Annual Continuing Education Conference

Session Abstracts

2/28/19 version


Connections between speech sound production and literacy: Assessment and Treatment Implications

Presenter: Kelly Farquharson

This course will discuss the role of phonological representations as they relate to the development of both speech sound production and literacy skills. In particular, this course will focus on improving clinicians’ ability to identify risk factors for literacy disorders in children who have speech sound production difficulties. Discussion will include appropriate assessment tools to consider and how to incorporate orthography into speech sound treatment. The benefit of this overall course is to help clinicians see the overlap between speech sound production and literacy and to identify appropriate roles for assessment and treatment.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Describe the overlap between speech sound production skills and literacy. 2. Explain the comorbidity between speech sound disorders and reading impairments. 3. Discuss the risk factors and outcomes for children with persistent or remediated speech sound disorders as well as those with dyslexia.


UnitedHealthcare’s Prior Authorization Review Process and Documentation Requirements for Mississippi Medicaid and CHIP members

Presenters: Shannon Butkus, Julie Stover

This session will review UnitedHealthcare’s prior authorization process for speech therapy services for Mississippi CAN and CHIP members including our clinical coverage criteria. The session will explain the minimum documentation requirements outlined in the Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) Administrative Code Title 23 – “Medicaid Part 213 Therapy Services”. The session will also explore ways to enhance the quality of your documentation to support the need for medically necessary services. Within healthcare settings, documentation must explain the individual’s functional limitations and reflect the need for skilled services. In this session, the presenters will discuss key aspects of the patient report and plan of care including functional goal writing. We will also provide specific examples of documentation that reflect the need for skilled vs. unskilled care.

Expected Learner Outcomes: Following this session, attendees will be able to: Outcome 1: explain UnitedHealthcare's prior authorization process for speech therapy Outcome 2: write functional SMART goals Outcome 3: document to support the need for medically necessary therapy

Main Conference


Ethics & Advocacy

Presenter: Barbara Jacobson

ASHA's Code of Ethics contains the guiding principles for professional practice and conduct for audiologists and speech-language pathologists. In this presentation, the Code of Ethics will be reviewed, ethical scenarios relevant to the professions will be described, and resources for determining a course of action when ethical questions are identified will be discussed. In addition, ASHA's Public Policy Agenda will be reviewed.

Identify one education priority and one health care priority in the Public Policy Agenda

Outcome 2: Identify ethical practice as outlined in the Code of Ethics

Outcome 3: Describe resources for resolving ethical issues


Medical Speech-Language Pathology - Best Practices
Presenter: Barbara Jacobson

Medical speech-language pathology is an approach to evaluating and treating communication and swallowing disorders with a set of specific clinical processes and expected outcomes. In this session, the scope of medical speech-language pathology will be discussed. The knowledge and skills necessary for specialization in this area will be described along with available resources. Finally, strategies for student, clinical fellow, and post-CCC training in medical speech-language pathology will be reviewed.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Explain the scope of medical speech-language pathology. 2. Describe resources for effective practice. 3. Identify key components for training in medical speech-language pathology

Everyday Advocacy – Lighting the way for the Professions
Presenter: Carol Fleming

This presentation will highlight opportunities and strategies audiologists and SLPs can use in advocating for their clients, professions, and colleagues. The question, “Why is Advocacy important to me?” will be answered. The focus will on integrating advocacy in daily life activities; ASHA’s Public Policy Agenda; and strategies to advocate. Examples/scenarios showcasing the adoption and enhancement of advocacy strategies will be presented to achieve change at all levels: local, state, national. Participants will leave knowing they can make a difference and light the way for others.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Attendees will describe Advocacy, how it functions, and how it is intrinsically part of their daily lives in the work they do with clients, students, colleagues, and the community. 2. Attendees will describe three Public Advocacy Issues impacting the professions that present opportunities and challenges in their work setting. 3. Attendees will identify strategies to build upon their advocacy skills at the local, state, and federal levels.

Auditory Electrophysiology: What is New?
Presenter: Annette Hurley

This session will review recent advances in electrophysiology measures, focusing on chirps, cABR, and ECochG. Chirps are routinely used as stimuli, rather than tone bursts. Information from cABRs show promise for CAPD assessment. Finally, ECochG has been used for decades; however, its role in diagnosis and management of Meniere’s and ANSD will be discussed. Review Diagnostic ABRs for hearing loss.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Review tone chirps and their use in threshold assessments. 2. Describe speech ABRs and their role in assessment of CAPD. 3. Describe the recent advances in ECochG research.

Diagnosing Dyslexia: What SLPs Need to Know
Presenter: Teresa Laney

Under HB1031 (2012), licensed Psychologists, Psychometrists and Speech/Language Pathologists are qualified to diagnose dyslexia. Participants in this session will become familiar with the requirements for diagnosis as well as how a diagnosis factors into eligibility decisions. Required components of an evaluation will also be discussed.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.Become familiar with the requirements for diagnosing dyslexia under HB1031.       2. Become knowledgeable about the components of a valid dyslexia evaluation. 3. Understand how a clinical diagnosis factors into eligibility decisions made by the MET.

The Present and Future of Cochlear Implants: Multifaceted Care, Multidisciplinary Approach
Presenter: Sarah Warren

Cochlear implant management is an ever-changing area of communication disorders, as guidelines for candidacy, programming, and management are constantly being adapted when new evidence provides us with better ways to care for our patients. But how is the approach to the whole cochlear implant user changing? As interprofessional practice becomes standard care in all areas of healthcare, audiologists and speech pathologists will need to adapt to working on multidisciplinary teams. This course will cover current guidelines for recommending candidacy, optimal programming, and managing long-term care. Additionally, the course will thoroughly cover what professionals outside of audiology and speech pathology are on our team and what support they have to offer to achieve optimized care to cochlear implant patients.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.The learner will be able to describe current audiological candidacy criteria. 2. The learner will be able to discuss interprofessional practice as it pertains to cochlear implantation. 3. The learner will be able to discuss pediatric-specific considerations for interprofessional practice.

Autism: Joint Attention, Symbolic Play & Brain Network Connectivity
Presenter: Stacey B. Landberg

New brain science research helps us better understand why children with autism struggle with social communication. Clinical implications for improving joint attention and symbolic play (two core deficits of ASD) are discussed. Research-based strategies are analyzed to guide our evidence-based practice.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Explain the relationship between the brain’s default mode network, joint attention, symbolic play, theory of mind, and autism. 2. Describe differences in the brain’s default mode network for people with and without autism. 3. Discuss research-based strategies for improving joint attention and symbolic play for young children with ASD.


Tinnitus today: hearing aids, sound therapy, smart phone applications and counseling
Presenter: Megan Majoue

Tinnitus is as heterogeneous as the multiple management options available to both clinicians and patients. No single management strategy will be effective for every patient. Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM) offers a structured and methodical protocol for intervention. Today’s patients have questions regarding the efficacy of ear level sound therapy, smart phone applications, vitamins and herbal supplements and cognitive behavioral therapy. In counseling these patients with persistent bothersome tinnitus, clinicians should incorporate educational information that mitigates patient misconceptions about tinnitus, emphasizes coping strategies, and offers hope.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Describe the basics of tinnitus evaluation and management. 2. Describe specific interventions including hearing aids, sound therapy, and others. 3. List various questionnaires for monitoring outcomes.

Overview of Auditory Training Programs for Aided Listening in Older Adults
Presenter:  Dania Rishiq

This seminar will provide an overview of auditory training programs designed for older adults who use hearing aids. It will focus on the importance of auditory training in the rehabilitation process of older adults with hearing loss. It will also highlight the training benefits to adult patients, especially to new hearing aid users. Further, it will review current research on auditory training programs and summarize results of published studies evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of some of these programs.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Learners will be able to define and describe auditory training. 2. Learners will be able to list three auditory training resources. 3. Learners will be able to identify potential positive implications of auditory training for older adults with hearing loss.

