September 24, 2010: Issue 9, Volume 4

It's All About the Choices!


Hope all is well with everyone. I am very excited about some changes here in our editorial department. If you get our weekly newsletter, this will be a review, so please bear with me.

Firstly, our new blog is ready! All the items that we feature here in the newsletter, as well as those we put on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere will be featured in our blog. Learn more below.

Also, starting this month, our newsletters will feature one or more Guest Bloggers. These are folks who have their own independent blogs in the pediatric therapy world and have caught PediaStaff's attention with quality things to share and say. While they are not at all affiliated with our company, we feel that the more resources we can steer your way, the better you will be able to serve your kiddos!

We've also decided to shorten our introduction here in this very block and will simply put the titles of our various features in this space rather "than tell you what we are going to tell you" in a wordy fashion each week. Additionally, we are discontinuing "Therapy Marketplace" (TM) as its own section of the newsletter. Each author and organization is featured in the footer of their article where you can learn about them and click on their website, etc. The newsletter is getting pretty long and I would rather spend the time it used to take me to write the intro and TM to bring you more content. So here it is:

News Items:
  • PediaStaff Daily News Going to Blog Format
  • Your Help Needed with Preemie Petition
  • Please Flex Your Clicking Finger for Rett Syndrome
  • Determining Brain Age with a Simple Scan; May be Able to Detect, Understand ASDs
  • Sensory Processing Disorder in the News: Tagless Clothing and Sensory Rooms
  • Children's Brain Development is Linked to Physical Fitness
  • Teen Nails Double Backflip in a Wheelchair
Tips, Activities and Resources:
  • Is it Developmental Phonological Disorder or Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
  • "Painting With Wheels" - Wheelchair Activity
  • Sensory Motor Activity For Fall
Upcoming Events:
  • Unlocking the Mystery of Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety: Evidence-Based Intervention for Schools and Parents - A Workshop
Articles and Blogs
  • Book Review of "Home Grown Baby" by Barbara Sher, OTR/L
  • Speech Language Pathology Corner - Improving Prosody in CAS
  • Occupational Therapy Corner: The Lost Child: Strategies for the Classroom
  • School Psychology Corner: Innovative Treatments for Selective Mutism
  • Pediatric Therapy Corner: XXYY Syndrome: Imagine a Boy Lost in a Sea of People
  • Q&A: Ask the Expert - Letters from OTs to Susan Orloff about Autism
  • Focus on Bilingualism - World Language Perspectives
  • Guest Blog: Just Beat It! Rhythmic Exercises: Easy, Adaptable, Effective and Fun!
  • Guest Blog: A Must See: In The Clinic With Dr. A. Jean Ayers
  • Worth Repeating - ADHD and Your School-Aged Child
Much of our content here is provided by wonderful contributing authors and organizations. Please support our contributors and visit their websites. Links and bios are featured on each article!

Is there anything you would like to see us do differently here with our newsletter? If you don't get our weekly edition, you can sign up by emailing me directly at

Have a great weekend and see you next month!

Heidi Kay, Newsletter Editor

The Career Center

The links to the right are "live" and reflect all open jobs with PediaStaff. To further narrow your search by state use the drop down menus on the search page to select a specific state. If a particular search is returning no hits it is Girlpossible that we do not currently have openings
for you in that state.

If any of your information (geographic, population or setting preference) has changed since we've last spoken, please let us know. See an opening that interests you? Just apply to that job and one of our staff will contact you right away.

Remember, one of the things that makes PediaStaff unique is that we will actively "market" your skills to prospective employers of pediatric and school based therapists, so if you don't see a position that interests you make sure you let us know what you are looking for.
Speech Language Pathologist and SLPA Jobs

Occupational Therapist and COTA Jobs

Physical Therapist and PTA Jobs

School Psychologist Jobs

Exciting News from PediaStaff: We Have Changed our Daily News to a Blog Format!
PediaStaff is excited to announce that as of last week, links to the daily news stories, videos, research reports, articles, therapy tips/resources and upcoming events that you come to expect from us, will now be posted in the new PediaStaff WordPress blog.

