Online Continuing Education Conference

Session Abstracts


Self-Regulation in Children: Keeping the Body, Mind and Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD and Sensory Challenges

Presenter: Teresa Garland, MOT, OTR/L

Abstract: In this course you will learn about self-regulation as it applies to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), sensory challenges and ADHD. We will discuss the underlying physical, cognitive, emotional and social aspects of self-regulation in children and touch on latest theories by leading experts. The course is devoted to evidence-based interventions. Included topics for ASD are: growing a child’s emotional skills; schedules and stories with and without apps; how to make use of video and video-modelling as interventions; transitioning from one environment to another; and working with restrictive and repetitive behaviors. Additional techniques that work with both ASD and ADHD are self-management, and timing therapy. Interventions for children with ADHD include motivation techniques, organization strategies, and varieties of attention training with a brief look at mindfulness. Sensory challenges affect most children with ASD, a large percentage of children with ADHD and 5-10% of typical children. In this section of the course, we briefly define sensory modulation and then follow that with a wide variety of interventions for school, clinic and home including: fidgets; desensitization techniques; masking techniques; teaching self-control; and the importance of heavy work, deep pressure, exercise and play. All three groups benefit from exercise at home and in the classroom, and we’ll discuss the types of programs that work.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Provide a self-regulation intervention for a child with autism that allows him/her to focus on the task at hand.  2. Structure therapy for a child with ADHD such that his/her symptoms do not interfere with your session.  3. Identify the types of interventions that can help a child in the midst of a sensory challenge.



Essential Oils for Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, or Vertigo

Presenter:  Robert DiSogra, AuD, FAAA, NJ Licensed Audiologist

Audiologists who manage patients with hearing loss, tinnitus and/or vertigo should be aware that there is a growing market for essential oils (EOs). Audiologists need to learn more about EOs so they can counsel their patients who are thinking about using an EO for their auditory/vestibular complaint(s). EOs, like dietary supplements, are loosely regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. This program examines the use of EOs for auditory/vestibular complaints.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Understand the Role that the Food and Drug Administration has in regulating essential oils.  2.  Understand the potential risks of using an essential oil when there is no evidence-based research to support the manufacturer’s claims.  3.  Use effective counseling techniques for patients interested in using an EO for their auditory/vestibular complaint(s).


Diabetes and Audiological Management of Oral and Injectable Drugs

Presenter: Robert DiSogra, AuD, FAAA, NJ Licensed Audiologist

As of 9/13/19 there were 75 prescription medications (including oral and injectable) for patients with diabetes that have auditory or vestibular side effects. Not knowing which medications have these side effects could lead to inappropriate recommendations thus leading to management errors. This program will review the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in adults and who is considered “at risk.” Next, there will be a review of the diabetes medications that could cause any one or all of these side effects. The program continues with a discussion about the importance of audiometric testing for Type II diabetes patients, as well as for patients who might be “at risk” for diabetes. Finally, because the internet is a major source of reliable and oftentimes questionable drug information, several preferred websites will be suggested to obtain up-to-date drug information (including side effects). Suggestions for improved communication strategies between the referring physician, the patient, and their pharmacist are given at the end of the program.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Recognize why and how diabetes affects the auditory system. 2. Plan a hearing screening and monitoring program for adult diabetic patients.  3. Learn effective management strategies for the diabetic patient, their family as well as with allied health professionals.


Evidence of Hearing Loss When There Is No Hearing Loss

Presenter:  Robert Fifer, Ph.D.

From a clinical perspective, auditory thresholds recorded between 0 dB and 20 dB should not have associated listening difficulties resembling someone with hearing loss. But this observation is becoming more common. This presentation will discuss evidence behind this phenomenon and clinical experience of working with these patients.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Discuss both the confirmed and presumed causes of auditory disorders with normal hearing sensitivity.  2. Identify techniques that may provide listening assistance.  3. Discuss both the peripheral and central contributors to "normal threshold hearing losses".


A Tour of the Brain - It's All Connected!

Presenter:  Robert Fifer, Ph.D.

