On the first day of the largest ASHA convention in the organization’s history, Leader editors talked to around 600 of the thousands of attendees. We asked about topics we should cover in our new podcast, launching next year. We’d like you to share, too!
Please list any topics or experts from the professions you’d like to hear about on the coming Leader podcast in the comment section below.
We also asked attendees why they came to Boston in November. We wanted to know what challenges members face and the strategies they hope to learn to help them overcome those challenges.
See what your peers shared below. And look for a follow-up post this weekend where attendees share practical ideas they plan to put into practice right away.
I lost everything recently in the California wildfires—my house, clothes—I had to come here with no coat. I came to convention anyway, because I want to share my story and the need for ASHA and its members to help teach first responders and relief organizations how to communicate—with each other and with victims of natural disasters.
As the fires raged, I needed to know exactly how long I had to get the 20 horses and other animals off my property through the canyon road before the humans absolutely had to get out. Thankfully, my local sheriff was able to talk to me and give clear answers, but I know many others couldn’t get the same level of communication. In some cases, the message wasn’t clear that they had to evacuate and leave their belongings behind or pay with their lives. ASHA is perfectly positioned to make a difference in teaching clear communication techniques. –Susan Fosnot, researcher, private practitioner and adjunct professor at Chapman University, Woodland Hills, California
I came to get strategies on treating a young elementary school student with undetermined hearing loss where there’s no medical or recent audiological assessment. His parents can’t take the child for tests and the district has no educational audiologist on staff, so we really have no idea what level of hearing loss he has. He’s a great kid, and his verbal expressive language is better than we suspect his receptive language is. I’m attending several sessions to find approaches for treating this student successfully. The one I attended this morning on vocabulary development for students with hearing loss was excellent. There are several short courses that look useful, so I’m trying to decide which one to attend. –Terri Donovan, Amesbury Public Schools, Massachusetts
I live in a third-world developing country, so my biggest challenge is trying to get universal hearing screening here. People are afraid of it—they think it might hurt, and it’s expensive, and parents have to pay for it. And if their baby has hearing loss, then it’s not good because they have to go to Argentina, Brazil, or even the U.S. for treatment. So we need to get universal hearing screening here. –Martha Arbo, audiologist, Instituto de Prevision Social, Asuncion, Paraguay (main hospital in Paraguay)
I work with the preschool autism population, and I’m looking for how to handle challenging autism behaviors that get in the way of working with these kids. Also, how do we handle extremely picking eating with this population?” –Maureen McKeown, Rome City School District, New York
One big challenge is how do we get more time to educate teachers about communication issues and working with children with communication disorders? –Shery Janes, Rome City School District
I work in a hospital with a lot of pediatric dysphagia patients. The team treating these patients often struggles to determine if we should use thickener with these patients or not. I attended a session this morning on understanding all of the factors needed to make that decision. For example, just because we know the baby is aspirating, the presenter said we also need to know why, by giving a thorough clinical assessment, including details like bottle types being used, in addition to doing the swallowing tests or procedures. –Erin McQuivey, Primary Children’s Outpatient Rehabilitation at Intermountain Riverton Hospital in Riverton, Utah
I work in the charter schools and the practices required of SLPs don’t always align with best practices. They ask SLPs to do things like administer standardized testing, which isn’t appropriate. So I’m looking for help with pushing back on that. –Linda Bryant-Landry, Algiers Charger Schools Association, New Orleans
I need to be up-to-date on Medicare/Medicaid issues, so I came to find out situation with PDPM—patient-driven payment models—and what those changes mean for our partners. I need to know what the impact will be on the profession as well as clinical practices. I’m a clinical educator and have to help partners function within reimbursable settings, as well as letting them know their jobs are secure. –Amber Heape, clinical educator, Pruitt Therapy
I’m here to learn more ways to help teachers specify the issues they’re seeing with a student when they make a referral. I also need to learn more about auditory processing and social communication disorders, because I’m seeing referral rates rise in those areas. –Michele Seeber, Syracuse City Schools, New York
It’s challenging trying to get across that it’s not a best practice in early intervention to bring therapy bags into people’s homes. We’re supposed to be doing naturalistic intervention in the least restrictive environment, not bringing in toys that we then take away. Also, bringing in toys causes transfer of germs between people’s homes. –Michelle Dawson, Heartwood Speech Therapy, Columbia, South Carolina