ASHA Schools Conference

Sessions Descriptions

Instructional Level

Unless otherwise noted, the instructional level for all sessions is intermediate, and assumes familiarity with foundational professional knowledge and terminology.

Pennsylvania Act 48

The opening plenary, panel discussion, and all concurrent sessions are eligible for Pennsylvania Act 48 professional education hours.

Friday, July 25

Opening Plenary (8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.)

PL01 - Wake Up! and Live Powerfully
Mike Jaffe, MBA

Jump-start the new school year with this inspiring session that's sure to recharge, re-energize, and refocus you. Attend this session to get a new perspective on your work in schools and how you can make a difference—one story at a time!

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • translate renewed personal energy and empowerment into positive work experiences
  • recognize increased well-being and meaning in life, including at work
  • employ new techniques to overcome fear and adversity
  • evaluate your work life and use new skills to make changes

Learning Sessions CS01-CS05 (9:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m.)

CS01 - Working With School-Age Children Who Stutter
Joseph Donaher, PhD, CCC-SLP

Do you know what to do with a child who stutters? This session will offer guidance through a review of the evidence base and practical strategies.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • view stuttering as more than simply a set of behaviors
  • have strategies for addressing stuttering from a multi-dimensional perspective
  • empower children who stutter to make change

CS02 - ELL Eligibility and Service Delivery
Jessica Bauman, MA, CCC-SLP

SLPs may have a difficult time differentiating between language disorder and language difference based on cultural and linguistic diversity. Conversely, SLPs may have a clear understanding but work with colleagues who tend to over-refer ELLs to special education. This session provides ways to talk to colleagues, families, and other stakeholders about how to distinguish, the impact of not distinguishing, and resources to address the true needs that may exist, although not be related to a disability.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • distinguish between language difference and disorder
  • develop an action plan to change practices in your work setting
  • apply guiding principles and resources in planning treatment for bilingual children

CS03 - Addressing Social Competence in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Practical Strategies Derived from Contemporary Neuroscience
Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP

How do you determine how neurological differences in ASD impact social communication development in ASD at the pre-symbolic, emerging language, and conversational stages? We will discuss the unique priorities of each developmental stage of autism as a means to select appropriate goals, effective strategies, and appropriate models of service delivery.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify differences in neurodevelopment in children with ASD at pre-symbolic, emerging language, and conversational levels
  • select appropriate goals for children with ASD at pre-symbolic, emerging language, and conversational levels
  • identify effective strategies for enhancing social competence in children with ASD at pre-symbolic, emerging language, and conversational levels

CS04 - Digital Literacy and Intervention
Melissa Malani, PhD, CCC-SLP

This presentation will present technologies and case studies to examine the use of digital technologies for intervention across elementary and secondary students.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • implement new technology applications
  • think critically about how digital texts are constructed

CS05 - Using Literacy to Build Language and Communication Skills for Students With Significant Disabilities
Janet M. Sturm, PhD, CCC-SLP

Historically, students with significant disabilities have received limited or splintered literacy learning experiences. These experiences were often focused at a basic functional level (e.g., worksheets and drill-and-practice). To become literate and increase authentic communication skills, students with significant disabilities need access to effective literacy learning contexts that support engagement in authentic, meaningful experiences. To provide optimum outcomes for students with significant disabilities, SLPs must consider a scope and sequence of communication and literacy intervention from preschool through post-secondary settings. This program will identify functional, authentic communication, and literacy goals for students with significant disabilities to meet the rigorous standards of the Common Core State Standards, and implement relevant communication and literacy goals for students with significant disabilities across the age-span that are embedded in high-quality literacy activities.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe learning considerations for students with significant disabilities
  • provide examples of learning goals that promote language, communication, and literacy skills across a range of student abilities and draw upon the Common Core
  • provide examples of learning contexts that optimize communication and literacy outcomes for students with significant disabilities
  • explain several strategies that can be used to promote social communication and literacy development of students with significant disabilities in varied intervention contexts

Concurrent Sessions CS06-CS10 (1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.)

