2024 Convention – Poster Sessions

Thursday, April 11, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Cutting-Edge Learning: The Future of Anatomy Education With Digital Cadaveric Dissection

Brooke Penrod; Megan Fenstermaker; Megan Roman; Alyssa Robinson; Megan Aaron; Maria Monteleone; Samantha Delmar; Glen Tellis, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, from Misericordia University

Virtual cadaveric dissection is an innovative study method designed to enhance students’ knowledge of anatomy and physiology. This study explored the benefits of utilizing computer-based cadaveric dissection as an interactive tool to supplement classroom instruction. When studying anatomy and physiology, it is important that students understand the intricacies of the speech, language and hearing mechanism, rather than simply memorizing its individual parts. Utilizing virtual cadaveric dissection can help students gain hands-on experience to increase their overall knowledge for application in the classroom and clinical setting. Due to its unique nature, students gain ownership of their learning experiences by exploring and visualizing structures at their own pace. Virtual cadaveric dissection includes three-dimensional imaging that can be manipulated by the user for a customizable learning experience. Alterations to structures are achieved using the wide range of novel features the system has to offer. These features include flat color, labeling, clipping, dissection and transparency. Through utilizing these innovative tools, students can identify, isolate and explore structures in a way that is personalized to their learning needs. The computer-based cadaver also includes features designed to improve students’ memory and knowledge (i.e., quiz mode, flashcards and case studies). Overall, students can utilize a computer-based cadaver to reinforce complex concepts and enhance their learning experience. Additional details regarding virtual-cadaveric dissection will be discussed at the conference.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain the use of tools and controls of the virtual cadaver to enhance further knowledge.
  • Recognize the efficacy of incorporating computer-based dissection into anatomy and physiology education.
  • Elaborate on processes of identifying and categorizing anatomical structures associated with speech, language and hearing using computer-based anatomical models.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Effects of Commonly Prescribed Medications on Voice Production

Paige Dailey; Kenneth Staub, MS, CCC-SLP, from PennWest University Clarion

The effects of prescription medications are a crucial area of consideration for all clinical stakeholders. Particularly relevant for SLPs is the impact such medications potentially exert on voice production. This study sought to examine the effect(s) some of the most common brand name and generic prescription medications might have on the vocal folds and phonatory function. Attention is focused on side effects which explicitly impact the vocal folds and voice, as well as those whose impact is more of a secondary consideration.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the primary and secondary effects common prescription medications might have on the vocal folds and phonatory function.
  • Infer, and subsequently explain, how use of specific prescription medication might predispose, perpetuate and/or precipitate a voice disorder.
  • Utilize the information and ideas presented to inform and possibly modify professional practice patterns when evaluating and treating individuals presenting with a voice disorder.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

Exploring the Future of Anatomy Education With Computer-Based Cadaveric Dissection

Alyssa Robinson; Megan Roman; Megan Fenstermaker; Brooke Penrod; Megan Aaron; Samantha Delmar; Maria Monteleone; Glen Tellis, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, from Misericordia University

With the rapid evolution of technology in academic spaces, students and educators alike are in demand of innovative and effective study methods. Virtual cadaveric dissection is a novel and more hands on method of learning anatomy and physiology, which optimizes learning. Saltarelli and colleagues (2010) found that virtual dissection has the educational benefits of cadaveric dissection while also allowing students to learn the structures at their own pace, giving them ownership of what they are learning. Rather than using a human cadaver, virtual dissection uses three-dimensional imaging. The interactive nature of the three-dimensional software has the potential to increased retention of knowledge. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a virtual human cadaver (i.e., Anatomage Table) in teaching anatomy to first-year Health Sciences students and to gain insight of their perspective towards this method of learning. This study analyzed the experiences of first year Health Sciences students majoring in various health fields (e.g., SLP, OT, PT, etc.) in using virtual dissection to study human anatomy and physiology related to the thoracic cavity. Preliminary results indicate that after completing the study, the participants agreed that virtual dissection improved their knowledge of anatomy of the thoracic cavity. Participants also indicated that they preferred to use the Anatomage Table instead of regular textbook images.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an improved understanding of the anatomical structures and physiological functions related to the thoracic cavity.
  • Recognize the benefits and effectiveness of computer-based dissection as compared to non-computer based dissection.
  • Explain how to isolate and classify the anatomical structures of the thoracic cavity on a computer-based cadaver.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Implementing Low-Tech AAC for Adult With Cerebral Palsy in Bulgaria

Isabelle Snyder; Michaela Armanini, from PennWest Clarion University; Lauren Vaughan, MS, CCC-SLP, University of Kansas

Undergraduate senior CSD students Isabelle Snyder and Michaela Armanini went to Bulgaria with the organization Therapy Abroad in the summer of 2023 to observe SLPs work with clients ranging from childhood, middle adulthood and late adulthood at pediatric and geriatric facilities. At the Pediatric center, Isabelle and Michaela observed a daycare center for kids and young adults with disabilities. The SLP, Isabelle and Michaela obtained a case history of a 23 year old male with cerebral palsy. Currently, he is not able to use verbal communication and communicates via head nods and gestures. To improve his current communication method, the SLP, Isabelle and Michaela created a low-tech AAC device for him that included a clipboard with a picture and label of the image in both Bulgarian and English. The initial pictures presented included “water” and “juice” as drink options. An on-site translator asked the patient which image he would prefer to drink. The patient used his pointer finger to choose, and Isabelle and the SLP provided him with his choice. Next, the AAC board included choices of “want” and “don’t want” with the image of “water” to make the sentence more complex. The translator pointed at the image while asking the patient if he chose “want water” or “don’t want water.” The patient pointed to “want water.” This same process was implemented next for “juice.” The SLP and Isabelle showed the director of the facility the success of using AAC with this patient so the communication method could be continued.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Use AAC for clients that cannot verbally communicate.
  • Create low-tech AAC using resources accessible when high-tech AAC is not available.
  • Use AAC to promote autonomy and quality of life.
  • Identify through trial and error to find method of AAC that works best for client.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Moving Beyond "I Want" in High Need Students With Autism

