Poster Presentations

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Earn up to a maximum 2 hours or 0.2 ASHA CEU. Watch up to 8 posters.

Posters will be available for viewing April 28-May 1 as well as May 3-17. These are pre-recorded presentations.

Jennifer McIlvaine, CCC-SLP, Rowan University
Significant advancements have been made in high tech AAC technologies, which have allowed for communication systems to become more widely accessible to the general public, including students with complex communication needs (Light & McNaughton, 2012b). School-based speech-language pathologists play an integral role in selecting an AAC system for a student and subsequently providing follow up treatment to ensure the student can use their devices efficiently and effectively to communicate their wants and needs. As speech-language pathologists’ role around AAC is extensive, it is critical to understand their experiences and knowledge-base surrounding AAC overall. Thus, a qualitative case study was completed to explore the following research questions:

  • RQ1: What are the experiences of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) with incorporating augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) into speech and language sessions?
  • RQ2: How do the experiencesf school-based SLPs who specialize in AAC vary from the experiences of school-based SLPs who do not specialize in AAC?

 
At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

  • Identify the experiences of school-based SLPs with integrating AAC into speech and language sessions.
  • Identify various challenges to successful AAC implementation in schools.
  • Identify opportunities to engage with existing research and potential future studies in order to bridge the gaps in the extant literature.

 

Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Pediatric/School Based

Katie Hanily; Kristin Burnham; Rosette Arochas; Jessica Scheuer, Kean University
As students with disabilities who use AAC systems approach an age at which they will exit the public education system, transition planning is mandated. These meetings aim to identify the needs of the students after transitioning out of school-related services and to inform students and their families about resources and services available to them (Department of Education, 2017). Despite receiving transition planning services, current evidence suggests that there are concerns among young adults who use AAC systems and their caregivers regarding the status of these systems as they transition to adulthood (Hamm & Mirenda, 2006; Wikenden, 2011).

The purpose is to gather information on the adequacy of transition services from the perspective of caregivers and relevant Child Study Team (CST) members serving young adult AAC users and compare the responses of both groups. CST members and caregivers answered questions related to the transition of AAC users.

Data collection is ongoing, however, it is hypothesized that both groups will report general dissatisfaction with the current provisions for transition services. The researchers hope that the findings in this study will provide insight into the current needs of CST members and caregivers of AAC users during this transitional period in order to further maximize the support and resources available to young adult AAC users.

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

  • Recognize the role CST members and caregivers play in AAC users’ transition out of school-based services, and how the levels of support and resources they are given can impact this process.
  • Identify the importance of supporting relevant professionals and caregivers in an AAC user’s life as it relates to the ultimate support being provided to the AAC user.
  • Describe the areas that could be improved to facilitate a more effective transition process for AAC users aging out of school-based services.

 

Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

Millicent Quevedo, BA; Joan Besing, PhD, CCC-A; Maryrose McInerney, PhD, CCC-A; Ilse Wambacq, PhD, Montclair State University

High background noise levels pose challenges for audiologic testing in community clinics of developing countries. This study aims to support the use of noise canceling headphones as a solution to combat increased listening effort and elevated low frequency thresholds that are masked by background noise when traditional methods of testing are used. Seven subjects were tested to determine the effects of background noise and headphone choice on true threshold. Baseline thresholds at 250-8000 Hz in quiet were obtained, followed by thresholds in the presence of simulated street noise in two headphone conditions (noise canceling versus TDH headphones). A listening effort questionnaire was completed after each headphone condition in noise to explore effects of noise reduction strategies on perceived listening effort/fatigue.

In a repeated measures ANOVA analysis, background noise levels elevated thresholds in both headphone conditions at 250-6000 Hz. Noise canceling headphones allowed for significantly lower (better) and more accurate responses when compared to TDH headphones at 250 and 500 Hz only. At 8000 Hz, thresholds were unaffected by background noise or headphone condition. A majority of subjects reported lower mental demand and frustration level with noise canceling headphones versus TDH. Noise canceling headphones are more accurate than TDH headphones in loud testing environments only at 250 and 500 Hz. A correction factor may be beneficial in conjunction with noise canceling headphones to combat the negative effects of background noise on behavioral thresholds in unfavorable testing conditions.

