New Global Campaign Takes on Noisy Leisure Activities

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Worldwide, the statistics are sobering:

  • 360 million people have disabling hearing loss.
  • 43 million people between the ages of 12–35 years live with disabling hearing loss.
  • Half of all cases of hearing loss are avoidable through primary prevention.

Of course, none of this likely comes as a surprise to ASHA members, particularly audiologists, who are on the front lines of care for people with hearing loss. The good news is that we are going to hear a lot more about this serious health issue with the help of a high-profile group.

Today, on International Ear Care Day, the World Health Organization is elevating the profile of hearing loss—specifically noise-induced hearing loss—by launching a new campaign called Make Listening Safe.

The campaign educates the public about hearing dangers posed by noisy leisure activities and promotes simple prevention strategies. Young people are the focus because an increasing number are experiencing hearing loss. As the creator of the highly successful Listen to Your Buds campaign, WHO asked ASHA experts to advise on Make Listening Safe. A role the association enthusiastically embraced.

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ASHA used Listen to Your Buds to provide an early warning on potential hearing dangers from misuse of personal music players and the need for safe listening. Today, as this technology is nearly ubiquitous, the campaign is going strong on a variety of fronts.

One of ASHA’s most successful ventures is its safe listening concert series. The series educates young children about protecting their ears in a fun, interactive way by bringing innovative musicians and performances to U.S. schools. A new video showcases the most recent concert series, which took place in six Orlando-area schools in conjunction with ASHA’s 2014 convention.

Misuse of personal audio devices is also a key area of focus for Make Listening Safe. According to WHO, among teenagers and young adults aged 12 to 35 years in middle- and high-income countries, nearly 50 percent are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of these devices.

This is one of the new global estimates being released with the launch of Make Listening Safe. In addition to a high-profile unveiling in Geneva, WHO is issuing a variety of materials featuring statistics on the problem’s scope, the hearing loss consequences and action steps that parents, teachers, physicians, managers of noisy venues, manufacturers and governments can take to make listening leisure activities safer.

ASHA asks members to take up the campaign. Here are just a few ideas on how you can get involved:

  • Utilize the WHO’s eye-catching public education materials—including posters, a fact sheet, and an infographic—with peers, patients, friends and loved ones.
  • Engage in grassroots public education, such as sharing statistics and prevention tips on social media or holding a free hearing screening.
  • Approach local media to pitch a story. The campaign’s launch with accompanying statistics is a great news hook. You can tie the story to your local community by highlighting an event your practice is hosting or offer tips for safe listening at local noisy venues (e.g., stadiums, concert venues/clubs). This is also an excellent consumer health story for a television station, particularly because it offers “news you can use” such as easy prevention tips.

The focus on noise-induced hearing loss in young people is not limited to March. While the WHO campaign will be ongoing, ASHA will also poll the public about safe listening practices. Our results will provide more opportunity for outreach during Better Hearing & Speech Month in May and beyond. Stay tuned!

Click here for more information. Questions may be directed to pr@asha.org.

 

Judith L. Page, PhD, CCC-SLP, is ASHA’s new president. She served as program director for Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Kentucky for 17 years and as chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences for 10 years. 

When Social Media Turns Antisocial—and What We Can Do

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I really have fun with social media. My platform of preference is Instagram. It’s fun, it’s a quick share, and it doesn’t afford opportunities for ranting. I post to Facebook intermittently and I tweet infrequently. It all can be fairly overwhelming.
While on the surface, it seems social media has connected us, in my humble opinion, it has disconnected us. We’ve all seen it: a family out to dinner. The little one is watching a movie, as another is playing a game on the phone. The teen is texting a friend, and mom and dad aren’t talking.

In our family, we have an unstated rule when we are out to eat: no media! We talk and we laugh (Annie Doyle likes this).

I know I am not alone in being concerned that media, in particular social media is negatively affecting communication. I haven’t grown up with social media. In fact, I remember when we first went “online,” I was terrified. I recall chat rooms that could be pretty dicey. I also remember the thrill when I heard the classic “You have mail.” Who me? Today, I err on the side of caution. I make it a point not to have any online “friendships” with my students, their parents, the children of my friends, or my children’s friends, so I really don’t know what they are posting about.

