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During Noala Club we read more on the, "Interventions Using High-Technology Communication Devices: A State of the Art Review" by Susan B - full text and more available on our platform
Key points from our online session and paper review:
All behaviour is communication
It's important that AAC is the voice of an individual, not a part-time device for therapy
Setting outcomes, to include happiness and confidence as a goal
During the pandemic, progress was increased as parents sat in session, understanding how they can continue at home - post-pandemic, therapists find it harder to keep everyone on board; online vs in-person
We would love to hear from you! Feel free to share your experience working with AAC devices with the Noala community on our forum and join our next Noala Club free online session
During the month of July, we interviewed Nia Johnson, EdD, CCC-SLP, over 20 years of speech therapy experience
Nia is based in South Carolina, with over 20 years of experience working with both adults and children with a wide range of communication challenges in various settings.
Starting off with how you decided to become an SLP? I was a nursing major in undergraduate school. My sophomore year I got accepted into the nursing program, but then the nursing program was no longer offered at my institution. I love my school and did not want to transfer. I met with my advisor and told her to help me find a major that will not make me stay in school longer. It turned out to be speech pathology and audiology. That was the best decision ever!
What's your typical day like as a SLP? I am currently a full-time professor of speech pathology and audiology and see a couple of clients on the side. My typical is pretty busy. I teach undergraduate courses in the morning and attend departmental meeting. We have an on-campus speech clinic, supervising student clinicians while they conduct therapy sessions and provide feedback. At the end of most days, there is evening graduate school course planning, and the evenings there isn't graduate class, I am seeing clients via tele-therapy.
What advice would you give to your younger self? I would tell my younger self that the places you are headed have already prepared for your presence. Stay persistent.
How the past 2 years / Covid has impacted your practice? There were noticeable changes that emerged as a response to the pandemic in the field of speech language pathology. Those with cognitive, communication, physical, social, or emotional developmental delays had to learn in an entirely new setting. Virtual therapy can be done from any location, and it gave therapists expanded access to reach a whole new pool of clients, especially hard-to-reach areas that may not have many options for speech-language services. The pandemic also impacted the way programs prepare future speech-language pathologists. Under ordinary circumstances, speech language pathology students in graduate programs make in-person visits to health care facilities, where they can observe and learn from experienced clinicians. But these types of immersive learning opportunities became impossible because of coronavirus-related restrictions on social interactions. Programs have incorporated evidence-based alternatives to traditional clinical education, including the use of standardised patients and simulated experiences.