CS06 - TBI in School-Age Children
Angela Hein Ciccia, PhD, CCC-SLP

This session examines traumatic brain injury (TBI) in development and how to treat it in a school environment. You will learn EBP suggestions, supported by evidence, for the most common deficits associated with school-age TBI.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • use evidence-based assessment approaches for school-age children with TBI
  • use evidence-based treatment practices for individuals and groups for school-age children with TBI
  • identify children that are in need of services but may have been overlooked

CS07 - Building Better Readers for SLPs: Using Oral Language to Support Written Language
Shari Robertson, PhD, CCC-SLP

This workshop will explore the reciprocal relationships between language and literacy and link them to the skills identified as critical to the development of reading (and writing) by the National Literacy Panel and the Common Core curriculum. Interactive demonstrations, booklists, activity sheets, and lesson ideas will be provided—everything you need to implement these practical, proven strategies in your profession setting. Laugh while you learn to build better readers of all ages!

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • summarize key elements of the current knowledge base related to language and literacy development and the role of SLPs in this process
  • utilize multiple evidence-supported intervention strategies to support oral and written language skills as identified by the National Reading Panel and the Common Core curriculum
  • identify appropriate children's literature and web resources that support language and literacy development

CS08 - Using the iPad to Facilitate Evidence-Based Practices With Children With Language Disorders
Angie Sterling-Orth, MS, CCC-SLP

This session will provide participants with a quality control to evaluate iPad use while empowering them to apply evidence-based practice on app choices and use. You'll learn tips and tricks on the iPad to allow for ease of use in ways that support evidence-based practices.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • customize apps with original images/photos to promote generalization and use of real-world targets
  • use the iPad for consultative/indirect service delivery practices to increase generalization and efficiencies

CS09 - Phonological Complexity Principles: Promoting Efficient Change in Overall Intelligibility
Jennifer Taps Richard, MA, CCC-SLP

This session introduces SLPs to complexity principles that will lead to efficient changes in a child's phonological system (rather than one sound at a time). Attendees will learn about linguistic universals that facilitate maximal changes in both treated and untreated sounds, which result in significant gains in overall intelligibility in the least amount of time. In particular, powerful research and anecdotal evidence about teaching complex clusters will be shared, along with examples of system-wide changes that occurred for several preschool and school-age students in San Diego Unified School District. Furthermore, SLPs will apply these principles when selecting treatment targets for children featured in two case studies: a young child with a phonological disorder and a school-age child with several later-developing singletons in error. After this 2-hour session, SLPs will also have the opportunity to access additional resources for both assessment and treatment.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss the principles of complexity that underscore treatment target selection and the body of research that supports this methodology
  • identify complex treatment targets (especially complex clusters) to expedite the progress of children on caseloads

CS10 - Incorporating Alternative & Augmentative Communication Techniques Into a Multi-Sensory Therapy Approach
Dave Hammer, MA, CCC-SLP
Katie Micco, MS, CCC-SLP

Are you interested in learning ways to incorporate both low/no and high tech augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) techniques into a multisensory approach for children with childhood apraxia of speech? Using case studies and various examples, we will demonstrate the use of no tech, low tech, and high tech AAC techniques into language-based activities, as well as more direct motor planning and sound sequencing. This presentation will focus on incorporating AAC techniques within a multisensory therapy approach to help enhance overall communication in children with childhood apraxia of speech. An overview of a multisensory therapy approach will be presented with a discussion on differential decision making regarding which augmentative system to use. The impact of AAC modalities/techniques in relation to speech and language development will be discussed. Various videos of children using AAC techniques/modalities will be presented to emphasize strategies and use in therapy and home practice activities.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe the importance of using AAC techniques to support speech-motor planning and programming
  • list ways to incorporate the strategies into a multisensory therapy approach to enhance overall communication skills

Panel Discussion (4:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m.)

PN01 - A View From the Field: Perspectives on SLP Roles From School Administrators
Peg Foster, MEd
Jenifer Cline, MA
Scott Murphy, MEd
Ken Geisick, EdD

Four school administrators—including an elementary school principal, high school principal, special education director, and district superintendent—will make brief presentations to contextualize the roles of SLPs within broader educational perspectives. Session participants will then have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify ways to increase SLPs' participation in the school community
  • describe how SLPs' efforts contribute to students' success with the Common Core State Standards
  • explain the importance of access to and participation in professional development activities for school-based SLPs
  • argue for the creation of a work environment that is supportive of using evidence-based practices and providing Free and Appropriate Public Education to special needs students

Saturday, July 26

Concurrent Sessions CS11-CS15 (8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.)