Andrea Rubin, MA, CCC-SLP, The Watson Institute

Often times students with high need Autism hit a significant plateau when it comes to their expressive language. We often find that progress stops or is significantly limited after becoming proficient in asking for preferred items or activities. This poster will discuss ways to move your student beyond simple requesting and help engage in higher level language with these students. This would include things like asking and answering questions, describing and expressing emotion. Encouraging language beyond requesting opens a whole new world of language for students with Autism and their families.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Learn “what’s” next after requesting ways to functionally prompt other types of language.
  • Identify other type of discourse and language.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

Navigating Comprehensive-Contemporary-Clinical Education: Student's Self-Efficacy and Experiences

Brooke Baumann, MS, CCC-SLP; Heather Rusiewicz, PhD, CCC-SLP; Caterina Staltari, MA, CCC-SLP; Panayiota Senekkis-Florent, PhD, CCC-SLP; Jaimee Conmy, from Duquesne University

This session will discuss the current challenge of graduate programs to meet the demand of preparing increasing numbers of speech-language pathology students while providing supervised clinical experiences across a diverse scope of practice. Well before the pandemic, clinical education requirements have evolved and expanded from the traditional face-to-face clinical interactions with clients to include telepractice, simulated experiences and standardized patients, while emphasizing the role of didactic and collaborative instruction by clinical and academic instructors (i.e., comprehensive-contemporary-clinical education (CCCE). This investigation sought to answer the following research questions: “What are the perceptions of SLP graduate students regarding CCCE and its individual components (e.g., didactic instruction, face-to-face clinical interactions, teletherapy, simulated experiences, standardized patients, etc.)?”, “What are the reported experiences of SLP graduate students with CCCE and its individual components?” and “What are the perceived advantages and disadvantages of traditional components of CCCE (e.g., didactic instruction paired with face-to-face clinical interactions) and contemporary additions to CCCE (e.g., teletherapy, simulated experiences, standardized patients)?” Data derived via a mixed quantitative survey and phenomenological design at four time points during graduate level clinical education will be presented. The study will add to our understanding of these emerging facets of clinical education, as well as the collective value of these teaching and learning practices in CCCE. Additionally, this study will provide specific information in this unique time of flux due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the shifting delivery models of clinical education in SLP for the foreseeable future.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Differentiate between the variety of learning modalities for clinical education in speech-language pathology.
  • Summarize the self-efficacy ratings of first- and second-year graduate students across four different time points.
  • Describe ways in which contemporary-comprehensive-clinical education may continue to evolve in their own instructional activities.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Neurophysiological Reactions to Stuttering Self-Disclosure Using fNIRS and ANS Measures

Maria Monteleone; Samantha Delmar; Megan Roman; Alyssa Robinson; Megan Aaron, from Misericordia University; Sergio Novi, PhD, University of Western Ontario; Rickson Mesquita, PhD, University of Birmingham, England; Glen Tellis, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, Misericordia University

The purpose of this study was to identify changes in hemoglobin concentration via functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Additionally, survey responses were collected from typically fluent speakers (TFS) who viewed the stimulus videos of persons who stutter (PWS) disclosing that they stutter versus when they did not self-disclose. fNIRS technology uses a combination of light sources and detectors to detect cortical changes in hemoglobin concentration in TFS. MindWare Technologies software and hardware is used to obtain participants’ heart rate variability (HRV), skin conductance levels (SCL) and respiration rate (RR) to measure changes in the ANS. Prior to the study, the Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) and the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory were administered to the participants. They then watched eight stimulus videos consisting of: four males with moderate stuttering while self-disclosing at the beginning of the conversation that they stutter and four males with moderate stuttering not self-disclosing at the beginning of the conversation that they stutter. Preliminary findings indicate that regions of the brain associated with language and emotion experienced increased oxygenated hemoglobin concentrations in response to stimuli. Participants who knew someone who stuttered displayed overall comfort with stimuli. Participants who did not know a person who stutters had a higher mean heart rate during video stimuli than those who knew a person who stutters. Female participants displayed higher ANS responses than male participants during video stimuli. Overall, participants experienced higher levels of discomfort when the speaker did not utilize self-disclosure. These results suggest speech-language pathologists should consider encouraging their clients to self-disclose (at the beginning of conversations) that they stutter.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the measurement techniques utilized in assessing the autonomic nervous system (ANS), specifically heart rate variability (HRV), skin conductance levels (SCL) and respiration rate (RR) using MindWare Technologies software.
  • Identify the key components of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technology, including its use of light sources and detectors to detect changes in cortical hemoglobin concentration in typically fluent speakers (TFS).
  • Gain insight into the implications of the research findings, particularly the preference of typically fluent speakers (TFS) for individuals who self-disclose their stuttering condition.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

New Innovations in Treating Cluttering and “Other” Fluency Disorders

Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, Misericordia University; Teresa Talbott, JD, MS, CCC-SLP, ANOVA Schools

