My ISHA Experience

This weekend was our annual Indiana Speech Language And Hearing Association convention.  I didn’t go last year for the first time in years.  One reason I didn’t go is because the convention is becoming a very “school-based” convention.  Not that there’s anything wrong with working in the schools.  I don’t and if I’m going to go to a convention, whether I’m paying a lot of money or not, I want to learn something new.

I decided to go this year.  I was actually wanting to PRESENT this year, however Indiana seems to be behind the times.  They pull speakers from other conferences or from previous years and use those speakers at the convention.  Again, would be fine if they were people that were worth going to see.

Since I was unable to actually present, I decided to do a “student” poster.  I did my poster on Technology and Professional Networking in Dysphagia Therapy.  I had a decent turnout.  Probably around 20 people came.  The problem with the poster sessions were that they weren’t worth CEU’s, so who’s going to come for that??  Also, it was at lunchtime.  Again, Indiana SLP’s tend to like lunchtime and most are unwilling to give up Maggianos or Cheesecake Factory for a meager poster session.  Not  to mention, there were a grand total of 7 posters.

There were approximately 7 sessions in 3 days that were “adult” related.  I just wasn’t into the dementia or the TBI sessions.  Mainly because I rarely work with either.  Also, I have the handouts, I can go back to them if, someday I decide to work in those areas.  I enjoyed the Cervical Auscultation session.  If you don’t know what Cervical Auscultation is, we SLP’s use it to listen to the lungs with a stethoscope and also to the throat during the swallow to allow us to “hear” the swallow.  It was interesting, I learned a lot about my stethoscope that I didn’t know.  We also got a free CD copy of the BASS, which is Neil McKaig’s nearly $200 bedside swallow assessment tool.  What I didn’t get to do and what disappointed me the most was listen to DISORDERED swallows.  We listened to each other, we listened to plenty of NORMAL swallows, which is good.  We need to hear that, but really, an hour of listening to each other swallow was a bit too much for me. If I had to rate though compared to the rest of the sessions, it has the highest marks!

The Telepractice session awful.  The speaker lost me from minute 1, however the only other choices were pediatric sessions.  Just not sure that it took 2 boring sessions to tell me about Telepractice.  What did I learn from that session?  Don’t ever go see that speaker again!

My last 2 sessions were on NSOME.  I really thought that would be interesting and somewhat applicable to swallowing.  The first part was basically the speaker talking about research on NSOME.  Which is fine.  A good introduction to the topic.  Ninety minutes of that research on NSOME’s, not fun.  Of course, the lady totally lost me when she called the IOPI the Iowa Oral Pressure Indicator, when it’s the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument.  She then proceeded to cite a research article from Joanne Robbins stating that they looked at the efficacy of the IOPI.  That article did, however it also compared the IOPI to traditional lingual exercises with resistance, with a tongue depressor.  They found that not only did swallowing improve, but so did speech.  Look it up lady.  This article is highly recognized by Dr. Logemann.  Needless to say, her credibility went down the tubes with me.  Sad thing is, she is a professor (and I think department chair) at a highly respected UNIVERSITY in INDIANA.  Her second half to the session was supposed to go into treatment.  Again, the topic was NSOME.  The subject for treatment???  Core vocabulary in articulation therapy.  No thank you.  I left early and docked myself the CEU’s.  Yes, I want to learn, but not that.

Will I go back to ISHA next year??  Maybe.  It is an inexpensive and close CEU event.  I more than got my money’s worth just through my free assessment.  Plus I got some CEU’s.  If the speakers do not improve, I will be going elsewhere.  Maybe I should have saved my money and went to see the “Michaels” (Crary and Groher) speak on dypshagia instead.  Oh well, the MBSImP conference should be fabulous!!  I’m counting on you Bonnie Martin-Harris!!

One thought on “My ISHA Experience

  1. Oh, I wish I knew I already followed your blog! I stopped by your poster yesterday, and took the resources. I was the one who told you that I was at the slpchat in March, but I forget to sign into twitter because I am so busy with grad school. I didn't realize you were in IN!

    I went to completely different sessions than you! I did enjoy most of them, some more than others, and went to all sessions dealing with children, since I am also an SLPA in the schools. I learned the most from the session on word frequency and neighborhood density and how they relate to word selection.

    So, are you anywhere near South Bend? That is where I am, but this is a long state! Thanks for your poster. I was also disappointed with the paucity of posters, and it made me want to do one next year! I will be doing an externship next spring, and it seems hard to plan where that might be to know if I will even be able to go.

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