Improving Patient Listening and QoL – Are we doing what we have been charged to do?
Presenter: John Greer Clark

Hearing rehabilitation is frequently comprised solely of the fitting of amplification. This truncated form of rehabilitation leaves many with significant residual hearing handicap and reduced satisfaction with treatment outcomes. This session will address the limitations of hearing aids in meeting the hearing needs of patients; present billable diagnostic measures to help determine which patients may benefit from a greater rehabilitation focus to hearing care; explore a communication management approach that can be provided within the confines of a busy clinic; and provide a means to examine patient self-efficacy for follow through and our role toward improving the likelihood of success.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Attendees will be able to describe means of assessing candidates for supplemental rehabilitation intervention. 2. Attendees will be able to outline an approach to communication management delivered within the standard dispensing process. 3. Attendees will be able to address patient concerns that may limit implementation of communication management recommendations.


Narrative Intervention to support language and literacy development
Presenter: Sandra Gillam

Narrative language skills contribute to academic success for school-age students. Children with language impairment have difficulty acquiring narrative proficiency. This may negatively impact their academic performance in oral and written contexts. This course will summarize narrative intervention strategies and procedures, as well as provide an overview of the research to support them. A program that has integrated all of these procedures will be highlighted.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Describe the importance of narrative proficiency for academic, social and cognitive development. 2. Describe evidence based procedures and approaches for addressing narrative proficiency in school-age children. 3. Describe the language skills that support narrative proficiency.

The Importance of Assessing Vocabulary: Introducing PPVT-5 and EVT-3
Presenter: Anise Flowers

Success in school requires age-appropriate knowledge of words and concepts, and the ability to use the knowledge for listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Unfortunately, not all children enter school with the word and concept knowledge that is foundational to learning. This presentation will focus on how clinicians can use the new PPVT-5 and EVT-3 to assess vocabulary size and determine the need for vocabulary instruction. The presenter will describe the different administration and scoring options for the PPVT-5 and EVT-3, including the digital application which allows for efficient administration and scoring, and immediate connection of assessment results to evidence-based interventions.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. List three reasons for assessing vocabulary. 2. Compare receptive and expressive vocabulary acquisition. 3. Identify interventions based on assessment data.

Myo-Fascial Release for Voice and this the future?
Presenter: Josie Alston & Caroline Murray

Many voice and swallowing patients continue to struggle with severe laryngeal pain and tightness even after having numerous therapy sessions. Sometimes the traditional therapy interventions focusing on vocal hygiene, resonance or swallowing precautions and strategies are just not enough to break the severe strain and pain associated with voice and swallowing disorders. Myo-fascial release is an innovative, hands-on and effective modality that SLPs are adding to their intervention arsenal. Some clinicians feel MFR may be the future of treatment goals for these specialty populations and make all the difference in positive outcomes. This presentation will review the role that MFR can play in these therapies, describe the training process and how to implement the techniques and give the audience a hands-on approach and a new way to think about treating these populations.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify appropriate characteristics/symptoms of voice and swallowing patients that may benefit from MFR techniques. 2. Demonstrate 3 MFR stretches for laryngeal pain and tightness. 3. List at least three contraindications for an MFR modality approach with voice and swallowing patients.

Experience Dyslexia - A Learning Disabilities Simulation
Presenters: Hillary Culpepper & Lauren Robinson

This presentation is designed to increase awareness of the difficulties and frustrations that people with dyslexia encounter daily. Participants experience learning situations that simulate various language related tasks similar to those encountered in the classroom and workplace.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Participants will understand the frustration felt by students with dyslexia during reading tasks. 2. Participants will understand the frustration felt by students with dyslexia during writing tasks. 3. Participants will understand the frustration felt by students with dyslexia during a listening task.

Evaluation and Management of the Sound Sensitivity Patient
Presenter: Christopher Spankovich

The evaluation and management of the sound sensitivity patient can be a differentiating factor for you clinical practice. In this lecture we will discuss fundamental elements to management of the sound sensitivity patient and perform case step-by-step walk through.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. describes methods for evaluation of sound sensitivity and differential diagnosis. 2. Describe counseling of sound sensitivity. 3. Describe sound therapy based approaches for sound sensitivity.

Comparing traditional vs computerized assessments of speech and voice performance

Presenter: Amitava Biswas, Mary Schaub, Steven Cloud


These presenters will discuss a few acoustic techniques including the Visipitch, CSL (Computer Speech Lab), and GAP (Guesstimate of Articulatory Performance. Although Visipitch and CSL are often appropriate and widely practiced, the GAP procedure seems to provide some unique features for certain types of articulatory dysfunction. This approach appears to be both sensitive and specific to articulatory movements of the tongue, lips, and jaw. Limitations of the currently implemented version of the GAP procedure will be considered, and future goals of enhancing these features will be suggested.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Able to understand current limitations. 2. Able to understand current alternatives. 3. Able to compare relative advantages.

It's Time for Change: Using Principles of Exercise Science and Motor Learning in Dysphagia Treatment.

Presenter: Elizabeth Burklow


Traditionally, dysphagia treatment has focused on compensatory mechanisms to increase safety of oral intake and decrease overall risk for aspiration. Dysphagia rehabilitation has often fallen by the wayside or has been attempted at a minimal level of intensity and repetition, many times relying on the patient to complete exercises on his or her own time. Recent studies have shown better functional outcomes with the use of increased intensity and specificity. This presentation will cover the basics of which specific evidenced-based exercises can be applied given deficits noted during instrumental evaluation, how to harness the principles of motor learning to increase generalization of skills, and how to plan an overall dysphagia program to suit your individual patient's needs and experience the best outcomes.

Outcome 1: Identify evidence-based exercises appropriate for dysphagia rehabilitation.

Outcome 2: Identify the principles of motor learning that can best be applied to dysphagia rehabilitation.

Outcome 3: Identify the principles of exercise science that can best be used to improve overall outcomes of dysphagia rehabilitation.

An Overview of More than Words: The Hanen Program for Parents of Children with Austism Spectrum Disorder or Social Communication Difficulties
Presenter: Shantel Walters

This session will provide an overview of the More Than Words Program, as well as how to become a trained More Than Words therapist. During the session, participants will learn more about the Hanen Center, what the More Than Words program consists of, research behind the principles applied in the program, and what parents have to say about the program. During the session, participants will go through what the parents of a More Than Words program go through during their orientation, and questions will be answered throughout.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Learn more about the Hanen Center and its philosophies. 2. Learn what makes up a More Than Words program and how a program is run. 3. Learn how to receive More Than Words training.


Impacting educational outcomes by improving language through the implementation of augmentative and alternative communication intervention
Presenter: Janie Cirlot-New, Janette Hreish, & Cindy Cockerham

In the current push to achieve academically, individuals with complex communication needs are often placed at a disadvantage. With the existing academic demands focusing on testing and performance communication needs of nonspeaking or limited verbal individuals are often overshadowed.  Our role as speech language pathologists is to support the development of language and communication for those individuals.  This presentation will provide participants with the ability to recognize individuals who would benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).  In addition, participants will learn to identify an individual’s current language level and develop appropriate goals and objectives. An emphasis will be placed on implementation strategies for teaching communication and language across all language levels thus impacting academic outcomes.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Participants will be able to recognize individuals who would benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention. 2. Participants will be able to distinguish individuals’ current language level and develop appropriate language goals and objectives for AAC implementation. 3. Participants will be able to demonstrate appropriate AAC implementation strategies for individuals across all language levels.


