It’s been a month since the 2013 Oasis Conference, and University of Alberta undergraduate student, Rebecca, who is planning on applying to the program next fall, tells us about her experience.
1. Why did you attend Oasis?
“I attended Oasis for two reasons:
1) to get more knowledge about the application process and
2) to hear the great seminars.”
2. What did you think of the “How to Survive the Application Process” seminar?
“This was my second time attending the seminar. The first time, in 2010, I found it super helpful. The second time around I found that I didn’t learn a whole lot more, but it was a nice confirmation of what I already knew.”
3. Which was your favourite session?
“My favourite session was definitely the one about adults with autism - Transitioning into Adulthood.”
4. What topic would you like to see presented at the conference next year?
“I think the great thing about the conference is that it covers a wide range of topics. So what I want to see next year is the same great variety that there has been in the past to keep things interesting.”
Thanks a lot to Rebecca for sharing her thoughts with about the Oasis Conference!
If you attended the conference, what did you enjoy most?
If you were to attend, what would you be interested in hearing about?
- Author: B.Y.
This past August a group of three SLP students – Emily, Candice, and Liam – from the University of Alberta attended Aphasia Camp Northwest in Portland, Oregon as part of their capstone project. They were invited to attend this camp while they were researching different models for camps. Aphasia Camp Northwest has been in operation for 15 years, making it one of the longest-running camps of its kind in North America. With the assistance of funding from the university’s Green and Gold Grant, the three students were able to attend and learn the workings of a successful aphasia camp.
The camp involves building strategies for both the person with aphasia and their loved ones; there are outdoor and indoor recreational activities as well.
As Emily puts it, “I was expecting to spend the majority of my time playing the role of an observer in order to learn some of the logistical details that go into organizing and running a camp. However, from the minute I arrived, I was fully integrated into camp activities and had many of the same responsibilities as the student volunteers. This involved helping families get settled into camp, running recreational activities for the campers, such as gardening and fishing, interacting with campers during mealtime and helping to
facilitate conversation groups.” It was also an opportunity for advanced disciplinary learning learning; Candice writes that they were “able to sit in at a professor-student meeting from a leadership point of view learn about how to explain some of the therapeutic activities and the rationale behind them”
Currently, Alberta doesn’t have a camp of this type. The input provided by the three students will help therapists and administrators in Alberta to plan and implement similar camps in the future. They
were able to “gather important logistical information… share information about what activities have been was useful to hear about different ways this can be accomplished.” the most successful, how to organize and structure conversation groups and crucial points to consider when first starting a camp, but they also helped guide us in determining the overall goals for our own camp… we were also able to participate in a brainstorm about how to continue providing resources to those with aphasia once camp has ended. This is something we would like to do in Edmonton as well, so it
To learn more about Aphasia Camp Northwest, please visit http://www.strokecampnorthwest.org/index.htm
Special thanks to Emily, Candice, and Liam for their contributions.
Photos used with permission.
A couple of weeks ago students from the BFA program who specialize in singing visited Corbett Hall to take part in an annual experience. Their time here is valuable to both the fine arts and SLP students, and allows both parties to trade practical knowledge.
Here are some of the questions that we examined together:
- How long can you hold “ah” for? (maximum phonation time)
- What is your average pitch while talking? (average fundamental frequency)
- What is the variability in your pitch? (fundamental frequency variability)
- How loudly can you yell? (maximum intensity)
- How quietly can you speak without whispering?
- What are the parts of the larynx involved with speaking/singing?
- What are some things your can do everyday to protect your voice?
- What can you do to warm up and cool down for singing?
- What are some signs of injury, and whom can you visit to get treatment?
- Using an EGG (see picture above), what does your pattern of vocal fold movement look like?
- How can you use a real-time spectrogram as biofeedback for improving resonance across all of your formant frequencies?
Our class is thankful to have had the BFA students to see some above-average voices, and we look forward to seeing them again next year!