There are several proposed theories as to what might underlie “other” fluency (i.e., cluttering, atypical disfluency and/or excessive non-stuttered disfluency) disorders. These theories include cognitive and/or linguistic difficulties (see Scaler Scott, 2015, for review). Looking at disfluencies that fall outside the category of stuttering, studies (Scaler Scott et al., 2018; Veneziale et al., 2017) suggest that there may be differences in the syntactic skills in at least some people with cluttering and/or atypical disfluencies. The purpose of this poster is to create a dialogue with attendees regarding using syntax to treat “other” fluency disorders. This poster will discuss an innovative use of a treatment technique addressing syntax to increase communication efficiency. The treatment technique, known as “Putting it All Together” (PiAT) is a sentence formulation task that is based on the normal development of high-level syntax, including phrase types (prepositional and infinitive), clauses (independent, subordinate, relative), direct and indirect objects, active vs. passive forms and question forms. The approach introduces grammatical concepts (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.) in a sequential order and applies learning within the context of a story and sentence puzzles. Extension activities for applying learned concepts to writing and oral discourse are also part of this approach. The PiAT is based upon a sentence puzzle task which resulted in increased communication efficiency in a small sample of students with autism and other fluency disorders (Scaler Scott et al., 2022).

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • State two theories related to the role of syntax in other fluency disorders.
  • State two goals of the Putting it All Together (PiAT) treatment progam.
  • Describe two activities of the PiAT treatment program.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Phonological Awareness, Speech Sound Disorders and Literacy

Rachel Haas, Lebanon Valley College

In the United States, 34 percent of preschoolers entering kindergarten are unequipped with the literacy skills necessary for academic success (Reading is Fundamental/Literacy Network, n.d.). Additionally, eight to nine percent are diagnosed with speech sound disorders (SSD), mainly articulation or phonological disorders (International Dyslexia Association, 2020; National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2016). While preschoolers with SSD struggle with speech production, studies have shown they also have difficulty with phonological awareness skills, such as rhyming, alliteration, blending and segmenting syllables and phonemes. (Preston et al., 2013; Nathan et al., 2004). In the Reading Rope graphic, Scarborough (2001) explains that adequate phonological and phonemic awareness skills are integral to reading, and a lack of either of these skills can negatively impact a child’s ability to read and decode words. Furthermore, Paulson (2004) analyzed percentages of proficiency in phonological awareness skill tasks based on age. Preston et al. (2013) found that preschoolers with SSD are at a higher risk for phonological awareness difficulties and may struggle more with phonological skills. Paulson (2004) identifies these phonological awareness skills as developing at ages four and five. By targeting phonological awareness skills at an early age through direct and explicit instruction, parents and clinicians can enhance their preschooler’s reading abilities and prepare them for a future of academic success. Our single-subject study investigated if speech production and phonological awareness competence increased when a four-year-old with a SSD was provided direct and explicit instruction of phonological awareness skills.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain the skills necessary for fluent reading as evidenced by Scarborough’s Reading Rope Illustration (2001) and Paulson’s (2004) findings.
  • Interpret the data from a single subject study that provided direct and explicit instruction of phonological awareness skills to a child who presents with a speech sound disorder.
  • Explain future research directions and clinical implications.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Shared Reading in Dementia: Applying Classroom Training to Hands-On Experience

Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F; Melissa Alunni, MS, CCC-SLP; Emma Schaedler; Erica Scheinberg; Sarah Hardy; Lori Cimino, MS, CCC-SLP; Adina Rosenthal, MS, CCC-SLP; Pamela Rogers, BA; Mia Mercatili; Jamie Neidlein, from Misericordia University

This poster extends previous work on caregiver training in dementia. In a study accepted for presentation at the ASHA 2023 convention, Alunni and Scaler Scott (2023) will detail the results of training graduate student clinicians in speech-language pathology (SLP) in conversation building strategies. Results of thematic analysis of questionnaires following student training indicated that students were able to determine concrete ways that they could teach caregivers about communicating with their loved ones with dementia. This inductive learning exercise helped them identify what they would teach families of their future patients. To extend student training, the authors utilized a parallel training in the area of shared reading. Like the prior training, students watched a video regarding a clinician’s use of shared reading with a 93-year-old patient with dementia, and anonymously answered open-ended questions regarding ways in which they felt the shared reading activity was the same as and differed from shared reading between caregivers and young children; how engaged they felt the person with dementia was; how they might use what they learned from the video for caregiver training. After training, five volunteers were paired up with residents in a nursing home to apply shared reading and conversation strategies to visits with residents. Clinical implications for SLP student training will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe one way shared reading can be used with dementia patients and their caregivers.
  • Describe three outcomes of SLP graduate student training related to shared reading for dementia patients.
  • Describe three outcomes of application of shared reading to SLP graduate student hands-on experiences.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Social Listening Within the Parkinson’s Disease Community: Trends in SLP Symptoms Shared

Isabella Manzanares

Background: In order to better understand the unmet needs and patterns of reported symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), we analyzed the characteristics of SLP related symptoms from patients’ and caregivers’ perspectives and explored the availability of resources provided within multiple PD social media platforms. Methods: We used a Social Listening technique to analyze PD symptoms shared in dialogues available from two social media platforms from 2/2023 until 4/2023. We used a share of voice (SOV) of symptoms as a proportion of total dialogues to reflect on the characteristics of symptoms reported on social media. Symptoms were identified using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS); and symptoms related to communication and/or swallowing were tracked and classified into themes. The reliability of selected themes was judged by two licensed SLPs. Additionally, the number of opportunities SLP resources were shared were monitored. Results: We found the SOV for SLP related symptoms associated with PD was 11/23 (47 percent). Resources were provided for those clients and caregivers seeking SLP symptom management in 4/11 (36 percent) of total SLP shared dialogues. There were 6 themes and 7 subthemes that were analyzed through the two social media platforms. The two reliability judges had the highest agreement on 3 primary themes and 4 subthemes. Conclusions: The number of SLP related symptoms shared within the PD community is alarming. This suggests there is limited education and shared resources available for communication and swallowing. This data may also reflect on preferences to share specific symptoms within a public domain.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify two benefits of utilizing Social Listening in Healthcare.
  • Describe three symptoms shared using the MDS-UPDRS standardized scale.
  • Explain frequency of SLP related symptoms shared on social media.
  • Describe frequency of resources shared for communication and/or swallowing management.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