There is a saying in neuroscience: Every part of the brain is connected to every other part of the brain. As audiologists, we focus on the primary auditory system, and that is very appropriate. But it is important to understand the role that non-primary auditory areas play in auditory communication and interaction with the world around us.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Discuss the nuances of the primary ascending auditory system.  2. Discuss the role of the limbic system, hippocampus and amygdala in communication.  3. Identify gender differences in auditory and emotional analysis and linguistic processing.


Professional Ethics: A Primer for the Practicing Clinician

Presenter:  Melanie Hudson, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA, F-NAP

Practicing SLPs and AUDs can benefit from increased awareness of issues pertaining to ethical conduct. An overview of sections of the revised (2016) ASHA Code of Ethics pertaining to supervision will be followed by a discussion of recurring themes in ethical issues confronting clinicians in a variety of settings. Participants will also discuss how to solve ethical dilemmas.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Increase awareness of a professional code of ethics.  2. Discuss recurring themes in ethical issues pertaining to clinical practice.  3. Identify supportive resources when facing ethical dilemmas.


Clinical Supervision: Preparing Students for Independence

Presenter:   Melanie Hudson, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA, F-NAP

Clinical educators recognize the importance of critical thinking skills that lead to independent practice. The stages of skill acquisition that provide the foundation for the development of critical thinking skills will be discussed. The research, evidence and key elements that support reflective practice and self-assessment will be highlighted throughout the presentation. Participants will use ASHA’s 2016 self-assessment tool to rate their own competencies as supervisors and develop individualized goals for personal growth in supervision.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify stages of skill acquisition in the development of clinical skills and knowledge.  2. Discuss evidence-supported strategies promoting independence through self-assessment and critical reflection.  3. Complete a self-assessment tool for development of competencies in supervision.


Advocacy for the Professions: Strategies for Making the ASHA 2020 Public Policy Agenda an Effective Reality

Presenter: Charles E. Bishop, AuD, PhD, CCC-A

The healthcare landscape is ever-changing with the advent of new technologies and innovations, and with changes in third-party payer systems. For many decades, we have seen other allied health professions- from Physician Assistants, Optometry, to Physical Therapy and Dentistry- evolve in their standing with third party payers, and with their status with the centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, we have not seen this sort of progress in the professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. This is despite the fact that our professions continue to grow and innovate. Now, more than ever before, we need to become experts in advocacy for our professions. With a shared vision of making effective communication a human right, we can move the needle on recognition for what we do and for what we are worth on both state and federal levels. This presentation will focus on strategies for advocacy for our professions and it will also focus on current initiatives.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify strategies for effective state level advocacy.  2. Identify strategies for effective federal level advocacy.  3. Learn the issues that are currently part of the current ASHA Public Policy Agenda.


Amplification Express: A SLP's Ride through Troubleshooting

Amy Lebert, M.S., CCC-SLP and Kimberly Ward, AuD, CCC-A, CH-AP

Research over the years has shown that Speech-Language Pathologists could benefit from education on amplification devices, which is critical in planning an effective treatment model for all clients. This session is not intended to be an in-depth review, rather a quick update for those working with individuals who utilize amplification.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Participants will be able to troubleshoot basic parts of a cochlear implant.  2. Participants will be able to complete basic hearing aid troubleshooting.  3. Participants will be able to complete basic troubleshooting on major Bone Anchored Hearing Solutions devices.


SLP Evaluation: Understanding the Professional Growth System

Presenter:  Teresa Laney, M.S., CCC-SLP

The Professional Growth System (PGS) rubric for Speech-Language Pathologists is specially designed to give administrators a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a school-based SLP. This session will give a clear explanation of the rating scale and components of the PGS to ensure that SLPs are fairly rated based the services they provide to students.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Understand the purpose of the Professional Growth System.  2. Understand the roles and responsibilities of the school-based clinician.  3. Understand the rating scale of the Professional Growth System.


The Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) - Navigating from Volume to Value in the SNF Setting

Presenter:  Victoria Cruce, M.S., CCC-SLP

Skilled Nursing Facilities experienced the first major Medicare payment reform since 1998 on October 1, 2019. What does this mean for the SNF SLP? This course will provide historical context, educate the clinician on the intricacies of the Patient Driven Payment Model, define what changes and what does not change, and provide best practice benchmarks in light of this new model.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Define PDPM and discuss why payment reform was enacted effective 10/1/19.      2. Discuss what does and what does not change for Medicare A SNF beneficiaries under the new system.  3. Define best practices for Medicare A patients moving forward for clinicians in the SNF setting.


Pieces of the Pediatric Puzzle: Decoding Experiences from Womb to Tomb

Presenters:  Rachel Tyrone, M.S., CCC-SLP and Brooklyn Sparnecht, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologists frequently treat children who present with behavioral difficulties which often impact our ability to implement effective treatment. However, there are a multitude of factors that can predispose a child to behaviors that appear to be consistent with diagnoses that may not be accurate. These factors can be evident in early life and should be considered when treating a patient holistically. Clinicians should investigate into their patient’s past and current experiences as these may provide vital information that could be hindering treatment outcomes. This presentation will provide listeners with an overview of the Social Determinants of Health (SDH) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and explain how they may contribute to poor health outcomes. The session will conclude with a case study that will tie in the principles discussed throughout the lecture.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. To identify Social Determinants of Health (SDH).  2. To identify Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  3. How to incorporate awareness of the Social Determinants of Health and Adverse Childhood Experiences into your practice.


Where there is no SLP: Ethical Access

Presenter:  Marla Perkins, PhD, CCC-SLP

Based on linguistic fieldwork among the Hobongan, I consider the ethical implications/complications of providing information about SLP care to people without access to SLP services. The Hobongan live a minimum of 2.5 hours of travel from a hospital, which does not have an SLP. This situation leaves the Hobongan to figure out how best to compensate for, for example, swallowing difficulties following adverse neurological events. For just-beyond-first-aid, there is a book by Werner et al.: Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook. I argue that there should be an SLP-care field guide, and I suggest ways of working with the ASHA code of ethics, such as providing competent care and gaining informed consent among people who speak languages that remain primarily oral.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Think clearly about ethical complications in providing access to underserved populations.  2. Explain why and how SLP services can be encouraged among minority populations.  3. Advocate for SLP services among minority populations

Dysphagia Education for Patients in the Acute Setting: Some Tips and Tricks

Presenter: Marla Perkins, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Patients in the acute setting face challenges that can be almost unimaginable outside the acute setting: challenges to personhood and autonomy (personal space is effectively nonexistent, for example), challenges to orientation and knowledge (what makes sense elsewhere often does not apply in acute settings), challenges to inherent and preferred limits on learning (no one wants to become an expert on managing one’s responses to cancer treatment), challenges to family structure (the main caregiver in the family now requires care), and challenges to physical limits and preferences (invasive procedures), among others. Communicating clearly and effectively is part of the SLP’s role, but how can we work with, through, and around these challenges to provide essential information in ways that contribute as little as possible to the challenges people face in the acute setting? In this presentation, I explore three main domains about which SLPs need to communicate (diagnostics, treatments, follow-up) and four main aspects of patients’ lives that SLPs should consider when tailoring communication to a person’s needs (culture, medical condition, family/caregiver availability, and intellectual status). Participants in this session will gain a more systematic approach to communicating with patients, allowing SLPs to make more deliberate decisions about how best to educate patients in the acute setting.

Expected Learner Outcomes:1. Participants in this session will gain a more systematic approach to communicating with patients in the acute-care setting. 2. Participants in this session will demonstrate the ability to make deliberate decisions about how best to communicate with patients. 3. Participants in this session will be able to explain the factors on which their communication decisions are made. 4. Participants will apply their skills in a couple of extended hypothetical examples.


