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March 23, 2012
Issue 10, Volume 5
It's All About the Choices!     
          
Happy Spring Everyone! 

We have a new regular guest columnist to introduce you to this week.  Kim Rowe, M.S. CCC-SLP of the Little Stories blog will be joining us occasionally to talk to us about Early Intervention.  We are thrilled to have her on our regular team!   Welcome Kim!

Please enjoy our weekly newsletter offering.  Have a great weekend!

 
News Items: 
Therapy Activities, Tips and Resources
Discussion Group Topics 
  • Pinterest Discussion Round-Up: Educator Needs our Help on How to Teach 'Social Rules'
  • New Pin for Discussion What is Your Favorite Special Needs Parent Written Blog?  

Articles and Special Features 

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





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Rett Syndrome in the News:  In Mouse Model Of Rett Syndrome, Bone Marrow Transplant Arrests Symptoms

A paper published online in Nature describes the results of using bone marrow transplant (BMT) to replace faulty immune system cells in models of Rett Syndrome. The procedure arrested many severe symptoms of the childhood disorder, including abnormal breathing and movement, and significantly extended the lifespan of Rett mouse models. Exploring the function of microglia deficient in methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (Mecp2), the protein encoded by the "Rett gene," principal investigator Jonathan Kipnis, Ph.D. and his team at the University of Virginia School of Medicine uncovered a completely novel approach to this devastating neurological syndrome. The work was funded by the Rett Syndrome Research Trust and the Rett Syndrome Research Trust UK.

 

Prenatal Health Concerns in the News: Mouse Study Suggests that Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Affects Offspring Brain Development

[Source: Science Daily]

 

Editor's Note:  There will surely be controversy as to whether the results of this study extrapolate to humans, but it is certainly something to watch.  
 

Exposure to radiation from cell phones during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring, potentially leading to hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine researchers have determined.  The results, based on studies in mice, are published in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports,a Nature publication.


Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
ADHD in the News:  Diagnosis of ADHD On the Rise

[Source:  Science Daily] 
 

The number of American children leaving doctors' offices with an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis has risen 66 percent in 10 years, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. Over this same time frame, specialists, instead of primary care physicians, have begun treating an increasing number of these young patients, the study found.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Cerebral Palsy in the News: Innovative Intervention Evaluated

[Source:  Medical News Today] 
 

A five year old girl named Lauren, who suffers with cerebral palsy (CP), has been participating with her parents in an ongoing study that measures the functional effects of baclofen pump (an implant that helps loosen and tone muscles) for children with CP. Thanks to this pump, daily activities, which were once a challenge, have now become significantly easier for Lauren and her family to manage. The ongoing study is conducted by occupational therapy professor Ruth Benedict.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Feel Good Story of the Week: Oldest Man with Down Syndrome who 'Defied Medical Odds' Lives to 83

Editor's Note:  Usually, an obituary wouldn't be cause for the 'Feel Good Story' of the week, but read about Mr. Bert Holbrook (and look at his picture!) you will smile and agree!

 

[Source: Disability Scoop]

 

A Minnesota man recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest with Down syndrome has died at age 83.  Bert Holbrook was identified as the world's oldest man with Down syndrome in November 2008. The Waseca, Minn. resident died on Wednesday of natural causes, a caregiver told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.    

 

Those who knew Holbrook attributed his long life to good genes. They told the Star Tribune that Holbrook, who outlived his parents and his sister, was a "charismatic" man with a constant smile on his face.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Comparative Language Development in the News: Native Arbabic Speakers Have More Difficulty Reading Their Language than Native Hebrew or English Speakers Do Theirs 

[Source:  Science Codex.com]

 

Readers whose mother tongue is Arabic have more challenges reading in Arabic than native Hebrew or English speakers have reading their native languages, because the two halves of the brain divide the labor differently when the brain processes Arabic than when it processes Hebrew or English. That is the result of a new study conducted by two University of Haifa researchers, Dr. Raphiq Ibrahim of the Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities and the Learning Disabilities Department, and Prof. Zohar Eviatar of the Department of Psychology.

