ASHA 2017 is Coming! Join PediaStaff in Los Angeles, CA!

[Image: 2017ASHAConvention.jpg]

The 2017 ASHA Convention will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California, November 9–11, 2017, and PediaStaff will be there to talk with YOU about your pediatric or school-based Speech-Language Pathology career.

tubaloo2Come visit us at Booth #1346.   We are very proud to announce we are a sponsor again this year.  And, YES, we will have our signature Toobaloos for giveaway while supplies last!!

The ASHA Convention is the premier annual event for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Bringing together more than 15,000 attendees, the Annual Convention provides you with a once-a-year opportunity to learn about the latest research, polish clinical skills, improve techniques, and gain new tools and resources to advance professional development.

There will be wide array of program sessions that draw on the theme, “Focus on the Big Picture” to meet the needs of members in the professions.  Join your colleagues for the comprehensive programming, cutting-edge education, and energized atmosphere of the 2017 ASHA Convention!

Learn More at


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How Oxytocin Controls the Brain’s Social Reward Circuit

[Source:  Medical News Today]

Although several studies have pointed to oxytocin, or the “love hormone,” as an important factor in promoting sociability, the mechanisms behind this remain unknown. Researchers from Stanford University have now looked into how oxytocin regulates the social reward mechanism in the brain.

Oxytocin, which is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone,” is a hormone and neuropeptide – or neurotransmitter, carrying information through the central nervous system – involved in sociability and sexual interaction. It also plays a role in facilitating biological processes related to childbirth, and bonding with the newborn baby.

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Posted in Blog, OT, Psych | Tagged ,

Career Corner: Mentors are Everywhere

Teresa Roberts, MS, CCC-SLP


We are surrounded by mentors every day. It might not feel like it, because we may have a narrow definition of mentorship. If we limit the concept of mentorship to a formalized agreement between two people, we may miss out on the broad view of mentorship. Any work interaction provides us with a learning opportunity. In fact, we can cultivate mentorship from others by our own actions. Colleagues, related professionals, and administrators may enjoy informal mentorship roles when they are formed naturally.

We have the ability to draw forth advice and knowledge from others. Some years ago, I worked with an incredible School Psychologist who was dual-certified as a Child Development Specialist. I have never met anyone else like her and I doubt I ever will. She had a soft, reassuring, and skilled approach with families and staff. She was highly knowledgeable and astute about child needs and ways to provide intervention.

She began every comprehensive meeting with families by saying, “You will hear a lot of people say a lot of things about your child, but no matter what anyone says, he is still your child. He is the same person that he was before this meeting.” This short statement allowed the family to honor the love and understanding that they had for their child, and recognized that assessment information and diagnostic terms may be external categories to a child’s whole being. She used the words “challenges” or “areas for growth” instead of “weaknesses” or “deficits”. She emphasized “baby steps” toward larger goals. I wrote down the words that she said after each meeting. I never asked her to formally be my mentor; I let her natural leadership skills guide me.

Other mentoring situations may be more identifiable because another person is giving you advice directly. In the early years of my work, a thoughtful kindergarten teacher in the building kept an eye on me. She would ask me if I had set up my 403b retirement account yet, and remind me how even just a little bit each month toward retirement would add up over the span of my career. She would share personal stories about balancing caring about the welfare for the students while maintaining professional boundaries. I listened closely to her every time she paused briefly at the end of the day to give me a quick bit of advice.

Finding mentors involves awareness, focused observation, note taking (physical or mental), and then deliberately incorporating those traits and behaviors that you admire. When we recognize that we have more to learn and that there are people around us who have lessons to teach us, we are open to mentorship.

Reflect on all of the colleagues, co-workers, administrators, and staff you see regularly. Think about what is unique or special about each person. Think about discussions in which you have learned something new. When you ask another person about how they might handle certain situations, you are seeking a form of mentorship. When you listen intentely to how something is explained and watch how the clear details have positive effects on the listeners, you are being guided.