Bridging Counseling Theory into Meaningful Responses and Forward Movement
Presenter: John Greer Clark

Surveys suggest that patients do not always recognize healthcare providers’ sensitivity to the psychosocial impact of their patients’ disorder.  In this presentation we will explore some ingrained listening and clinical habits that can work against a patient’s perceived level of professional empathy and subsequently the level of trust that leads to success.  Eight separate clinical scenarios across the life span will be explored to heighten awareness of unstated concerns, fears or emotional pain.  Responses will be considered that heighten

empathy, build greater trust and/or help to challenge patients to move in a positive direction toward more successful communication management.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Attendees will be able to rank their listening abilities and describe at least three barriers to empathic listening. 2. Attendees will be able to describe how to avoid communication mismatch and how to respond better to the emotions underlying patient statements. 3. Attendees will be able to outline three counseling approaches that can be infused within patient interactions to increase trust and to challenge patients to move beyond their own comfort zone.

Use of computers to assist parent-child articulation exercises and screening
Presenters: Amitava Biswas, Anita Thames, Steven Cloud

This study reviews the role of computers in daily life and its suitability to help caregivers of children with communication disorders. Although various speech treatment techniques for articulation disorders have become very common, initial assessment procedures to determine any articulation errors have generally required live listening by an experienced speech therapist. We will discuss the potential of a semi-automated computerized screening mechanism for parents and family members.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Understand current limitations. 2. Understand current alternatives. 3. Compare relative advantages.


LAMP Words for Life for the Visually Impaired: Four Case Studies
Presenter: Kym Heine

This presentation will provide an overview of the AAC strategies typically used to teach children with significant visual impairments to communicate and will also introduce the new LAMP Words for Life for the Visually Impaired (LAMP WFL VI) vocabulary files.  LAMP WFL VI is a vocabulary designed to meet an individual’s immediate communication needs with an emphasis on growing language without changing the motor plan for words initially learned.  Four case studies of children throughout the state of Mississippi will be discussed highlighting the previous therapeutic approaches used, the transition to LAMP WFL Viand the progress achieved.  Components of the LAMP WFL VI approach will be discussed and video tapes of the children using LAMP WFL VI will be presented.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify candidates for the use of LAMP WFL VI. 2. Identify the components of the LAMP WFL VI approach and vocabulary. 3. Execute strategies for introducing initial target vocabulary.

Software Controlled Automatic Audiometry for Special Populations
Presenters: Amitava Biswas, Edward Goshorn, & Jennifer Goshorn

A software Controlled Automatic Audiometer (SCAA) was developed by the authors for this project. Subjects were instructed to respond as quickly as possible upon perception of a tonal signal. The SCAA test procedure was initiated immediately following instructions. To establish a reference level, the SCAA probed with gradually increasing signal levels until a response was obtained. After the subject’s initial response, the SCAA randomly varied presentation levels within a range of plus or minus 30 dB re: initial response level in random step sizes of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 dB. The SCAA continued to present signals and obtain responses until a reliable response level was reached. Presentation levels varied randomly from plus or minus 40 dB SL relative to a subject’s initial response level. Test frequencies were 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz. The resulting reaction times to auditory signals as well as signal detection theory were used in an attempt to reliably differentiate among adult subjects classified as normal hearing, sensorineural hearing loss, and non-organic hearing loss. The SCAA was written in MATLAB. Clinical applications for a SCAA will be discussed and are anticipated to be appropriate for industrial audiometry and compensation and pension evaluations.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.Be able to understand current limitations. 2 Be able to understand current alternatives. 3. Be able to compare relative advantages.

SLP’s Role in RTI/MTSS
Presenter: Kelly Spence & Melissa Ladner Rivera

The MSHA Schools’ Committee will discuss the initiative to utilize Speech Language Pathologists working in the public schools in the Multi-Tiered Support System. This course will include ESSA guidelines for federal and state laws. Those attending will increase knowledge to be able to discuss points to collaborate between district and building level administrators about the Speech Language Pathologists role in RTI/MTSS.  Topics such as the components of the Multi-Tier Support System, the purpose of speech pathologists role in RTI/MTSS, the implementation of various approaches related to RTI/ MTSS, the documented support from the American Speech Hearing Association, the consideration of workload versus caseload, and the concerns for funding the new initiative will be discussed.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.The learner will be able to define the components of the Multi-Tiered Support System. 2. The learner will be able to define Speech Language Pathologists participating role and benefit in the Multi-Tiered Support System. 3. The learner will be able to discuss with district level personnel initiating Speech Language Pathologists implementation in Multi-Tiered Support System.


Auditory Processing Disorder and Dyslexia
Presenters: Alicia Swann

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a hidden abnormality in the auditory neurological system that affects the brain’s ability to turn sound into usable information.  Children with APD will pass a hearing test, but they may not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words and often have difficulty with reading, spelling, understanding and remembering information, and keeping up with ongoing speech in the classroom.

Auditory processing disorder affects around 43% of children struggling with learning difficulties, and research indicates 70% of children with dyslexia have an underlying auditory processing disorder. APD is often overlooked, and while APD may coexist with ADHD, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder, and language processing disorders, the treatment for APD is very different. If a coexisting auditory processing disorder is not identified and treated, it makes it much harder for a child to make progress with dyslexia therapy. However, there are different types of APD and different treatment is needed based on each child’s profile to help a child reach his/her full potential.

This presentation will explain the auditory skills that must be assessed to rule out an auditory processing disorder. Different types of APD often present in children with dyslexia will also be discussed including:

  • Abnormal neural representation of sound
  • Inconsistent neural responses for speech sounds
  • Cortical encoding deficits for brief timing cues and rapid frequency changes needed to distinguish sounds
  • Poor auditory-visual or auditory-linguistic integration
  • Poor ability for thee ears to work together as a team
  • A lazy ear, which causes distortion and oversensitivity/distractibility by soft environmental sounds


Current research and case studies will also be presented demonstrating the effectiveness of treatment for APD.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.Explain what an auditory processing disorder is. 2. List and explain the auditory processes that must be assessed during an auditory processing evaluation in order to rule out APD. 3. Describe different types of APD often present in children with dyslexia.


Transforming the lives and families of students with dyslexia and comorbid conditions
Presenter: Alison Webster

As many as 50% of students with dyslexia have coexisting oral language or speech disorders, making reading more problematic. The use of a phonetic, multisensory intervention program that addresses these problems with a strong oral language component and auditory training, strong orthographic support, and specific techniques for remediation of memory deficits is effective for these students with additional difficulties. This methodology will be described with outcomes presented for students with dyslexia who present with comorbid challenges.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Define dyslexia according to the International Dyslexia Association. 2. Describe the Simple View of Reading. 3. List five distinctive features of the DuBard Association Method(R).


Preparing for Generation Z: Are you Ready?
Presenter: Kimberly Ward & Amy Livingston

Meeting the unique challenge of education each generation of students is a challenge for instructors in Communication Sciences. Much research has been conducted on how to best educate the millennial generation, however, there is much to learn on how to prepare the new generation. Characteristics of Generation Z individuals and most effective teaching strategies will be discussed throughout the presentation.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Attendees will compare and contrast the communication characteristics and learning style of students of Generation Z with other generations. 2. Attendees will predict the use of creative pedagogy needed to teach and engage individuals in Generation Z. 3. Attendees will explain technological needs and educational expectations of the individuals in Generation Z.

DUAL, NOT DUEL! Intervention for Learners with Hearing & Vision Impairments!
Presenter: Toni Hollingsworth

Instead of wrestling with not knowing what to do, this session will provide an introduction for approaching intervention for young learners having both a hearing and vision impairment to any degree (deaf-blindness). Strategies and resources will definitely be provided!

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Name at least 2 resources and 2 strategies for students with deaf-blindness. 2. Identify at least 3 developmental areas impacted by the dual sensory loss. 3. Identify how to initially approach teaching students with deaf-blindness.