I have heard tragic stories of social media run amok and it is disturbing. We, as parents of teens, have access to our children’s passwords and they know we DO check. We are steadfast in our roles as parents and know our children are not always happy about our “meddling,” but it’s a scary world.

I also am aware of the effect social media has had on me. I have made some wonderful connections via the Instagram and blogging world, and I am so grateful for that. I have reconnected with friends from 30 years ago. There also have been times I’ve been consumed with social networking. Never has this been more apparent than since I have started blogging. I have asked myself: “Do I really have 15 followers? Woohoo!!” “How many page views today?” “Why won’t so and so acknowledge my posts/efforts?” I have experienced emotional contagion whereby I have felt the emotions of others after viewing a posted video of the homeless or a mother singing to her dying daughter. I’ve read with disdain political rantings and ad hominem attacks made without the need for civilized discourse.

As an adult I can choose to ignore these posts, block the author, or unfriend individuals who use Facebook as a sounding board. Middle school and high school students, whose social life incorporates social networks, may not have the wherewithal to to do the same.

What follows is just a brainstorm of the possible problems our students might “face” when using social media.

  • Over-sharing: Many people become turned off by posts documenting every moment of everyday.
  • Impulsive posting: Posts that are written when hurt or angry.
  • Confidence killers: So many gauge their popularity by the number of friends they have or the number of likes a post receives.
  • Misinterpretation of posts: This happens so frequently. We can’t know the tone of voice without hearing it and we don’t know the intent with which posts are written.
  • Misperception of our posts: Likewise others don’t have the benefit of knowing our intent.
  • Bullying: The internet is rife with opportunities for harassment. Individuals are so often emboldened by the cover of anonymity.
  • Feeling alienated: What is it about that “like” button? We are all too aware of who likes our posts and who ignores them and many are easily hurt by the passive-aggressive nature of “not liking.”
  • Macy’s window: When a post is out there, it is out there forever. It’s like standing in Macy’s window for all to see.
  • FOMO (fear of missing out): Kids often feel left out and alienated when they see posts of friends doing fun things and they aren’t included. As a kid who wants to belong, there is often nothing worse than feeling excluded.
  • Ranting: Tirades are off-putting!
  • Attention-getting: Kids are needy and social media is the perfect outlet for posting for attention. Positive or negative, attention is attention and meets the same need.
  • Not being in the moment: I have seen more people stop enjoying the moment to post a picture to Facebook or Instagram (guilty).
  • Time blackhole: Why waste time texting, waiting for a response, texting again…?
  • Disingenuous posts: Kids can post without honoring what they are really feeling. There have been sad stories of kids who have shared seemingly happy posts all the while hiding deep sadness.
  • What’s missing: At least 80 percent of our communication is conveyed through tone of voice and body language, so while we may seem connected there is an awful lot we are missing.

As communication gurus, we can help our older students not get caught in the social media quagmire. Let’s collectively encourage our students to have a healthy relationship with social media. Let’s work toward being models who use social media to improve the world we live in, to disseminate quality information, to learn, and to spread joy.

For instance, let’s all consider the following, and teach our students as well, to:

  • Read and reread posts, text messages, and emails and if there is a nagging feeling that says, “Don’t post,” trust those instincts.
  • Don’t put stock in the number of likes on a post; it really is meaningless and what counts is the sharing of a valuable moment or idea.
  • Don’t post controversial material: try to keep it happy, as social media is no place for political tirades. If feeling compelled to make a point, do it respectfully and without profanity and hurtfulness.
  • Turn off notifications. It can make you crazy.
  • Make efforts to engage in face to face conversation or at least the telephone. Allow yourself to key into tone of voice and body language. When firming up plans, how about a real conversation? Just pick up the phone for Pete’s sake!
  • Don’t over-share. People don’t really want a play by play of your day by day.
  • Be sure that what you post is a reflection of what you truly believe or feel. Be genuine and if you need help ask for it. In this day and age no one should suffer alone.
  • Learn to take posts at face value. Without a conversation you can only guess what the intent or motivation of another is.
  • Don’t post when you are emotionally charged, you will regret it.
  • Live in the moment: when doing something fun don’t stop what your doing to post. Wait until the activity is finished and then share.