CS11 - Let's Get Practical! Executive Function and Social Thinking Meet the Common Core Standards (Part 1)
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP
Michelle Garcia Winner, MS, CCC-SLP

Ms. Garcia Winner will explore social executive functioning and related treatment strategies to target the development of social communication skills. Using Social Thinking frameworks such as the Four Steps of Communication and the Four Steps of Perspective Taking and the evidence-based Social Thinking Vocabulary, we will then explore how to help students learn the difference between friendly and friendship. Participants will develop their own socially-based lesson plans that align with the speaking and listening, point of view, and narrative language Common Core anchor standards.

Ms. Ward will address how to clearly define what the executive function skills are for the purpose of determining the most effective treatment interventions. We will learn dozens of functional, ready-to-use strategies for teaching students how to develop the executive function skills:

  • teach students to develop a "memory for the future," devise plans to achieve their goal, use self-talk, self-initiate, transition to the next task of higher priority, and control their impulses and emotions to successfully complete a task
  • improve a student's awareness skills so that he/she can "read a room" then "stop, think, and create" an appropriate action plan and infer possible outcomes
  • teach students to see and sense the passage of time, accurately estimate how long tasks will take, and carry out routines and tasks within allotted timeframes
  • improve student's ability to think in an organized way
  • provide practical strategies to help students to record, initiate, and complete long-term projects

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • develop an intervention program to foster a student's ability to form more independent executive function skills by describing therapeutic activities to improve:
    • situational awareness and forethought
    • task planning, task initiation, and transition within and between tasks
    • active self-management of the factors related to the passage of time
    • internal self-talk for initiating tasks
    • organized thinking and student management of homework and materials
  • define the four steps of communication and be able to explain how each step guides a separate but related treatment plan
  • explain how we read each other's intentions to help us navigate our own social behavioral responses (social skills)
  • explain what is meant by "friendship is work" and write a treatment plan to help teach students how to evolve from "friendly" to "friendship"

CS12 - Teaching Language Knowledge, Skills and Strategies to Older Students Who Struggle With the CCSS
Barbara J. Ehren, EdD, CCC-SLP

SLPs must know how to provide critical support to adolescents who struggle to meet Common Core State Standards. This session will provide specific methods for SLPs to work with adolescents and their teachers.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • look at the ELA CCSS 6-12 with which targeted adolescents are having difficulty and select the high impact language knowledge, skills, and strategies that should be taught
  • decide which language knowledge, skills, and strategies to target with which students directly and which to address with secondary teachers
  • employ selected evidence-based methods to teach the critical language knowledge, skills, and strategies underlying the ELA CCSS

CS13 - Treatment Dilemmas and Strategies for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)
Gail J. Richard, PhD, CCC-SLP

Children are frequently diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). This deficit presents some unique challenges for the school-based speech-language pathologist attempting to meet the student's needs. This session will review some of the controversy around CAPD, present evidence on various treatment techniques, and provide a continuum model for determining treatment goals. General strategies will be discussed and specific case presentations will allow participants to apply information and generate treatment objectives.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate aspects of auditory processing disorders to confidently focus treatment goals
  • Evaluate strengths/limitations of treatment methodologies for APD
  • Incorporate games and other treatment strategies to address APD
  • Work through several cases to interpret needs and generate treatment goal

CS14 - Systematic Rtl: Collaborating With Families, Teachers, and Other Professionals
Jennifer Taps Richard, MA, CCC-SLP