Intercultural Considerations in Dysphagia Management: A Case Study from the Hobongan Language and Culture

Presenter: Marla Perkins, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

SLPs are familiar with the importance of intercultural considerations when working with speech and language, but does culture affect swallowing and approaches to addressing dysphagia? It can. Based on linguistic fieldwork and SLP observations made among the Hobongan, a minority group living in West Kalimantan, Borneo, I examine the ways in which people’s culture-specific conceptualizations of anatomy, physiology, and disease or dysfunction, can affect people’s willingness to seek help, understanding of interventions, and willingness to comply with recommended treatments. Participants in this session will demonstrate more flexible understanding of cultural contributions to dysphagia management and apply that understanding in a couple of extended hypothetical examples of working interculturally toward effective dysphagia management.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Participants in this session will demonstrate more flexible understanding of cultural contributions to dysphagia management. 2. Participants in this session will apply their understanding in a couple of hypothetical examples of working interculturally in dysphagia management. 3. Participants in this session will demonstrate uses of combinations of intercultural in dysphagia management planning.


Setting Up a Successful School Year for Students with Hearing Loss

Presenters:  Courtney Turner, Au.D., CCC-A, and Susanna McDonald, M.S., LSLS

We will discuss the scope and responsibilities of the inter-professional team serving students with hearing loss; review key concepts about speech acoustics and the impact of hearing loss on access to verbal instruction; provide hands-on demonstrations with current hearing technology; and discuss strategies to enhance listening and spoken language development. We will also review recent updates to the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) guidelines for students with hearing loss.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Describe the impact of hearing loss on access to verbal instruction.  2. Identify current technology available to maximize audibility for children with hearing loss.  3. Implement strategies to support listening and spoken language development in children with hearing loss.


AAC Therapy in the Schools: Pull Out and Push In Group and Individual Therapy

Presenters:  Kym Heine M.S., CCC-SLP and Karen West, M.S., CCC-SLP

This presentation will discuss strategies implemented to teach the spontaneous use of a speech generating device within the classroom and speech therapy settings. Participants will view videotapes of children participating in both group activities and individual speech therapy sessions and the classroom Suggestions for facilitating carryover across activities and environments, as well as strategies used to train assistants and teachers how to best elicit spontaneous communication will be provided.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify 3 new strategies for teaching core vocabulary.  2. Identify 3 activities to use in group settings to teach various pragmatic functions.  3. Identify 3 appropriate team goals designed to improve the communication partner’s modeling skills.


Oral Language, Speech and Reading: Orthography is Key

Presenters:  Alison Webster, MS, CCC-SLP, CALT, CERI-SLDS and Missy Schraeder, PhD, CCC-SLP, CALT-QI

Students with speech and language disorders are at much greater risk for reading, spelling, and written expression difficulties than their peers with typical speech and language development. The use of phonetic, multisensory structured language therapy that has strong orthographic support and specific techniques for increasing memory skills during speech-language therapy facilitates the development of skills in speech, language, and literacy.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify two skills needed for efficient reading.  2. List two ways the SLP can incorporate reading instruction into language therapy.  3.  Discuss two strategies to improve memory.


Practical Guidelines for School Hearing Screenings

Presenter:  Courtney Turner, Au.D., CCC-A

If you are involved in your school district’s hearing screening program, you do not want to miss this session. We will review ASHA’s recommendations for school hearing screening protocols and MDE guidelines, as well strategies for children who are unable to participate in conventional pure tone hearing screenings. Typical referral/identification rates and risk factors for childhood hearing loss will be discussed.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Describe ASHA recommendations for school-age hearing screening programs.  2. Identify risk factors for childhood hearing loss.  3. Apply appropriate referral procedures for children at risk for hearing difficulty.


Lessons With Lance

Presenters:  Kym Heine M.S. CCC-SLP and Lance McLemore B.A.

Lance McLemore is a young adult on the ASD who uses an Accent 1000 with LAMP Words for Life as his primary mode of communication. During this presentation Lance will share his insights on the importance of using AAC to form relationships versus the use for academics. Lance will explain the support and opportunities he received once he started using the Accent 1000 and how for the first time in his life, he was able to begin establishing the relationships he so desperately desired. The session will conclude with a question and answer time with Lance.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Describe one or more problems an AAC user might have when trying to form relationships.  2. Identify one or more ways to support an AAC user’s social interaction skills.  3. Identify strategies for creating opportunities that assist an AAC user to break out of his state of isolation.


