September 28, 2012
Monthly Edition
Issue 9, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Greetings!  

Please enjoy our monthly newsletter offering!  Have a great weekend!
 
News Items:
 
  • Study Sheds New Light On The Nature Of Dyslexia
  • 'Kangaroo Mother Care' Benefits Preemies' Brains
  • Experimental Drug Is First To Help Kids With Premature-Aging Disease  
  • Research Lacking on Drugs for Older Children With Autism, Study Finds
  • Senses Altered For Those With Autism, Study Finds
  • Cogmed Working Memory Training: Does It Actually Work? The Debate Continues...
  • Cornell Study Suggests Language Use Simpler than Previously Thought 
  • Feel Good Story of the Week: Two-Legged Puppies Almost Unaffected by Disability
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Therapy Resource of the Week: Orange Pumpkin, Orange Pumpkin What do You See?
  • App of the Week: Custom Boards - Premium
  • Therapy Idea of the Week: Creating Tactile Cues for Cutting on the Lines 
  • Therapy Resource of the Week: Article to Share and Save - Celebrities with Dyslexia Who Made It Big 

Articles and Special Features 

  • SLP Corner:  Recipe for a Therapy Blog 
  • OT Corner:  'Bamboo Brace' Product Review
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: Meeting The Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted and Twice Exceptional Children through Pediatric Therapies
  • Worth Repeating: What is 'Stimming and Why is it Important
  • Also Worth Repeating: Proprioreception and Calming Techniques
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team





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Dyslexia in the News:Study Sheds New Light On The Nature Of Dyslexia

[Source: Medical News Today]

 

Because dyslexia affects so many people around the world, countless studies have attempted to pinpoint the source of the learning disorder.

 

Even though dyslexia is defined as a reading disorder, it also affects how a person perceives spoken language. It is widely known that individuals with dyslexia exhibit subtle difficulties in speech perception. In fact, these problems are even seen among infants from dyslexic families, well before reading is acquired.

 

A new study by Northeastern University professor Iris Berent has uncovered a vital clue to the origin of this disorder.
 

THE STUDY

Speech perception engages at least two linguistic systems: The phonetic system, which extracts discrete sound units from the acoustic input, and the phonological system, which combines these units to form individual words.


Preemies in the News:  'Kangaroo Mother Care' Benefits Preemies' Brains 

[Source Medical News Today]   

 

Kangaroo Mother Care - a technique in which a breastfed premature infant remains in skin-to-skin contact with the parent's chest rather than being placed in an incubator - has lasting positive impact on brain development, revealed Universite Laval researchers in the October issue of Acta Paediatrica. Very premature infants who benefited from this technique had better brain functioning in adolescence - comparable to that of adolescents born at term - than did premature infants placed in incubators.

 

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

Progeria in the News: Experimental Drug Is First To Help Kids With Premature-Aging Disease

[Source:  NPR.org]

 

Researchers have found the first drug to treat progeria, an extremely rare genetic disease that causes children to age so rapidly that many die in their teens.

 

The drug, called lonafarnib, is not a cure. But in a study published Monday of 28 children, it reversed changes in blood vessels that usually lead to heart attacks and strokes.

The treatment also helped kids with the disease put on weight and improved the structure of their bones. Children with progeria have small fragile bodies and can weigh just a third of a typical child their age.

 

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

Autism in the News: Research Lacking on Drugs for Older Children With Autism, Study Finds

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

More and more children are growing up with autism, and although many treatments and interventions are now available, clinical studies on the use of medications in teens and young adults are lacking, according to new research.

 

"The majority of (older) individuals with autism spectrum disorders appear to be taking medications that we have very little evidence for," said the study's lead author, Dr. Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, medical director of the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute in Nashville, Tenn.

 

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

Autism in the News: Senses Altered For Those With Autism, Study Finds

[Source:  Disability Scoop]

 

People with autism perceive sight, sound and touch in extremely unpredictable ways, new research suggests, a finding that may help explain behaviors associated with the developmental disorder.