I Need This in My Life! Practical Language Sample Analysis
Presenters: Rachel Powell & Kathy Waltman

As clinicians, we understand the importance of using evidence-based practice, including external, scientific evidence, clinical expertise, and client values/perspectives. However, as practicing SLPs in schools, the reality is that sometimes the science does not bridge over to clinical practice. This session will present Sampling Utterances and Grammatical Analysis Revised (SUGAR), a new, free method of language sample analysis that is research-based on 50 word utterance samples (Pavelko & Owens, 2017). This session will give a practical method of language sample analysis the is feasible to implement for pediatric and school-based SLPs. Hands-on language sample analysis will be presented using videos and computer programming, and attendees will actively participate in language sample analysis during the session. Finally, participants will develop curriculum-aligned SMART goals from the language analysis.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Understand the importance of language sample analysis. 2. Describe the SUGAR method for language sample analysis. 3. Analyze a language sample using the SUGAR method and norms.

Looking at the Whys behind Feeding disorders: The diagnostic process
Presenter: Jenna Nassar

Feeding disorders have become more prevalent in the past several years. We are learning more about why and how they develop each day. Navigating the diagnostic process can be difficult in this population as feeding disorders can present so differently among patients. This session will focus on the diagnostic process and look at the appropriate steps that need to be taken during evaluations.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify common causes of feeding disorders. 2. Identify how to set up an evaluation. 3. Interpret findings from the evaluation process.

Best Practices Guidelines for Neonatal Audiological Assessment
Presenter: Charles Marx & Ashley Grillis

Presenters will discuss the recently adopted best practices guidelines for audiological assessment with the neonatal population, recent technological advancements with ABR equipment, and pertinent case studies.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.Those in attendance will gain an understanding of the recently adopted best practice guidelines for audiological assessment with the neonatal population. 2. Attendees will recognize new advancements in ABR technology. 3. Attendees will gain an understanding of the need for a wide range of diagnostic procedures as evidenced by a review of pertinent case studies.

The laryngectomized and tracheotomized patient: Differences in Swallow function and Communication
Presenters: Angie Brunson

This topic has emerged out of my recognition of the sad reality that these two patient populations are often mismanaged.  Within most medical settings including my own facility medical staff are often unable to recognize the laryngectomy patient. This patient is often mistaken for a trach patient, this can be a very dangerous mistake for the patient.  Unfortunately this often translates to the Speech Pathologist out in the community practicing in a skilled nursing facility or home health setting.  The Speech Pathologist should be quick to recognize these patients and assist with education for staff.  The Head neck cancer population is very small being about 1 % of the cancer population but a lack of knowledge base in the special population particularly with laryngectomy can prove to be potentially fatal to the patient.  The SLP should be the advocate for this group.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify the physiological and anatomical differences in the two patients.  2. Recognize the importance of identifying these differences and how impacts swallow and communication. 3. Identify very important safety awareness as pertains to airway especially of this patient resides in a facility.

Auditory Process Disorder:  Diagnosis & Management
Presenter: Annette Hurley

In recent years, there has been an increased demand for diagnosis and treatment of central auditory processing disorder (CAPD).  If an audiologist assesses and diagnoses CAPD, then, providing treatment, and follow-up should also be an integral part.  This course will review the diagnostic assessment, and current, available auditory training options for the treatment of CAPD, including computer mediated programs, apps, and formal auditory training.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Review specific tests that should be included in a CAPD test battery. 2. Review specific areas of auditory processing deficits for targeted intervention. 3. Review and design CAPD management plans.

Whole Word versus Phoneme Error Scoring for Audiological Word Recognition Testing
Presenter: Edward Goshorn, Jennifer Goshorn, & Jennifer Arnoult

Conventional audiological word recognition testing uses whole word scoring for errant responses resulting in a percent correct score.  This approach is found to be lacking in diagnostic utility.  Recently phoneme error scoring was suggested as a supplement to whole word scoring in attempt to improve diagnostic utility but is also limited in that it is highly correlated with the whole word score.  This project examined the use of phoneme error scoring that applies an exponential equation to the type and number of phoneme errors yielding a score that may be compared to absolute hearing sensitivity loss as measured by conventional audiograms.  Because the number of words used in audiological word recognition varies, a correction for number of stimuli is applied.  Archival data, case study data, and simulated cases were used to evaluate and compare the diagnostic utility of three scoring approaches for errant responses:  whole word, total phoneme errors, and an exponential phoneme error score (EPES) that weights consonant and vowel errors differently:  EPES = number of phoneme errors times 2^number of consonant errors + 10^number of vowel errors.  Case study and simulated results were used to evaluate the utility of each scoring approach.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Evaluate utility of whole word scoring of word recognition tests. 2. Evaluate utility of phoneme error scoring of word recognition tests. 3. Evaluate utility of a proposed algebraic equation for phoneme error scoring.

Praxis Bowl
Presenter: Whitney Perkins

Graduate and undergraduate students will participate in a knowledge bowl to help prepare them for the Praxis examination in speech-language pathology and audiology.  Teams will be comprised of a speech-language pathology and audiology student from each university in MS.  Questions will be asked in a game style format.  Audience members will be encouraged to participate and clarification will be given for each answer.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Participants will be able to demonstrate their knowledge base related to the clinical and academic aspect of speech-language pathology and audiology. 2. Participants will be able to identify the most up to date information regarding evidence based practice, evaluation, assessment, norms, and standards of practice while refreshing their knowledge in speech science, anatomy/physiology, dysphagia and audiology. 3. Participants will be to identify key test-taking strategies for the Praxis examination in speech-language pathology and audiology.


Medicaid and MSHA a NEW Day
Presenter: Cindy Brown

It is DOM’s expectation that one would gain the understanding of the MississippiCAN and CHIP Program, Speech and Hearing Program its processes, and know that DOM is just an email and phone call away.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.Should know the current Medicaid Policy for Speech and Hearing 2. Should know new changes in the Medicaid Program. 3. Have an update on Medicaid's MSCAN Program

Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)
Presenter: Jillian Colon

Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is a brain-based visual impairment.  That means the eye is healthy, but the eye’s neurological connection to the brain doesn’t work properly.  It is the leading cause of visual impairment in children in the developing world, including the United States, and it often presents with other neurological disorders.  Children with CVI are often attracted to light, brightly-colored red or yellow objects and shiny or reflective surfaces.  They also focus on things that move, contrast and lack of clutter can help children with CVI focus.  The techniques for instructing and providing intervention services for a child with CVI differ greatly than those for children with other types of blindness and visual impairments.  Children with CVI have the potential to improve their use of vision if they are evaluated and taught with the CVI Range techniques.  The CVI Range was developed by Dr. Christine Roman, it is a unique assessment tool to evaluate a child’s current use of vision and track progress.  There are three levels of CVI: Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Understand the difference between ocular impairment and CVI. 2. Know the 10 characteristics of CVI. 3. Learn about CVI modifications/adaptations to the environment.

Why Does He Act Like That? Understanding Behaviors and Why They Occur
Presenters: Hannah Sanders

Behavioral challenges occur across all populations, but are particularly prevalent in children on the autism spectrum. Being proactive and understanding the functions of a child's behavior can make your job much easier than reacting following a behavioral episode. Practical applications for reducing behaviors will be presented..

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify the 4 functions of behavior. 2. Identify 4 ways to give more effective instructions. 3. List 3 structured tasks that can target IEP goals and are proactive for reducing negative behaviors.


The Speech Pathologists Role in Addressing Health Disparities
Presenter: Rachel Tyrone

The field of Speech-Language Pathology is a dynamic and every changing discipline. There is also a growing field of Population Health Science which seeks to transform the healthcare system. Our role as Speech Pathologist can assist Population Health Scientist in creating a more holistic approach to patient care and management. Speech Pathologist often work with individuals who live with chronic illnesses and/or those at risk for poor health outcomes that are multifactorial in nature. The information provided during this lecture, will allow us to begin looking at our patients from a new perspective, a holistic perspective. From health disparities to factors impacting health outcomes, we will cover topics from this every growing field.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.To identify health disparities. 2. To identify factors that can negatively attribute to health outcomes. 3. Understand the Speech Pathologist role within health disparities.