Create, Innovate, and Collaborate: Burning Bright instead of Burning Out

Presenter:  Melanie Reeves Clyatt, M.S. CCC-SLP

As a helping profession, we are called upon to give deeply of ourselves. This is not the type of profession that you can be casually involved in; this is an all in profession. We are called upon to teach skills in woefully deficit areas, counsel, entertain, create, give, love, and care for caseloads that are too big while still filling in all of the paperwork! So, how can you still do this profession and love it and serve your students year after year? How do we attract and retain the best therapists? I would like to identify the problems that lead to burn out in our field and explore the ways that we can combat burnout, looking at the science of burnout and the solutions offered as well as looking at the practical things that veteran teachers and therapists are doing to keep them coming back year after year with enthusiasm and energy.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify what causes burnout.  2. Identify the practical ways that we can be innovative, creative, and collaborative from the development of materials, to the paperwork, and to the ways we deliver services in order to combat burnout.


Dare to Lead: From Imagination to Inspiration

Presenter:  Josie Sevier Alston, M.A., CCC-SLP and Rinki Varindani Desai, M.S.,CCC-SLP

In speech-language pathology and audiology, we are trained to be effective clinicians, but not always taught how to be effective leaders. This session will focus on key leadership skill-building strategies and experiences. Participants will learn to develop their leadership potential, maximize influence, mentor and inspire others, and thrive as resilient leaders in a changing healthcare or educational environment.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Participants will be able to describe at least four key characteristics of effective leaders.  2. Participants will be able to list three strategies to influence others.  3. Participants will be able to identify the importance of using SMART goals and discuss their specifics.


Improving the Quality of Audiological Practice

Presenter:  Stacy Callender, SCSP

This session focuses on the best practices and solutions outlined in the action kit for Audiologists developed by the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ). Practices related to pre-appointment activities, appointment procedures, reporting results, and follow-up after diagnosis will be reviewed.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify quality practices to be implemented prior to and during audiological appointment.  2. Identify quality practices for reporting results and following up after diagnosis.  3. Evaluate current practices and select practices in need of implementation to improve quality service delivery.


Joint Committee on Infant Hearing 2019 Position Statement: Basic Principles, Important Updates, and How to Implement in Your Practice

Presenters:  Lara Monico, MCD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT and Stacy Callender, SCSP

The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) is comprised of hearing health professionals whose mission is to address issues that are important to the early identification, intervention, and follow-up care of infants and young children with hearing loss. In October 2019, the JCIH published their Year 2019 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs, which builds on its prior 2007 JCIH Guidelines and 2013 Supplement on Early Intervention and 2007 JCIH Guidelines. The 2019 Position Statement provides an update of best practices based on literature reviews and expert opinions on screening and identification as well as audiological, medical, and educational management of infants and young children and their families. The JCIH Guidelines are the foundation of state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs and provide invaluable recommendations and resources to professionals who serve deaf or hard of hearing children and their families. During this session, participants will receive an overview of the Position Statement's basic principles and updates and participate in a discussion of the implications of the new position statement for practice in Mississippi.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify the 1-3-6 benchmarks and the importance of meeting each benchmark in a timely fashion.  2. Understand the roles of key hearing health professionals in the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention system.  3. Implement JCIH recommendations in your diagnostic and/or intervention practice.


When and How to Implement AAC

Presenters:  Janie Cirlot-New, M.S., CCC-SLP and Kym Heine, M.S., CCC-SLP

Typically AAC is viewed as a last resort method of treatment for individuals who are non speaking. Research supports the use of AAC strategies to develop both receptive and expressive language skill as early as 12 months of age. For older individuals, such as young adults who have never been exposed to AAC intervention the introduction of a speech generating device should be strongly considered. This presentation will include case studies of individuals of all ages and diagnoses who use speech generating devices as their primary mode of communication. Participants will view video tapes and engage in discussions regarding the effectiveness of various implementation strategies.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify individuals of all ages who would benefit from AAC intervention.             2. Describe 3 implementation strategies to be used with emergent communicators.  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of intervention strategies.