Speech Links to Literacy: Innovative Early Intervention at the Library

Heidi Haas, MS, CCC-SLP, Capital Area Intermediate Unit

Getting ready to read is an important aspect of preschool. Emergent literacy skills, such as phonological awareness and letter/print knowledge are the best predictors of later achievement in reading. Yet children with speech sound disorders, including articulation delay, phonological pattern disorder and childhood apraxia of speech, are at an increased risk for delays in reading and spelling as they enter kindergarten. Direct instruction in phonological awareness can occur in children with speech sound disorders as young as three years old. Furthermore, research shows a direct correlation between facilitating emergent literacy skills and an improvement in speech intelligibility. Pennsylvania has a state-wide initiative to provide early intervention services in community settings, using a coaching and collaboration model. Speech-language pathologists have an exciting opportunity to think of innovative solutions for service delivery which meet these criteria. During the 2022-2023 school year, a community-based speech therapy group was piloted. As a collaboration between CAIU and a local area library, Speech Links to Literacy was created to provide a literacy-rich, community-based model of service delivery for students with speech sound disorders, focusing on intelligibility in classroom activities, instruction in emergent literacy skills and caregiver coaching. Students and their caregivers were provided with weekly opportunities to participate in a group story time, co-taught by a speech-language pathologist and librarian. Activities addressed the student’s speech goals, using evidenced-based therapeutic approaches and direct instruction in emergent literacy skills. Community students were invited to attend, as well. Programmatic success was measured through pre-test/post-test data and caregiver satisfaction surveys.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Create a weekly lesson plan to address student specific speech sound goals and emergent literacy skills, including print knowledge, phonological awareness, story comprehension, expressive vocabulary and abstract and conversational language.
  • Design group activities related to phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness, rhyming, syllable segmentation and letter-sound knowledge.
  • Choose stories from the local library which are engaging to preschoolers and promote diversity and acceptance in the classroom and community.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Stuttering and Eye Contact: Insights From Hemoglobin and ANS Measurements

Samantha Delmar; Alyssa Robinson; Megan Roman; Maria Monteleone; Megan Aaron, from Misericordia University; Sergio Novi, PhD, University of Western Ontario; Rickson Mesquita, PhD, University of Campinas; Glen Tellis, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, Misericordia University

The purpose of this study was to identify hemoglobin concentration changes via functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), autonomic nervous system (ANS) changes and survey responses of typically fluent speakers (TFS) when participants viewed stimulus videos of a male who stutters and a male TFS maintaining or not maintaining eye contact when speaking. For fNIRS, probes called sources and detectors were placed on the participants’ head over different regions of the brain. Mindware Technologies was used to measure the ANS responses of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems through nine electrodes placed on the hands and torso. Before the study commenced, participants were given subsections of the Brief Mood Introspection Scale and the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory. Baseline measurements were taken for 60 seconds prior to the study. Participants then watched stimulus videos that were presented for 5 seconds with a 15 second rest between stimuli. The stimulus videos were randomized using E-Prime 3.0 Application Suite Presentation. A survey was administered, post data collection, to assess each participant’s opinions about the stimulus videos. Preliminary results indicate that participants that who knew a person who stutters prior to the study displayed overall comfort with the video stimuli. Participants who did not know a person who stutters had a higher mean heart rate during video stimuli than those who did know a person who stutters. Female participants displayed higher ANS responses than male participants during video stimuli. Participants preferred the samples of speech when the person stuttered and maintained eye contact. Participants found blocks to be the most uncomfortable of the dysfluencies and part-word repetitions to be the most comfortable. Regions of the brain associated with language and emotion experienced increased oxygenated hemoglobin concentration. This information can be implemented into therapy sessions to improve conversational exchanges between persons who stutter and TFS.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Assess the potential clinical implications of the research findings.
  • Identify the key findings related to participant comfort levels, gender differences in autonomic nervous system responses and preferences regarding eye contact during stuttered speech interactions.
  • Explain how this information can be applied to improve conversational exchanges and therapy sessions for individuals who stutter and typically fluent speakers.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Friday, April 12, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Case Study: Left-Sided CVA in a Deaf Individual

Veronica Croesus, MS, CCC-SLP; Nicole Dischinat, MS, CCC-SLP, from Lehigh Valley Health Network

“I can see it. I just can’t get the word out.” Spoken by a patient who is deaf, primarily communicating in American Sign Language (ASL) now presenting with a left-sided stroke impacting his word finding abilities as well as his dominant signing hand. This case study walks through initial evaluation in acute care setting to re-evaluation/treatment at the inpatient rehabilitation level. Further considerations that should be emphasized include limitations of aphasia batteries that could not be translated in ASL structure, importance of in-person interpreters and gathering patient’s baseline signing ability/fluency and reading/writing skills as there is no written form of ASL.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Discuss unique considerations when evaluating aphasia in a deaf individual.
  • Outline treatment interventions implemented for this specific case.
  • Develop future goals for developing best practice patterns when evaluating and treating language impairments in a deaf individual who uses ASL.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Dysphagia Lusoria - Pediatric Case Studies

