Pediatric Therapy Corner: Visible and Invisible Disabilities: On being a Reluctant Ambassador

by Lucas Steuber, MA-T, MS SLP/CF

colorblindI  have a disability. It’s kind of a silly one. Are you ready?

I’m colorblind

Specifically, I have an M-Cone Reduction Deuteranomaly, which about 1.2 percent of men have and 0.02% of women. The gender difference is because the genetic disorder is on the X chromosome; women have two of them, which means it’s likely that one of the chromosomes has the “correct” gene.

I said above that colorblindness is a “silly” disability – and relative to most, it really is. However it is a disability in that it prevents me from doing some things that people with normal color vision can do. It dashed my dreams of being a pilot after about ten hours of flight lessons because commercial airlines don’t hire colorblind pilots. My general fear of being strapped to an explosion that catapults me through the air at fatal velocity might have also impaired my eventual ability to be a pilot, but that’s a different story. Colorblindness also impairs my ability to match my tie to my suit, my ability to compliment my wife’s dresses in the expected way, and I’m pretty well convinced that you’ve all invented the idea of “purple” as an elaborate prank. Continue reading

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Career Corner: Using a Career Journal to Further Your Professional Development

journal[Source:  Quintessential Careers]

How much time do you commit each day — each week — to really thinking about your career? If you’re like most of us, your answer is not much time at all. Sure, we would all love to have the luxury to daydream about our futures, but unfortunately, all too often the realities of the present keep us a bit too preoccupied.

Do you find yourself in any of these situations: Do you have a vision of your perfect job or career, but no pathway leading to it? Are you thinking of making a career change, but have no real clue about your next career? Are you stuck in a dead-end job — or worse — have you remained in your current position while others around you have been promoted? Are you a student who is trying to get a handle on both a major and a career path?

Our jobs, our careers, and our lives would — or could — be so much better if we used a modified version of an age-old device many of us used when we were younger, the diary or journal. The career journal that is advocated in this article, while sharing some common aspects with a personal journal, is much more structured — focused on a specific career-related goal — and designed to empower your career development or job-search.

Read the Rest of this Article on Quintessential Careers

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Brain Waves Show Learning to Read Does Not End in 4th Grade

developmental science

[Source:  Science Daily]

Teachers-in-training have long been taught that fourth grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn. But a new Dartmouth study in the journal Developmental Science tested the theory by analyzing brain waves and found that fourth-graders do not experience a change in automatic word processing, a crucial component of the reading shift theory. Instead, some types of word processing become automatic before fourth grade, while others don’t switch until after fifth.

The findings mean that teachers at all levels of elementary school must think of themselves as reading instructors, said the study’s author, Associate Professor of Education Donna Coch.

“Until now, we lacked neurological evidence about the supposed fourth-grade shift,” said Coch, also principal investigator for Dartmouth’s Reading Brains Lab. “The theory developed from behavioral evidence, and as a result of it, some teachers in fifth and sixth grade have not thought of themselves as reading instructors. Now we can see from brain waves that students in those grades are still learning to process words automatically; their neurological reading system is not yet adult-like.”

Read the Rest of this Article on Science Daily

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Feel Good Story of the Week: 2-Year Year Old Takes First Steps with Prosthetic, Says “I Got It:

kaydenEditor’s Note:  I dare you not to grin from ear to ear!

[Source:  USA Today]

‘I got it. I got it. I got it!

Kayden Kinckle conveys such determination in a viral video posted to YouTube on July 4 of himself learning how to walk with prosthetics.

He repeats the phrase over and over again, becoming more confident with each step. The video has 215,849 views so far and has been receiving positive responses from viewers.

Mother Nikki Sessoms of Englewood, N.J., writes on YouTube that her 2-year-old son was born with an Omphalocele. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines it as a birth defect of the abdominal wall, which can cause an infant’s organs to stick outside of the belly.

Watch this Delightful Video on USA Today

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ADHD and Handwriting


[Source:  Journal of Attention Disorders via Your Therapy Source]

Journal of Attention Disorders published research on kinematically characterizing the handwriting of 14 boys with ADHD-combined type and 14 typically developing boys. The boys wrote a series of four cursive letter ‘l’s using a graphics tablet and a stylus.

The results indicated the following:
1. Children with ADHD-CT had more inconsistent writing size than did TD controls.
2. ADHD-CT symptom severity, specifically inattention, predicted poorer handwriting outcomes.

The researchers concluded that children with ADHD-CT display subtle handwriting differences and exhibit handwriting impairments in a manner dependent on symptom severity.

Reference: Rebecca A. Langmaid, Nicole Papadopoulos, Beth P. Johnson, James G. Phillips, and Nicole J. Rinehart. Handwriting in Children With ADHD. Journal of Attention DisordersAugust 2014 18: 504-510, first published on May 22, 2012 doi:10.1177/1087054711434154

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