"Collecting our daily posts in a readily accessible blog will allow our readers from all the corners of the internet, a chance to come together to comment and discuss the stories and information that is important to them," said Heidi Kay VP of Marketing for PediaStaff. "regardless of whether the reader subscribes to our news from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, the PediaStaff Newsletter, or an RSS feed." Added Kay, "Don't worry. If you don't have the time to keep up daily, the PediaStaff Newsletter will still pull it all together on Friday."

Check out our Blog and Subscribe today!
Attention EI Therapists and Others that Work with Preemies: Your Help Needed with Petition to Save RSV Prophylaxis
Deb Disenza, is a friend of PediaStaff and the Co-Founder of "Preemie World." She contacted us this week for permission to address all of our therapists that work with preemies.

Dear Friends of PediaStaff: As the mother of a special needs child and a former preemie, I am eternally grateful to the therapeutic community and its goal to give special babies/children a better life. Each of you is an angel to me.

I need your help ASAP. You see, the CDC is in the process of reviewing its 2009 recommendations for the RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection) Prophylaxis and to potentially make changes. The 2009 version was based on AAP's theory that 32-35 weeker preemies would only qualify for the RSV Prophylaxis under certain conditions. That means there over 100,000 babies that might not get this much needed prophylaxis. For me, as a preemie Mom, the RSV Prophylaxis was the one "tool" I felt helped me protect my daughter that first year home from the NICU. The following year she did not qualify for a second round and got RSV and ended up with asthma. As you may already know, RSV can potentially result in hospitalizations, developmental delays, even death.

Let's be PROACTIVE much like the therapeutic community is every single day. Please review the urgent call by the National Perinatal Association's (NPA) to rethink this course of action at

Also - I need your help to get this electronic petition out there to families and folks who support this review so I can present them at next month's CDC meeting in Atlanta. Please send everyone to:

Thank you! Respectfully,

Deb Discenza,
Mom to Becky, former 30-weeker, now 7
Author, "The Preemie Parent's Guide to the NICU"
Co-Founder, PreemieWorld (
Co-Founder, Little Man the Movie (
Founder and Former Publisher, Preemie Magazine

Please Flex Your Clicking Finger -International Rett Syndrome Foundation in the Final Lap for $250K from Pepsi Refresh Project
As you have probably heard, Pepsi is giving away millions of dollars to fund good ideas. They are calling it the "Pepsi Refresh Project." Historically, PediaStaff has not asked our readers to support any particular one since there are so many that our therapists care about. We are going to make an exception this week and ask you to go out of your way this month to vote for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF). Please read this snippet from an email I received from Jennifer Endres, at IRSF this week:

IRSF is in the running to win $250,000 through the Pepsi Refresh Project. This is our fourth month in the running. The first two months were learning months for us and last month was especially heartbreaking as we were in 1st place right up until just minutes before the close of the month-ended up losing. We are determined to win it this month and we have remained in 1st place-so far so good for IRSF. Obviously $250K is an awful lot of money, but to us it actually means us winning $500,000 due to a very generous matching gift program that IRSF has been awarded! We need all the votes we can get-and I know you send the newsletter to a very large audience-and most likely people who would be interested in this due to their backgrounds.

It's super easy, especially from your Facebook account, and IRSF will send you a daily reminder to vote each day.

Learn How You Can Help IRSF with Just a Simple Click-a-Day !
Brain Research in the News -NPR: Determining Brain Age with a Simple Scan; May be Able to Detect, Understand ASDs

A new type of brain scan could help doctors identify children whose brains are not developing on schedule, and may eventually explain what goes wrong in the brains of children with autism.

The technique, called functional connectivity MRI, shows which parts of the brain are communicating. That makes it more useful for detecting developmental disorders than traditional MRI, which shows brain structures, says Nico Dosenbach of Washington University in St. Louis.

Many children with severe behavioral or learning problems get traditional MRI, Dosenbach says. But their scans usually appear normal, he says. That's because the problem isn't usually with the brain structures themselves. Instead, the trouble comes from the way those structures are communicating with each other.