Impact of Chemotherapy & Radiotherapy on Speech & Swallowing

Presenter:  Caroline Murray, M.S., CCC-SLP

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are very common treatment modalities used for management of head and neck cancers. With these treatment methods, patients experience a multitude of side-effects over the course of their treatment and long after treatment has ended. These side effects directly impact patient’s speech and swallow functions. It is very important for speech-language pathologists working in the medical field to be aware of and understand the impact these treatment methods have on patients. This lecture will involve discussion of common side effects resulting from chemotherapy treatment, discuss radiotherapy side effects and their relation to the speech and swallowing mechanisms, and review key points to help treating speech-language pathologists better care for their patients throughout the course of treatments and thereafter.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify and explain 3 common side effects caused by chemotherapy treatment.    2. Identify and explain 3 common side effects caused by radiotherapy treatment.  3. Describe at least 3 strategies that will assist patients with their swallow function during/after treatment.


Supervision of Generation Z

Presenters:  Amy Livingston, M.S., CCC-SLP and Kimberly Ward, AuD, CCC-A, CH-AP

This presentation will prepare those providing supervision in clinical practicums. This presentation is good for anyone who will be providing supervision or is currently providing supervision for those that are currently or will soon be in graduate school. Presenters give insight into the current generation of students who are in graduate school or who are applying soon. Learning styles, personality types and evidence based supervisory techniques will be explored.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Participants will be able to list 5 characteristics of Generation Z.  2. Participants will describe and define evidence based supervisory strategies.  3. Participants will create a Z-Print of learning that will carry over to daily supervisory activities.


Oromyofunctional Disorders - the Evolution of Dysfunction and Implications for Treatment

Presenter:  Jenna Nassar, M.S, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

This presentation will take a deeper look into the ever evolving topic of oromyofunctional disorders including tethered oral tissues and their impact on swallow function and feeding development. This area has grown significantly over the past few years. We will navigate through the development of the orofacial complex, feeding and speech development and what is required of the anatomy at each stage. We will discuss muscular development and those issues that negatively affect the development creating an OMD. We will discuss current research and highlight diagnostics as well as treatment options. Case studies will be reviewed for more practical application.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Define oromyofunctional disorders in relation to the orofacial complex.  2. Connect common etiologies that are impacting muscle development.  3.  Define orofacial complex.


Tongue Tie

Presenter:  Catherine Sledge, D.M.D.

Recognizing the signs of tongue and lip ties is an essential skill for all medical professionals responsible for treating patients for language and feeding difficulties. Understand ties and their implications will improve every practitioner’s abilities and skill set.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify the various classifications of tongue and lip tie.  2. Grasp the value of a team approach to treating ties.  3. Understand potential implications of untreated tongue and lip ties.


Importance of Multidisciplinary Approach in Speech-Language Pathology

Presenters:  Alyssa Nuzzo, M.S., CCC-SLP and Whitney Wallace, M.S., CCC-SLP

Discuss the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in the field of speech-language pathology.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Define multidisciplinary approach.  2. Understand the benefits of working with other disciplines.  3. Know when to refer a patient to a specialist.


Learning How to Navigate Feeding the Medically Complex Child- Diagnostics and Treatment

Presenters:  Jenna Nassar, M.S, CCC-SLP, BCS-S and Rachel Tyrone, M.S., CCC-SLP

Feeding disorders are commonly observed in children with prematurity, FTT, Autism, and genetic syndromes. In children with disabilities, 40 to 80% of this population have some form of feeding difficulties. This presentation will enhance the understanding of factors that may influence the feeding development in medically complex children. We will delve into cardiac and aerodigestive factors that contribute to feeding issues as well as behavioral aspects of feeding. We will cover typical development from utero to age three. We will discuss a myriad of diagnostics as well as treatment options for progression of oral feeding skills and behavioral management.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify common diagnoses which often result in feeding disorders.  2. Identify developmental milestones related to feeding from utero to age three.  3. Identify common behavioral management techniques to utilize in feeding therapy.


Brain and Body Health, is there a correlation between cognition, physical health and hearing loss?

Presenter:  Michele Hurley, Au.D.