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

  • Describe challenges faced by audiology clinics in developing countries that may prevent a clinician from obtaining truly accurate behavioral thresholds.
  • Discuss the importance of Maximum Permissible Ambient Noise Levels and identify what aspects of behavioral testing may be affected when MPANLs are surpassed in a testing environment
  • Advocate for the use of noise canceling headphones during behavioral audiometric testing in an environment where Maximum Permissible Ambient Noise Levels are exceeded.

 
Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Audiology

Alexa Juarez, BS; Caroline Kerrigan, BA; Natasha Patel, BA; Jessica Scheuer, Kean University

Aphasia is a language disorder caused by brain damage that can impair an individual’s cognitive skills and executive functioning, which can also impact their ability to effectively communicate. Executive functioning is an umbrella term describing various cognitive processes including skills related to specific domains or social and psychological development. Core executive functions include inhibition control, cognitive flexibility and working memory. Although there has been a recent increase in research involving bilingual aphasia patients, research has predominantly focused on monolingual individuals or has not looked at bilingualism as a specific variable. The bilingual advantage states that learning two or more languages will increase executive function and cognitive control. Currently, there is limited research regarding the bilingual advantage within the bilingual aphasia population.
This study aims to examine the cognitive-linguistic abilities of bilingual and monolingual individuals within the aphasia community. The researchers hypothesized that they will observe more efficient executive functioning in the bilingual group. Adults diagnosed with aphasia secondary to stroke completed a modified Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q) about their language background and completed two computerized executive functions tasks, the Stroop Color and Word Test, which assesses inhibition, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, which can assess working memory and cognitive flexibility. Findings of this research could elucidate potential areas of therapeutic interventions for bilingual aphasic patients. Additionally, it could provide future directions of research in the field of bilingualism and aphasia.

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

  • Define the cognitive impairments caused by a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
  • Identify the bilingual advantage theory and its relation to individuals with cognitive impairments.
  • Summarize he effects of bilingualism on cognitive abilities, specifically cognitive flexibility and inhibition/interference control.

 

Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Adult

Kaitlin Riall, BS; Maryrose McInerney, PhD, CCC-A; Joan Besing, PhD, CCC-A; Janet Koehnke, PhD, Montclair State University

This study examined the transparency of hearing aid (HA) and Roger Pen microphone mode couplings across three different degrees of hearing loss, with three different stimuli levels, across two hearing aid manufacturers. A modified version of the Fitting and Verification Procedures of Ear-Level FM Systems from the American Academy of Audiology Clinical Guidelines (AAA) (2011) was utilized. Test box measurements were conducted using the Audioscan Verifit2 and simulated real-ear measurements were obtained using the Canadian Audiology simulator for Research and Learning (CARL). Transparency was assessed for two different Has programmed to three degrees of hearing losses (mild, moderate, severe), utilizing three input stimuli (55 dBSPL, 65 dBSPL, 75 dBSPL), in the Roger Pen’s four modes (Verification (VM), Interview, Conference, Lanyard), over three conditions (HA, HA+Roger Pen muted, HA+Roger Pen).

In the test box and on CARL, both Has coupled with the Roger Pen (VM) demonstrated transparency within recommended AAA (2011) guidelines at 65 dBSPL for each degree of hearing loss, with the exception of one of the Has when programmed to a mild hearing loss on CARL. When using the modified transparency test of HA and Roger Pen on CARL, regardless of hearing loss severity and HA manufacturer, there were changes in transparency outside of the recommended AAA (2011) guidelines depending on stimuli level and Roger Pen microphone mode. Although it is important to ensure transparency between HA and Roger Pen (VM), the effect stimuli level and microphone mode has on transparency should be further investigated.