Enhancing Speech-Language Services through Auditory Development
Presenter: Courtney Turner, Susanna McDonald, Haley Rishel, & Claire Copponex

The speech-language pathologist plays an important role on the inter-professional team for children with hearing loss. However, research shows that SLPs have insufficient training in the areas of hearing loss and hearing technology. We will discuss the scope and responsibilities of the SLP on the inter-professional team serving the child with hearing loss; review key concepts about speech acoustics and the impact of hearing loss on access to spoken language; provide hands-on demonstrations with current hearing technology; and discuss strategies to enhance listening and spoken language development.

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


Universal Licensure for Mississippi: 2 Professions, Many Settings - 1 License
Presenters: Rachel Powell, Carolyn Higdon, Charles Marx, Josephine Alston, & Melissa Ladner Rivera

The MSHA Ad Hoc Committee on Universal Licensure continues to work towards forming universal licensure in Mississippi. This presentation will update attendees on the status of universal licensure in Mississippi, familiarize attendees with the legislative process to obtain licensure, and provide opportunities for feedback from attendees.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Learners will define universal licensure. 2. Learners will be familiar with the process to form universal licensure in Mississippi. 3. Learners will provide feedback on universal licensure in Mississippi.


Building Rapport with Patients and Families
Presenter: Ginger Jones

Treatment outcomes are better when patients and families are consistently attending and actively involved in treatment.  But they don’t always understand the value of our services and our expertise when they first start therapy.  Making positive connections with your patients will not only make them feel more cared for and help them to place more trust in you, but your work satisfaction will improve as well.  In our busy schedules and focus on outcomes, it can be easy to overlook the importance of building rapport, but we must remember to make it a priority.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify the top 10 ways to build rapport with new patients and their families. 2. Increase perceived value in their services, yielding better attendance and outcomes. 3. How they may be hindering the building of rapport.


Making the Most of Parent and Caregiver Coaching
Presenter: Ginger Jones

If we truly want to maximize our impact as therapists, we must find a way to extend our work beyond the walls of our treatment rooms.  This can easily be done when we engage parents and caregivers as our partners in the process.  This presentation will identify common barriers to successfully coaching parents and provide practical suggestions to bridge them.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify the reasons that parent coaching will lead to more successful outcomes in treatment. 2. Find creative solutions to common barriers to parent coaching. 3. Strengthen their coaching skills for immediate implementation into treatment sessions.


Let's Talk Medicaid
Presenters: Cindy Brown, Charlotte McNair, & Mary K. Clark

It is DOM’s expectation that one would gain the understanding of the Medical Services, MississippiCAN and CHIP Program, its processes, and know that DOM is just an email and/or phone call away.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.Should know the current Medicaid Policy for Speech and Hearing. 2. Should know new changes in the Medicaid Program. 3. Have an update on Medicaid's MississippiCan and CHIP Programs.

Ankyloglossia: to clip or not to clip?
Presenters: Jenna Nassar

This lecture will look deeper at the ever so popular topic of tongue tie and its effects on feeding and speech. With more than 3 million cases reported yearly, this structural abnormality is being diagnosed at rapid rates and may be the hidden culprit behind some of our patients' speech and feeding deficits. The diagnostic process, anatomy, and treatment options will be discussed.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify the types of tongue and lip tie. 2. Compare treatment options. 3. Incorporate assessment of ankyloglossia into our established oral motor exams.

The Smilemaker
Presenter: Barbara Fox

Kyndal is the most interesting person I know.  When she was born in 1971 with Down Syndrome, she brought with her challenges and changes that affected every family member.  I quickly realized how little I knew and how desperately I wanted to be able to provide what she needed.  Little did I know Kyndal would be my teacher.  There is no possible way to understand what a difference really means until you live with it 24/7.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Learners will be able to begin to understand how to use behaviors and actions of clients with disabilities to determine possible courses of treatment that may not be common. 2. Learners will be able to use client centered tactics to modify therapy tasks as needed to reduce anxiety in learning. 3. Learners will be able to accept different strategies when necessary achieve important goals.

“All About That Base, ‘Bout That Base - No Trouble”
Presenters: Cindy Wiltcher

By making therapy sessions all about that Latin base, we can help students decrease their troubles with vocabulary, spelling, reading, and writing. Exposing students to just one Latin base could introduce them to as many as 50+ words per session.  By starting with one base, and gradually adding prefixes and suffixes, students become confident in their reading and spelling skills and have a greater understanding of how language works.  Students’ self-esteem soars when they are successful at independently reading long multi-syllable words.   This approach targets morphology, syntax, and semantics and incorporates many of the state standards which are used to write goals for IEPs.  A quote from a twelve year old student, Skylar - “This is only time I ever feel smart”.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Recognize words with Latin bases, prefixes, and suffixes. 2. Understand the difference and purpose of bound bases and free bases. 3. Learn to use on-line tools to help create a word web using any Latin or Greek base.

Explaining “Irregular” Words - A Presentation Worth Repeating.
Presenter: Cindy Wiltcher

How many times have we heard the phrase “just sound it out”?  Not all words “just sound out”.  These are the words that struggling readers have the most trouble with.  Understanding the history, or etymology, of these words helps students become better readers, spellers, and writers.  When students are able to connect the “sight words” to other related words or group “sight words” together, (they, them, their - all the same group of people) they increase their ability to correctly read and write these “irregular” words. If you’ve been before, come again.  There have been more “irregular” words added.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Discuss reasons for “silent” letters in words. 2. Make connections to related words. 3. Review spelling conventions and spelling rules.


Administering the Ling Six Sound Test: Cochlear Implants, Hearing Aids, BAHAs
Presenter: Marietta Paterson & Christina Perigoe

The Ling SIX Sound Test (Ling, 2001, 1989, Ling & Ling, 1978) is a simple speech perception test that is now globally used in the field of education of the deaf and in audiological research.  Professor Ling originally invented this test for his graduate students to use as a daily or routine live-check of a child/student’s speech perception capacity that could be related to the child’s audiogram.  The six sounds (/u/, /m/, /a/, /i/, /S/, /s/), were chosen to represent the entire range of the sounds of speech from the lowest to the highest frequency (approximately 250-8000 HZ) and can therefore be used to determine the listener’s ability (or inability) to detect all other speech sounds.  In this session, participants will learn the background acoustic information for all the six sounds and expectations for speech perception with different cochlear implant users.  In addition, participants will learn how to administer the Ling Six Sound Test with attention to duration of presentation, signal to noise ratio and distance from the listener.  Participants will practice administration with peers.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify the speech acoustic characteristics of the six sounds. 2. Explain auditory discrimination results of the six sounds relative to the audiogram. 3. Compare expected discrimination responses of cochlear implant versus hearing aid users.


Professional Collaboration: Providing Services for Children with Hearing Loss
Presenter: Marietta Paterson & Christina Perigoe

Most children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents (Mitchell & Karchmer, 2002) and are educated in inclusive settings (Luckner, 2010). Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists and Teachers of the Deaf serve these children from ages 0-21. This presentation will discuss the training, scope of practice and shared areas of knowledge of these key professionals and their roles and responsibilities in providing services to children who are deaf/hard of hearing.  In addition, we will review other members of the collaborative team, perceptions of professional roles and potential gaps in knowledge that compromise best practices in serving children with hearing loss. Current service delivery in Mississippi will be presented and challenges identified. Upcoming changes in the teacher of the deaf professional preparation programs at USM will be discussed.  Participants will contribute ideas for improvement of collaborative, evidence-based service delivery for children with hearing loss in Mississippi.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify the roles and scope of practice of key professionals who work with children who are deaf/hard of hearing. 2. Identify two challenges in service delivery for children who are deaf/hard of hearing in Mississippi. 3. Contribute two key ideas for improvement of collaborative service delivery for children who are deaf/hard of hearing.


