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March 30, 2012
Issue 3, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Hello and Happy Friday!

I would like to welcome Katie Yeh of Playing with Words 365 to our regular guest columnist team.  You can find her "debut" article in a 'Bonus SLP Corner' today.  Welcome, Katie!

I would also like to announce some exciting news!  PediaStaff will be unveiling our first Therapy App at AOTA 2012 in Indianapolis in April.   Its a toolbox for therapists, it's free, and it will feature, among other goodies, an IEP Calculator.   Can't make it to AOTA?  Watch these pages for a link at the end of the month.  We are pretty excited about it, and hope you will be too.

Here is our end of the month newsletter offering for you.  Have a great weekend! 
 
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
Upcoming Events 
  • Meet PediaStaff at AOTA   

Articles and Special Features 

  • SLP Corner: Social Skill Instruction: Learn-Watch-Do
  • Occupational Therapy Corner: Creating a Sensory Lifestyle through Proprioception Physical Therapy Corner: What Does 'Low Tone' Mean? 
  • School Psychology Corner:  Best Practice in Screening Students for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)  
  • Focus on Bilingualism:  Social Language Assessment of English Learners (ELs)
  • Bonus SLP Corner:  The Importance of Pointing  
  • Worth Repeating:  Video of CASANA in the News
  • Also Worth Repeating: 25 Words Your Child Must Have by Age Two 
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
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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 Speech Language Pathologist and SLPA Jobs
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PANDAS in the News:  Possible Cause of Sudden Onset OCD in Kids (PANDAS) Broadened

[Source:  NIH]

 

Criteria for a broadened syndrome of acute onset obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) have been proposed by a National Institutes of Health scientist and her colleagues. The syndrome, Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), includes children and teens that suddenly develop on-again/off-again OCD symptoms or abnormal eating behaviors, along with other psychiatric symptoms - without any known cause.

 

PANS expands on Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus (PANDAS), which is limited to a subset of cases traceable to an autoimmune process triggered by a strep infection. A clinical trial testing an immune-based treatment for PANDAS is currently underway at NIH and Yale University (see below).

 

Read the Rest of this Story Through a Link on our Blog
PediaStaff in the News: PediaStaff Columnist Stacy Menz Featured on 'Love That Max'
Very excited to hook up our great PT guest blogger, Stacy Menz up with Ellen at Love That Max.    Please enjoy her excellent article on the '9 Best Things to do for a Kid with Cerebral Palsy (That Don't Feel Like Work)'

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Math Anxiety in the News:  Brains of Kids With Math Anxiety Function Differently, Says Study

[Source ABC News]

 

Kids who get the jitters before a math test may actually have different brain functions than kids without math anxiety, according to a new study.

 

Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine recruited about 50 second and third graders and separated them into either a high-math anxiety group or a low-anxiety group based on a standard questionnaire they modified for 7- to 9-year-olds.  They scanned the children's brains while the kids did addition and subtraction problems.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Autism in the News: Autism Offers Clear Advantage, Study Finds  
[Source: Disability Scoop]

Some with autism have long stood out for their savant-like abilities, but new research suggests that even those without such obvious strengths have extraordinary talent as compared to typically developing individuals.

 

People with autism are significantly better at processing large amounts of information and are more skilled at identifying critical details, British researchers found in a study published this week in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Mobility Technology in the News: Robotic Device Helps Paraplegics Stand Tall

[Source ABC News]   

 

The  new  Tek Robotic Mobilization Device is designed to help people who have lost the use of their legs to stand up and move around in an upright position with seemingly little effort.

 

With the help of a pressurized spring similar to ones found in office chairs and car hatchbacks, users can move their bodies into the Tek device's upright frame and, once standing, navigate the device using a joystick.   

