Seat Cushions and Attention Span

The American Journal of Occupational Therapy reports in their recent issue that the Disc ‘O Sit Cushion significantly improved attention to the task in students with attention difficulties when compared to students with attention difficulties without the cushion.

Reference:  Beth Pfeiffer-PhD, OTR/L, BCP, Amy Henry-MS, OTR/L, Stephanie Miller-MS, OTR/L, Suzie Witherell-MS, OTR/L.  (2008)Effectiveness of Disc ‘O’ Sit Cushions on Attention to Task in Second-Grade Students With Attention Difficulties.  AJOT 62:3.


Motor Learning and Feedback in Children

Physical Therapy reports on research regarding the effects of feedback on motor learning.  The study showed that children who received reduced feedback on a task performed with decreased accuracy and consistency during the retention task when compared to children who received 100% feedback.  When the children with reduced feedback returned for reacquisition testing, they were able to improve their performance.  The authors concluded that children use feedback differently that young adults.  In addition, children may require longer practice periods and gradual reduction of feedback when learning new skills.

Reference:  Sullivan, Katherine J, Kantak, Shailesh S, Burtner, Patricia A Motor Learning in Children: Feedback Effects on Skill Acquisition PHYS THER 2008 88: 720-732


St John’s Wort and ADHD

The Journal of American Medical Association reports that in a randomized, double blind controlled study, hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort), does not improve symptoms of ADHD in children ages 6-17 years old.   There was no difference in scores on the ADHD Rating Scale IV found between the placebo group and the St John’s Wort group following an 8 week trial period.

Reference:  Wendy Weber; Ann Vander Stoep; Rachelle L. McCarty; Noel S. Weiss; Joseph Biederman;  Jon McClellan Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort) for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial JAMA. 2008;299(22):2633-2641.


Botox and Hemi CP

The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health reports no significant difference in the quality of life in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy following Botox A therapy in the upper limb.

Reference:  Toni A Redman, Judith C Finn, Alexandra P Bremner, Jane Valentine (2008) Effect of upper limb botulinum toxin-A therapy on health-related quality of life in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2008.01319.x


Developmental Delay and Early Intervention

Pediatrics reports that a recent study indicated that approximately 13% of  United States children in 2001 were eligible for Part C early intervention due to developmental delays.  Only 10% of those children were receiving early intervention services at 24 months of age.  Black children were least likely to receive services.

Reference:  Rosenberg, Steven A., Zhang, Duan, Robinson, Cordelia C.  Prevalence of Developmental Delays and Participation in Early Intervention Services for Young Children  Pediatrics 2008 121: e1503-e1509


CP Classification

The Journal of Pediatrics reports on a study of 1056 two year olds born before 28 weeks gestation.  One hundred twenty of the children could be classified as having cerebral palsy.  The types of CP were as follows: 52% were quadriplegics, 31% were diplegics and 17%  had hemiparesis.  The children with quadriplegia were more likely to be micro-cephalic, have an IQ of less than 70 and  had the highest risk of autism.

Reference:  Karl C.K. Kuban MD, Elizabeth N. Allred MS, Michael O’Shea MD, MPH, Nigel Paneth MD, MPH, Marcello Pagano PhD, Alan Leviton MD‡ and ELGAN Study Cerebral Palsy-Algorithm Group (2008) An Algorithm for Identifying and Classifying Cerebral Palsy in Young Children doi:10.1016/j.jpeds. 2008.04.013


Motor Development and Iron Deficiency

Early Human Development reports that iron deficiency with and without anemia in 9-10 month old African American inner city infants resulted in poorer motor function when compared to peers without iron deficiency.

Reference:  Tal Shafir, Rosa Angulo-Barroso, Yuezhou Jing, Mary Lu Angelilli, Sandra W. Jacobson and Betsy Lozoff (2008)  Iron deficiency and infant motor development Early Human Development 84(7):479-485.


Great Links to Check Out for FREE stuff for school based therapists:

Here is a new browser for autistic children –  This is definitely not only beneficial for autistic children.  It is so much easier for any child to negotiate the web using this browser especially for children with special needs.  You can try the software out by just running it – you do not even have to download it completely onto your own computer.  The choices are limited as compared to the web but for starters this is awesome.  It will allow many children with disabilities to access the web more independently.  Check it out at

Check out this website –  This program will read aloud any text on the computer and it is FREE!  Great for students with learning disabilities who benefit from text being read.