“Totally Talkin’ ‘Bout Toddlers”
Presenter: Janice Shook, Penny Elkins, & Tara Scott

The world of Early Intervention has so many facets encompassed into one Individualized Family Service Plan per child/family. To address children who have multi-faceted diagnoses, an “integrated approach” is judged best. Combining knowledge and skills will provide the most appropriate treatment plan. These three specialists work actively together in Hancock First Steps program.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1: Develop multidimensional plans of treatment for children age <3 and their families. 2. Identify appropriate professionals for specific child and family needs. 3. Structure a plan that will facilitate family participation in activities of daily living in the home.


AAC for Everyone: Communication in s Self-Contained Classroom
Presenters: Kym Heine & Felicia Skipper

This presentation will discuss why and how all eleven students in a self-contained classroom use the LAMP Words for Life vocabulary throughout the school day on either the iPad or Accent communication device.    Videos demonstrating classroom activities designed to teach new vocabulary, as well as elicit the spontaneous use of familiar vocabulary to comment about or direct an activity will be presented.  Suggestions for extension activities for the new target vocabulary introduced will be emphasized.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify potential candidates for the use of the LAMP Words for Life vocabulary. 2. Identify target vocabulary to teach in a novel activity. 3. Learn strategies for facilitating the use of target vocabulary during a classroom activity.

Fees is so Myth-Understood: Fact vs. Fiction in Endoscopic Swallow Evaluation

Presenter: Hillary Cooper


Despite being identified as a "gold-standard" in dysphagia assessment peer-reviewed research over the past decade, Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) is widely underutilized by speech-language pathologists and misunderstood by other medical professionals. This session will help to: identify the commonly held misconceptions about FEES, bring to light recent supporting evidence, and compare the benefits and limitations of both FEES and Modified Barium Swallow Studies (MBSS) in the clinical setting to ensure proper decision making for dysphagia patients.


Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify and describe three components of a FEES procedure.

  1. Differentiate between myths and evidence-based practice in flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. 3. Identify and describe the benefits and limitations of both FEES and MBS







How to Manage the Head & Neck Cancer Patient from Onset to Late Effects

Presenter: Nancy McColloch & Harrison Smith


The course will introduce the participant to Head and Neck Cancer patients in a multidisciplinary clinic through the initial workup and the tests included in diagnosing and staging the cancer through intervention and treatment. The effects of treatment will demonstrate the anatomical and physical changes both in the early and late stages of intervention with regards to speech and swallowing.


Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Participants will understand the multidisciplinary approach for the Head and Neck Cancer patient. 2. Participants will understand the anatomy and physiology related to Head and Neck Cancer from evolution through intervention. 3. Participants will understand speech and swallowing evaluations and treatment with approaches including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy combinations of all in the management of the Head and Neck Cancer patient.


Posters (SESSION A) Tuesday 1:30-3:30


Child Abuse on the Caseload of the SLP
Presenters: M. Hunter Manasco

Children with disabilities, especially communication disabilities, suffer all forms of abuse at exponentially higher levels than normal peers. These abused and highly at-risk children often present on the caseloads of speech-language pathologists. Despite the close relationship between abuse and communication deficits, little research has been done to study if and how speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are educated and prepared to recognize abuse and to interact and provide speech and language services to this traumatized and sensitive population. This was an anonymous electronic survey set up on the survey website Survey Monkey. The survey consisted of 16 Likert items and 2 open ended questions. 141 SLPs responded to the survey (n=141).   Also, a qualitative item was added at the end which elicited further comments from SLP survey participants.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Recognize a relationship between child abuse and communication disorders. 2. Recognize that these children are often on the caseload of the SLP. 3. Understand the need for graduate level education on this subject.

A Comparison of the Efficacy of Teacher Training for Children with Hearing Loss Delivered Onsite and Remotely
Presenters: Rebecca Lowe, Dr. Kim Ward, Dr. Susan Loveall, Mary Spencer Aldridge, Kendal Pearson, Katlyn Hester, Sara Keefe, & Mary Alden Wing

This study examined the effects of in-service training on the knowledge base and confidence level of school professionals working with children who have hearing loss in Mississippi when comparing onsite-training to training delivered remotely. A pre-test survey, the teacher training, and a post-test survey were administered to teachers in two different school systems. One training was on-site and the other training was delivered remotely. The knowledge base and confidence level were assessed by comparing pre- and A Comparison of the Efficacy of Teacher Training for Children with Hearing Loss Delivered Onsite and Remotelypost-survey scores. These differences were then compared between the remote training and the onsite training to correlate the level of effectiveness between the two delivery methods. This poster presents the finding.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.The participant will learn how teacher training can affect the knowledge-base in gaining skills for working with children who have hearing loss. 2. The participant will learn how teacher training can affect the confidence level in working with children who have hearing loss. 3. The participant will understand the effectiveness of teacher training delivered onsite versus that delivered remotely.

Concussion Knowledge Among Athletes
Presenters: Janie Magee, Jordan Brantley, & Mary Quin

This will be a study to explore what concussion knowledge athletes have and if there is a correlation between level of knowledge and after-care.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Better ID symptoms of concussion. 2. Understand how concussion symptoms impact athletes. 3. Learn about college athletes' knowledge of concussion management and aftercare.

Efficacy of Intervention on the Hearing Conservation Attitudes and Behaviors of College Students.
Presenters: Rebecca Sabine, Amitava Biswas, Edward Goshorn

Hearing conservation is often overlooked and underappreciated as an important part of preventative healthcare. The public is often not aware of how easy it is to lose hearing and what behaviors they engage in that contribute to hearing loss. An especially vulnerable population is college students due to the relatively recent addition of personal music players and because of the high-risk behaviors they are often involved in. Music festivals and sports events are often central to the culture shared among college students. These events are also dangerous to hearing due to the high decibel (dB) levels. This study will analyze what knowledge college students have about the dangers to hearing from these activities, and what behavior they engage in in response to these dangers. The study is organized into a pre-survey, an intervention, and a post-survey. Each section of this study will yield valuable information about how to educate college students on hearing preservation. College students need to be aware of how the activities they engage in can damage hearing gradually over their lifetime. This study will add to the existing body of knowledge by providing information about current knowledge, and determining whether the intervention that is used is effective. This study will attempt to answer the following questions: “What is the current knowledge of college students surrounding hearing loss and hearing protection?”; “What are the current protective behaviors used by college students to prevent and mitigate the effects of hearing loss?”; “Is a brief intervention effective to change knowledge about hearing conservation?”; “Are there any trends in knowledge or behaviors that can help us find vulnerable populations?”; and “What are the barriers to the use of hearing protection among college students?”.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify common behaviors of college students that are harmful/ helpful to hearing. 2. Understand how the intervention was or was not effective in educating college students. 3. Analyze the intervention to think of new ways to educate people about hearing conservation

Reading comprehension in individuals with Down syndrome
Presenters: Katherine Hubbard & Susan Loveall-Hague

Comprehension is the goal of reading, and many linguistic and reading subskills predict reading comprehension success in typical development (Joshi & Aaron 2000). Previous research has documented that individuals with Down syndrome are able to read and often demonstrate unique patterns of strengths and weaknesses within reading (Roch, Florit, & Levorato, 2011). For example, research has documented relative strengths in word identification but weaknesses in phonological decoding and language comprehension subskills (Roch, Florit & Levorato, 2011; Loveall & Conners, 2016). However, research regarding reading comprehension itself in Down syndrome is scarce. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to examine the following research questions: 1) How do individuals with Down syndrome perform on standardized measures of reading comprehension? 2) How do individuals with Down syndrome perform on reading (i.e. word identification, phonological decoding) and linguistic (i.e. listening comprehension, vocabulary, syntax) subskills of reading comprehension? 3) Which of these subskills correlate with reading comprehension in Down syndrome? We hypothesize that individuals with Down syndrome will demonstrate relative strengths in word identification and vocabulary and relative weaknesses in reading comprehension, listening comprehension, phonological decoding, and syntax. We also hypothesize that reading and linguistic subskills will correlate with reading comprehension outcomes. Participants will include children and adults with Down syndrome who use speech as their primary means of communicating, can read individual words, and have at least minimal levels of reading comprehension. Cognitive, reading, and linguistic abilities will be measured through the use of standardized assessment.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.Become familiar with the skills and sub-skills that contribute to reading comprehension success in typical development. 2. Learn about strengths and weaknesses observed in reading comprehension and its subskills in individuals with Down syndrome. 3. Recognize the need for further research analyzing the unique reading profile of individuals with Down syndrome.



