I was so excited to get to attend the ASHA Convention this year! I heard a lot of fantastic speakers who really made me think about my therapy and my approach with the information they presented. I saw a lot of speakers but my two favorite were probably Maryellen Moreau and Michelle Garcia Winner.
Maryellen Moreau, creator of Story Grammar Marker, spoke about preventing what she calls the ‘3rd and 4th slump’. The ‘slump’ that she referred to is when students, primarily in 3rd and 4th grade, begin to struggle with the transition from narrative and expository text. She discussed presenting it in a way that students have a concrete method to retell and understand. This got me thinking about many of my students with expressive language difficulties. Some have met their goals for verb tenses and is/are, but when I ask them about their weekend ( a narrative ) it still comes out a jumbled mess. Her lecture made me think that perhaps I need to rethink my approach. Perhaps use a top-down method instead of bottom-up. I am going to explore this, so keep an eye out in a few weeks for a post.
Michelle Garcia Winner spoke with Joanne Gerenser about when to use ABA versus a Social Thinking model when working students on the spectrum. It was such a great lecture! I think what I enjoyed most about it was that Michelle and Joanne did not see things the same way which lead to some great discussion. It was helpful to hear both perspectives on how to approach a particular client based on the what they saw. It really offered some new perspective.
I LOVED the exhibit hall. I always get a thrill out of seeing what’s new and in the works.
I stopped by the Smarty Ears booth to check our their new Sentence Ninja app ( awesome by the way ) and learned that they are working on updating their apps to include more homework pages! Needless to say, I was very excited about this. Those included homework sheets have really saved me some days.
Over at Little Bee Speech I got to play around with their Articulation Station app and see their new Artic eval/screening app. It breaks things down very well andwith lots of options: you can record productions, mark what type of phonological process is being used, what type of substitution, even vowels impacting sounds. It also had a great included report.
VowelViz from Complete Speech is a new app that allows you so SEE where your students are producing their vowels. A vowel quadralateral ( did that bring back some grad school memories ) is shown and the app uses the microphone on the ipad to pick up the students voice. A yellow dot hovers over the area of the quadralateral where the student is producing the sound so you can see accuracy. This got me thinking about how much I really should be working on vowels with my students.
SuperDuper had all their goodies on display as well. I was very excited to learn that their HearBuilder programs will be available ONLINE! You can purchase a year subscription for all of them instead of buying the CD ROMS. This is great, especially when it comes to saving data and traveling.
Social Thinking and Mindwing Concepts were right across the aisle from each other so I had to take a second to decide where to go first! It very fun to check out the Social Thinking materials and thumb through the books. I really enjoyed getting see and hold all the materials from MindWing Concepts like Story Grammar Marker, Braidy the StoryBraid, and ThemeMaker.
Finally, I got meet up with some pretty darn cool people for lunch.
If you ever get a chance to go to ASHA, take it! It is much more than just a place to get some CEUs. Which reminds me, if you did get to attend ASHA make sure you log in and record your CEUs before December 2!