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

  • Identify the importance of obtaining transparency measurements
  • Describe how a transparency test is performed
  • List different factors that can impact transparency measurements

 
Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Audiology

Alissa Loffreno; Kathleen Nagle, Seton Hall University

To determine CAPE-V reliability and agreement among expert clinicians who are rating roughness and breathiness. Taken from a larger mixed methods project, this study examines agreement and reliability data for 20 experienced clinicians using the CAPE-V to rate voice recordings from 12 native English speakers. Clinicians, with at least three years of experience, rating 12 speakers (N=20) provided ratings of recordings (N equal [6 male + 6 female] x 4 samples each = 48) from MGH Center for Laryngeal Surgery & Voice Rehabilitation. Recordings were selected based on previous auditory-perceptual ratings by experts using the CAPE-V to represent a range of overall voice quality (i.e., normal, mild, moderate and severe). After listening to the recording of the speaker, the participants were asked to rate the four primary dimensions of voice quality (overall severity, breathiness, roughness, strain) on the CAPE-V’s hybrid visual analog scale as they normally would, however for the purpose of this study the researchers only analyzed roughness and breathiness.

The primary outcome of this study was inter-rater agreement; ratings agreed if they fell within 10 mm of the group mean (Chan & Yiu, 2002). Participants’ ratings of roughness and breathiness were compared to the group mean to obtain percent inter-rater agreement for each participant. Inter-rater reliability was also calculated, using a 2-way mixed model of absolute agreement for intraclass correlations (ICC [3,1], [3, k]) for a specific group of raters (Shrout & Fleiss, 1979). Data analysis is ongoing.

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to… Describe the degree to which expert voice clinicians agree on roughness.

  • Describe the degree to which expert voice clinicians agree on breathiness.
  • Describe the inconsistencies of the CAPE-V using agreement and reliability.
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    Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Adult

    Shae Coniglio, BS; Christine Hedberg, BS; Alexandra Maddock, BS; Avery Nicolosi, BA; Elisa Pontoriero, BA; Kathleen Nagle, Seton Hall University

    This CAT was conducted to determine if Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention (PIOMI) was an effective treatment to decrease transition time for infants’ transitioning from gavage to oral feeding. This CAT was conducted to expand our understanding of the available interventions for premature infants in the NICU. This study was a critically appraised topic review of the effectiveness of PIOMI. First, a literature search was conducted to find relevant research studies. Then these studies were analyzed using ASHA quality indicators (Cherney et al., 2008).

    Findings reported in Ghomi et al. (2019) and Arora et al. (2018) reported decreased transition time from gavage to oral feeding (in days). This indicates PIOMI effective in transitioning premature infants from gavage to oral feedings. Lessen (2011) reported decreased transition time from gavage to oral feeding. Effect sizes of transitions from gavage to oral feeding for these studies were d equals 1.66, 2.87 and 1.089, respectively. Findings suggest that PIOMI treatment had better outcomes than the control and SHAM treatment. This is supported by high effect sizes (average across studies). The studies we reviewed had small sample sizes and a large number of dropouts. In the future we would suggest using a larger sample size and a reliable group of participants. Based on our review, we would recommend PIOMI as a treatment intervention for infants gestational age 26-32 weeks who are clinical stable and attempting to transition from gavage to oral feeding.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe the process for an infant to go from gavage feeding to independent oral feedings with a bottle using PIOMI.
    • Describe how the topic was appraised, based on ASHA quality indicators and the PRISMA process.
    • Explain the effects of PIOMI.

