Friday, July 21, 2017

ASHA Connect 2017 and Why I've Been MIA

I am woefully behind in my blogging duties and for that I will apologize! My last post was the end of May!! Naturally, I always have the best of intentions, but as we know "the road to hell is paved with good intentions!" Henceforth I will commit to my writing.

Where have I been? Well, the end of my school year was busy and exhausting. I just had neither the motivation nor the inspiration to write. That, my friends, is a mindset I need to change. One of the notions I have considered is that my posts don't need to be earth changing, therapy changing, mind blowing tomes of inspiration that take a half a day to write with photos that take another half a day to curate. Sometimes they can be brief snippets reflecting real life, real world thoughts. That is my new focus; create connections and stay present.

Speaking of "connections," ASHA Connect did not disappoint. Writing the blog Doyle Speech Works has been the catalyst for so many connections with those I now consider my dear friends. ASHA Connect 2017 was the catalyst that brought many of us together in real life for the very first time. We call ourselves the "Splitcoast Speechies" and share many conversations daily. Unfortunately one of our gang couldn't attend ASHA Connect, but her state is represented here nonetheless. What a ball we had!!

The days spent learning from thought leaders in the field and evenings spent taking in the splendor that is New Orleans made for a perfect experience. Most of the sessions I attended delivered at least in some way, but there were two standouts for me; Reimagine Your Service Delivery: Strategies for Dosage, Scheduling, and Other Challenges and Recipe for Success: Mixing Low- and High-Tech AAC Tools for Classroom Success.

Reimagine Your Service Delivery: Strategies for Dosage, Scheduling, and Other Challenges, caused me to consider some options to my service delivery model including a modification to the 3:1 model. I've been exploring the idea of a 4:1 model; four days of uninterrupted therapy with one day per week of consult, meetings, and assessment. If I can establish buy-in with my colleagues, we can employ this model without the need to change service delivery in the IEPs. It will also be helpful in creating a dedicated time for consult. I also have been thinking about co-treating with the special education teachers. In this way, one rather than two scheduled times for intervention will be necessary. the benefits to the student speak for themselves.
The session Recipe for Success: Mixing Low- and High-Tech AAC Tools for Classroom Success was the last one I attended on Sunday morning. It was loaded with practical information on a topic that often unnerves me. I was so happy to have attended.
I always purchase the Plus Package which allows me to access recordings of all the other sessions, with the exception of Michelle Garcia Winner's presentations (she doesn't participate in that option). Consequently, I attended her sessions because I knew they would be unavailable via the Plus Package. I won't do that again.

On to the NOLA experience! After another amazing dining experience, I remarked that, "Each thing I put in my mouth is better than the thing I had before!" I have never experienced such gustatory delights as I did in New Orleans. With our resident Cajun gal and tour guide, Mia McDaniel at the helm, we dove into divine doughnuts the size of dishes, frozen frosé on the streets, beignets with powdered sugar perfection, piquant pork rinds that ate like popcorn, fruity fried lemon slices that I tried to replicate at home and failed and so much more. I came home to 21 Day Fix containers that nearly had me weeping. With musical delights and an architectural style completely unique to New Orleans I was on a sensory high. I loved every minute of my experience and to enjoy it with my best friends was truly special.
I've included only a handful of photos that capture the essence of the trip. Enjoy, I did!

Oh that chocolate chip cookie at Willa Jean!

St. Charles Trolley experience

Splitcoast Speechies minus Sparklle SLP and Amy (3D SLP)

How to eat a beignet without get powdered sugared! 
Connecting with my BFF at Connect (yes, I donned the cutout with beads and they remained throughout Connect)

Love this photo (and it won me a $50.00 Amazon Card! Thank you ASHA!)


  1. It was so amazingly wonderful to meet you in real life!

    1. It was one of the best four day of my life!

  2. Such a wonderful weekend and now I don't have to sound weird when I talk about my Splitcoast Speechie friends because I really do know y'all! :)

  3. What a fabulous trip expressed to eloquently! I loved every minute! It was truly an unforgettable experience

    1. It was and I am so glad we had it to share!! On to Baltimore 2018!