 

Necati Hacikadiroglu, the device's inventor who specializes in robotics, said  it was designed to give paraplegics independence they can't get from a wheelchair. It even comes with a remote control.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Music for Learning in the News: Getting in Rhythm Helps Children Grasp Fractions, Study Finds

[Source:  Care2Com]

 

Music can help children learn difficult fraction concepts, according to a new study in Educational Studies in Mathematics. Researchers used a curriculum called "Academic Music" that, says Science Daily, uses "music notation, clapping, drumming and chanting" to introduce concepts of fractions to third-graders. The study is small in scope (only including 67 students at one school in the San Francisco Bay Area). But the combination of instruction in music and rhythm to teach math sounds very promising especially as it seems to draw on the notion of multiple intelligences, that there are other ways to learn including using one's "bodily-kinesthetic" capacities.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week :  Bruce Springsteen Fulfills Young Boy's Dream Through Make-A-Wish
If any of you have been chatting with me on Twitter or Pinterest this past week, you know I am a huge Springsteen fan.  So when I opened up my feed reader this morning I just had to share.

[Source:  The Boston Channel.com]

He may be only 5 years old, but Carter Bernhard has the heart of a rocker, and his dream for some time now has been to meet his idol, Bruce Springsteen.The youngster, who is battling spina bifida, has wanted to meet "The Boss" for three years, and Monday night the momentous occasion finally arrived.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Therapy Resource of the Week: Lanternfish 
I was doing an internet search for R-Controlled Vowel Bingo Cards last week when I stumbled on a fantastic collection of phonics finds that are fantastic for speech language pathology work.

 

Learn More About This Great Website on our Blog

Book Review & Pinterest Pin of the Week: 'The Pirate Who Couldn't Say Arrr!' 

Last week, I repinned a cute book from Jenna at Speech Room News that came across my Pinterest home page, The Pirate Who Couldn't Say Arrr!   In 24 hours we had 260 repins and 14 likes.    Written by an SLP, Angie Neal, I wanted to know if the book was as practical for use as a therapy tool as it was adorable.

 

My friends at All4MyChild, who have a great blog that reviews books through a therapy lens, came forward and offered to do a book review for us.  Thanks ladies, especially on short notice!

 

Title: The Pirate Who Couldn't Say Arrr!
Author: Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP
Review by:  Karen Head, MS, CCC-SLP

 

Description:  What is every pirate known for saying?  Yep... arrr!  Find out what happens when one pirate's 'arrr'! Sounds like 'ehhh'!

 

Read the Rest of this Book Review on our Blog

App Review of the Week: Using Apps for Evaluating Posture 
Here is an interesting way to evaluate a client's posture - try using your iPhone or iPad. Basically what you will do is create an image with a picture of the client and a grid over the picture. With the grid you can measure angles to determine progress. Here is how you do it:

Step 1: Download a free app to your phone that can alter photographs. I used a free app called SketchBookX for the purpose of this tutorial.

Read the Rest of this App Review on our Blog
Featured Pinboards on Pinterest: It's Spring! 
Spring has sprung!   Pinterest is blooming with tons of great ideas for the classroom and clinic!    Come on over and check out our seasonal pinboards for April Fool's Day, Spring, Earth Day and Easter!

 

Upcoming Events: Meet PediaStaff at AOTA

 

AOTA 2012 is around the corner (April 26-29th in Indianapolis!) and PediaStaff can't wait to meet you there at our booth #325.

 

We are extremely excited to announce that PediaStaff will be debuting our very own App of Therapy Tools (including an IEP Calculator!) and will be giving it to all the visitors who stop by our booth!   

 

In addition, we will also have a sweet giveaway for everyone from our friends at LessonPix.   So be doubly sure to stop by!

 

Visit The AOTA Convention Page Through a Link on our Blog

SLP Corner: Social Skill Instruction: Learn-Watch-Do

By: Becca Jarzynski, MS, CCC-SLP   

 

I've worked on social skills with quite a few children over the course of my twelve-year career as a pediatric speech-language pathologist.  The children I've worked with have had different behavioral challenges, varied levels of social understanding, and diverse language needs. And yet the vast majority of children, whether taught in groups or individually, have responded to a simple framework for teaching social skills:  Learn. Watch. Do.