I would love to hear your thoughts on social media and communication. Please share any of your awesome ideas for encouraging safe social media practices.

Anne Doyle, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist in Bridgewater, New Hampshire, who is in her 31st year of practice in the schools. She is a graduate of ASHA’s Leadership Development Program and is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 1, Language Learning and Education, and 16, School-Based Issues. This post is adapted from  the post “Un-Social Media” on her blog “Doyle Speech Works.”

Snap and Post Photos of Your Day to the ASHA Leader Instagram Contest

This contest has ended, however we are always looking for new Instagram photos of your typical day as a speech-language pathologist, audiologist or researcher. We feature one of your photos in each new issue of The ASHA Leader. To submit your photo for inclusion, be sure to tag it with #ashaigers on Instagram.

instagram blog 2Say “cheese!” The new ASHA Leader is commemorating its inaugural year by celebrating YOU. We’re putting together a book of photographs that showcase what our members do best—helping people communicate. And we want your Instagram photos to be a part of it!

Ah, Instagram. I never go on a walk without my phone/camera, just in case a moment presents itself. There’s a walking loop near ASHA’s headquarters that’s about a mile long, and on nice days it’s a great way to blow off some steam, get some fresh air and remember there is a world outside your cubicle. But it’s also inhabited by trees, birds, flocks of geese, various corporate buildings and some shockingly obnoxious D.C. metro intersections, all of which make great fodder for Instagram.

Maybe you do it, maybe you don’t, but unless you’ve been living in a cave in the wilderness, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Instagram. It’s a photo app that allows users to filter, modify, and edit their photos any way the imagination allows. Many Instagrams start out looking like any digital photo, but end up looking like anything from quirky postcards to beautiful pieces of art. Check out the app and download it to your phone at Instagram.com. Then hop on over to Webstagram online to see millions of snapshots of life from around the globe. For Instagram examples from the Leader staff, go to Webstagram and look under the hashtag #ashaigers. Hey, sometimes your inner artist works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always fun to try!

Because it’s so cool and we know you all have great stuff to share, we want to see your Instagrams. We know you work hard, have fun and blow off steam—show us! We want to see Instagram photos of your typical day as a speech-language pathologist, audiologist or researcher. How do you start your day? What moments during the work day or after hours are especially meaningful? Joyful? Or even particularly frustrating? Be creative and unique with your camera shots—capture the essence of your day and the landscape in which you live it (search the hashtag #ashaigers to see some staff examples).

The dates of the contest are May 12-18, 2013. The theme is “A Week in the Life of the Professions.” Upload your photos (put whatever filters or edits on them as you see fit) and be sure to include the hashtag #ashaigers in the caption.

Don’t have Instagram? E-mail your photos to leader@asha.org with the subject line “Instagram” and we’ll upload them for you.

After May 18, we (the Instagram-delirious Leader staff) will select the most memorable photos for inclusion in an orderable book. We’ll also feature as many of those selected as we can in our July issue! Everyone included in the book will receive credit and recognition; through a random drawing, 20 contributors will receive a free copy.

And we’re going to keep the photo fun going after May 18, selecting from photos you continue uploading to #ashaigers for a new recurring “Glimpses” feature in The ASHA Leader.  So c’mon folks! Grab your cameras, fancy-frame your subjects and settings, and get snapping and uploading! We want the book to be a memorable, lasting revelation of one week in the lives of speech-language pathologists, audiologists and speech-language scientists making a difference.

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Gary Dunham, is editor-in-chief of The ASHA Leader and can be reached at gdunham@asha.org.

