The ASHA Experience, so far….

I just completed day 2 of ASHA. I would have blogged about day 1 yesterday, but I was just too tired.

Day 1 started early. I couldn’t sleep so I was up at 4!! I woke up, enjoyed a continental breakfast at the hotel, then left for the convention center. I met up with @azspeechguy and talked to him for a bit before I left to go to the BRSS reception. I figured out finally that it was at the Mariott Hotel, so that was no big deal since the Marriott was right by my hotel. I walked all the way back to find out that there’s a Marriott right by the convention center, which is where my meeting was held. I finally found the meeting and received a lot of great advice from some BRSS members.

After that, I headed over to the opening session. I will have to say I was extremely impressed by the speaker, Jill Bolte Taylor. She was amazingly inspiring. The main thing I took from her is that she was given 8 years to recover to the point where she is now. So many of my patient’s feel that after a stroke, they only have a very short period of time for recovery. I now have an inspiration for my patient’s, someone that is so courageous and has made such an enormous recovery.

I finally made my way to the SmartyEars booth and had my first meeting with Barbara Fernandes. It was like meeting up with an old friend. She is so sweet and is better than what I could have ever imagined. I got to work at the booth and showed my fair share of the Articulate It app.

One thing that surprised me with the ASHA convention is the incredible increase in the amount of therapists that use an iPad. In my home state of Indiana I find few people embrace new technology. So many people talk about how the apps on the phones and iPads “take away from the sessions by decreasing interactions between therapists and clients” and that “apps are becoming the speech therapist”. I think it’s time for these people to wake up and realize that apps are no more taking over our jobs than a deck of Webber cards does. I just created a dysphagia app (of which I am so very proud!). This app does not take away the need for the skilled clinician. It enhances the way in which the therapist can complete their job. Apps simply give us another tool with which to provide our expertise. With the technology put into these apps we can utilize apps to increase productivity and efficiency. Many apps will actually track data as the client completes therapy, allowing the therapist more interaction time, not having to flip through papers to mark a plus or a minus. Therapists need to embrace the technology, not fight it.

Off that soapbox, I finally went to my first session. I went to see Lori Burkhead speak about Using FEES in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer. It was very interesting to see dysfunctions that were found using FEES that could not be seen during MBSS.

I also went to see Barbara present on articulation apps and the iPad. Barbara had some technical difficulties to begin the session, but was very professional and did a great job with on-the-spot thinking. Barbara had a great presentation with a lot of interst in the articulation apps.

Afterwards, I met up with several great SLPeeps and we all went out to dinner together, then it was back to the hotel and off to bed for me!!! I would like to thank Bridget, Tara, Jeremy and Phil for a great dinner and evening. It was so nice to meet everyone after having been talking to them on Twitter for so long!!!

Well, it’s the end of day 2 and I’m exhausted so blog on day 2 will have to come tomorrow!!!

One thought on “The ASHA Experience, so far….

  1. I am jealous, Tiffany, but glad you are having a good time! I really am planning on going next year to Atlanta, though, and then for sure to Chicago, of course!

    Up here in North Central Indiana, there are a lot of people using the iPad. We just got them in south bend– I got to be on the team to get them started, and am the person in charge for SLPs for answering tech questions and purchasing apps. I know Elkhart has them, and I just heard Mishawaka will be getting them, too. But I really like your line about Weber cards taking over, and I am going to use that for any reluctance I hear. 🙂

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