Is Your Early Interventionist Learning Out Loud?

Professionals in speech-language pathology, audiology and education of the deaf met at the ASHA Convention to learn new ideas and trends, find out the latest research and learn new and better ways to help children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

As a parent of a child with hearing loss, you likely have an expectation that members of your early intervention team continuously seek new knowledge and skills from the most current topics in the field  so you and your child can achieve the best listening and spoken language (LSL) outcome possible. 

Last week, more than 16,000 professionals in speech-language pathology, audiology and education of the deaf attended the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention (ASHA) in Philadelphia. Professionals who attended took time away from intervention schedules to learn about the latest trends and results in research, leveling up  their knowledge.  In fact, some of the LSL leaders from the Hearing First Professional Learning Community shared topics in their areas of expertise related to improving the outcomes of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Here is an overview of some of those topics:

Professionals who want to grow their skills are often mentored by other professionals who can guide and coach them to improve their LSL practice. This year, mentors were challenged to consider their mindset for how they can foster positive, strengths-based mentoring relationships. (Sherri Fickenscher, Ashley Garber, Lillian Henderson and Kathryn Wilson)

LSL professionals guide and coach parents to be their child’s best teacher and support them in their use of strategies and techniques with their child during everyday routines. This year, professionals gained more tools and strategies to enhance parent coaching skills, improve collaboration with others and support families in their journey both in face-to-face and tele-practice intervention. (Teresa Caraway, Wendelyn DeMoss, K. Todd Houston, Michelle Parfitt, Johnnie Sexton, Patti Martin)

Many professionals participate in ongoing research to help inform and improve knowledge and practice for intervention with families and children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This year, professionals learned more about fathers’ engagement with preschoolers, psychosocial and temperament development of toddlers, spoken language and literacy outcomes in preschoolers and language sampling to improve assessment and determine the focus of language in intervention. (Lisa Bowers, Kristina Blaiser, Ronda Rufsvold, Mary Pat Moeller, Judy Sexton)

Children with hearing loss can benefit from hearing assistive technology to improve their access to speech in noise. This year, professionals learned more about hearing assistive technology. (Tina Childress)

Most early interventionists are part of a team of professionals working together on behalf of children and their families. This unique role requires collaboration knowledge and skills. This year, professionals had the opportunity to learn more about working with peers both within and across professional disciplines. (Kristina Blaiser, Lisa Bowers)

There are many ways for professionals to continue their learning journey to enhance their LSL practice. ASHA is one specific face-to-face learning opportunity. In addition to ASHA, the Hearing First Professional Learning Community is an online platform for professionals to learn together, interact and share wisdom to improve LSL practices. Professionals can collaborate with leading LSL experts  to discover new solutions and improve outcomes for children and families. 

Ask your LSL early interventionist if they are a member of the Hearing First Community. Share this link so they can participate in a private community experience that will allow them to connect and learn. You and your child will benefit from your LSL professional’s ongoing learning journey. 

Parents, you can also sign up for the Hearing First Newsletter to get updates about the Hearing First Family Support Community coming in early 2017!