Welcome from the Leader Team

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Recently, ASHAsphere became part of The ASHA Leader, joining a celebrated constellation of content for and about ASHA members, including The ASHA Leader Live e-newsletter as well as the print and online editions of the Leader. We at the Leader are delighted with this news, the first phase of a dastardly-but-so-elegantly-orchestrated master plan to annex the entire WorldWideInterWebs.

As these bold, mildly inspiring words spasmodically spew from my hunt-and-peck typing, phalanxes of Leader editors are on the march, blood-red pens in full brandish mode. No domain with the faintest acronymic whiff of CSD is safe from us—and that includes you, Community School of Davidson, North Carolina.

All kidding aside, welcome.

During the inaugural year of the brand spanking new ASHA Leader, ASHAsphere plays a crucial role in supporting the Leader’s renewed commitment to serve both as a valued source of information for ASHA members as well as an engaging showcase of your lives, interests and goings-on. Indeed, this blog’s been a preferred gathering place for many of you, an excellent, lively sounding board for noteworthy and trending topics.

We at the Leader strongly encourage you all to keep doing what you’re doing—discuss in depth, debate vigorously, share your experience and perspectives, and keep the questions coming. We’ll be dropping by every now and then with news, highlights of particularly useful articles, and, just perhaps, some astonishingly wry commentary.

I’ll be quiet now so you all can get back to your blog.

Gary Dunham, PhD, is ASHA publications director and editor-in-chief of The ASHA Leader.

Happy Peppy People at ASHA 2012

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“Hello friends. Are you tired, run-down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Why don’t you join the thousands of happy peppy people…” at the 2012 ASHA Convention.  If this famous I Love Lucy script makes you think your convention experience thus far, then you are not alone.  Between walking from the Exhibit Hall to visit the vendors to checking out the NSSLHA Lounge and Poster Presentations, just navigating the convention can wear a person out.

Despite the many weary feet, the excitement from day 1 has been tangible. Waiting in line for coffee, finding the room number for sessions, or collecting your third Super Duper bag,  you can always find someone to share a conversation with. How often do you know everyone around you is an SLP or AUD, and feel comfortable discussing a therapy technique or a new iPad application while waiting in line?  The convention provides professionals from across the country opportunities to reconnect with colleagues and friends, refine intervention strategies and techniques, and renew the excitement and zeal for being “rainbows in the clouds” of our clients.

As a student, not only is attending sessions part of the allure of attending the convention, but meeting and networking with professionals who have knowledge and experience to share has been invaluable. Everyone I have met and shared a conversation with has been more than willing to relay tips for my SLP-CF job search or strategies for interviewing and negotiating a contract. I still get nervous before speaking with SLPs or AUDs, but I hope those I speak with remember what it felt like to be a student: Excited, nervous, stressed, overwhelmed, and just itching to finish our clinical internships. The convention is a chance for everyone to “nerd out” with other SLP students, professionals, professors, and researchers from across the world; it is like Christmas morning for me.

What was my favorite part of the 2012 ASHA Convention?

One of the highlights for me was meeting the SLPs, AUDs, and other student SLPs that I have met through Twitter over the past year. Many people are still apprehensive or unaware of the professional learning opportunities that wait by using Twitter with the #SLPeeps. Heidi Kay over at Pediastaff recruited some of the best SLPs who use social media as professional tools to create a Free Guidebook to help people get started. If you want to see how to use these tools, please check out the  easy to follow electronic book and start growing professionally with the #SLPeeps.

Another one of the highlights from the convention was hearing Dr. Maya Angelou speak at the opening session. Her powerful storytelling inspired me professionally and personally. She compared SLPs and AUDs to rainbows in the clouds. A rainbow speaks of promise and hope; I would like to think I can be that for my clients.  Her personal tale of selective mutism after a childhood trauma empowered me to always consider the perspective of my clients before jumping to conclusions.  She always had a story to tell; as Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, accepting and establishing trust can impact how much of their story a client decides to share.

(Katie is one of the official ASHA Convention bloggers. These three bloggers were selected to blog about the ASHA Convention in exchange for complimentary registration. Stay tuned for more insights from her and the other bloggers before, during and after convention.)

