September 1, 2013 Departments

Spotlight on Special Interest Group 2, Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders

How many affiliates does SIG 2 have?

SIG 2 is the fourth-largest SIG, with more than 4,400 affiliates.

Why did you originally choose to affiliate with your SIG?

I joined SIG 2 to network with leaders in the field and to keep up-to-date on evidence-based practice. SIG 2 has exceeded my expectations! The SIG offers the opportunity to network and collaborate with other professionals through the online ASHA community, at the annual ASHA Health Care/Business Institute and at the ASHA convention. Additionally, SIG 2 provides opportunities for affiliates to access the most current information regarding important topics and earn CEUs through Perspectives, which are published quarterly. SIG 2 members can also earn CEUs at a reduced cost when they register for SIG 2-sponsored short courses at the ASHA convention. —Sarah Wallace

What is the most important issue surrounding your SIG's subject matter right now?

Two recent trends in clinical practice caught the attention of several members and sparked lively discussions on the SIG Community. The first involves evaluation and treatment of people with mild cognitive impairment. These people have functional deficits in daily tasks but are difficult to identify on traditional diagnostic tests. The use of rehabilitation software for cognitive treatment is cutting-edge and a review of current programs—completed by Lyn Turkstra's students—has frequently been referenced as an excellent resource.

A second "hot topic" that has generated a lot of interest on the SIG online community is the use of augmentative and alternative communication systems with people who have aphasia. SIG 2 strongly recommends educating family members that there is no evidence to support regression of verbal language with use of AAC systems. Technological considerations in AAC systems, including apps for different operating systems and funding for AAC technologies, is an upcoming area of interest. —Mary Purdy

What upcoming events related to or sponsored by your SIG should everyone know about?

Among the many recent and upcoming SIG 2-sponsored events of note are:

  • Recent Web chat on making cognitive connections using cognitive prosthetics and apps in acquired brain injury. Access the transcript at
  • Two invited sessions at the 2013 ASHA Convention: a two-hour seminar by Jacqueline Hinckley, "How Clinicians Can Help People With Severe Aphasia Participate In Life" and a short course by Sheila MacDonald, "When Mild Is Not Mild: Managing Subtle but Significant Cognitive-Communication Difficulties Following Brain Injury."
  • Online conference addressing assessment and management of cognitive communication and swallowing deficits in degenerative diseases in February 2014.
  • ASHA Health Care Conference/Business Institute (Las Vegas, April 2014). Among the topics are interdisciplinary teams and outcome-focused assessment and intervention.

Carole Roth-Abramson

Which of your recent Perspectives articles is a must-read for CSD professionals, and why?

We have had outstanding issues of Perspectives this year. The issue on mild cognitive impairment and normal aging [PDF] received significant positive feedback. Speech-language pathologists increasingly are called upon to screen, identify and evaluate patients with MCI. This issue includes articles addressing a range of topics, including the diagnostic criteria of MCI, risk factors for developing MCI and dementia, evidence for treatment techniques for MCI, and the distinction between normal and pathological cognitive changes as the population ages. It is a must-read for SLPs working with adults with neurological communication disorders. —Michael de Riesthal


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