23 November, 2018
Issue 45, Volume 11
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving!  
Please enjoy an abbreviated, holiday edition of our weekly newsletter.  The PediaStaff offices will be closed Thursday and Friday of this week and will reopen on Monday.    Enjoy and travel safely!
 
News Items:  
  • Saliva Test May Help Speed Up Autism Diagnosis
  • Largest-Ever Study of Gender Differences in Autism
  • Imaging Study Shows How High School Football Changes Teen Brain
  • Vestibular Exercise Program Helps Increase Balance and Agility
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Lego Balance Scale Project
  • Favorite Games for Speech & Language
Articles and Special Features 
  • PT Corner: All About Shapes Yoga for Kids
  • OT Corner: Games That Improve Pencil Grasp
  • SLP Corner: Progress Monitoring Resources for Speech-Language Therapy
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Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team
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Saliva Test May Help Speed Up Autism Diagnosis
[Source: Disability Scoop]

New research suggests that determining whether or not a child likely has autism could one day be as simple as spitting in a cup.

By looking at RNA in saliva, researchers say they can identify kids on the spectrum with 85 percent accuracy.

The findings come from a study of 456 children ages 19 months to 6 years from various locations across the country, 238 of whom had autism, 84 with developmental delay and 134 who were typically developing. RNA levels were measured from each child's saliva 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Largest-Ever Study of Gender Differences in Autism
[ Source:  Psych Central]

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. have conducted the world's largest-ever study investigating the psychological differences between males and females with autism.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested and confirmed two long-standing psychological theories: the Empathizing-Systemizing theory of sex differences and the Extreme Male Brain theory of autism.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Imaging Study Shows How High School Football Changes Teen Brain
[Source: Psych Central]

A single season of high school football may be enough to cause structural changes to a teen's brain, even when the blows do not cause concussion, according to a new study published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
Vestibular Exercise Program Helps Increase Balance and Agility
[Source:  Your Therapy Source]

The 17 children were recruited from two summer enrichment programs and were divided into two groups based on age (group 1: 9.9 yrs - group 2: 18.4 yrs.).

Each participant was evaluated with the Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2 subtests for balance, bilateral and upper limb coordination, and agility prior to and after six weeks of 2 times per week vestibular stimulation exercises.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog
Lego Balance Scale Project
Editor's Note:   This project is described as a STEM activity, which surely it is.  I immediately thought instead that this is an excellent activity for both fine motor skills and for speech therapy for working on verbal comparisons, following directions and conversation skills.   

[Source: Kids Activities.com]

Robots, racing cars, contraptions, and more - these genius LEGO inventions can be made with bricks you already own!

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Favorite Games for Speech & Language
[Source: Speech Room News]  

I guarantee if you left me alone to wander through a school, I'd end up rummaging through cabinets to see what resources teachers and therapists had stashed away in their closets. Since we live in the age of the internet, you don't have to be quite so intrusive to find out what games I love to use with my students.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
PT Corner:  All About Shapes Yoga for Kids
[Source: Pink Oatmeal]

I love combining moving with learning and one fun way to do that is by doing shapes yoga for kids.  The yoga poses are your traditional yoga poses with a twist to make them easy for kids to relate to shapes.  It's a fun way for kids to kinesthetically work on learning!


 OT Corner: Games That Improve Pencil Grasp
[Source: The OT Toolbox]

Working on a functional pencil grasp with your child or occupational therapy caseload? Need activities to improve pencil grasp that kids WANT to do? These games that improve pencil  grasp through fine motor activities that boost the skills kids need for pencil grasp and games that strengthen the hands. Working on pencil grip to make and efficient and functional pencil grasp can be as easy as adding a few fine motor games to your therapy toolbox!


 SLP Corner: Progress Monitoring Resources for Speech
[Source:  Doyle Speech Works]

About a two months ago (hard to believe) I was considering some new goals for a middle school student. I was feeling at a loss in terms of what I could use to monitor present levels. I have some tools that are quite effective, (my freebies are  here and  here) but I wanted to progress monitor his word finding skills and what I created just didn't cut the muster. I also have some progress monitoring tools I purchased and truth be told, I'm not thrilled with them.  So what to use?


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