 

Katie Millican, B.S. Ed., is a second year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology program at the University of West Georgia (UWG). Katie is the current UWG local NSSLHA chapter President.  She is active with the #slpeeps and #slp2b on Twitter (@SLP_Echo) and on Pinterest, and she writes her own blog SLP_Echo: Just another SLP in the Making. Katie has a passion for using technology and sharing evidence-based ideas. 

Convention Must-Have: Twitter

I was really excited when I was selected to become an official ASHA blogger.  I blog anyway, so it was nice to get an official title.  I had planned on blogging a little everyday, but things have been crazy and before I know it, it’s time for bed.  I decided to go ahead and blog on Friday, the next to last day of the convention!

Throughout convention I kept hearing “how do you incorporate Twitter into therapy?” or “so how do you use Twitter?”  It seems there is either a lot of resistance to Twitter or people just really have no idea how to use it or how to get started.

Originally, I intended to write about my trip here, the sessions I attended, etc., but I think I’ll save that for later and instead write about Twitter.

I started my Twitter account about two or three years ago, around the time of my first ASHA Convention.  As much as I enjoyed the convention, I really didn’t socialize a lot or leave my hotel room other than to go  to sessions.   Through that convention, I started getting more involved in Twitter and started forming friendships there.

The 2011 convention was so much better having such a large group of friends to spend time with and share my ASHA Convention excitement.

This year has been a whole new experience.  I have a much larger group of friends, a really great roommate and amazing opportunities coming my way, all thanks to Twitter.   We had a great “Tweet up” this year with many new and familiar faces.  It’s always so nice to meet those people you’ve been talking to online.

How do I use Twitter?  I use it in so many different ways.   I ask and answer therapy questions through Twitter.  We have a whole network of SLPs called the #SLPeeps.  We have specialty people in various areas: literacy, fluency, technology, apps  and dysphagia.

I use Twitter to announce changes to my website, new blog posts, exciting news like earning my BRS-S, and to share links to videos or websites that I find relevant or interesting. I use it to share important information at ASHA from professional development sessions that I attend, or CEU events that I attend outside of ASHA.  If I find a really great session, I share that.  If I find a new product, I’m excited to talk about it and let others know.

So many people say they don’t have time for Twitter.  I can access Twitter on my phone and on my iPad, allowing me to post a Tweet any time of day.  I can post on Twitter in just a few minutes.  It’s really only as time-consuming as I allow it to be.

When I talk to people about Twitter, I tell them that’s it’s an excellent learning opportunity for me and a way that I have met many new friends that I may not have otherwise met.    I proudly wear my “I Tweet” and “#SLPeeps” ribbons on my badge and tell everyone who asks me about Twitter that it has been one of the most life-changing opportunities I have experienced.

(Tiffani is one of the official ASHA Convention bloggers. These three bloggers were selected to blog about the ASHA Convention in exchange for complimentary registration. Stay tuned for more insights from her and the other bloggers before, during and after convention.)

 

Tiffani Wallace,CCC-SLP, has been an SLP specializing in Dysphagia for over 11 years.  Tiffani has been very active in the social media world, creating 2 Facebook groups, Dysphagia Therapy Group and Dysphagia Therapy Group-Professional Edition.  Tiffani is also the co-author of the app Dysphagia2Go, available on iTunes.  She is preparing to travel nationally and speak on the topic of Dysphagia.  Tiffani writes a blog called Dysphagia Ramblings and is the author of www.dysphagiaramblings.com.  She is a 5 time ACE awardee and recently obtained her BRS-S.

Better Hearing & Speech Month Roundup Week 1

Happy Better Hearing & Speech Month! This May marks the 85th anniversary of Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), a month dedicated to raising awareness about communication disorders and to promoting treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing. ASHA offers many resources for BHSM, and with each passing year, more and more SLPs, audiologists, and others interested in CSD are using social media to share ideas for celebrating BHSM.

Twitter is a great way to hear what others are doing to celebrate BHSM. You can follow the #BHSM hashtag on Twitter or just bookmark this link and check it throughout the month to follow the conversations about BHSM on Twitter. We’ve also started a Better Hearing & Speech Month Ideas board on Pinterest, where we’ll be pinning/re-pinning resources and ideas we see throughout the month.