Read/Listen to this Piece Through a Link on our Blog
Sensory Processing Disorder in the News -Sensory Processing Disorder in the News: Tagless Clothing and Sensory Rooms
[Source: Globe and Mail]

Back-to-school clothes shopping can be a headache. But for Jordan Fankhanel of Edmonton, Alta., it's irritating from head to toe. That's because Jordan, 10, has sensory processing disorder (SPD), a condition that's not clinically recognized as its own diagnosis but manifests as a hypersensitivity to certain textures.

Regardless of the weather, Jordan can only tolerate wearing soft, short-sleeved T-shirts and prefers Adidas pull-on athletic pants that don't have buttons or zippers that dig in. He always wears his cotton socks inside out and loathes shirts and jackets that cover his arms.

Read Two Articles on SPD through a Link on our Blog
Kids' Fitness in the News -Research Finds that Children's Brain Development is Linked to Physical Fitness
[Sources: Science and the New York Times]

Researchers have found an association between physical fitness and the brain in 9- and 10-year-old children: Those who are more fit tend to have a bigger hippocampus and perform better on a test of memory than their less-fit peers. The new study, which used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the relative size of specific structures in the brains of 49 child subjects, appears in the journal Brain Research.

Read More About this Study on ScienceDaily and in the New York Times
Feel Good Video of the Week -Teen Nails Double Backflip in a Wheelchair
Spina bifida isn't stopping Aaron Fotheringham who recently became the first person to do a double back flip in a wheelchair. The 18-year-old from Las Vegas, who goes by the nickname Wheelz, started out by going to a skate park with his brother who rides a BMX bike. Soon enough, Fotheringham was taking on challenges of his own. Ultimately, he used a 60-foot bungee cord to gain speed in order to go up a ramp and complete the flip. Pulling off the stunt was the result of months of practice and a few mishaps - including a broken wheelchair - but he says it was worth it.

Read More and Watch the Video on our Blog
Therapy Resource Week -Is it Developmental Phonological Disorder or Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
Thank you to the folks on the Phonological Therapy Yahoo Group for suggesting this great resource on Caroline Bowen's Website,

This 6 page PDF document contains great tables and lists to help clinicians determine whether a child has Developmental Phonological Disorder (DPD) or Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

Access This Great Resource and the Phonological Therapy Yahoo Group Through our Blog
Therapy Activity of the Week -Painting With Wheels
Contributed by: Pamela Ullmann, ATR-BC, LCAT

Although it has been a while since I have ran a "Wheel Art" workshop, I did find it very gratifying to help children create works of art with their own wheels!

What is Wheel Art?
Wheel Art is a unique activity for individuals who are wheel chair dependent. Each "wheel artist" uses the wheels of their chair to paint onto a large canvas secured to the floor. The artists all contribute their own style, color and unique patterns that create an amazing community mural to be shared.

Therapy Activity of the Week -Sensory Motor Activity for Fall
Contributed by: Margaret Rice at Your Therapy Source

Thank you to Your Therapy Source for a great activity of the week.
Below is a fun, print and play sensory motor activity for the Fall season. Just print and cut out to start playing the Fall themed movement activity.

Upcoming Events -Unlocking the Mystery of Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety
Unlocking the Mystery of Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety:
Evidenced-based Intervention for Schools and Parents
Presented by: Dr. Aimee Kotrba, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Date: October 15, 2010; Time: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM; Where: Plymouth, MI,
Cost: $140; Includes: Continental breakfast, workshop, informational packet & lunch

This workshop is based on scientifically-supported techniques of behavior modification and is led by Dr. Aimee Kotrba, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and expert in the field of Selective Mutism.
Participants Will Learn: How to identify Selective Mutism/Social Phobia
  • Causes/related factors
  • What school and parents can do to help
  • Specific behavioral strategies for intervention
  • Actions for day-to-day management
  • Practical techniques for reducing anxiety
  • Appropriate social and academic expectations
For More Information or to Register for this Event
Book Review - "Home Grown Baby" by Barbara Sher, OTR/L
Review By: Barbara Boucher, PT, PhD, OT

Concise Accurate Easy-to-Read
The author had me at the first page: understanding baby. In one page she accurately provides essential facts to guide a new parent. On the subsequent pages headed with eye control and vision, hearing, touch and smell are easy-to-implement suggestions to encourage development of baby's senses.