The topic of cognition, brain and physical fitness are hot topics in the news. Growing evidence suggests that hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline as well as many other health issues, often seen in the aging population. This session will examine the correlation between hearing loss, and many common health conditions and discuss the role that better hearing can play in possibly prolonging the progression of cognitive decline. We will also review tools available to enhance the communication experience for the aging population dealing with many of these comorbid conditions.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify health conditions co-morbid ring loss in the aging population.  2. Describe methods to evaluate and treat the hearing impaired individual with cognitive issues.  3. Identify tools available to enhance communication for the hearing impaired with cognitive impairment.


Trending Issues in the States

Presenter: Tim Boyd, MPH

An update from ASHA on policy topics affecting audiologists and speech-language pathologists across the United States.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Identify public policy issues affecting their profession.  2. Understand the interaction of state and federal policy on the practice of audiology and speech-language pathology.  3. Identify Mississippi state policies affecting their profession.


Telehealth, let's get started!

Presenter: Ying Hao, Ph.D.

Barriers like the geographical distance between specialists and patients restrict services delivered to patients with speech and language impairment. Telehealth takes advantage of computer and Internet-based technologies, and potentially overcome the barriers. Though there has been an increasing interest in telehealth, most SLPs have limited knowledge, and concerns exist potentially preventing the implementation of telehealth. In this presentation, I will give an introduction to telehealth, including its definition, general ways telehealth is delivered, and policies about reimbursement. Next, I will present a comparison study of teletherapy and in-person therapy that I had conducted to show the efficacy of telehealth. The last section will be a live video conference for a mock teletherapy session.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.The audience will learn basic concepts about telehealth 2.The audience will learn the initial efficacy of telehealth 3.The audience will have an experience of a mock teletherapy session


Fees at your Fingertips

Presenters: Katherine (KK) Harrington, MS, CCC-SLP and Jessica May, MA, CCC-SLP

Dysphagia is associated with aspiration, pneumonia and malnutrition. It is vastly affecting patients and residents in a variety of settings including SNFs, hospitals, swing beds, etc. Early detection of dysphagia is imperative. A SLP’s tool of a bedside swallow evaluation is not enough to accurately diagnose the swallowing issue. There have been inconsistencies in the protocols and studies show that SLPs are about 60% effective when diagnosing aspiration at bedside. The bedside swallow exam is actually used to be a screen in order to determine the patients at risk for aspiration and to follow-up with an instrumental assessment of swallow function. There are two types of instrumentation assessment in the SLP field which include the MBSS (Modified Barium Swallow Study) and the FEES (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallow). Historically, the MBSS has been considered the “gold standard” but that is no longer the case. FEES has been shown to be just as effective. With the rural nature of Mississippi, there is a growing concern for cost and accessibility to instrumentation. FEES is becoming the answer to the problem we are facing in getting accurate diagnosis for the patient we serve.  In order to provide the best care, we must have an accurate diagnosis of the problem. A SLP’s job is to treat the underlying pathophysiology of the swallowing mechanism with evidence-based treatments and strategies. It is pretty difficult if we cannot see what we are treating!

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.To educate the SLP community on how dysphagia is affecting patients 2.To increase awareness of inconsistencies in BSE 3.To offer evidence-based research of how both MBSS and FEES are “gold standards” in regards to swallow examination 4.To demonstrate how FEES can be at our disposal as SLPs in a variety of settings and how to implement this practice


Jump-start Your Knowledge: Dysphagia Education and Training Tools for Students and Clinicians in the Digital Age

Presenter: Rinki Varindani Desai, M.S.,CCC-SLP

The role of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in dysphagia management has changed considerably in the past decade. Despite being regarded as "swallowing experts", evidence suggests that SLPs question their knowledge base and competence in swallowing and swallowing disorders. This session will provide students, clinicians, instructors and supervisors with revolutionary learning tools and evidence-based digital solutions to help jump-start their knowledge in the area of dysphagia management.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify inefficiencies in traditional SLP training in normal and disordered swallowing 2. Describe current SLP practice patterns related to adult dysphagia management 3. Explore proposed solutions for improving dysphagia education and training



