November 21, 2014
Issue , Volume 7
It's All About the Choices!     
Greetings!   We come to you this week from the ASHA convention in Orlando.  We are having a fantastic time in sunny Florida and hope that if you are here too, you have already stopped by.  We are at Booth #1234.   Last time I checked, we still had some Toobaloos left - but they will go fast, and will almost surely be gone before Saturday is over.  Stop on by!  Not here with us?  We hope to meet you next year at AOTA, ASHA or NASP!

Have a great weekend and a terrific Thanksgiving Holiday.  We will not have a newsletter next week in order that our staff might enjoy a few vacation days with family and friends.   See you back the first week of December!
News Items:
  • Short, Fun Exercise Sessions Improve Class Behavior
  • Changes in Speech Patterns Could Be Used to Monitor Mental Health
  • Canadian Study: Rates of Mental Illness Steady in Children and Teens
  • Parents Lead Effective Language Therapy for Kids with Autism
  • Cooking Classes May Positively Influence Kid's Food-Related Preferences and Behaviors
  • Brain Dissociates Emotional Response From Explicit Memory in Fearful Situations
Hot PediaStaff Jobs 
  • Early Childhood SLP Jobs, Portland, OR
  • School Board Certified Behavior Analyst Job - Wilmington, NC
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
  • Therapy Resource of the Week:  Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs
  • Fun "Sensory Motor" Fact to Share with Your Kids!- Why Do we Stick out our Tongues when we Concentrate? 
  • Seasonal Activity of the Week: Cranberry Sensory Play
  • Motor Magic Activity

Articles and Special Features 

  • Parent's Corner: What Our Occupational Therapists Have Done Right: A Parent's Perspective
  • Focus on Multiculturalism:  DELV - A Tool for Assessing the Speech of Children who Speak African American English (AAE) Dialect
  • SLP Corner: Down Syndrome and Language Acquisition
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner:  Tracking Recovery of Children with Traumatic Brain Injury
  • OT Corner: Occupational Therapy and the Child with Down Syndrome
  • Worth Repeating:  Early Intervention Speech Therapy Interview with CASANA's Sharon Gretz
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 Blogtrottr and have our blog posts delivered right to your email.

Have a great weekend and Take Care!

Heidi Kay and the PediaStaff Team

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Recent Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs 

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Short, Fun Exercise Sessions Improve Class Behavior

[Source:  Psych Central]

A new Canadian study shows that brief bouts of physical activity can improve behavior in the classroom for primary school students.

Researchers found that a brief, high-intensity interval exercise, or a "FUNterval," for second grade and fourth grade students reduced off-task behaviors like fidgeting or inattentiveness in the classroom.

"While 20 minutes of daily physical activity (DPA) is required in Ontario primary schools, there is a need for innovative and accessible ways for teachers to meet this requirement," said Dr. Brendon Gurd, lead researcher and professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University.


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

Changes in Speech Patterns Could Be Used to Monitor Mental Health

[Source:  Psych Central]

New research may lead to a smartphone app that analyzes your speech to monitor your mental health.

It's based on research from the University of Maryland that shows that certain vocal features change as feelings of depression worsen.

Researchers envision the day when those who are feeling depressed can open the app on their smartphone and simply talk about their day. That information is sent to your therapist, who can use the recording to monitor your depressive symptoms.


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

Study: Rates of Mental Illness Steady in Children and Teens  

[Source:  Psych Central]

A large study of Canadian youth discovers symptoms of mental illness in children and adolescents do not appear to be increasing.

The finding, as published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), suggests a different mental health trajectory compared to some media reports.

"Popular media tends to perpetuate the idea that the prevalence of mental disorders is increasing," writes Ian Colman, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Epidemiology and associate professor at the University of Ottawa. "However, research supporting this position has been inconsistent."


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Parents Lead Effective Language Therapy for Kids with Autism 

[Source:  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry via Special Ed Post]

by Mandy Oaklander

Parents can learn how to give effective therapy to their children with autism, a new study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry finds.

