Home Academia & Research Spotlight on SIG 5, Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders

Spotlight on SIG 5, Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders

by Amy Morgan Linde
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An elementary age boy is sitting with his homeschooling instructor and tutor and is learning how to read. The child has a hearing disability.

Do you serve patients with cleft palate or craniofacial and velopharyngeal disorders? Then ASHA Special Interest Group 5 can help. Find out what affiliate Amy Morgan Linde gained from being a part of SIG 5.

  1. When did you join your SIG—and what made you want to join?

I first joined SIG 5 in 2010, shortly after taking a position on a cleft/craniofacial team. It was a great way to link up with colleagues who share similar interests and learn more about cleft-palate–related speech disorders and management.

  1. How has your involvement with the SIG helped you in your career?

Being active in SIG 5 has allowed me to get to know professionals around the country who also work with patients with cleft and other craniofacial conditions. I now have colleagues I can reach out to with questions or for general brainstorming when needed. That support network is invaluable to me. In addition, belonging to a SIG provides a lot of professional enrichment: Reading community posts is a great way to think about relevant topics. And my work—first on the professional development committee and later on the coordinating committee—got me involved in generating continuing education content for my peers.

  1. How do you carve out time to volunteer with the SIG while working in your full-time job and balancing other commitments? What advice would you give to someone who’d like to get more involved in the SIG, including how you get support from your supervisor/institution?

Being active in the SIG has become a part of my daily routine. I read the community posts via email, and usually log into the app a few times a day to check out activity. This fits into down time nicely, and is a great way to stay involved.

With respect to my volunteer work, I’ve found that I can gain institutional support by first having the support of speech-language colleagues and supervisors. Volunteering for ASHA and belonging to a SIG is a great way to push myself to stay up-to-date about current practices and to be aware of trends in our practice as SLPs. Highlighting how your volunteer work enhances your ability to serve your patients and clients, and how it relates to your professional growth, is important for gaining support.

For those who want to be more active, we keep a list of people who would like to volunteer with SIG 5 and we notify people as opportunities arise if they are next on the list. So please, reach out to the coordinating committee and share your interest in getting involved! In addition, we encourage affiliates to post to the community as a way to stay active.

  1. What upcoming events related to or sponsored by your SIG should everyone know about? Chats, conferences or convention events?

We look forward to having Judith LeDuc present our SIG 5 posters, focused on cleft-palate speech evaluation and treatment, at the ASHA Connect Conference this July in Baltimore. We are also excited about the invited sessions we have planned for ASHA’s annual convention in Boston. Kelly Cordero, Lynn Fox and Jessica Williams will present a short course on clinical decision-making for children requiring surgical management versus those requiring traditional articulation therapy. Also, Maia Braden will present on complex issues in feeding and swallowing disorders in children with cleft palate and other craniofacial anomalies.

  1. What is your favorite recent Perspectives article, and why?

I really appreciated Linda Vallino and Brenda Louw’s 2017 article, “We’ve Got Some Growing Up to Do: An Evidence-Based Service Delivery Model for the Transition of Care for the Young Adult with Cleft Lip and Palate.”  So often the transition from the pediatric-focused, comprehensive interdisciplinary team to adult care gets overlooked, and this article provides excellent references for bridging this gap.

Amy Morgan Linde, CCC-SLP, is a clinical educator at Western Michigan University. amymorgan757@gmail.com

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