San Diego Unified School District has offered two, long-term successful Response to Intervention (RTI) programs since 2004, including the Speech Improvement Class model for children with mild articulation errors and preschool RTI for children at risk for language disorders. Many school-based SLPs provide services for both school-age and preschool-age students; therefore, the principles will be applicable to a large percentage of attendees. This workshop will feature information about both service delivery models as well as numerous resources for other districts and Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) to implement similar services. For both, SLPs will walk away with a well-organized set of procedures and strategies for partnering effectively with parents and teachers in supporting communication development. In a recent meta-analysis, Law, Garrett, and Nye (2010) found that trained parents facilitated language development as effectively as SLPs. Therefore, SLPs can empower all adults to promote better communication skills in the naturalistic contexts of the home and the classroom. If districts and individual SLPs apply these principles, this will support the short-term support of speech and language development of children who demonstrate speech and language differences and will allow proper identification of students who require long-term support due to speech and language disorders. This will result in a more efficient use of time, energy, and resources.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss methods for empowering families and teachers to support both speech and language development (conversational recasts, language expansions, open-ended questions, etc.)
  • access numerous resources for developing streamlined procedures at the district/SELPA level (flow maps, checklists, parent-friendly handouts, questionnaires, etc.)

CS15 - Using Metalinguistic Skills to Support Word-Level Reading and Spelling
Kenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLP
Julie Masterson, PhD, CCC-SLP

The SLP can facilitate skills in reading, spelling, and writing to help students meet the Common Core State Standards. We will describe how to assess and facilitate the student's awareness of the linguistic skills that underlie word level reading and spelling.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • analyze spellings to determine what linguistic deficiencies may underlie problems in decoding and spelling
  • develop and implement a word study activity that focuses only on patterns that need intervention and targets associated underlying deficiencies

Concurrent Sessions CS16-CS20 (1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.)

CS16 - Let's Get Practical! Executive Function and Social Thinking Meet the Common Core Standards (Part II)
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP
Michelle Garcia Winner, MS, CCC-SLP

For the second session of the afternoon, Ms. Ward and Ms. Garcia Winner will have an informal discussion about how their individual treatment models can be used in tandem with clients. They will also answer questions from the audience.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • develop an intervention program to foster a student's ability to form more independent social executive function skills by describing therapeutic activities to improve the use of Social Thinking Vocabulary to facilitate explaining complex social expectations
  • describe how SLPs can advocate for social learning through the use of the Common Core State Standards
  • break communication and perspective-taking down for your clients using the Four Step frameworks
  • utilize the lesson plan you developed during the session
  • know how Ward and Winner's work can be combined within the same treatment session

CS17 - Keeping Current With Special Education Law: Recent Developments
Julie Weatherly, Esq.

Staying current on special education legal issues in schools can be a challenge. This session will address current special education decisional law and any recent statutory or agency action.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss current legal issues in special education
  • cite to relevant legal decisions in the area of special education

CS18 - Using Schema Knowledge to Support Reading Comprehension and Writing
Kenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLP
Julie Masterson, PhD, CCC-SLP

In the second session of the day, we will describe how to facilitate the student's awareness of the cognitive-linguistic skills that underlie text comprehension and writing formulation.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • develop and implement a reading comprehension lesson that is specifically geared toward the nature of text being provided
  • develop and implement a writing lesson that is specifically geared toward the nature of the text being requested

CS19 - Critical Thinking and Academic Language
Claudia Dunaway, MA, CCC-SLP

SLPs strive to provide direct and consultative services in the secondary grades that will have widespread, visible impact on student achievement. This session explains and demonstrates specific methods and protocols that directly and immediately improve students' thinking and academic language performance.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • plan an effective academic conversation lesson
  • use facilitating instructional methods that improve the quantity and quality of academic conversations in the classroom
  • document ongoing progress in meaningful ways

CS20 - Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Low-Income Students With Potential and Actual Language Impairment
Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP

Low-income students often come to us with a reduced base upon which to build language. Due to environmental constraints, they may have low vocabularies, weak literacy skills, and weak oral language skills. Schools often refer these students to SLPs, because they believe the students have underlying language impairments (LIs). However, the students may not have LIs at all—they may be typical learners with major environmental issues impacting their academic performance. It is very hard to distinguish language difference from LI in these students during assessment. It is also a major challenge to meet their many and varied needs. The session discusses best practices in nonbiased assessment for low-income students when SLPs are trying to distinguish language difference (due to environmental variables) from language impairment. Strategies are also shared for intervention and support for both oral and written language skills for low-income students.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe strategies for nonbiased assessment of low-income students to distinguish environmental language difference from underlying language impairment
  • list specific methods for increasing oral language skills of low-income students
  • discuss strategies for increasing literacy skills in low-income students, especially as these strategies relate to Common Core State Standards

Sunday, July 27

Concurrent Sessions CS21-CS25 (8:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.)