     
    Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Jessica Mazzola, BS; Rachel Veytsman, BA; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    The present study investigated the impact of COVID-19 and subsequent protocols on communication and rapport throughout the field of speech-language pathology for clinicians and their clients. The body of literature suggests that good rapport with clients and their caregivers is essential to contribute to successful treatment outcomes (Bell & Condren, 2016; Leach, 2005). Collaboration on treatment goals, methods and tasks between the clinician and client helps them build a therapeutic relationship. The researchers investigated the impact of COVID-19 protocols (i.e., social distancing and mask-wearing) and the implementation of telepractice services via an anonymous survey to examine the reported effects on therapy and rapport as reported by speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Recruitment included participants discovered through online community groups (i.e., Facebook, Instagram) with closed membership only to SLPs. Researchers posted flyers consisting of the survey link and a description of the study for group members to respond to the survey voluntarily. The survey questions included building rapport, maintaining rapport, mask-wearing for in-person therapy and teletherapy for remote services. Additionally, the survey showed participants the set of questions pertaining to their experience during COVID-19. For example, if they only provided remote services, the survey did not present the set of mask-wearing questions. The survey received a total of 151 complete responses. The results are continuing to be analyzed using statistical software to examine significant correlations regarding ratings of rapport and their experiences during COVID-19.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to… Determine benefits of COVID-19 social distancing protocols within the field of speech-language pathology.

  • Determine
  • possible solutions to assessment difficulties due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

  • Determine negative impacts of COVID-19 social distancing protocols within the field of speech-language pathology.
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    Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Other

    Hannah Fransowie, BA; Dawn Gergich, BA; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    Parents of children with developmental disabilities have struggled for years with accessing services, complex family dynamics and obstacles that other families do not necessarily encounter. Currently parents are experiencing additional stress given the current public health emergency (PHE) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of COVID-19 has resulted in school closures, social distancing and introduced the widespread use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    The focus of this paper is to survey parents regarding the communication obstacles that their children with developmental delays/disabilities face during COVID-19 and the challenges parents are observing with their children in therapy, school and in social settings during the pandemic. Participants were recruited to participate in a quantitative research design through an online platform (i.e., Facebook). A survey was presented through an online social networking group dedicated to parents of children who have a developmental disability. Participants self-reported answers utilizing open-ended questions and a likert scale through an online survey software, Qualtrics. Data collection is ongoing and results will be analyzed when the survey is closed.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify the obstacles during COVID-19 that parents of children with developmental faced
    • Identify how therapy, school, and social activities have changed for children with developmental disabilities
    • Interpret how sensory issues within students with developmental disabilities may have been enhanced due to the mandatory usage of PPE

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Rob Gilbert, BA; Kimberly Bernal, BS; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    Current research demonstrates the importance of social language (e.g., nonverbal and verbal communication) and play development during the preschool years. During these years, preschool children begin to develop their ability to communicate and interact with same-age peers, teachers and parents. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines have been implemented to ensure the safety of individuals; subsequently, affecting how preschool children interact with one another. Limited research exists on the impact facial coverings and social distancing have on children’s overall communication ability, in addition, to their ability to develop social relationships. This study focuses on identifying the potential impact COVID-19 guidelines (facial coverings and social distancing) have had on social communication and play skills of preschool children. Additionally, it obtains information regarding preschool teachers’ opinions and concerns about their students’ communication development during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Participants completed 50 survey questions via an online link (i.e., Qualtrics) consisting of multiple-choice, fill-in and likert scale questions. Questions focused on acquiring unidentifiable demographic information about their teaching experience and overall class information along with questions related to their knowledge of their student’s social communication and play skill prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adherence to the COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions were indicated by 63 percent of preschool teachers reporting facial covering guidelines being followed, while 44 percent of preschool teachers reported social distancing guidelines being followed within the facility. Findings reported by preschool teachers revealed that prior to and after COVID-19, no significant difference in the areas of facial expressions, non-verbal gestures and social communication of preschool children was found. Prior to COVID-19, no preschool teachers reported children playing alone while within the classroom, however, 36 percent of preschool teachers reported children partaking in isolated play following COVID-19. These findings do not reveal a notable impact on preschool children’s overall social communication and development following the restrictions and guidelines placed on preschool facilities since COVID-19. However, it should be noted that preschool children participate in isolated play more often given the COVID-19 restrictions (social distancing and facial coverings).

