Research Update: Self Regulation, Cursive, Autism and Communication, and Motor Performance

Preschool Classroom Processes as Predictors of Children's Cognitive Self-Regulation Skills Development An article to be published in School Psychology Quarterly describes the findings of a large study of preschool classroom in the US Southeast. The researchers found that preschool classroom environments had an impact on the development of executive functioning.  More specifically, they found that positive interactions in the classroom supported the development of self-regulation skills. The researchers discuss the need for more preventative classroom management, rather than using "behavior disapproval" to correct young children. The Influence of Childhood Aerobic Fitness on Learning and Memory

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10+ Ways To Use Photos In A Therapy Session

pediatrictherapeuticservices photos1. Camera and pictures as positive reinforcement. Kids love pictures - looking at them, taking them, being in them. Photographs of pets and children can be an ice breaker with a new student. You can reward a great job by letting the child take a picture of his work, and allowing the child to bring pictures from home to show the therapist can be especially rewarding - which bring us to number 2! 2. Photos as a conversation starter. Portable, interesting, and universal, bringing in a few photos of family and pets can be a great starting point for a speech group activity! Having a "show and tell" provides an opportunity to practice social skills as well as language use! Turn taking, adding details, and pronoun use are just a few ways a photo can get our students talking! On his blog, speech-language pathologist Erik Raj recently posted an entry in his blog titled "Using Your Cell Phone Photos as Speech Therapy Story Starters", check it out for more ideas! 3. Photos as data collection. Because digital cameras are so easily accessible, including cell phone cameras, it is both inexpensive and convenient to take photographs of student work. This can be a way to be greener, and use less paper. Use a dry erase board for writing practice, snap a quick picture, and erase! Photos can record writing samples that may be completed during a push-in classroom session, when student work may be handed in to a teacher. Also, taking a picture can support a school-based therapist's memory when a prized piece of artwork is brought home before the note is written!

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Research Update: Co-morbidity, Yoga, and Environmental Design

Nearly One-Third of Children with Autism Also Have ADHD A new study from Kennedy Krieger Institute researchers found that a significant number of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder also have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They found that 31% of children with an ASD also had significant symptoms for ADHD. This is especially relevant because the new Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM-5) has revised the diagnostic criteria for these conditions, and a dual-diagnosis is now permitted. The researchers also found that the children with this dual-diagnosis tended to have more negative outcomes in regards to cognition, social participation, and activities of daily living, as well as more severe symptoms of ASD.

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Related Services and Recess

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"]Playground Playground (Photo credit: phalinn)[/caption] As the number of children diagnosed as overweight or obese increases, and a growing amount of evidence points to physical activity as a means of managing symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder, greater attention is being placed on recess and physical activity. Trends in leisure activities in young children, including video games and other stationary activities, as well as greater emphasis on academic activities in the schools, have resulted in fewer opportunities for movement. There is a wealth of information regarding the benefits of exercise, including the recent report, "Nation's kids need to get more physical." The Institute of Medicine is recommending that physical education become a core subject, and that schools allow daily opportunities for children to be physically active, for at least 60 minutes a day.

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