Effects of Onsite In-Service Training on School Personnel Regarding Children with Hearing Loss
Presenters: Rebecca Lowe, Susan Loveall, Katie Hester, Sara Keefe, & Mary Alden Wing

This study examines the effects of onsite in-service training on the confidence level, comfort level, and knowledge-base of school professionals working with children who have hearing loss in North Mississippi. To successfully instruct, counsel, and interact with a child who has hearing loss, school professionals should have a general knowledge base of hearing loss, amplification systems, academic accommodations/modifications and teaching strategies. If one’s knowledge base is inadequate, one may not feel comfortable, nor confident in interacting with children who have hearing loss. This study had professionals fill out a survey inquiring about their general knowledge base and their confidence level in working with students who have hearing loss. A teacher in-service was implemented addressing the above key topics. After the in-service, the survey was re-administered assessing change in the school personnel’s knowledge-base and confidence level in working with these students.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. The participants will describe the effects of onsite in-service training on increasing school personnel’s general knowledge base in working with children who have hearing loss. 2. The participants will describe the effects of onsite in-service training on the confidence level of school personnel in working with children who have hearing loss. 3. The participants will describe the effects of hands-on training in increasing the confidence level in working with hearing aids.

Effects of Remotely-Delivered In-Service Training on School Personnel Regarding Children with Hearing Loss
Presenters: Mary Aldridge, Rebecca Lowe, Kendal Pearson, & Susan Loveall-Hague

This study examines the effects of in-service training delivered remotely on the confidence level and knowledge-base of school professionals working with children who have hearing loss in Mississippi. To successfully instruct, counsel, and interact with a child who has hearing loss, school professionals should have a general knowledge base of hearing loss, amplification systems, academic accommodations/modifications and teaching strategies. If one’s knowledge base is inadequate, one may not feel confident in interacting with children who have hearing loss. This study had professionals fill out a survey inquiring about their general knowledge base, their comfort level, and their confidence level in working with students who have hearing loss. A teacher in-service was delivered remotely addressing the above key topics. After the in-service was completed, the survey was re-administered assessing change in the school personnel’s knowledge-base and confidence level in working with these students.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.The participants will describe the effects of remotely delivered in-service training on increasing school personnel’s general knowledge base in working with children who have hearing loss. 2. The participants will describe the effects of remotely-delivered in-service training on the confidence level of school personnel in working with children who have hearing loss. 3. The participants will describe the overall effects of remote in-service delivery on professionals working with children who have hearing loss.



Poster Sessions (SESSION B) Wednesday 1:00-3:00p.m.

Acceptance or mockery: Cartoon characters with speech-language disorder (Update)
Presenters: M. Hunter Manasco, Bailey Newbill, & Lesley Parker

Most Americans will be familiar with our country’s rich history of classic cartoon characters who display speech and language differences/disorders to verbally convey humor. These include the majority of Warner Bros. characters from the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies series of cartoon shorts (Porky Pig- Stuttering, Sylvester- frontal lisp, Tweety- fronting, Elmer Fudd- gliding) which began production in 1933 as well as those characters from other production houses.  Although most of these classic characters have a much more limited airtime than 20 years ago, many of these characters never left the popular consciousness and the SLP may be surprised to know that some of the most popular cartoons being made today feature characters with the same speech and language disorders as those early Warner Bros. cartoons. However, the argument presented by some, like Sesame St., is that they are representing individuals with communication disorders on Sesame Street workshop not as a comedic foil, but to feature characters with differences and disabilities to expose young viewers to the presence of differences among people and encourage acceptance of people with differences.  Tsakona (2009) states that due to the simplicity of the medium cartoons are often used as a direct and easy means of communicating a message. As argued by Sesame Street Workshop and other producers of cartoons and children’s programs, acceptance of others is one of the messages communicated by the speech and language differences/ disorders in their characters. However, no studies have examined if this message is indeed being communicated by modern cartoons and children programming. As cartoons have always been and continue to be primarily consumed by children, SLPs should be asking what is the message being conveyed to children about speech and language differences/disorders by the cartoons being produced today.  This study seeks to answer the question: What are the reactions of viewers to classic and modern cartoon characters who display speech and language differences/disorders.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Consider the impact of speech and language disordered cartoon characters.             2. Increase knowledge of portrayal of speech and language disorders in the popular media. 3. Question the portrayal of these disorders as being a help or a hindrance to acceptance.

Interactions between Contextual and Phonetic Information in Children and Adults’ Perception of Non-Native Speech
Presenters: Alexis Zosel, Jessamyn Schertz, Kara Hawthorne, & Susan Loveall

When a speaker has a foreign accent, the listener may rely more on sentence context than on acoustic/phonetic information when trying to understand the spoken message. For example, listeners are more likely to classify a word that is phonetically ambiguous between goat and coat as goat if the sentence context is “The boy milked the ___” when the talker is not a native English speaker (Schertz & Hawthorne, 2018). However, this reliance on sentence context decreases over time as the listener becomes more familiar with the phonetic details of the speaker’s accent. The purpose of the present study is to replicate this finding in adults when extended to multiple talkers per accent, to ensure the findings are not talker-specific but generalizable to native and non-native accents as a whole. Additionally, we will extend this research to children, as it has not been studied as much with this population. We hypothesize that children, whose phonetic details in their own speech are not always clear, will rely more on sentence context than adults when phonetic details are ambiguous. We predict that this effect will be even stronger when listening to a non-native talker, as they are less familiar with the phonetic details of non-native speech. However, like adults, we predict that children will also increase their reliance on the phonetic information with more exposure to the accent. This information will help SLPs facilitate successful communication between ESL learners and children with speech and/or language delays. A better understanding of the interactions between sentence context and phonetic information on the speech perception process will also help illuminate the strategies used by children with auditory processing deficits.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Describe how sentence context and phonetic information interact when listening to non-native versus native speech. 2. Explain how children and adults adjust to non-native speech with exposure over time. 3. Contrast perception of non-native speech in children to perception of non-native speech in adults, across various experiment designs.


Speech-Language Pathologists’ Training and Confidence in Literacy
Presenters: Jamie Mann & Susan Loveall

Reading is an important skill for academic success, adaptive functioning, and independent living, yet many children struggle to acquire proficient levels of literacy (Clark, Prior & Kinsella, 2002; Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997; The Nation’s Report Card, 2017). Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can play an “integral role in helping children become literate” (ASHA, 2001), yet little is known about the training they receive in literacy. The minimal research that is available suggests that a majority of SLPs feel their academic and clinical preparation on evaluating and treating written language disorders was limited, and in some cases, even unsatisfactory (Blood, Mamett, Gordon, & Blood, 2010). There is also little research regarding confidence levels of SLPs within this domain. Since confidence is known to impact professional performance (Bandura, 1977), it is important that SLPs be confident in their ability to assess, diagnose, and treat reading and writing disorders. The current study will further examine the relationship between training and confidence by addressing the following research questions:

  • Does training in reading development, assessment, and treatment correlate with SLPs’ confidence in these areas?
  • Are there differences in SLPs’ training and confidence levels across different work settings (school vs. other)?