The next three pages: early communication, general exercises and balance continue the theme of practical and simple parent-baby interaction. As much as I like scooterboards I think inclusion in this book was questionable for nothing more than few homes have one.

Read the Rest of this Book Review on our Blog
Speech Language Pathology Corner - Improving Prosody in CAS

By: Sarah M. Gee, MS, CCC-SLP

What is prosody?

When it comes to childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), many therapists are stumped. Even after helping a child find some words, there can be other problems including grammar delays and underdeveloped prosody. Prosody is loosely defined as the melody of speech. That melody is made up of several components: volume, rate, pitch, intonation, stress patterns, and general speech flow.

After months of drilling sounds and word shapes in apraxia therapy, children tend to be so focused on using all of the correct sounds in all of the correct places, that they lose (or never develop) any melody to their speech. They may sound robotic, choppy, or they may use incorrect intonation.

How does it sound?

Prosody can be just as important as the words themselves. For instance, I can easily tell if someone using an unfamiliar language is angry, happy, asking a question, or making a demand. A toddler whose speech is not yet intelligible uses prosody with his jargon to make his wants and needs known. Even when the parent does not know what he is saying, the child sounds like he is having a meaningful conversation. That is due, in large part, to prosody.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Occupational Therapy Corner: The Lost Child: Strategies for the Classroom
By: By: Loren Shlaes, OTR/L

NB: This is part TWO of a two part article. Part one may be found HERE

The Lost Child: Strategies for the Classroom In my last post, I talked about the child who is lost in school. He has failed to internalize the expectations of the classroom, lacks sufficient internal structure to be able to work independently, and requires constant adult direction and supervision to be able to do what is expected of him. The rule of thumb here: as soon as we recognize that a child has not developed the internal structure required to succeed in his environment, we should provide it for him until he does develop it. This means writing things down for him, making things as predictable as possible to that he can internalize routine through repetition, and giving gentle verbal reminders when necessary. A very young child who cannot read can be given pictures to remind him of what his day will be like and what needs to be done.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

School Psychology Corner: Innovative Treatments for Selective Mutism
By: Aimee Kotrba, Ph.D., Pediatric Psychologist

Research clearly demonstrates that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective treatment for Selective Mutism, a childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a fear of and hesitancy/refusal to speak to individuals outside of the immediate family (Kratochwill, 1981; Krohn et al, 1992; Leonard & Topol, 1993; Tancer, 2002). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy conceptualizes Selective Mutism as a set of behaviors that have been, in part, learned and can therefore be "unlearned." Treatment consists of modifying the child's environment, systematically practicing new behaviors, and identifying factors that maintain the avoidance of communication. Additionally, children are taught to change thoughts and perceptions of their environment that might inhibit communication with others.

Read the Rest of this Article On our Blog

Pediatric Therapy Corner: Imagine a Boy Lost in a Sea of People
By: Ren�e Beauregard, XXYY Project

Imagine a boy who can be lost in a sea of people but everyone knows who he is. What is the reason he is lost? He is lost because he has not been properly diagnosed. Why does everyone know who he is? They know him because he confounds everyone who deals with him. He is "that case" that few people understand. He is that boy who is "autistic-like" (but not quite). He either acts out a great deal or he is too quiet. He is the boy who disappears and is found in the closet, the bushes or under the desk. He is the boy who is "that close" to losing his IEP status because he is making progress - but then he stalls or regresses. He is the boy in class that has the most outrageous stories to tell. He is the boy who is both sensory-seeking and sensory avoidant. He has trouble regulating his volume when he speaks. He may do exceptionally well one day, and lose all of that knowledge the next day. He is the boy whose parents are now homeschooling him because the school didn't have a category that fit him or enough support to manage him. He has no friends even though he tries very hard to have them. He can hardly ever remember a person's name. He may have some inappropriate behaviors.

Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog
Ask the Expert - Letters from OTs to Susan Orloff about Autism
What can I do about......?

I get emails all the time from OT's, Speech Pathologists, parents and sometimes PT's who ask various questions about interactions with parents and schools. I have chosen three to share with you in this column.

The letters are on Autism because so many of our children that we see carry a diagnosis within the spectrum.

An OT working in India asks:


I am Shali, an occupational therapist working in a center for autism here in Bangalore, India.