 

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Pediatric Feeding in the News: Feeding Your Baby On Demand 'May Contribute to Higher IQ'
[Source:  Science Daily.com]

A new study suggests that babies who are breast-fed or bottle-fed to a schedule do not perform academically as well at school as their demand-fed peers. The finding is based on the results of IQ tests and school-based SATs tests carried out between the ages of five and 14, which show that demand-feeding was associated with higher IQ scores. The IQ scores of eight-year-old children who had been demand-fed as babies were between four and five points higher than the scores of schedule-fed children, says the study published in the European Journal of Public Health.

Read the Rest of This Article Through a Link on our Blog
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the News: Promising International Model Of Newborn Screening Studied 

[Source:  Medical News Today]

 

Investigators at Nationwide Children's Hospital, working with the DNA Sequencing Core Facility at the University of Utah, have developed an approach to newborn screening (NBS) for the life-threatening genetic disorder, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and potentially other muscular dystrophies. As a model for NBS, the approach published online in January in the Annals of Neurology provides evidence that this approach could be implemented if approved by regulatory bodies at a state level or alternatively through the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Preemies in the News: Preemies Can Lag in Language Skills Later On

[Source:  Reuters Health]

 

Kids who were born prematurely may lag behind their peers when it comes to more-advanced language skills, a new research review finds.

 

In an analysis of 17 past studies, researchers found that in general, preterm babies tend to have more difficulty with complex language skills as they grow older - at least up to age 12.

The findings, reported in the journal Pediatrics, do not mean that premature babies are doomed to long-term language problems. But, researchers say, these kids may have a tougher time than their peers do later on in school, when they start to face trickier language concepts - like reading or writing complex sentence structures.

 

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
Therapist Resource of the Week: The Best Speech-Language Blogs from A to Z
Last week PediaStaff was honored to be featured in ASHAsphere with an article we wrote listing our favorite Speech and Language Blogs 'from A to Z'.   Many of these blogs are very appropriate for parents and guardians as well, so be sure to check out the list to see which ones you might like to recommend to the caregivers for your kiddos.

 Check out These Great Blogs Through a Link on our Blog
Book Review The Recycling Occupational Therapist

Book by:  Barbara Smith, OTR/L
Review by Rona Silverstein, OTR/L
Published by Therapro, Inc.
 

Have you ever wanted to seek out a mentor, one with many years of experience, and tap into her brain that is rich in ideas to assist you when working with your clients?  I have!  Upon reading Barbara Smith's book, The Recycling Occupational Therapist:  Hundreds of Simple Therapy Materials You Can Make, I felt like I did just that.


Read the Rest of this Book Review on our Blog

App Review of the Week:  The Social Express

by Jenna Rayburn

 

Social communication is a critical area of need for many children. Social skills are often difficult to teach, and even harder for students to initiate and follow through. I'm always on the lookout for another tool to add in my 'social skills toolbox.' One app people have been requesting to see a review of is The Social Express.  The developers gave me a copy of the app to test it out for you! The Social Express is software designed to teach management of social situations using video models and interactive

 

Read the Rest of this App Review on our Blog

Therapist Resource Share of the Week:  In Celebration of World Down Syndrome Day: 'We Can Do All Things' 
Yesterday I posted a sweet story about Bert Holbrook, The Guinness Book of World Records' Holder for the Oldest Living Man with Down Syndrome, who just passed away at the 'medically defying age' of 83.   That story really made me smile.

Today, in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day I want to recommend to you a wonderful blog we just recently found called 'We Can Do All Things'.

 

Visit 'We Can Do All Things' Through a Link on our Blog

Therapists are Social on Pinterest Discussion Round-Up: Educator Needs our Help on How to Teach 'Social Rules'
We had an excellent collection of suggestions from last week's Discussion Topic on how to teach "Social Rules" to older students on a shoestring budget.  Clinicians who stopped by recommended books, websites and other resources.  Special Thanks to our Guest Bloggers Speech Gadget and Speech Time Fun who stopped by to comment.

Visit our Blog to View the Original Question and the Answers
New Pinterest Pin for Discussion: What is Your Favorite Parent Written Special Needs Blog? 