 Poster Sessions

Investigating the Connection between Creativity and Executive Function in School-aged Children

Presenters:  Katherine Crenshaw, Senior Undergraduate at the University of Mississippi, and Stephanie Miller, Associate Professor and Director of Experimental Psychology at the University of Mississippi

Executive function (EF) is a problem-solving macroconstruct involving attention, working memory, and inhibition (e.g., Miyake & Friedman, 2012). Despite EF’s link to traditional academic success (e.g., math and reading abilities, Blair & Razza, 2007), few studies have looked at EF’s link to creativity (i.e., balancing contradicting processes of idea generation and evaluation), a correlate of academic achievement (Ai, 2010). Although Zabelina and Robinson (2010) suggest EF components may play a role in creativity, there is little research on the connection between creativity and EF in children. The purpose of this study is to examine whether creativity and EF positively correlate and if a creative manipulation within an EF task influences EF performance. Participants completed the Alternative Uses task (Vartanian, 2009) where they generated as many novel ideas for common objects as they could (i.e., brick, chair, shoe), the Backward Digit Span (i.e., a working memory measure asking children to repeat a list of numbers backward), delay of gratification (i.e., an inhibition measure asking if individuals would like a small reward immediately or a larger delayed reward), and Dimensional Change Card Sort (i.e., DCCS, a cognitive flexibility task involving sorting card to target cards on alternating rules-- like sorting by shape and then color). The DCCS had three experimental conditions that varied the type of activity performed for 5 minutes before the task. The book control condition involved participants listening to a story. The free color condition involved free coloring with crayons to examine whether an unstructured creative task influenced DCCS performance. Finally, the color card condition involved participants making their own target cards to use for the DCCS to examine whether a structured creative task influenced EF scores. We hypothesized that 1) higher creativity correlates with higher EF, and 2) a creative manipulation within the task influences EF scores. The results of this study will add to the limited evidence base of art therapy in speech language pathology practices.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Define executive function and its contribution to speech and language.  2. Learn about tasks of executive function and creativity.  3. Identify the possible benefits of art therapy for clients.


Educational Audiology Services Delivered in a Hybrid Approach of Telehealth and Onsite Services

Presenters:  Rebecca Lowe, AuD, CCC-A;  Ying Hao, PhD;  Sally Autry, Senior at University of Mississippi;   Haley Hack, Senior at University of Mississippi;  Kingsley Warrington, Senior at University of Mississippi

Educational audiology plays a vital role in the academic success of children with hearing loss. In Mississippi, educational audiology provision is severely lacking. To meet the number of growing healthcare demands, audiologists have turned to telehealth, which has recently supported methods in providing audiology services to patients in remote locations (Steuerwald et al., 2018, Govender & Mars, 2017, Angley et al., 2017). This pilot study establishes an educational audiology model in which both telepractice and direct educational audiology service provision are delivered to one school district within the state. The researchers formulated the question: will a combined telehealth and on-site hybrid model be effective in delivering appropriate education audiology services to students with hearing loss in a Mississippi public school system. Researchers implemented the hybrid model in a Mississippi public school and results are presented in this session.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. Participants will learn those educational audiology services that are delivered most effectively onsite.  2. Participants will learn which educational audiology services are delivered effectively remotely.  3. Participants will gain knowledge of the teacher satisfaction of a hybrid model of educational audiology service delivery in the public school.


Learning Styles of Undergraduate Students in Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Presenters:  Kimberly Ward, AuD, CCC-A, CH-AP and Callahan Shirk, Graduate Student Doctor of Audiology

Preferred learning styles have been proven to be good bases for developing and enhancing teaching techniques. However, no research has been conducted on undergraduates in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, until now. This study examines these learning style preferences of CSD undergraduates and also suggests potential teaching techniques to facilitate learning and engagement in our professions.

Expected Learner Outcomes:  1. The attendees will be able to identify at least 4 types of learning styles.  2. The attendee will be able to identify at least 2 learning styles which are most prominent in the undergraduates in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  3. The attendee will be able to identify at least two teaching strategies to use with undergraduates in Communicative Sciences and Disorders.