My concern is about a six year old kid who has severe auditory hypersensitivity, and because of that he has lot of behavioral issues like biting, hitting, pinching, scratching.

I need your suggestions for this child.

I also have a, visually impaired-six year old with no speech. Do you have any case histories in the management of visually handicapped?


Read the Rest of this Article on our Blog

Focus on Bilingualism - World Language Perspectives
By: Alejandro Brice, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, Roanne Brice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, and Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

We recently had the positive experience of attending and presenting at an international conference (i.e., the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics) held in Athens, Greece this past August, 2010. Logopedics and phoniatrics is what speech-language pathology or communication disorders is often referred to as in some other countries. The article this month is less of a scholarly publication, but more of a general reflection of that trip combined with observations of our bilingual and multilingual experiences in Italy, Crotia, and Greece. Our travels took us to those three countries.

Read the Rest of this Article Online on our Blog
Guest Blogs This Week: EasyStand and Our Journey Thru Autism

We have a new monthly feature for you starting this week. As our reach has grown, so has the number of bloggers in our field interesting in reprinting their work here in the PediaStaff Newsletter. This section will feature links to blog posts contributed to our site by some great folks out in the therapy community. Got anyone in mind who blogs about pediatric therapy topics? Let us know and we will consider reaching out to them.
Just Beat It! Rhythmic Exercises: Easy, Adaptable, Effective and Fun!
- By: Stephenie Labandz, PT

Weakness, range of motion limitations, and spasticity prevent many people from being able to participate in highly specialized therapeutic treatment protocols, but rhythmic exercise with auditory cues can be effective even with minimal motion. It requires no special fitness equipment - just a beat and some imagination. A case report published in 2009 by the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies examined the use of rhythmic exercise in a young woman who had experienced a traumatic brain injury. After participation in rhythmic exercises with auditory cues five times per week for one year, she experienced improved mobility, decreased spasticity, and IQ increase from 78 to 94. She started the exercise program nine years after her initial injury and two years after she had been discharged from physical therapy.

Read the Rest of this great post on our Blog

A Must See: In The Clinic With Dr. A. Jean Ayers - By Tiffani Lawton

I was given an incredible opportunity to review In The Clinic With Dr. A. Jean Ayers, hosted by the SPD Foundation.
What a fantastic online program! It was like having an opportunity to actually meet Dr. Ayers. This online webinar series embeds live interviews with Dr. Ayers from the 1980s, thanks to Lucy Jane Miller, PhD. This programming brings the founder of sensory processing disorder right into your very own living room!

Read the Rest of this OJTA post on our Blog

Worth Repeating - ADHD and Your School-Aged Child
By: From Parent Pages of the American Academy of Pediatrics
� October 2001 American Academy of Pediatrics

NB: This article is written for the parents of children who have SID and related problems. We publish it here because we know that therapists like to give their client's caregivers as much information as possible.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it hard for children to control their behavior. It is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood. All children have behavior problems at times. Children with ADHD have frequent, severe problems that interfere with their ability to live normal lives.

A child with ADHD may have one or more of the following behavior symptoms:
Inattention - Has a hard time paying attention, daydreams,is easily distracted, is disorganized, loses a lot of things.

Hyperactivity - Seems to be in constant motion, has difficulty staying seated, squirms, talks too much.
Impulsivity - Acts and speaks without thinking, unable to wait, interrupts others.

Read the Rest of this Article Through a Link on our Blog
The PediaStaff Website - is "Not Just for Job Searching Anymore"
If you haven't been to the our website lately you are in for a treat. Not only have we completely redesigned it and added a whole lot of great information about our company, services and philosophy but we are stuffing it jam packed with fantastic pediatric and school based therapy resources for you and your staff to use everyday.

There you will find links to resources, organizations and websites on topics in pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapy including dozens of articles and videos. Topics are organized by therapy discipline and include Stuttering, Bilingualism, Autism, Down Syndrome, Pediatric Stroke, Oral Motor Issues, Speech Language Delay and much more. All articles and videos are resident on our site. No abstracts, no fees.

We hope you enjoy it! It is still very much a work in progress, but we think there is enough there to suggest that you check it out at your earliest convenience.

Visit our Resources Pages

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