Friday, November 30, 2018

Tech-based sources of clinical information and research

As I just finished writing a presentation for PaTTAN that has a ton of EBP references, I wanted to give a round-up of some of my favorite sources of information. We live in a time of great access to research digitally, and it's important for us to keep in the loop!

First I want to give a shout out to The Informed SLP. I subscribed earlier this year and find it a terrific resource. Each month, Informed SLP produces a friendly and accessibly written digest of clinically relevant research, with a variety of reasonably priced membership options. They also have a free area with great information. Follow them on Facebook or other socmed channels for informative blurbs too. I appreciate Informed SLPs recent messaging about the importance of the other two sides of evidence-based practice: clinical expertise and client values.

I'm not ashamed to admit how much I nerdily visit ASHAwire. This is the launch page for all the ASHA publications. Its search algorithms can be a little hinky but it is always a good place to start, or just to skim recent issues of journals such as Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. I also find a lot of value from the ASHA's Perspectives journal, which has practical clinical information throughout the year. Join one Special Interest Group ($40) and you have access to all the publications from all the interest groups. Click PDF on any article now and the website loads up ReadCube (you'll need to click add to library and open a free account), which allows you to save articles to your library and annotate them as well!

By the way, the above newly-published article, as a complete Teresa Ukrainetz fan (Ukrainiac?), made me more gleeful than attending Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour this summer. Which I did. I'm 45. It was my birthday present.

I have found ASHA's Evidence Maps website very useful. This is organized by disorder/intervention area and emphasizes higher levels of evidence such as meta-analyses and systematic reviews.

Finally, I'd encourage all of you who supervise graduate students to use or advocate for access to their university libraries online. Boston University provides this benefit to supervisors, among other schools. It is cost-prohibitive for any clinician to subscribe to other journals besides ASHA's, and it behooves any university to help keep its supervisors informed so that their students receive the best experience possible in their clinical placements.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

ASHA Recap

I was happy to attend and present at ASHA in my hometown of Boston this past week! I am still suffering from what we call the #ashahangover, despite being able to drive to the convention center. It is still as always an exhausting and overwhelming three days with a lot to absorb!

In one of my sessions I again presented on the strategic pairing of picture books and apps/web resources to establish context, this time emphasizing how SLPs can integrate science and social studies contexts. This could be with the goal of improving comprehension and expression of macrostructure (story grammar and expository text structures) or micro elements. See my slide below re: social studies summarizing the work of Fang (2012):

Additionally, when we look at our state standards, we can see the connections between content objectives and what we could call language underpinnings (see the work of Wallach and Ehren via ASHAWire)

To take a specific pairing, I presented Scot Ritchie's great Look Where We Live: A First Book of Community Building. This book literally explores community buildings, but more deeply ideas of civics and how people in a community help one another, providing good social studies connections but also social cognition concepts.

As a pairing idea, take Google Earth (via the app on your iPad or Google Chrome, free). Construct a lesson where you "travel" to an example of each of the buildings listed in the book, but within your community. Students can be prompted to describe what they see, and you can produce model narratives about your experiences with these places, in order to elicit the same from your students. A good post-post activity would be to create a map of these places on paper, thus targeting spatial concepts and visual organization (executive function experts such as Sarah Ward stress that map making of different spaces can develop situational awareness and planning).

Monday, November 12, 2018

See you at ASHA!

Hope to see some of you this week, as I have two presentations scheduled for ASHA Convention 2018 in Boston! My first one I am going to try to deliver start to finish in my best Boston accent!

Here are some details on them below. Also see my convention tech preview published on the ASHA Blog.

Topic Area: Language and Learning in School-Age Individuals
Session Number: 1327
Title: Pairing Picture Books & Apps for Contextualized Intervention: Hub of History & Innovation Edition
Session Format: Seminar 2-hours
Day:  Friday, November 16, 2018
Time:  8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Author(s): Sean Sweeney 

Another edition of this popular presentation from ASHA 2012-2017 describes pairings of picture books and apps setting intervention contexts related to science and social studies curriculum areas. Boston, a center of history and scientific innovation, is the perfect location for exploring connections between language intervention and these content area contexts, with picture books and apps providing tools for linguistic interactions.

-Identify 2 apps and picture books containing language structures and contexts within text, visuals and interactions
-State 4 features of disciplinary language within science and social studies providing contexts for language intervention
-Describe 2 session plans pairing books and apps based on contextual overlappings

Topic Area: Telepractice and Technology
Session Number: 1752
Title: Evolutionary Telepractice Approaches: Bridging the Gap Between Integrating Evidence-Based Methodologies & Methods of Delivery
Session Format: Seminar 2-hours
Day:  Saturday, November 17, 2018
Time:  8:00 AM - 10:00 AM 

Author(s): Amy Reid (PRESENTING AUTHOR: Author who will be presenting), Sean Sweeney (PRESENTING AUTHOR: Author who will be presenting), Nathan Curtis (PRESENTING AUTHOR: Author who will be presenting)

Speech-Language Pathologists aim to meet the goal of evidence-based practice by integrating clinical expertise, scientific evidence, and client/patient/caregiver perspectives. This presentation discusses how to utilize evidence-based methodologies in telepractice. We will present the underlying research and methodologies as the framework upon which to make clinical decisions about context. We will share video demonstrations of materials and approaches.

(Note: Amy and Nathan are the tele-experts in this one, as I'll be talking tech and context. You might be interested in the material regardless of whether you are involved in telepractice)


List three ways to include evidence-based methodologies in telepractice sessions
Describe two clinical techniques applying technology with curriculum-based materials to complete evidence-based approaches in telepractice
State three ways to engage clients on curriculum-based content using digital and “hands-on” resources  

Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Plotagon for Mac or PC

Plotagon Story is a very useful app for iPad and Android (free) that is now also available to download for Mac or PC. Plotagon represents the type of creative app that allows us to create models of concepts, skills or narratives, but also then to use as a co-creation tool so students can apply their understanding while having fun. With Plotagon, you choose a scene (many available for free) and create or use characters, then can type in a dialogue between them (2 characters only). You also can add emotional reactions; see my post walking through Plotagon in relation to the 6 Universal Feelings and Mindwing's Story Grammar Marker® (including a printable visual) here.

For another specific example of a clinical use of Plotagon, consider the Peers® Curriculum, which includes a breakdown of strategies in "trading information" in conversation. One of these includes the twofold moves of asking questions and then answering your own questions (basically topically commenting). In providing an overview of these moves week by week with a group of teens, Plotagon was useful in providing an engaging visual example before practicing the moves in conversation. Here's an example (this took me all of 5 minutes to make).

To download Plotagon Story, you can start from this page (scroll down for Mac and Windows downloads).