Top 10 Playlist of ASHA

Sunday, November 20, 2016
As I sat on the plane on the way home from the ASHA convention, I reflected on my trip, listening to music and hence this playlist was born. It contains some songs that you know and may some introduce some that are new to you that you will grow to love. Whether you were in Philadelphia with the over 16,000 (wow!) attendees or living vicariously from afar, I hope that you enjoy this playlist.

Be you. Embrace the unique gifts that you bring to the field of speech-language pathology. Embrace them and share them with others. We want to learn from you.

Change begins with you. Take one tip or trick that you learned and take it from there. The first step is the hardest. Take it.  If you were unable to be at the convention, think of the last professional development you attended and actively use something that you learned. Use evidence based practice to advance your practice.

Advocate, advocate, advocate. What is really best practice and will advance your student/client’s progress? Does practicing in a closet restrict the treatment you can provide? Are there programmatic interventions you could use your communication expertise to develop or model that would address the needs of your student body?  Can you advocate for changes that would lead to increased accuracy in appropriate referrals/identification through dynamic assessment? What would you want for your own child? Be brave and take the steps you need to be the best SLP version of you.

Not only can you make a difference, you will. You are the voice for those who need you the most. What do they want you to say? Imagine the possibilities when we all come together. I met so many beautiful people this week and felt the positive energy. That energy is exactly the energy the world needs. Keep it going.

Collaborate with your colleagues. Sure, we all need to vent sometimes, I get it. Next time someone vents to you and needs you to be their person take it as a problem solving opportunity. Don’t simply commiserate. Create a positive outcome.

Take care of you. Put on your oxygen mask so you can help others. For me, this is not an innate quality but one I need to make a conscious effort toward. I feel very fortunate to have crossed paths with Sharon Rice of speechceu who is helping SLPs take care of themselves as well as their student/client through evidence based continuing education courses. 

We work hard, often far beyond our scheduled hours. In this week alone, I had 4 evaluations, 7 IEPs and progress reports for my entire caseload before traveling to attend the ASHA convention. We need to refuel, recharge and reenergize. The ASHA convention offers opportunities to cut loose with those who get you and what you do.

Think big. Dream big. Your biggest regrets likely aren't what you did do but rather what you put on the back burner for too long. Push your limits. Even if you just dip your toe in the pond, you will create a ripple.

The connections made at the ASHA  convention are priceless. The ASHA convention offers countless opportunities to make new friends, establish deeper connections with those you know from afar and opportunities to reminisce with old dear friends. 

I remember my first ASHA convention vividly and fondly. It was fall of 1997, I was a bright eyed college student, starstruck in Boston as our profession came to life before my eyes. Your first ASHA convention is one that you will always remember. Meeting so many students who are just making their way into the field and learning from the research that is executed due to the countless hours of data analysis by graduate students turned SLP warms my heart as we send the next generation of SLPs on their way. 

Now as much as I would love to rock it out some more, I do believe that a lullaby is in this tired SLP's future! 

Rock on my fellow SLPs!

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