On the first day of last week’s highest-attended ASHA Convention in history, Leader editors asked attendees what challenges they wanted to overcome by being there. As the convention drew to a close, we asked: “What did you learn that you can put into practice when you get home?”
Based on answers we received, attendees greatly appreciated the hands-on labs running throughout the convention, as well as what they learned from exhibitors, session presenters and conversations with fellow attendees and ASHA staff.
Throughout convention, we also asked members what you want to hear on our new podcast launching next year, so please share topics or experts you want to hear in the comment section below.
Now, see what practical tips your peers are looking forward to using as soon as they get home:
I learned a lot about the FM system I’ll be using in my externship in the fall at Fairfax [Virginia] Public Schools. People at the Phonak booth showed me how to use the Rodgers hearing aid system. I also attended a great session on anxiety-related tinnitus. —Emalee Danner, AuD candidate, Gallaudet University
I really liked the hands-on lab on testing vestibular systems. I got to practice administering the vHIT [video-head impulse test] and vEMP [vestibular evoked myogenic potential] tests. I feel much more confident after being able to physically do the tests. —Noelle Allemang, AuD candidate, Gallaudet University
I went to a literacy session this morning—it was fantastic! It was about how you can tell if someone has a specific language disorder or dyslexia, or if it’s a mixed disorder. I also went to several poster sessions about animal-assisted therapy—that’s really going to be big in the future. I’m a clinic director and I’ve learned so much I can take back to our students! —Jennifer Walton, assistant clinic director, Northeastern State University, Jenks, Oklahoma
I can’t wait to apply some of the strategies I learned in a session on Jack Mezirow’s transformative learning process. As a clinical educator, what really resonated was the component of trial-and-error learning and how students need a safe space to make those errors. —Alisha Springle, clinical educator, Old Dominion University
I learned great strategies for improving Tier 2 vocabulary that I can apply to my adult clients. Also, the information about neuroplasticity and mindfulness training—like stress reduction and self-regulation—is going to be really helpful. —Ann Marie Strauss, iSpeakClearly, Inc., Smithtown, New York
I feel like ASHA is much more aware of burnout, and several presenters talked about ways to deal with it. One said to make sure and take breaks, especially eating lunch and getting enough water. Also, get support from your colleagues and co-workers. —Jessi Andricks, telepractice contractor for E-Therapy, Raleigh, North Carolina
There are some great ideas on ways to use pretend play for teens and adults with autism. Board games and costume play—like DragonCon virtual-reality games—work really well. —Sucheta Kamath, private practice, Atlanta
The hands-on lab covering articulation techniques was really useful. I learned and tried several ways to help with the middle school students I serve. There isn’t much on articulation for older students, so this was a great resource. —George Pagano, New York Department of Education
I learned about screen time and its effects on child language disorders—how to communicate with families about its effects on children’s language, that you need to limit it. It can be a tough conversation to have because people can be defensive about it. It’s personal, but it really needs to be addressed. —LeAnna Heinrich, Folsom-Cordova Unified School District, California
I’m ready to use dynamic assessment to assess social competency skills in real time (real-life observation) versus standardized testing. I learned about it in Michelle Garcia Winner’s session. You can get a lot of quality information to qualify kids for social-communication treatment and to know where you’re going to start when you get them in for treatment. —Maryann Sorensen, Dartmouth (Massachusetts) Public Schools
For my kids with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder, I—as their educational audiologist—plan to go back into their records and see if some of the tests recommended as part of the diagnosis have been done by the clinical audiologist and ENT. That will help me make sure we’re not missing anything. —Erin Donlin, Cooperative Educational Service Agency 4, Onalaska, Wisconsin
Everyone is so helpful! I’m a grad student and even though I have my clinical fellowship set, everyone is willing to give me their contact information and offer support. Even people from other institutions or companies. The networking has been wonderful and taught me so much. —Nadia Ramadhin, Long Island University, Brooklyn