CS21 - Unpacking Discipline Specific Text with Adolescents
Barbara J. Ehren, EdD, CCC-SLP

SLPs often haven't learned, or forgot, micro and macro text structures that they need to know to help adolescents with discipline-specific texts. This presentation will take SLPs on the same journey of unpacking text that they need to navigate with adolescents.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • review primary and secondary source materials in science and social studies and identify macro and micro text structures
  • predict the structures that will be most troublesome for adolescents who struggle with language
  • employ a metalinguistic protocol for text analysis as a basis for planning intervention

CS22 - Augmentative & Alternative Communication in General Education School Setting
Gail Van Tatenhove, MS, CCC-SLP

The majority of academic vocabulary is not pre-programmed in an AAC device or app and, for a student who cannot spell these words, this creates a huge challenge for school-based SLPs who are spending valuable time trying to add these words into the device. Not only is this taking away from critical therapy time, but therapy time is spent on teaching infrequently used words instead of helping the student learn frequently used words needed for talking, writing, and participating in the curriculum. This session will describe a process called Descriptive Talking, which focuses on using a set of 350 to 400 core vocabulary words instead of infrequently used words. Outcome measures will be included that demonstrate that Descriptive Talking strategies are increasing student participation in inclusive classrooms and improving student performance in meeting Core Curriculum State Standards.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe the steps of the Descriptive Talking strategy to parents and general education teachers
  • define academic content words with short two to three word core descriptions from a set of 350 to 400 target core words
  • model use of simple visual support materials that can be used in therapy or a classroom to increase use of core vocabulary and generative language

CS23 - The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in the Counseling Process
Tommie L. Robinson, Jr., PhD, CCC-SLP

Each day clinicians are faced with the need to support students/clients/patients whose lives are impacted by their communication disorders. It can range from adjusting to the communication disorder to bullying or the distressed families who are merely looking for additional services to enhance their attitudes and feelings. In this session, information will be shared relative to techniques for clinicians and coping strategies for individuals and families to deal with stressors and adjustments. In addition, clinical resources will be shared.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • utilize counseling techniques relative to communication disorders
  • identify students and families in need of support
  • create empathetic attunement with students/clients/patients and families in stressful situations

CS24 - Ethics and School-Based Practice: Constraints & Considerations
Heather Bupp, Esq.
Theresa H. Rodgers, MA, EdSp, CCC-SLP

Ethical dilemmas arise when professionals are presented with circumstances that offer no zero-risk choice. This session will outline a step-by-step process for resolving ethical dilemmas. We will also discuss ethical quandaries in speech-language pathology and audiology schools practices, such as supervision, confidentiality, support personnel, conflicts of interest, ethical treatment of linguistically diverse populations, and special considerations for children with custody or other legal issues.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • delineate key considerations and appropriate timing in resolving ethical dilemmas
  • recognize ethical vs. legal vs. regulatory (state/local) standards
  • analyze real-life scenarios that constitute potential ethical violations

CS25 - Reading Fluency in Children With Fluency Disorders
Nina Reardon Reeves, MS, CCC-SLP
Laura Young-Campbell, MS, CCC-SLP
Kim Krieger, MS, CCC-SLP

SLPs are uncertain how to help children who stutter navigate the "reading fluency rate" assessments given by most districts across the country. Participants will learn how to highlight the issues for administrators and team members, and will learn practical information to educate team members, advocate for children who stutter, and create individualized plans to mitigate the consequences for children who stutter on their workloads.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • collect information regarding district reading fluency rate assessment policies and procedures
  • educate team members on issues related to oral reading fluency measures and children who stutter
  • create individualized plans and accommodations for children who stutter

Closing Plenary (10:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m.)

PL02 - Great Ideas Closing Ignite! Sessions

Leave the conference feeling motivated and empowered to change history and her story, too—and return to work full of energy. This session includes a half-dozen quick presentations to give you a renewed perspective on your role, action plans, collaboration, and how you make a difference for your students.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • create action plans to be more effective in your schools
  • use new strategies to be more impactful in your role and as a group member
  • recognize the importance of happiness, passion, and related characteristics in your life and workplace

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