Jessica Bren, Penn State Health

This poster presentation is designed for speech-language pathologists in the medical setting who complete videofluoroscopic swallow studies. ASHA describes the use of instrumental assessments as a means for speech-language pathologists to “assist in the determination of a differential medical diagnosis related to the presence of dysphagia [and/or] associated with a high risk of dysphagia” (ASHA Practice Portal, Adult Dysphagia). Recent advocacy for examination of the continuum of the swallowing mechanism argues for the use of esophageal sweeps on instrumental swallow studies to rule out esophageal-related implications causing dysphagia or feeding difficulties (Reedy, Herbert, Bonhila, 2021). A pediatric case study will be presented to discuss one patient’s history pre- and post-diagnosis and correction of a cardiac condition diagnosed using a swallow study. Dysphagia lusoria is a condition affecting less than one percent of the population, defined as posterior compression of the esophagus by a congenital cardiac anomaly of the aortic arch. After review of the study, the poster will review the current literature regarding dysphagia lusoria in pediatric populations, reported symptoms and visualized changes in anatomy on an instrumental swallow study. Observers will learn more about esophageal dysphagia and ways to advocate for esophageal sweeps in their radiological departments.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Discuss the purpose of an esophageal sweep on videofluoroscopic swallow studies.
  • Identify the anatomical change made by posterior esophageal impressions.
  • Describe the symptoms in current literature associated with the diagnosis of dysphagia lusoria and associated with posterior esophageal compressions.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Engage With Developmental Language Disorder: Collaboration and Advocacy

Desi Smith, MA, CCC-SLP; Inga Siler, MS, CCC-SLP, from University of North Carolina Greensboro

The terminology used to describe childhood language disorder has been debated for decades in both research and clinical circles. In this presentation, two school-based SLPs guide participants through the literature to understand current terminology and recommendations for identifying and supporting students with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) in the classroom. The presenters introduce CARE for DLD as a call to action for clinical speech-language pathologists seeing children and families directly. The CARE acronym stands for collaborate, advocate, reevaluate and educate. These actions will guide clinical SLPs to embrace best practices in their work with students with DLD. Collaboration between stakeholders is crucial when working with students with DLD. Children with DLD are at-risk for having reading disabilities and other academic concerns in content area subjects. Given the high prevalence of DLD, it is essential that SLPs advocate and raise awareness. Advocacy in the classrooms occurs when SLPs educate other educators, either formally through in-services or informally through modeling within the classroom. Assessing DLD requires a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach that goes beyond standardized testing. Supplemental information might include narrative language assessment, written language samples, coursework, observations and interviews or questionnaires to obtain more information. Treating DLD cannot occur in isolation. Utilizing classroom content, including written language and narrative language and pre-teaching vocabulary can ensure consistent reinforcement of language skills. As SLPs we can provide up to date and current resources to clients, educators and families. Educating others to promote ourselves as experts in language-based problems can lead to increased identification and understanding.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Define Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) as determined by the CATALISE Consortium (2017).
  • Apply research to best practices when assessing, treating and collaborating on cases of DLD.
  • Provide resources to educate staff and parents about DLD and implement strategies within the school setting.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

Graduate Students' Perspectives on Factors Impacting Clinical Performance

Erin Roberts, MS, CCC-SLP; Michaela Raub; Kara Thourot; Mia Mercatili; Sara Lombardi; Emilia McGoldrick; Rebecca Rehrey, BS; Cecilia Heidelberger, BS, from Misericordia University

It is crucial for university speech-language pathology (SLP) graduate programs to understand the factors that influence clinical performance, as it allows programs to adapt their methodologies to improve the clinical abilities of students and foster more proficient and confident clinicians. However, current literature exhibits mixed findings as to which characteristics, environments and/or skills contribute to the success of SLP graduate students. Some studies argue that academic variables (e.g. grade point average, graduate record examination scores, etc) are the best predictors of clinical success, but others disagree, arguing that interview ratings and non-cognitive skills (e.g. grit, personality and emotional-social intelligence) are more accurate predictors (Balogun, 1988; Boles, 2018; Kirchner & Holm, 1997; Camp, Grawe, & Valley, 2018; Larin & Wessel, 2015; McKenna, Meredith, & Tan, 2004; Peck & Terry, 2020; Richardson, Roberts, & Victor, 2020). This study aims to identify factors that impact graduate students’ clinical performance, specifically from the perspective of graduate students, as they are stakeholders at the center of this complex system. An open-ended survey was designed and distributed to gather data from graduate students within the Misericordia University Speech-Language Pathology program. Responses for this survey are currently being qualitatively analyzed utilizing an emergent coding approach; analysis is ongoing. In preliminary results from this analysis, students identified undergraduate coursework, undergraduate clinical work and collaboration as factors that facilitated an easier transition to graduate clinical work. Students listed COVID-19, application of classes, stress and self-efficacy as barriers to their clinical success in graduate school.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Discuss the experiences of graduate students in their transition from academic coursework to clinical work.
  • Explain factors that graduate students believe are associated with clinical success.
  • Identify future applications of understanding the facilitators and barriers to clinical success in graduate students.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

How are Adapted Video Lessons Used to Teach Writing?

