some other fun ASHA knowledge

23 Nov

As I said previously, I attended 17 presentations at ASHA. Instead of hashing out each presentation, I decided I would share one thing I learned from the non-swallowing presentations I attended.

Alright, so first up – I went to a session entitled “Implementing the PECS Protocol to Teach Functional SGD Use” which was presented by Joy McGowan. Usually I try to stay more adult based when I attend seminars, workshops, conferences, BUT – my school externship supervisor said I’d be working with a caseload of nearly 90% nonverbal. SO, I thought this might be a good one to attend. And I was right! I think the main thing I took away from this presentation is know the difference between what type of reinforcement you’re using. Is it tangible or social? And how does the receiver of the reinforcement see the reinforcer? If you’re working with a child with autism, are they seeing that hug as social? Or are they receiving deep pressure input and as such, that hug may be tangible.

if you Google PECS – this is what happens

NEXT – I went to a half an hour presentation entitled Predicting the New Voice in Male-to-Female Transsexuals. It wasn’t the greatest, and it wasn’t particularly applicable. But it was cool to see that someone who has not had surgery and wasn’t receiving hormones could change their pitch significantly. I also missed the first five minutes or so, so it’s possible that I was just a little lost.

Onward! I kind of hate sports. I mean, I’ll watch them. But they make me incredibly nervous. So I like to learn about concussion and TBI as sports related injuries so that when I have children I can mold them into nerds who like to stay inside where it’s safe and read. As such I went to The Role of the SLP in Concussion Education, presented by Nancy Cohick. I think my main take away here was, you can tell teenage boys not to act like idiots but it probably won’t sink in. She has been trying to implement concussion in-servicing for teachers, coaches, parents, and students and I think her presentation seems pretty straightforward. But she hasn’t been seeing much learning going on.

I went to two presentations on NSSLHA day – one on surviving externships and the other on the PRAXIS. I can’t say I really got much out of them that I didn’t already know. But I was impressed with how smoothly NSSLHA day went and how many people attended. Nice job, NSSLHA!

Pretty much forever I’ve been considering the Ph.D. I know I won’t do it tomorrow or anything, but I imagine sooner or later I’ll likely get around to it. I attended Stories From the Frontlines: Pursuing the PhD which was presented by a handful of Ph.D. students. It was very helpful and informative, and woo-wee are those women SMART. My main takeaway from that was take a stats class pre-Ph.D.! (I was planning on it anyway but they really encouraged it. So now I’m extra encouraged.)

I went to one presentation entitled Communication Skills of Children With CP and Severe Motor Impairment presented by Emily McFadd and Katherine Hustad. Much like the PECS presentation, I went to this to get prepared for my school externship site which will be working with a population of students with severe disabilities. The presenters encouraged the audience to use the Gross Motor Function Classification System, which is used by many OT/PT/Pediatricians/Neuros etc. The main takeaway was at Level 4 and 5 of the GMFCS, the students should be using AAC as either a supplement or as their main modality for communication. They said to take what the student is already doing to communicate (most likely eye gaze, facial expression, vocalizing, crying, or body movement) and find AAC which will suit them now – but consider the future. And don’t ever give up on speech.

I then attended a presentation regarding Traumatic Brain Injury: School and Outpatient Transition by Renee Lavelle and Lindsay Wilson. This presentation was excellent and provided a lot of ideas for TBI treatment in the schools. I think the best thing I got from this presentation was that we really need to be advocates for kids with TBI in the schools. They LOOK fine, so teachers expect a lot of them, and it may be hard to get them services. We really need to make sure we can justify services by looking at the areas of Sensory, Impulsivity, Attention, Executive Function, Memory, Language, and Pragmatics. In-servicing is a big deal for making sure these kids get what they need.

If I went to a presentation that I was a little disappointed in, it was Teaching to the Test – Linguistic Demands of State Assessments. The presentation overall was just fine, but the content was lacking. I thought it was going to be more of an advocacy type of presentation. How can we fight NCLB and make sure that students with disabilities aren’t taking the same test as students who don’t have disabilities? I think what it actually was, was a passive attack on the state assessment. Instead of looking at how we can deal with the administrative issues, it was how can we teach our students to deal with the test? We spent WAY too much time looking at examples of linguistic difficulty on the tests(Listen guys, we’re SLPs, we can identify a derivational morpheme. And if we can’t, we only need one example, not seven.) I think we all know that linguistic demands of state assessments are ridiculous, and that the requirements of NCLB are absolutely absurd. We shouldn’t lay down and take it, and force our students to try to reach the level of the test. It just seems wrong to take a child who has language/literacy issues and instead of focusing on the functional issues they’re having, we’re focusing on how to teach them what is on the test – which may be beyond what their baseline issues are. I’m sure that this is a reasonable way to deal with NCLB at the present- it just wasn’t was I was expecting. BLAH.

I bet this bill would say “BLAH” too

And that is it. I went to one other presentation, but that is going to be the focus of my next ASHAsphere post! So you’ll just have to wait it out.

NP: Cat Power – Lived in Bars


2 Responses to “some other fun ASHA knowledge”

  1. Lauren December 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Did the presenters at “Communication Skills of Children With CP and Severe Motor Impairment” mention the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS)?

    The Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) provides a valid and reliable classification of communication performance and activity limitations that can be used for research and clinical purposes. The CFCS consists of 5 descriptive levels for everyday communication performance. It is analogous, and complementary to the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS-ER) and the Manual Ability Classification System (MACS).

    You can find out more about the CFCS & download a copy here:

    • weathersby December 7, 2011 at 9:54 am #

      You know, I don’t remember if they did or not and I don’t have my notes on me, but thanks so much for sharing!

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