Recognizing mentorship in action is about the hope of growing and changing to become more skilled in your work. It isn’t about dwelling on your own (accurately or inaccurately perceived) flaws or shortcomings. See what is great around you and emulate it. You may even be a mentor for someone else without realizing it. Accepting and cultivating mentorships involves refining your own values, and incorporating new tools from others into your practice. Mentorship brings us all closer to what we aspire to be.

About the Author:

 Teresa Roberts, MS, CCC-SLP, works as a Speech Language Pathologist in a public school setting, provides clinical mentorship, and teaches as adjunct faculty in Portland, Oregon. She is committed to making connections between knowledge and practice. She has a weekly blog with ADVANCE for Speech Language Pathologists.

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Autism Corner: Sensory Meltdowns in Kids on the Autism Spectrum

[Source: My Aspergers Child]

“Why is my autistic (high functioning) son so sooo sensitive to certain clothing? He refuses to wear jeans and doesn’t like certain shoes and socks. I’ve made the mistake of forcing him to wear some of these things in the past, which resulted in a HUGE meltdown. He will react to certain clothing in the same way someone might react to accidently smashing their thumb with a hammer while trying to drive a nail. He also has a very very limited diet because he will gag on certain foods (e.g., anything green). And he has a startle response whenever a loud unexpected noise occurs (e.g., the blender). Any suggestions on how to work around these problems?”

Read the Rest of this Article on My Aspergers Child

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Pediatric Therapy Corner: A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Therapy Day

Editor’s Note:   This article appeared here on our blog in 2012.   Erik Raj originally wrote this excellent blog post for his SLP readers.  I think it applies to ALL our therapy clinician friends out there!    Therefore, I have taken the liberty to replace the word ‘SLP’ with “pediatric therapist” for the PediaStaff version of this post.   Thanks, Erik for your inspiring words!

by Erik Raj, MS. CCC-SLP

I don’t think there’s a single person alive who could honestly say that they’ve never experienced a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. As practicing pediatric therapists, we know that some days are incredible, everything goes just as planned and the skies are sunny and crystal clear. But then, other days are not as picture perfect. I wanted to write this blog post today for anyone who might not have had the best day at work today. I want you to know that I feel your pain and it’s my hope that these digital words that I’ve typed bring you a bit of comfort because you deserve it, friend.

EEK! – Sometimes you’ll have one of those days where a student will hide and cry under your therapy table during the whole assessment, for what seems like no reason at all. You’ll feel defeated because you tried everything to cheer that student up and nothing worked. Trust me, we’ve all been there before. Just keep your head up because you’re amazing.

YIKES! – Sometimes you’ll have one of those days where you discover that your school building has 5 new students, all with IEPs in YOUR area. You’ll feel frustrated because you already have 60 students on your caseload and you just don’t know how it’s possible to provide any more services. Trust me, we’ve all been there before. Just keep your head up because you’re amazing.

AHH! – Sometimes you’ll have one of those days where you look into your therapy bag for your perfect, go to therapy material, but it just isn’t there. Then, you realize that you mistakenly left it at home on your kitchen table. You feel down on yourself because you can’t help but feel like you’ve let this particular student down. Trust me, we’ve all been there before. Just keep your head up because you’re amazing.


Sometimes you’ll have one of those days where you realize that it seems like every single piece of paperwork is due tomorrow. You’ll feel overwhelmed because you just don’t know how all of it could get done in time. You frantically scramble and feel exhausted in the process. Trust me, we’ve all been there before. Just keep your head up because you’re amazing.

In closing . . .

Let this blog post be just a small reminder that you were put on this Earth to move mountains. Glorious and huge therapy mountains. Any hectic situations you might have encountered today were simply just little hiccups that helped you to grow and get stronger. Tomorrow is a new day and I know that it’ll be better. So, keep on shinning like the bright and sparkly diamond that you are because you are seriously the best pediatric therapist around.

Featured Contributor: Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP

Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP is a practicing speech-language pathologist and app developer living in Detroit, Michigan.   Originally from Jackson, New Jersey, he received his B.S. from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and was awarded a M.S. from Misericrodia University.

You can learn about Erik’s apps for speech-language therapy and read his blog on

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