Nicole Romano, MS, CCC-SLP; Jessica Caron, PhD, CCC-SLP; Salena Babb, PhD; Molly O’Brien; Margaret Lamb, MS, CCC-SLP, Pennsylvania State University

Structured literacy approaches have been found effective when teaching literacy skills (Spear-Swerling, 2008). This includes explicit and direct instruction, cumulative practice and review, and corrective feedback (Spear-Swerling, 2008). Rosenshine (2012) describes that “many of the skills taught in classrooms can be conveyed by providing prompts, modeling use of the prompt and then guiding students as they develop independence.” This pilot study examines the effectiveness of a series of video-based explicit literacy lessons on the acquisition of the spelling of 15 irregular words (sight words) at the word, phrase and sentence level by an individual with cerebral palsy who uses AAC. The study utilized a single-subject AB design, investigating the impact of video-based structured literacy lesson on the child’s progress and accuracy in the skills of spelling sight words, sentence dictation and generative sentence typing. Results indicated that the implementation of the pre-recorded video-based literacy lessons was effective in increasing the participant’s accuracy across all three tasks. For single-word spelling of the trained sight words, a gain score of +51% was calculated from baseline to intervention. For sentence dictation of the trained sight words, a gain score of +80% was calculated from baseline to intervention. In the generative sentence typing task, Jack went from getting 0 or 1 sentence “correct (i.e., no spelling errors) to 4/5 “correct” after the intervention. This pilot study highlights how adaptations to traditional literacy instruction can increase the academic success of individuals who use AAC.

Learning Outcomes:  At the end of this poster presentation, attendes will be able to:

  • List direct instruction techniques that were used in video lessons.
  • Identify the outcomes of the video lessons on writing skills.
  • Explain the adaptations utilized for traditional literacy instruction.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

"I Have Something to Say": How PWA Initiate Topics

Emily Beals; Sophia Bosacco; Ryan Husak, PhD, CCC-SLP, from La Salle University

Research indicates topic initiation (TI) can be problematic for persons with aphasia (PWAs). PWA experience difficulties with TI resulting in dependency on conversation partners (CP). Gesture production is one strategy PWA use to facilitate TIs in conversations. There is limited research on types of gestures PWA use when initiating conversation. The purpose of this study was to examine the frequency and type of gestures produced by a PWA and his spouse when initiating conversational topics.  We examined five, 16-minute segments of video recorded conversations between a male with aphasia (Ed) and his wife. We identified and coded initiating moves produced by the speakers using procedures described by Eggins and Slade (2004). Next, we examined whether gestures were produced during TI. Gestures were categorized according to the CITY Gesture Checklist. Across five conversations, Ed and his spouse demonstrated an equal number of attempts to initiate a topic. Ed used four types of initiating moves while his wife used seven. While statements of facts were the most frequent type of initiating move produced by Ed and his spouse, Ed’s statements of facts appeared at a higher percentage (69%) than his spouse’s (35%). Moreover, Ed produced twice as many gestures as his wife during initiations. The most frequently utilized gesture-types by both partners based on the Checklist were “Pointing-Concrete” and “Emblems/Conversational Gestures.” Analyzing communication behaviors of PWA during TIs is a step toward increasing PWA participation in conversations. Knowledge about communication strategies used by PWA can help CPs support PWA agency in conversations.

Learning Outcomes:  At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify strategies used by people with aphasia and their communication partners when initiating conversational topics.
  • Describe gesture productions according to the City Gesture Checklist.
  • Discuss differences in communication patterns between people with aphasia and their conversational partners.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Identifying Interdisciplinary Opportunities for SLP and RN Students Regarding Aphasia

Kaitlyn Young; Ryan Husak, PhD, CCC-SLP, from La Salle University

People with aphasia admitted to medical centers face challenges accessing healthcare information and participating in critical conversations about their care, discharge desires and other wants and needs. Several studies in the aphasia treatment literature have shown that when healthcare professionals receive training by speech-language pathologists, they are better able to understand and be understood by a person with aphasia and can potentially increase patient participation in healthcare conversations. Nurses are among the healthcare professionals who communicate most often with patients with aphasia. The purpose of this study is to assess entry-level nursing students’ knowledge and readiness of serving people with aphasia, and to identify areas where nursing students may benefit from more training. In this study, thirty-seven participants were recruited from an undergraduate senior-level nursing class to be assessed on their knowledge of aphasia and supportive communication strategies. A 17-item digital questionnaire featuring demographic items and the Aphasia Attitudes, Strategies, and Knowledge (AASK) survey was administered to assess participants’ readiness to serve people with aphasia. Results showed that participants had limited knowledge of aphasia and communication strategies and that they were uncomfortable serving people with communication disorders. The findings further indicated that the participants appeared to confuse aphasia with motor speech disorders, and, therefore, they may not understand the importance of altering their own communication behaviors when interacting with a person with aphasia. These findings support the need for more interdisciplinary collaboration in the classroom between speech-language pathology students and students in other allied healthcare professions, including nursing.

Learning Outcomes:  At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Discuss opportunities for interdisciplinary education between speech-language pathology and nursing students.
  • Describe nursing students’ current knowledge of aphasia and communication strategies, as demonstrated on a validated questionnaire (the AASK survey).
  • Discuss ideas for future research on improving communication between entry-level healthcare professionals and individuals with aphasia.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Implementation of Group Therapy in an Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Setting

