage material that can be utilized in therapy:


1. Norman Rockwell artwork: The work of Norman Rockwell typifies Americana over several decades. His paintings are ideal for discussions that correlate with a social studies curriculum, particularly lessons pertaining to World War II. His complete collection can be viewed on the 


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Focus on Bilingualism: 12 Autism Resources For Those Who Speak Spanish

[Source:  Friendship Circle]


We know there are a good amount of resources available in the U.S. for English speakers, but, of course, Autism is not just limited to those who speak English, so, the resources should not be limited either.


About 36 million people living in the United States use Spanish as their first language. We gathered together a list of the best Special Needs Resources available in Spanish. Please pass these along to anyone who many benefit from such resources.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: Picky Eating VS Problem Feeder

[Source:  Your Kid's Table blog] 


This topic is long over due around here. Many parents consider one or more of their kids to be a so called "picky eater".  But what does that really mean? If you scroll the comments on this blog, you will see a whole spectrum of picky eaters, from parents looking for advice for a child that is refusing several vegetables, to one that is gagging at the site of food. Do they all fall into the same category? Hardly. Moreover, a few well-intentioned, but vastly incorrect comments about how parents need to just give their kids some tough love when it comes to eating.  That may work for 

Also Worth Repeating: Tips on Picking a Speech-Language Pathologist: What to Look Out For

Editor's Note:  We saw this on the Stuttering Foundation Blog and thought it was worth saving to share with your clients who stutter when they are moving away from you!


[Source: The Stuttering Foundation]


This year's International Stuttering Awareness Day theme (People Who Stutter Supporting Each Other) inspired me to read numerous articles by those who stutter and to listen to some classic podcasts on StutterTalk which has lead to this post on how to pick a SLP who understands stuttering. Following on from my last blog entry, where I encouraged parents to seek out early intervention, I hope that some of the tips below resonate with some of you (whether you are a SLP who works with people who stutter or a consumer of stuttering therapy) when looking for a SLP to 


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

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