Last week, the ever-popular TV show Grey’s Anatomy (one of my favourites) featured a patient, Dr. Richard Webber, who was suffering from dysphagia. Dysphagia produces difficulty with swallowing, which affects eating, and can lead to coughing, and choking. It is often treated by speech-language pathologists, and in our second year of studies, we have an entire course on dysphagia.
Awareness of Dysphagia was great to see on Grey’s Anatomy. It also brought up some interesting reactions on twitter, as there was no mention of SLP involvement:
RackCityTrish (@trishaniichole) October 04, 2013
Chelsea Amber (@chel_len) October 04, 2013
Grey's Anatomy is talking about dysphagia #awareness even though they don't have an SLP :(—
Life as a Speechie (@WhatIsMySLPLife) October 04, 2013
Lisa Schwartz (@liselschwartz) October 04, 2013
What do you think? Did producer Shonda Rhimes forget to do her homework on this one?
Let us know below!
Though the wait times and shortage of practitioners in Canadian speech-language pathology can be frustrating to the public, we are fortunate that services are available to support persons with communication and swallowing disorders. There are places in the world where SLPs, audiologists, and similar practitioners are largely unheard of.
Pediastaff.com recently posted a story about an organisation that went to Zambia in 2007 to create programs and train practitioners to help children with communication disorders. When this organisation — Connective Link Amongst Special Needs Programs (CLASP) International — arrived, there “was one certified Speech-Language Pathologist, one Audiologist and no NICU nurses in the entire country of Zambia.”
“By building graduate programs and certifying SLP as a profession with the government we are creating a profession, providing education, and jobs, which is a sustainable solution for the children of Africa. Now they can see someone who can assess, diagnose, and help them live full lives. Children who are so severely malnourished because their disability inhibits them from eating and their parents do not know how to feed them.”
To read read more of the story, click here.
To learn more about CLASP and its current activities, visit http://claspinternational.org/.
Image source: CLASP Media Gallery
On October 5th the Organization of Alberta Students in Speech (OASIS) is hosting its conference at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy in Edmonton, Alberta. The conference is an opportunity to learn about working with special populations, new knowledge in SLP, and to network with like-minded people! The conference poster (click to enlarge): For more information about the conference, click here to visit the conference website. The deadline for registration is September 27 — Today! The registrar tells me that if you’re really polite (and if you register by email) you can get in within a couple of days. --LP
A new school year has started at the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology. There are 56 brand new MSc-SLP students who are eager to dive into their studies. The course material and assignments can get intense, which in turn may eat into lifestyle. Besides the challenges of maintaining a healthy amount of exercise, eating well, and spending time with friends, we often allow our academic lives to steal from an often-undervalued part of our day: sleep. I’m certainly guilty of this — I’ve regretted more than a few late nights or even an occasional all-nighter.
For the student, sleep is crucial to both your well-being and your academic success. There is research suggesting that sleep plays a role in consolidating memories and making memories stronger: get a good night’s sleep and get all your knowledge lined up for the test! Loss of sleep also appears to limit our creative and emotional abilities, which are definitely needed in any practitioner’s arsenal. Beyond this, researchers are still learning more about the purpose of sleep, but one thing’s for sure: we need it.
For the client, we can look to recent research on sleep and motor learning. In one study, researchers compared the brain scans of participants who slept after learning a simple finger-tapping exercise with those who performed the task without sleeping afterward. Those who slept performed the exercise more quickly and accurately, and all participants had observable changes in brain structure on the following day. As important as Practice, Practice, Practice! may be for learning (or relearning) an oral motor skill, if a client neglects to get a good night’s sleep after a session or a day of practice, their brain may not hold onto the skill as firmly as it might.
So, what can you do to get more sleep? While working on that, what could you recommend to your clients?
Association for Psychological Science (2010, December 17). Sleep makes your memories stronger, and helps with creativity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 5, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101113165441.htm
Cirelli C, Tononi G (2008) Is sleep essential? PLoS Biol 6(8): e216. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060216 Retreived from biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0060216
Brown University (2013, August 20). How sleep helps brain learn motor task. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 5, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130820185657.htm#!