I’m so fortunate to have attended the Speech-Language- Hearing Association of Virginia conference in Williamsburg! During this conference, I learned about a variety of topics including augmentative-alternative communication, selective mutism, and collaboration within the school system. The session that was most interesting to me was about selective mutism, which according to the presenter, is a childhood anxiety disorder that inhibits a child’s inability to speak and communicate within social settings. The presenter discussed how the disorder gave the child “feelings of death” whenever they were required to speak and she provided some helpful therapy techniques that therapists can use when working with these children to help them overcome some of that anxiety. In addition to the sessions, I was also able to network and meet some great people who shared the same or similar interests. They provided me with ideas and techniques that I can utilize in my practice. I am so incredibly grateful to Longwood Graduate Studies for providing me the grant to attend this conference and I can’t wait to go again next year!
Me (on the right) and my graduate student friends at the SHAV conference.
On March 23rd,24th, and 25th, I had opportunity to go to the Speech and Hearing Association of Virginia conference thanks to a generous contribution from the CGPS. While at the conference, I learned a diverse array of information pertaining to the field of speech-language pathology about topics including, desensitization to stuttering, the use of applied behavior analysis in autism, the classification of speech errors in articulation and phonology, the language of poverty, and the use of different viscosities in barium swallow studies. My favorite presentation was about how stuttering can be better treated by using techniques to decrease fear and anxiety. I appreciated how the presenter Vivian Sisskin, used videos to show the incredible progress her clients made in a very short amount of time. As I am interested in working in the school system with K-3rd grade, I know this information will be beneficial for me as a practicing clinician when treating children who stutter. I am excited to attend the next SHAV conference in Williamsburg, VA and learn more about the field of speech-language pathology!