Each week throughout May ASHAsphere will be highlighting some of the blog posts and other resources we’ve found using these social media sources. Here are just a few of the many posts we’ve seen this week:

  • Christopher Bugaj, MA CCC-SLP, did his annual A.T. TIPSCAST podcast and accompanying blog post about language-based curriculum, dedicated to BHSM.
  • Dan P McLellan, CCC-SLP, did a post about BHSM in his new blog, Speechguy.
  • Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP, lists some BHSM resources on the Advance  Early Intervention Speech Therapy blog.
  • Canadian SLP Skye Blue Angus has a great May Month (Canada’s Speech and Hearing Month) photo of the day challenge on her blog, CREE-ZY, CRAZY SPEECHIE.
  • Lisa M. Geary, MS, CCC-SLP created printable information pages SLPs can share with parents, teachers and other educators, along with some other BHSM resources, on Livespeaklove.

Share your blog posts or other resources in the comments and we’ll continue sharing them each Thursday throughout May.

 

Maggie McGary is the online community & social media manager at ASHA, and manages ASHAsphere.

Better Hearing & Speech Month Roundup Week 1

Happy Better Hearing & Speech Month! This May marks the 85th anniversary of Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), a month dedicated to raising awareness about communication disorders and to promoting treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing. ASHA offers many resources for BHSM, and with each passing year, more and more SLPs, audiologists, and others interested in CSD are using social media to share ideas for celebrating BHSM.

Twitter is a great way to hear what others are doing to celebrate BHSM. You can follow the #BHSM hashtag on Twitter or just bookmark this link and check it throughout the month to follow the conversations about BHSM on Twitter. We’ve also started a Better Hearing & Speech Month Ideas board on Pinterest, where we’ll be pinning/re-pinning resources and ideas we see throughout the month.

Each week throughout May ASHAsphere will be highlighting some of the blog posts and other resources we’ve found using these social media sources. Here are just a few of the many posts we’ve seen this week:

  • Christopher Bugaj, MA CCC-SLP, did his annual A.T. TIPSCAST podcast and accompanying blog post about language-based curriculum, dedicated to BHSM.
  • Dan P McLellan, CCC-SLP, did a post about BHSM in his new blog, Speechguy.
  • Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP, lists some BHSM resources on the Advance  Early Intervention Speech Therapy blog.
  • Canadian SLP Skye Blue Angus has a great May Month (Canada’s Speech and Hearing Month) photo of the day challenge on her blog, CREE-ZY, CRAZY SPEECHIE.
  • Lisa M. Geary, MS, CCC-SLP created printable information pages SLPs can share with parents, teachers and other educators, along with some other BHSM resources, on Livespeaklove.

Share your blog posts or other resources in the comments and we’ll continue sharing them each Thursday throughout May.

 

Maggie McGary is the online community & social media manager at ASHA, and manages ASHAsphere.

Fun Resource for Therapy Ideas: Pinterest

Pinterest

Photo by rasamalai

Social media sites are a dime a dozen these days, and there are only so many hours in a day, so keeping up with them all is impossible. But in terms of therapy ideas and just plain fun, Pinterest may be worth checking out. Never heard of Pinterest? You’re not alone–while it’s been around since 2010, the site is still in beta mode, requiring an invite to set up an account. However, you don’t need to set up an account or a profile to enjoy Pinterest–you can simply go to the site, type in a search term in the search box in the upper left-hand corner of the page, and you’ll be able to see and click through to any results that come up.

But sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself–what exactly IS Pinterest? According to Pinterest’s “about” page:

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

That’s great, you may be thinking, but what does this have to do with CSD professionals? At first glance, nothing. But it just so happens that SLPs and other therapists and educators are “pinning” therapy ideas by the hundreds, making Pinterest an invaluable resource for therapy ideas and inspiration. If you go to Pinterest and search “SLP” or “fine motor” or “audiology” or any term you might be interested in, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Pediastaff has pinned an incredible number of therapy ideas grouped by topic, and features a “pin of the week” of the most popular therapy pins.

