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November 26, 2012

ASHA 2012 – Atlanta

Post Contributed by: Amy Svensson M.A., CCC-SLP

Once again I reflect upon my return from the national American Speech-Hearing Association (ASHA) annual convention.  This year it was held in Atlanta, GA.  I was joined by Lisa Dagg. Together, we acquired over 36 hours of continuing education hours!  We attended various courses on a wide variety of topics , but neither of us attending the same course so that we could maximize our time and gain knowledge to share with each other and the other therapists in the clinic.  Some of the courses we attended were on topics such as: stuttering therapy techniques through use of the “Speech Easy” device in tandem with traditional stuttering therapy, App selection for therapy, incorporation of picture books and literature in therapy sessions, and training parents to increase therapy success across communication modes.  We also attended numerous poster sessions that covered a variety of speech-language topics.  One Lisa found most interesting was a graduate student who developed a social group for teenagers on the autism spectrum navigating social media such as Facebook.  This stemmed a conversation about how we can implement social media into our treatment plans for our adolescent population on the autism spectrum.

Just like last year, and it seems anytime I attend the WA State Annual Convention, I ran into my old graduate professor Dr. Charles Madison of WSU.  As I blogged after last year’s convention in San Diego, he is the one who ingrained in me how important continuing education is in our field.  Although parents like to have the ‘seasoned’ therapists work with their child(ren), there is also something to be said for those SLP newbies who bring with them the latest and greatest therapy and diagnostic tools and techniques.  Those of us with many years experience (I can’t believe I am going on 13 years!) and even the newbies, it is essential we attend courses so that we can stay current and up-to-date.  It was so nice to see so many student SLPs in attendance this year as well as the seasoned SLPs.  It was even more refreshing to see and be part of the collaboration amongst each other.  Our field is all about communication and it is simply essential for success in our field of practice.

I am thrilled and excited to implement the knowledge gained into my therapy sessions with my current and future patients I treat.  I am proud to be part of such a wonderful organization and am honored to have just attended my 4th ASHA convention.  Perhaps one of these years I will present.  That is one of my professional aspirations.  Next year it is Chicago… we shall see.


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