 

Learn: Children who struggle with social skills often need explicit, step-by-step directions to understand what is expected of them in specific social situations.  Basic social skills can be broken down into discrete steps and explained to children concretely.  When I am helping a child learn a social skill, I almost always use visual prompts that capture the essence of each step as well.

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Occupational Therapy Corner: Creating a Sensory Lifestyle through Proprioception

by Britt Collins, M.S. OTR/L

 

 

We have eight sensory systems that affect our ability to function.  Tactile, visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, vestibular, interoceptive and proprioceptive.  Today we are going to focus on the proprioceptive system but if you have further questions regarding any of the other systems, please visit www.spdfoundation.net to learn more.

 

Proprioception is the input to our muscles and joints that tell us where our body is in space.  If I was to tell you to close your eyes and I placed your right arm straight out in front of you, would you be able to match your left arm to it?  You should if you have good proprioceptors.  We get feedback to this system by learning as infants how to roll, crawl, cruise etc.  We also receive

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Physical Therapy Corner: What Does 'Low Tone' Mean? 

By: Stacy Menz 

 

Muscle tone is the resting state of your muscles.  When a child has low muscle tone it means that they need to put a lot more energy into getting their muscles to turn on to do what they want them to do.  I often try to explain this to parents by describing that feeling when you finally get to sink into the couch or your favorite arm chair and relax and then someone calls you from the other room and you have to rev up the energy to get up.  Think about having to do that every time

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

School Psychology Corner: Best Practice in Screening Students for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
by:   Lee A. Wilkinson, PhD, NCSP

There has been a dramatic worldwide increase in reported cases of autism over the past decade. Today, autism spectrum conditions affect approximately 1 to 2 % of the school-age population. Yet, compared to population estimates, identification rates have not kept pace in our schools. It is not unusual for school age children with milder forms of autism (e.g., Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-NOS, high-functioning autistic disorder) to go undiagnosed. In fact, the proportion of school age children with significant autistic traits likely exceeds the number of students with a clinical diagnosis of ASD.

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog 


Focus on Bilingualism: Social Language Assessment of English Learners (ELs)

by: Alejandro Brice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

 

Introduction

Pragmatics is the ability to use language in specific contexts and for specific purposes (Brice, 1992). School based speech-language pathologists are often faced with the task of differentiating between English learners (ELs) and bilingual students with language learning disabilities. One method of achieving this outcome is to measure their pragmatic abilities, or social language use (Brice & Montgomery, 1996). However, assessment of language, particularly language use in social interaction, is a difficult task. In a review of currently available tests and procedures for use with students, Cummins (1984) stated that assessment must place "more emphasis on sensitive and informed interpretation of students' behavior" in everyday communication situations (p. 206).

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Bonus SLP Corner Article: The Importance of Pointing 

by Katie Yeh, M.S. CCC-SLP,  Playing With Words 365 

 

I feel like Everett, with the exception of walking, has hit every developmental milestone earlier than his older sister. He sat up, crawled and spoke his first word earlier than she did. Yeah yeah yeah, I know you aren't supposed to compare your children but I'm sorry: I am human and I will compare them sometimes. Plus, as a speech pathologist AND mommy, I have always been fascinated with development in general, so I find it interesting how my two children have developed a little differently.

 

At a year old, it was like a switch was turned on and Ev started pointing and "talking" about EVERYTHING. This kid is obsessed at pointing at things and "discussing" them with us. You know, very intelectual conversation. For example-"babababaguhdadadadada" or "guhguhguhguhbababababamamamamama".

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Worth Repeating - Apraxia of Speech - CASANA in the News
WQED in Pittsburgh did a story on Childhood Apraxia of Speech that aired in 2005.  Still a great piece today!

 Watch This Story on our Blog 
Also Worth Repeating - 25 Words Every Child Must Have by the Age of Two

[Source:  The Daily Mail]

 

Twenty five words that every toddler should use have been listed by scientists.

 

The words and phrases, which cover toys, food, animals and, of course, include 'mummy' and 'daddy' and 'bye bye' are designed to detect youngsters who could struggle with words for years come.

 

Being slow to talk can also be a sign of deeper problems from deafness to autism.  

 

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