Want to start exploring Pinterest and need an invite? Leave a comment and I’ll send you one. Already on Pinterest and want to share your boards with ASHAsphere readers? Leave a comment with your Pinterest url (e.g. “http://pinterest.com/ashaweb“) so ASHAsphere readers can find and follow you. ASHA is just starting with Pinterest so we haven’t really started using it yet; however, we have set up an ASHAsphere board, starting with December’s posts, and plan to update it with new posts going forward.

If you are younger than 80 this post is for you

“Last call for Sunday dinner. If I don’t hear from you via FB or phone by  11 AM tomorrow I’ll take that as a no.”

Direct quote: My Grandma

Source: Facebook

My Grandma, Dee, is 76 years old. She unplugs the computer when it freezes  up (Dee, seriously, stop that). She always thinks someone is hacking her  account. She doesn’t want a phone with a camera. She is one of my most favorite humans on the Earth.

And…she Facebooks. She likes, comments, posts, tags, shares, LOLs, calls my mom her “BFF” –  she is a Facebook machine. A champion of Facebook, if you will.

76. Facebook. SEVENTY-SIX.

When ASHA-goers (who are younger than 76) have seen my “I Tweet” sticker it  has induced reactions of:

  • Camaraderie: “You tweet? Me too! What’s your handle?”
  • Judgment: “Oh. You tweet. (accompanied by ‘the face’)”
  • Awe: “You tweet? Coooool!”
  • Confusion: “You tweet. Whatsa tweet? Have I been twitting and didn’t know
    it?”

But they, and you, CAN TWEET! Among other things! It is not so hard! I PROMISE.

When I got on Facebook in 2006 it was about collecting friends, like Pogs or Pokemon (gotta catch ‘em all!). Who has the most friends? Who has the most tags?  Who likes the best bands? Who has the funniest quotes? – I think it has maintained that stigma so people have generalized this time-suck to ALL social media. This is an outdated view of social media, and it ages you when you act like you’ve never heard of “the Twitter.” While social media can still be used for silly, superficial functions (as well as being used to majorly creep on people), it and other sites, can be used for so much more.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, Hipster-Underground-Sites, blogs, ASHACommunity. These sites are used to facilitate sharing, educating, learning, AND (you CSD professionals should like this one!) COMMUNICATING.

Tonight in the West Terrace, Maggie McGary helped get all the #slpeeps and #audpeeps (people who use social media to share CSD information) in one place for the annual Tweetup. We didn’t do anything earth shattering, but it just goes to show that social media is slowly, but surely, proving that it can bring people together. As a profession we support communication and interaction! We are all coo-coo for cocoa puffs over apps and AAC. So why are we so scared of other technological avenues for communicating?

With the advent of smart phones, iPads, netbooks, wifi, and goodness knows what else – using social media is easy as a touch. With one finger. THE TIP OF ONE FINGER. A LIGHT TOUCH WITH THE TIP OF ONE FINGER.

I want to challenge all of you to use social media in SOME WAY this year. Advocate. Connect with your state or national associations. Advertise. Find a common ground with a client. Get to know an #slpeep. Share an interesting link. Then maybe next year we’ll see YOU at the Tweetup!

PS – I’m at the Hostel at Fifth and Market and I had 12 minutes of Internet. I wrote this by hand. OLD SCHOOL.

PPS- I’m addicted to ASHA. I’m never leaving. I will be continuing the conference after you all leave. You’re welcome to join me.

NP: I”ll Find a Hearing Aid for Ya

(Samantha is one of the official ASHA Convention bloggers! Stay tuned for more insights from her and the other bloggers before, during and after convention.)

 

Samantha Weatherford, B.A., is a second-year, speech-language pathology graduate student at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.  She writes about speech-path and grad school on her blog, so to Speak. Does she think it is a coincidence that the first ever ASHA Convention was in St. Louis, MO, her beautiful hometown, and she chose to be an SLP? NOPE. FATE.