Researchers at Stanford University looked at a type of therapy called Pivotal Response Training (PRT), which is one the of the handful of treatments shown to be effective for kids on the autism spectrum, says Kari Berquist, PhD, study co-author and a clinical instructor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences and an autism clinician at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. The therapy focuses on improving kids' motivation language skills by reinforcing their use of language related to the task at hand. One of the advantages is it can be done anywhere: anytime a child attempts to ask for something by name-a toy, say-they'd be rewarded with the item they requested, which reinforces their use of language.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Cooking Classes May Influence Kid's Food-Related Preferences

[Source: Medical News Today]

Given the rise in childhood obesity and known cultural shifts away from cooking, a review of cooking programs targeting elementary school children was conducted to understand program design and outcomes and to inform research gaps. This review assesses the evidence on childhood cooking programs and their association with changes in food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of school-aged children.

Researchers systematically searched PubMed, Ovid-Medline, and CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) databases. They included primary research articles that involved cooking education programs for children and searched reference lists for eligible articles. Studies considered for review contained a hands-on cooking intervention; had participants aged 5 to 12 years; were published in a peer-reviewed journal on or after January 1, 2003; and were written in English.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Brain Dissociates Emotional Responses in Fearful Situations  

[Source:  Science]


Researchers at the Cognition and Brain Plasticity group of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the University of Barcelona have been tracking the traces of implicit and explicit memories of fear in human. The study has been published in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and describes how in a context of fear, our brain differently encodes contextual memory of a negative event (the place, what we saw...) and emotional response associated.The study measures electrodermal activity of 86 individuals in a fearful generated in the laboratory and in a neutral context in which they have to learn a list of words. One week and two weeks after the experiment they are tested to see which words they remembered.


Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link our Blog

Hot Job of the Week:  Early Childhood Ed SLPs for Portland, OR

PediaStaff is seeking a full time Speech-Language Pathologist for the bustling Greater Portland area. You will have the opportunity to work with children ages 3 to 5 in center based settings.  This job starts as soon as possible.  This is a contract position and we offer excellent pay from $38/hr to $48/hr based on your experience, plus benefits.

Qualifications: Must hold a Masters degree in Communication Sciences; a current state license (or eligible) if applicable.

Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Hot Featured Job of the Week:  School BCBA Job - Wilmington, NC 

Our client is a school district in Coastal North Carolina.  We are seeking a BOARD CERTIFIED BEHAVIOR ANALYST (BCBA) in the Wilmington, North Carolina area serving K-12.  The position is full time 7.5 hours per day and will run through the end of the school year starting immediately until June 11, 2015. The BCBA will work with students, staff and parents to develop behavior plans and monitor progress as well as be present at IEP meetings. 
Hourly pay between 40-44.00/hour Based on Experience and per diem status in accordance with IRS guidelines.  Medical Benefits are available.  

Learn About / Apply for This Job on our Blog

Resource of Week:  Teaching Learners w/Multiple Special Needs  

Not sure who we have to thank for showing us this blog/website, but its a good one. Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs is a very useful site specifically for teachers of children with severe, profound and complex special needs.


Visit This Excellent Resource Through a Link on our Blog

Fun Fact to Share:  Why Do we Stick out Tongues To Concentrate?  

[Source: Seth Boatright-Horowitz, Post-doc/Fellow, Neuroscience, Brown University]


The tongue has one of the largest representations both in motor cortex and sensory cortex of any appendage. It's role in basic taste/odor as well as communication and sensation makes it a major attentional "draw" for the brain (try and ignore a bad taste or not play with a loose tooth with it). When you are carrying out a difficult task, (particularly one which is both motor 


Read More on our Blog

Seasonal Activity of the Week:  Cranberry Sensory Play 

[Source:  Growing a Jeweled Rose]

This cranberry sensory activity was easy to set up and kept Jewel and Rosie engaged for quite a while.  They found so many ways to play and explore.