Tyler Lawson, MS, CCC-SLP

The purpose of this project is to assess the outcomes of pediatric group therapy in an outpatient pediatric hospital-based facility in conjunction with an episodic model of care. It is hypothesized that generalization of skills, access to services and patient outcomes will improve with the successful implementation of pediatric group therapy. Data analysis includes pre- and post- standardized assessments, informal patient outcomes, caregiver surveys, provider surveys and access to service metrics. As patients neared discharge from 1:1 outpatient speech therapy, they were transitioned to peer groups to target therapeutic skills in a naturalistic, functional environment. Colleague clinical behavioral patterns evolved through the development of standardized education. Research is currently ongoing. Data collection thus far indicated improvement in patient access to services as 80 percent of families reported an easier time scheduling and making appointments for outpatient pediatric rehabilitation appointments through group services. Caregiver surveys indicated that 40 percent of families strongly agree that they have noticed progress toward their child’s goals since implementing group therapy. Provider feedback and standardized post-assessment measures are upcoming upon patient discharge. Results will demonstrate the benefits and barriers to standardization of transitioning to group therapy prior to discharge in an outpatient pediatric rehabilitation setting. Successful implementation of pediatric group therapy in outpatient rehabilitation is projected to yield benefits for improving patient carryover of functional skills across environments and optimizing patient access to ongoing services.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe benefits to implementing group therapy in a pediatric outpatient rehabilitation setting.
  • Identify and analyze limitations to implementing group therapy in a pediatric outpatient rehabilitation setting.
  • List three considerations in selecting candidates for pediatric group therapy.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

Patterns of Parent-Child Communication During Play With Traditional and Electronic Toys

Mikolaj Bandosz; Abigail Delehanty, PhD, CCC-SLP, from Duquesne University

This observational study examined and compared patterns of child communication and parent verbal responsiveness during play with traditional and electronic toys. The participants were recruited from the FIRST WORDS project, which seeks to identify early signs of autism and developmental delays in young children. Participants video recorded an hour-long home observation between the ages of 18-24 months. At age 3, they received a clinical best-estimate diagnosis of autism (n=40), developmental delay (n=40), or typical development (n=40). In this study, traditional toys were defined as toys that produced no battery-activated feedback (e.g., blocks, cars, puzzles, etc.). Electronic toys had battery-activated features and produced feedback including noises, movement or lights. Home observations were coded for the frequency of child communication (i.e., gestures, sounds and words) and types of parent verbal responses (e.g., expansions, recasts, directives) that occurred during play with both types of toys. This study is based on the transactional model of development, which suggests that language-rich environments promote improved developmental outcomes during parent-child interactions. This study aims to expand the research base in this area to children on the autism spectrum and those with developmental delays. Because these populations are at increased risk of language and communication delays, the language input they receive during caregiver interactions during play may be increasingly crucial for their development. Coding of videos is complete and data analysis is under way. The study will use a repeated measures design. Results will be presented in full at the PSHA Convention.

Learning Outcomes:  At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the importance of caregiver language input in language development.
  • Identify the impact of toy type on parent and child communication.
  • Identify the differences between language output across typically developing children, children with autism and child with autism.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

Person-Centered AAC Strategies for Person With Dementia and Their Caregiver

Isabella Fredo, BS; Cecilia Heidelberger, BS, from Misericordia University; Nancy Bartuska; Chitrali Mamlekar, PhD, CCC-SLP; Lori Cimino, MS, CCC-SLP, from Misericordia University

This poster session details the application of light-tech augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies to enhance communication within a dyadic relationship between an 87-year-old woman with dementia (B.B) and her caregiver and daughter (N.B.). This case-based study employed a qualitative approach to uncover communication challenges and patterns in the dyad’s experiences. Data was collected through: semi-structured interviews prior to AAC implementation; video recordings of caregiver and client interactions at the clinic and at home; pre-implementation standardized assessments and post-implementation interviews. Following the analyses, five patterns emerged. Out of the five, three patterns were related to communication challenges experienced by the caregiver and the two patterns were related to the benefits of collaboration and shifts in the dyad’s communication and relationship. This poster will demonstrate that, with the current use of her light-tech AAC and caregiver support, B.B. is able to complete her daily activities and demonstrate an increase in comprehension of tasks at home. Additionally, as reported by the caregiver, there is an observed decrease in frustration and negative emotional experiences faced by both the person with dementia and their caregiver. This ongoing case study aimed to comprehensively understand the extent of AAC’s influence on supporting the communication between the person with dementia and their caregiver. Future studies are necessary to expand our understanding of how AAC functions in the later stages of dementia and how we can identify nuanced ways to optimize its benefits in this population.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Discuss the communication and relationship shifts faced by the client and caregiver prior and post-implementation of the AAC tool.
  • Summarize the components of the implemented AAC system for a client with dementia.
  • Describe the collaborative adaptations implemented by the caregiver for the client with dementia.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

Role of Dysphonic Voices With Top-Rated Audiobook Narrators

Elise Heilman, BS; Faith Spangler, BS; Paul Evitts, PhD, CCC-SLP, from Penn State Harrisburg

Clinically, voices that exhibit a dysphonic or deviant voice quality are considered disordered. However, those same deviant voice qualities may also be considered more alluring and engaging to listeners thus creating a potential incongruity with traditional clinical norms. The purpose of this study was to acoustically analyze top-rated male and female audiobook narrators in an effort to determine if a specific acoustic profile of those top narrators exists. Our hypothesis is the voices of the top narrators will exhibit some element of dysphonia as determined by acoustic measures of perturbation (e.g., cepstral peak prominence, jitter, shimmer). The top five male and female voices from the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame were acoustically analyzed using Praat. Overall, objective results suggests that all of the speakers in the current study had acoustic measures, particularly CPP, that were indicative of a voice disorder (e.g., Murton et al., 2020). For example, Murton, Hillman and Mehta (2020) found that speakers with CPP values derived from Praat and using a connected speech sample less than 9.33 had a high probability of having a voice disorder. Considering that the speakers included in the study though were the top-rated male and female audio narrators from a hugely popular online audiobook service, it appears that listeners prefer an audio narrator with a dysphonic voice.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the relationship between cepstral peak prominence and dysphonic voices.
  • Discuss the role of dysphonic voices and top-rated audiobook narrators.
  • Discuss how listener preferences with audiobook narrators compare with traditional views of disordered voices.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

Should SLPs Address Communication Difficulties Related to Sexuality and Intimacy?