 

In observing adults with and without autism as they experienced various sensory stimuli, researchers found that those with the disorder responded inconsistently even when they saw, heard or touched the exact same thing over and over again.

 

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

Cognitive Memory in the News:  Cogmed Working Memory Training: Does It Actually Work? The Debate Continues... 

[Source:  Science Daily]

 

A target article in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition concludes that evidence does not support the claims of Cogmed Working Memory Training. Additional experts weigh in with commentary papers in response.

 

Helping children achieve their full potential in school is of great concern to everyone, and a number of commercial products have been developed to try and achieve this goal. The Cogmed Working Memory Training program is such an example and is marketed to schools

 

Check out the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog

Language Development in the News:  Cornell Study Suggests Language Use Simpler than Previously Thought 

[Source: Science Daily]

 

For more than 50 years, language scientists have assumed that sentence structure is fundamentally hierarchical, made up of small parts in turn made of smaller parts, like Russian nesting dolls.

A new Cornell study suggests language use is simpler than they had thought.

 

Co-author Morten Christiansen, Cornell professor of psychology and co-director of the Cornell Cognitive Science Program, and his colleagues say that language is actually based on simpler sequential structures, like clusters of beads on a string.

 

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

Feel Good Story of the Week:  Two-Legged Puppies Almost Unaffected by Disability  

Editor's Note:  Here is a great story to share with your kiddos!   Note too that they are working as therapy dogs!

 

[Source:  ABC News]

 

Moose and Maverick are typical rambunctious puppies. They like to play, bark and lick as much as the next dog. They're thriving even though they both have only two legs.

 

The puppies were abandoned in March, just hours after they were born. The local rescue coordinator called Dr. Erin Shults, a veterinarian in Frisco, Texas who heads a non-profit animal welfare organization called Mazie's Mission.

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Therapist Resource of the WeekOrange Pumpkin, Orange Pumpkin What do You See?  

[Source:  Chapel Hill Snippets]

 

Last year, I mentioned this book-"Orange Pumpkin, What do you see?" here prior to describing a fun little lollipop ghost activity.  I didn't write the book-it's already posted HERE on Tarheel Reader.  Some anonymous SLP wrote it.  I wonder who she (or he) is?

 


I downloaded and adapted this book a few years ago for our primary kids, and it has been a big hit.  You can go to Tarheel Reader yourself, or you can download the same book from my Google docs site.  The icons for adapting it are also available-for those of you who don't

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

App Review of the Week:  Custom Boards - Premium  

by Renena Joy, M.Sc., S-LP(C), Therapy App411.com 

 

Description:

This app allows the S-LP to create activities and communication boards on-the-go.  The app includes over 100 templates and 11,000 Smarty Symbols available to create games/activities, communication boards and templates/overlays for other dedicated communication devices and visual supports.  You can print (directly from the app using AirPrint), save and/or email everything you create using this app.

 

Templates are grouped in 6 different categories:

1.     Activities and Games
2.     Grids and Boards
3.     Schedules and Calendars 

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Therapy Idea of the Week:  Creating Tactile Cues for Cutting on the Lines  

[Source:  Pediatric Occupational Therapy Tips]

 

by Anne Zachry, OTR/L

 

It can be a challenge to teach a a child to cut on the lines, especially if the child has motor skill or perceptual problems. Here is another approach that I frequently use when working on scissor skills and teaching students how to cut on the lines.

 

When working on scissor skills, always start with card stock paper. It is much easier to handle and the child will get more sensory feedback while cutting than with regular paper. Make the cutting lines bold and dark, then outline the cutting lines with neon "puff paint." You can find this at craft stores or on

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Therapy Resource of the Week:  Article to Share and Save - Celebrities with Dyslexia Who Made It Big  

[Source:  ABC News]

 

As many as 15 percent of the world's population exhibits some of the symptoms of dyslexia, according to the International Dyslexia Association, and not surprisingly, a great number of them are famous.