OK here is a fun one for everyone!   I was thinking that the Best SLP Blogs Article was such a hit that we should do another blog roll.  

This time I want nominations for the best Special Needs Parents blogs as nominated by pediatric clinicians!  (SLPs, OTs, PTs and School Psychologists only please!)  
 

Each person may nominate TWO favorites.   Enter the names right onto the pin, and I will summarize them next week here on our blog.

 

Submit Your Favorites Through a Link on our Blog
SLP Corner: Task Persistence

By: Sandie Barrie Blackley, MA, CCC-SLP

 

Children who struggle to read, write or spell are often criticized for being "lazy." They're "not trying," the thinking goes, and so they get blamed for failing to measure up to their peers. On the flip side, children who excel at academics are often praised for being "smart" and "talented." What we know about language-processing disorders, such as dyslexia, and what we're learning about learning should call both of those approaches into question. In a recent post, I talked about the significance of delayed gratification or strategic allocation of attention as components of effective learning. In this post, I'd like to talk about another tremendously important learning skill: task persistence.

 

 Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

EI Corner: A Therapist's Mantras for Early Intervention

by Kim Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP

 

As early interventionists we know all about providing family-centered services. We know that having a child's family involved and contributing to his treatment plan makes for better outcomes. We know that real changes in the environment, however minor, are real to that child's trajectory of development and that these are the years to make those changes. We know that we are the ones in the trenches with hands out in comfort as families grieve and hands raised in cheer as they celebrate. We know what our job is, but do we reflect that in our actions everyday?

 

Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Achieving Effective Joint Communication Through Social Stories
by:  Kenth Hedevag

Communication is an exchange of information between at least 2 people. Good communication with the people around us can bring many benefits. You can for example:

  • Express what you want.
  • Provide information about what you think, feel, or what's on your mind.
  • Get information from others.
  • Share experiences with others.
  • Benefit social interactions.

Children and teenagers with communication difficulties often need support in their everyday life. The child's surroundings need to make adjustments to make it easier but it also necessary with support to develop the skills that exist. Us adults often think in a long term perspective and look to what is good for someone in the future, while children and teenagers often think in a more "here and now" perspective. For this reason, it is especially important that professionals and parents make it clear for the child what personal gains can come from everyday communication training. We also know that learning is much easier if the child is experiencing the exercises as enjoyable. We professionals have an important responsibility to also help and support parents who communicate daily with their children.


Read the Rest of This Article on our Blog

Meet PediaStaff: Keith Adams - VP of Recruiting, Clinical Support and Operations

Keith Adams is the Vice President of Recruiting, Clinical Support and Operations at PediaStaff and one of its co-owners. He has been with PediaStaff since the inception of the company in 2006.

  

 Read the Rest of this Post on our Blog 


Worth Repeating - Giving the News. Telling a Parent About a Child's Delay or Disorder
Editor's Note:  Special Thanks to Liz Gretz of Speech Lady Liz for reposting this article on her blog.   Liz you are right.  This is definitely worth a read - every year.  And although it was written for clinicians working with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, the tips can be applied to most of the diagnoses we work with as therapists.

by Sharon Gretz, M.Ed.

 

The hardest requirement for many healthcare professionals that provide services to children is to deliver news to parents and caregivers that is perceived as "bad news." In this sense, speech-language pathology is no different than other health related professions. Caring individuals enter into helping professions and thus are usually sensitive to the feelings of the individuals whom they serve.


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Also Worth Repeating - Reflections of a Supervisor
[Source:  AdvanceWeb.com]

by: Valerie Lill

In my last blog  I published an interview that I did with my graduate student extern as she was nearing the completion of her time with me. Her last day with me was this past Friday, so I'm back on my own again starting this week. It's quite a change to what I've been used to for the last 10 weeks! I'd like to use this blog to reflect on what it was like as a first-time supervisor to a graduate student extern.
 

What I Enjoyed

  • Seeing the love for the field in a young, enthusiastic student. I've admitted it before, and I'll admit it again - I'm a speech dork. It was nice to spend my days with someone shares my love of the field!
Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
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