We hypothesize a positive relationship between training and confidence and that SLPs working in school settings will report more training and higher confidence.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Define reading and writing disorders. 2. Understand SLPs’ roles in preventing, assessing, and treating reading difficulties and disorders. 3. Learn about the relationship between SLPs’ training and confidence within the reading domain and across different work settings.

The Prosodic Abilities of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Presenters: Katherine Crenshaw, Susan Loveall, & Kara Hawthorne

Prosody is an important component of effective communication, as it plays a major role in both speech production and perception (Bone, Lee, Black, Williams, Lee, Levitt, & Narayana 2014; Peppé, 2009). Prosody is a parameter of speech that includes rhythm, loudness, stress, pitch, and intonation. In addition, prosody aids communicators in differentiating questions from statements as well as in understanding a speaker’s emotional state. (Kjesbo, 2015). Despite its importance, little research has examined prosody in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), a population known to struggle with communication (Doi et al., 2013; Martzuoukou et al., 2017; O’Connor, 2007; Paul et al., 2005; Philip et al., 2010). The purpose of this study is to examine the prosodic profile of individuals with IDD in comparison to typically developing (TD) adults. Participants completed standardized assessments of IQ (Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test – 2nd edition), receptive vocabulary (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – 4th edition), and prosody (Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication; PEPS-C). We hypothesized that: 1) individuals with IDD would demonstrate deficits in prosody when compared to TD adults, and 2) that there would also be patterns of prosodic strength and weakness in the group with IDD across different components of prosody. The results of this study will add to the limited evidence base in prosody and IDD and aid SLPs in better tailoring their clinical practices to clients with IDD.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Define prosody and its contribution to speech and language. 2. Learn about the PEPS-C assessment of prosody, including benefits and limitations. 3. Identify strengths and weaknesses of prosody in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Effect of Familiarity on Joint Attention in Children with ASD and/or DLD
Presenters: Rachel Jenkins, Susan Loveall, & Kara Hawthorne

Joint attention is the ability to share focus on an object with a conversational partner and the awareness that this attention is shared. Joint attention typically begins emerging around ages 3 to 6 months, is fully developed by 18 months (Kaplan & Hafner, 2006), and is an important building block for learning, language, and social development (Mundy & Newell, 2007; Thurm, Lord, Lee, & Newschaffer, 2007). However, previous research has documented that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental language disorder (DLD) often have significant deficits in joint attention when compared to typically developing peers of similar chronological ages (Mundy, Sigman, & Kasari, 1994; Osterling & Dawson, 1994; Chiang, Soong, Lin, & Rogers, 2008). Other lines of research suggest that familiarity between individuals with ASD or DLD and another person can positively impact behaviors such as reward anticipation, eye tracking, and empathy (Hudry & Slaughter, 2009; Stavropoulos & Carver, 2014; Sterling et al., 2008). However, the effect of familiarity on joint attention has yet to be examined in these populations. We therefore posed the following research question: What effect does the familiarity of the conversational partner have on the joint attention of a child with ASD or DLD? To answer this question, we will code therapy videos from five males between the ages of 3 and 5 with an ASD or DLD diagnosis who were enrolled in the HILL Program at the University of Mississippi. As part of the HILL Program, children are paired 1:1 with a graduate clinician each semester, and they receive individual therapy 2-4 times per week with that graduate clinician. The children work with a new graduate clinician each semester. To account for familiarity, videos of the child’s therapy sessions were recorded across 3 semesters, and two videos were coded for each child during each semester. One video was recorded at the start of the semester when the child and graduate clinician were still unfamiliar with each other. A second video was recorded at the end of the semester, when the child and clinician were familiar with each other. To measure joint attention, videos will be coded using a modified Early Social Communication Scale scheme (Mundy et al., 2003). It is hypothesized that there will be an increase in a child’s joint attention over the course of a semester (as the child becomes more familiar with his clinician). Then, joint attention will decrease at the beginning of a new semester (when a new clinician is introduced to the child). Joint attention will then increase again as the semester continues (as the child becomes familiar with the new clinician).  If this hypothesis is correct, this research implies the importance of building a relationship between the clinicians and their clients with ASD and DLD for continued improvement in joint attention.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Identify joint attention behaviors and understand coding schemes used to track joint attention in research. 2. Learn about joint attention deficits in autism spectrum disorders and developmental language disorder. 3. Consider the impact of clinician familiarity on joint attention in children with autism spectrum disorders and/or developmental language disorder during therapy sessions.


Relationships Among Executive Functioning and Autism Symptomatology in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Presenters: Madison Savoy, Rebekah Bosley, Kara Hawthorne, & Susan Loveall

Executive function refers to a set of higher order cognitive processes that help individuals regulate their behavior and emotions in order to achieve a goal (Jurado & Rosselli, 2007). These skills include planning, impulse control, inhibition, problem solving, organization, and mental flexibility (Ozonoff et al., 1991). Both strengths and weaknesses have been reported in across different subskills of executive function in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Hill, 2004; Kenworthy et al., 2008). Research suggests that children with ASD have relative strengths in mental flexibility and generativity and weaknesses in inhibition, and planning (Robinson et al., 2009). These strengths and weaknesses are likely tied to documented social and cognitive impairments common in ASD (Hill, 2004; Kenworthy et al., 2008). However, more research is needed to understand the nuanced relationship between ASD symptomatology and different subskills of executive function. The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between the subskills of executive function and ASD symptomatology in young children with ASD. Parents completed two standardized measures: Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second Edition (BRIEF-2) to report their child’s executive function and Social Responsiveness Scale, Second Edition (SRS-2) to report autism symptomatology. We hypothesize that children with higher levels of autism symptomatology, as reported by their parents, will also display more difficulties with executive functioning. Understanding the relationship between executive function and ASD symptomatology in young children with ASD will help clinicians better serve these children who receive language and social communication services.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1. Define executive functioning. 2. Understand how different subskills of executive function relate to ASD symptomatology. 3. Consider how SLPs can address difficulties in executive functioning in terms of their clients’ specific ASD symptomatology.

Parents' Perspectives on Therapy with Children with Speech and Language Delays
Presenters: Alissa Williams, Susan Loveall, & Misa Kayama

Parents play an important role in the success of a child’s language development (Brown & Woods, 2015). Further, research on early intervention has documented that parents can successfully learn and implement at-home therapy that results in positive language development for children with developmental disabilities (Venker et al., 2012). While the effectiveness of early intervention has been well-documented, there is little research exploring parents’ perspectives regarding their child’s therapy. It is known, however, that the relationship between parents and their child’s speech-language pathologist (SLP) directly influences the parents’ understanding of a child’s therapy (Auert, Trembath, Arciuli, & Thomas, 2012). The purpose of this study is to better understand parental expectations by examining: 1) how informed parents feel regarding their child’s therapy and how their relationship with their child’s SLP impacts this, 2) their perceived role and effectiveness in implementing therapy, 3) barriers to implementing therapy, and 4) how much progress they report seeing in their child’s language development at home. The study will utilize face-to-face semi-structured interviews with approximately 5-10 parents of young children who received early intervention services.

Expected Learner Outcomes: 1.Become familiar with qualitative research and semi-structured interviews. 2. Gain an understanding of the importance of parent involvement in a child’s early intervention and speech/language therapy process. 3. Learn about how the relationship between a parent and a child’s SLP can affect the parent’s understanding of his/her child’s therapy, barriers parents face when implementing therapy at home, and if parents report feeling adequately informed and involved in their child’s early intervention services.