 

Steven Spielberg is the latest celebrity to come forward with his struggle with the learning disability.

 

"It's extremely inspiring for youngsters who struggle with dyslexia to see people like Steven Spielberg, who not only succeed but succeed well," Dr. Stefani Hines, an expert in the disorder at Beaumont Hospitals in Royal Oaks, Mich., told ABCNews.com.

 

 Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

SLP Corner: Recipe for a Therapy Blog

by Kim Lewis, M.S., CCC-SLP

 

It's hard to believe, but the Activity Tailor blog is coming up on its one year anniversary!  I can't believe it's only been a year.  Clearly, internet years are more similar to dog years.

 

There has been an onslaught of new bloggers, even in just the past six months, and I expect there are lots of therapists out there toying with the idea themselves.  So to commemorate my progress, I'm offering a therapy blog recipe.

 

Like any good recipe, you need to tweak it so it suits your own tastes and what you have in your cupboard, but this currently feeds me.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

OT Corner: 'Bamboo Brace' Product Review

by Abby Brayton, MS, OTR/L

 

Have you heard of the Bamboo Brace? I hadn't either until I was contacted by Michael Workman, PT, C/NDT, creator of the Bamboo Brace. In his work as a pediatric physical therapist, Michael saw a need for a dynamic elbow splint for children with hemiplegia, so he designed one himself!

 

What is the Bamboo Brace?

The Bamboo Brace is a flexible pediatric arm brace that is placed around the elbow joint for children with cerebral palsy and other developmental challenges. The Bamboo Brace assists children in maintaining a more extended position at the elbow, so both gross and fine motor skills are easier to perform. The Bamboo Brace is made out of neoprene and has five flexible and interchangeable stays, as seen below. These flexible stays make this a dynamic splint rather than a static splint, which allows gross motor movement while still allowing fine motor play.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Meeting The Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted and Twice Exceptional Children through Pediatric Therapies

by Debra Johnson, MS, OTR/L

Children referred for occupational and speech therapies, whether in private or school based settings, typically present with a wide range of social and emotional needs related to cognitive and physical disabilities, speech-language delays that impact social skills, functional impairments that limit social and play skills, and difficulty with meeting the demands of developmental challenges.  Gifted and twice exceptional children (defined as gifted with a disability) present with a unique set of social and emotional needs that requires adaptation in therapeutic approaches and therapist knowledge of issues specific to the gifted population.

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating: What is 'Stimming and Why is it Important

Editor's Note:  Excellent article to share with parents/guardians of your kiddos

[Source: Special-ism]

 

Does your special needs child frequently rock, bob their knee, make annoying humming noises, squint or smell strange things that they shouldn't?  These behaviors are sensory stimulation or stimming and they're not simply normal. For a child on the autism spectrum, they're an essential part of coping with life.

 

Providing Feedback to Our Senses
Stimming involves supplying feedback to the senses. There are five commonly discussed senses; sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. There are also a few extra senses including equilibrioception (balance), interoception, and proprioception (your body's position). Then of

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

 

Also Worth Repeating: Proprioreception and Calming Techniques

by Tim Tucker, SPD Blogger Network

 

I don't know what percentage of our day is concerned with managing our J-Man's sensory challenges, but I'm sure it's a lot. Just about every autistic child I know struggles with one or more of their major senses even under 'normal' conditions. Of course, this can make already stressful situations when they occur even more unbearable.

 

If you've been on the autism road for a while as a parent, you know that managing and helping calm these sensory challenges can mean all the difference between successfully accomplishing something and your child coming undone. I don't think I'm overstating things when I say that these sensory issues are the knife edge so much of their lives is balanced upon, and it doesn't take much to knock them over that edge.

 

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

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