All you need for this activity is a bag of cranberries, a bin or container, and whatever kitchen gadgets you might have on hand.  We purchased our cranberries for under $2.  As far as gadgets I gave the girls scoopers, cups, a garlic press, a lemon squeeze, a potato masher, and a few bowls.  The girls began by simply exploring the berries


Read More Through a Link on our Blog

Motor Activity of the Week:  Motor Magic

Here is a sample activity from Your Therapy Source's book, Motor Magic, Turn Fine Motor Skills into Gross Motor Skills


Watch on our Blog

Parents' Corner: What OTs Have Done Right: A Parent's Perspective

By: Andrea S. (last name omitted to protect her family's privacy)

Our son was diagnosed at the age of two with PDD-NOS, and later with Asperger's Syndrome. At about two and a half, he started school with a special educator, speech and occupational therapy. I had never even heard the term "occupational therapy" and at first, I'll admit, I couldn't figure out what job skills could possibly be taught to a two year old. I've gotten quite an education from the five OTs who have worked with him, not to mention the one who is now consulting with my 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Focus on Multiculturalism: DELV - A Tool for Assessing AAE Dialect

By: Scott Prath, M.A., CCC-SLP, Vice President of Bilinguistics, Keith Lebel, M.A., CCC-SLP, Bilinguistics, Marie Wirka, M.S., CCC-SLP, Bilinguistics


We frequently have questions about assessment of children who speak African American English dialect.  

The over-representation of minority populations has been a frequent topic of discussion in our practice at Bilinguistics. Many of the districts we work with have allowed us to examine their proportionality data at the school level and we have seen a recurring pattern of over-representation of both Hispanic and African American populations in special education programs. This is a pattern that has been documented across the nation for many years.


As the SLP director noted in the above comment, many SLPs are becoming sensitive to the differences in language development of second-language learners. However, language 


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

SLP Corner: Down Syndrome and Language Acquisition

By: Kimberley Powell


Children with Down syndrome can face many challenges, health problems, hearing impairments and learning disabilities, including those affecting language development.


Most children begin learning language skills, such as grammar and speaking, at rapid rates early in their lives. Children with Down syndrome, however, typically experience delays in language development, learning more slowly and at varying rates.Speech production is difficult, and many problems in communication have been linked to difficulties with speech production and grammar usage.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Tracking Recovery of Children with TBI

By: Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.


How does the child's brain recover after a brain injury?
"Traumatic brain injury in childhood is the most prevalent cause of death and long term disability in children and affects all socioeconomic levels" (Bond Chapman, 2006). The recovery process for children is more complex than for adults because the child's brain is still developing. Certainly, the severity of the injury to the brain affects outcome, but other factors are also critical including the child's age when injured and secondary brain damage due to brain swelling. The delivery of emergency medical services directly impacts survival rates as does the provision of expert trauma care.

OT Corner: Occupational Therapy & the Child with Down Syndrome

Editor's Note:   This article was originally written for parents but contains excellent information for therapists and so we reprint it here.


By: Maryanne Bruni, BSc OTc  

If you are a parent reading this website, you likely have a child with Down syndrome, as I do. My intent with this article is to provide you with some information about how an occupational therapist (OT) may be able to help you and your child. Occupational therapists who work with children have education and training in child development, neurology, medical conditions, psychosocial development, and therapeutic techniques. Occupational therapists focus on the child's ability to 

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

Worth Repeating: EI Speech Therapy Interview with Sharon Gretz

By: Stephanie Bruno


Sharon Gretz is the founder and current executive director of the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA). She also is the parent of a child diagnosed with apraxia of speech.


Sharon's personal journey with her son, as well as her professional dedication to helping children and families affected by apraxia is both inspiring and incredibly insightful. My hope is 

Read This Excellent Four-Part Interview Through a Link on our Blog

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