Top 5 Highlights of the Apraxia Kids National Conference in Texas!
Hands down the most exciting part for me about attending this Apraxia Conference was that this was my first in person professional presentation. It was truly an honor, and I am grateful to Apraxia Kids for this amazing opportunity. I presented before a lovely audience of professionals and parents, and cannot imagine a more perfect introduction to presenting professionally. I presented both in person, and recorded a virtual version of my presentation which is available to attendees until July 31st.
Both virtual and in-person presentations were well received, and this feedback from my fellow Canadian Apraxia Kids Bootcamp grad, Sue Methé, was particularly touching:
"I just watched your AK conference presentation “There’s more to the story”. I loved it! You are a great presenter and I really appreciate how you organize information in the materials you’ve created (ex. the speech sound profile, the movement vs context trajectory, your two vowel compasses, etc.). So accessible! Also, your connections to a book on each slide was so clever. I’m a fan!"
I may be biased because Apraxia is a topic I'm particularly passionate about, but I found the calibre of presentations exceptional.
My top 3 in person presentations were:
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech in Children Whose First Language is Not English: A Deep Dive into Case Studies - In particular Dr. Eddy Wong's discussion on apraxia in Cantonese speakers was fascinating.
- What Predicts Functional Communication Outcomes in Children with CAS and Speech Motor Delay? by Dr. Aravind Namasivayam. This was a superb presentation that I could watch a million times over.
- Let's Taco 'bout Coarticulation by Breanna Waldrup, MS, CCC-SLP. I will be referring to Breanna's slides for many children on my caseload. Excellent information - very clearly presented.
Top 3 virtual presentations:
- Get Dynamic! Linking Dynamic Systems Theory to Clinical Practice by Amy Clark, MS, CCC-SLP, PI - DST Amy did a great job condensing DST in an accessible way.
- Speech, Language, Neuroimaging, and PROMPT Treatment in Children with CAS: An Italian Multidimensional Research Project by Irina Podda, SLP. Filled to the brim with cutting edge research, his was an incredible presentation on the neurological changes see after PROMPT therapy.
- Reading Instruction for Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) by Breanna Waldrup MS, CCC-SLP. I loved Breanna's in person presentation so much I knew I wanted to make it a priority to see her virtual one. This presentation delivered! Great information, and a natural compliment to the material I presented.
3. Hanging out with SLPs
I got to hang out with so many wonderful SLPs this conference. Some are folks I've known for ages, many were friends I'd only ever met online through social media or bootcamp, and others were brand new friends. In all cases, thoroughly enjoyed!!
4. Meeting Researchers
I'm a speech nerd. I don't really fan girl over pop stars, but definitely do over names that I've admired on motor speech papers. It was a thrill and honor to meet some big names who have done incredible work to propel our knowledge and understanding of Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
5. Connecting with Families
The unique and aspect of the Apraxia Kids conference is its inclusion of families - not just professionals. There were many incredible stories shared. Some individual who stood for their own CAS initiatives and advocacy were:
Katherine Le who documented her child's phenomenal speech progression under the talented care of Breanna Waldrup at Apraxia Dallas. Katherine founded a college scholarship in 2019 for graduating seniors who were diagnosed with CAS.
Ashley Haugen, who I met when she attended my presentation, is the President & Founder of That Water Bead Lady, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching communities how to protect their most vulnerable members while having fun.
Elina Csapo who at only 17 developed a nonprofit (youngablevoices.com) which seeks to help others through 'Young Able Voices' and provides a safe place for kids with hidden disabilities to connect and know they aren't alone
Kudos to Apraxia Kids for organizing and hosting this incomparable event. Can't wait to do it again next year in Pittsburgh!
Thank you Ashley!! I’m so happy that the book and presentation were a hit!
It was so wonderful to meet you! I loved your presentation and learned so much about how to help my daughter through reading! She loves you book!