Want immediate access to colleagues specializing in development of speech and language across the lifespan? ASHA Special Interest Group 1, Language Learning and Education is for you.
What would you say to encourage other colleagues to join SIG 1?
Any given day, our affiliates use the SIG 1 community page to discuss and share resources on clinical application, applied research, evidence-based practice, and advocacy. SIG 1 offers resources for speech-language assessment and intervention with children, adolescents, and adults across the gamut of communication disorders. We discuss policy and service delivery related to language learning and education, with a focus on collaborative practice and interprofessional education.
How has your involvement in this SIG improved your understanding of and engagement with language learning and education?
By participating in SIG 1, I have access to both online and in-person resources for improving my clinical practice and teaching. By expanding my understanding of how language is learned and used across the lifespan, I am better able to provide evidence-based interventions, question and expand my own theories of language learning, and increase the effectiveness of my language-based therapy.
What is one hot topic discussed by your SIG that you feel the rest of your profession should know about?
We have had some great discussion and sharing of resources related to children with adverse childhood experiences or developmental trauma. This seems to be emerging in our field as a need for developing our expertise. Adversity affects language and social development early development, and we need to work to facilitate communication in light of this!
What are the specific tangible benefits? The less-tangible benefits?
The main tangible benefit of being a member of SIG 1 includes access to on-the-pulse resources: the upcoming forum on developmental language disorders; SIG 1’s new journal club to discuss how to implement what we learn from Perspectives; being able to ask professional colleagues for advice, guidance, and resources. Less-tangible benefits include the opportunity to network with knowledgeable colleagues with diverse experiences. I didn’t expect to gain lifelong friendships through SIG 1, but there is something about a common passion in our field that draws people together!
What is your favorite recent Perspectives article, and why?
It is difficult to pick one favorite! I used Geralyn R. Timler’s “Using Language Sample Analysis to Assess Pragmatic Skills in School-Age Children and Adolescents” the most over the last year, as I work with children with pragmatic language and social difficulties. This article changed the way I consider measuring language use and also increased my interest in language sampling. It is a must-read for clinicians working with children who demonstrate deficits associated with social communication disorder and/or autism spectrum disorder.
Nichole Mulvey, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor in Communication Disorders and Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. She is an affiliate of SIG 1 and SIG 16, School-Based Issues. email@example.com.