Arianne Martin, BS; Ryan Husak, PhD, CCC-SLP, from La Salle University

This literature review is a discussion of the possible role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in addressing intimacy and sexuality communication problems with individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI). In this poster, I will describe how ABIs can negatively impact communication surrounding sexuality and intimacy, describe how intimate relationships between spouses or couples change after ABI, describe the effectiveness of specific evidence-based interventions available for SLPs to use in clinical practice, and discuss the potential role of the SLP as a member on the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team. This review provides current and evidence-based information for SLPs about the importance of addressing intimacy and sexuality issues in clinical practice with their clients with ABIs. The review emphasizes that treatment outcomes are optimal when SLPs collaborate with other members on the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team in addressing intimacy and sexuality communication difficulties in individuals or couples affected by an ABI.

Learning Outcomes:  At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the potential impact of an acquired brain injury on intimacy and sexuality communication.
  • Describe evidence-based treatment programs for addressing intimacy and sexuality communication difficulties in people affected by an acquired brain injury.
  • Discuss the role of the SLP as a member on the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team in assessing and treating intimacy and sexuality communication difficulties in couples or individuals affected by an acquired brain injury.

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

The Effect of Gesture Size and Type on Frustration Perception

Grace Kovalcik; Heather Rusiewicz, PhD, CCC-SLP, from Duquesne University

In any kind of professional setting, communication between a client and professional is extremely important for making progress in clients’ goals, but is not always a perfectly smooth process. Hand gestures are one of many supplemental tools we can use to communicate and have the potential to be a tool for professionals trying to understand their patients more thoroughly and identify emotions present in therapy sessions. Frustration is an especially prominent feeling often present in medical, therapeutic and educational settings and can be a factor in an individual’s motivation and subsequent impact of therapy. This study presents research from an experimental investigation of the relationship between frustration and different sizes and types of hand gestures, specifically large and small gestures, and iconic and beat gestures. Participants participated in a single session in which they engaged in a subjective frustration-rating task by watching a series of short videos featuring a single spoken utterance and a controlled gesture. Participants were asked to rate each one based on the level of frustration they perceived. It is hypothesized that participants perceive greater frustration from smaller beat gestures, leading them to rate these videos higher than those featuring large iconic gestures. Exploring emotions as perceived by others has implications for the growing literature base on the importance of gestures. Likewise, having the ability to identify emotions, namely frustration, via gestures and other nonverbal cues has the potential to benefit professionals in many fields, including speech-language pathology, potentially leading to an enhanced effectiveness of sessions.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between iconic hand gestures and beat hand gestures.
  • Apply knowledge of relationships between hand gestures and frustration perception.
  • Explain clinical implications of recognizing correlation between hand gestures and frustration.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

WCU NSSLHA’s Ten Consecutive Golden Years: Our Journey

Patricia Swasey Washington, PhD, CCC-SLP; Maria Smith, BA; Jessica Sturm, from West Chester University

In 2023 the West Chester University chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) achieved Gold Chapter Honors for the 10th consecutive year. The success of the chapter is due to factors such as effective and consistent leadership, collaboration and dedication. This presentation will delineate the goals of WCU NSSLHA and describe our journey, including the highlights and challenges on the road to attaining gold status for the first time and thereafter. We will discuss aspects such as local and national NSSLHA involvement; community engagement at various levels; use of social media; participation in advocacy events; conducting fundraising activities; and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. We will also provide suggestions for preparing a local NSSLHA chapter to achieve and maintain success, as well as share plans for the future of WCU NSSLHA.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • List three factors that help to promote the success of WCU NSSLHA and that helped the chapter to achieve gold status over the years.
  • Describe three procedures involved in increasing the WCU NSSLHA membership and engagement.
  • Explain two steps that were taken to ensure a consistently high level of student leadership and collaboration with faculty and community organizationship and collaboration.

Level of Instruction: Introductory

What Happens When You Ask Students to Write a Sentence?

Nicole Romano, MS, CCC-SLP; Jessica Caron, PhD, CCC-SLP; Salena Babb, PhD, Pennsylvania State University

Emergent literacy skills develop within typical developing children in the early stages of life (Koppenhaver et al., 1993). Individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) typically engage in environments that do not effectively support literacy learning (Koppenhaver et al., 1993). However, for individuals who use AAC, literacy and writing skills have greater importance as a functional and critical skill to participate in the community that relies primarily on written language in all aspects of life (Light and McNaughton, 1993). Limited research has been done regarding teaching individuals who use AAC encoding and writing. A task analysis was completed to understand the steps required to type and/or write letters, CVC words and sentences using AAC. Through the task analysis it was revealed that to type one single letter (eg. /m/), it takes a minimum of seven steps by the individual. For the individual to write one CVC word, it takes a minimum of 19 steps and to type a simple three-word sentence it takes a minimum of 75 steps. These steps range from pulling the sound from long term memory, switching focus, visual scanning, using motor skills to select, checking for feedback and keeping other sounds or words in working memory when combining sounds or letters. Analyzing these skills, it is unsurprising why individuals who use AAC have a difficult time encoding or creating text using their AAC devices. To help ease the production of encoding and creating text, adaptations and practice is needed to increase automaticity skills when writing.

Learning Outcomes:  At the end of this poster presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify the skills needed to complete encoding.
  • Analyze the steps involved in typing and/or writing letters, CVC words, and simple sentences using AAC.
  • Describe adaptations that can be used to increase automaticity skills when writing.

Level of Instruction: Introductory