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify at least two of the most challenging aspects of in-person learning after COVD-19 as reported by preschool teachers.
    • Discuss the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted preschool children’s social development and play skill abilities.
    • Discuss how COVID-19 has impacted student engagement in curriculum based activities while in the classroom and while virtual learning.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Heather Grimaldi, BS; Cristina de Oliveira, BA; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    Studies prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic have concluded the negative impact PPE has on communication and respiratory support in healthcare workers. Mask mandates now require non-healthcare working professionals (e.g., teachers) to wear masks while working. Research has demonstrated that teachers are at higher risk for developing symptoms of vocal fatigue. Separate studies have also shown that the presence of vocal fatigue may lead to pathological voice disorders. No research currently exists on the experience of vocal fatigue in teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to investigate if teachers’ experience of vocal fatigue has significantly changed since wearing a mask while working during the pandemic. Additionally, researchers aim to identify if significant relationships between teachers’ experience of vocal fatigue and other relevant factors exist.
    Fifty-four participants completed a Qualtrics survey containing 61 questions in the following domains: Demographics, Medical History, Pre-COVID and During COVID Vocal Fatigue Indexes. Participants were recruited from Facebook and Instagram during the months of February and March 2021. Prior to COVID-19 percent of participants experienced vocal fatigue and 63 percent did not. However, during COVID-19 70 percent of participants experienced vocal fatigue and 30 percent of participants did not. A t-test yielded a p-value of less than 0.00001 indicating statistical significance. Preliminary data analysis suggests more teachers experienced vocal fatigue during COVID-19 compared to pre-COVID-19 VFI scores. 16 groups (e.g., grades 1-4 and head teacher) experienced a greater increase in average VFI scores compared to other groups.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to… Define vocal fatigue and how it can be measured using the Vocal Fatigue Index (VFI).

  • Identify factors that impact vocal fatigue in teachers working in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Summarize that vocal fatigue can potentially lead to voice disorders if left untreated.
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    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Irina Zaytseva, BA; Shyanne Ottosi, BA; Morgan Theobald, BA; Kristen Victorino, William Patterson University of New Jersey

    The early development of both languages in bilingual children influences their later development of literacy skills. Narrative assessment has been typically used to evaluate children’s discourse-level skills including specific forms of language. This study further explores the development of language in bilingual and monolingual children, focusing on their narrative skills. The purpose is to compare the narrative comprehension, story structure, story complexity, and internal/mental state terms produced by typically developing English-Russian bilingual children to that of English monolingual children between the ages of seven to nine years old. The hypothesis of this study is that as a group effect, the macrostructure of a narrative would be invariant across bilingual and monolingual children except for internal/mental state terms. Additionally, English narratives and Russian narratives produced by bilingual Russian children will contain similar elements of macrostructure.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Define the terms “macrostructure” and “ internal/mental state terms” as related to narrative skills in children.
    • Identify the difference(s) in narrative skills in English and Russian speakers.
    • Summarize the difference between monolingual and bilingual children’s narrative skills.

     
    Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Alexandra Buchanan, BA; Samantha Liz, BA; Mary Boyle, PhD, Montclair State University

    Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a disorder characterized by gradually worsening language impairment that, in the early stages of the disorder, is the most prominent neurobehavioral deficit and obstacle to daily living. PPA is classified as a form of dementia because eventually other cognitive functions also gradually begin to decline. Assessment and treatment recommendations for PPA focus on basic linguistic impairments in word-retrieval and syntax, because differing patterns of these impairments help to classify the different subtypes of PPA. However, recent research reports highlight the difficulties that individuals with PPA encounter in everyday conversations. People with PPA, their families and speech-language pathologists have identified conversation as an important area to address in treatment. This poster presents a case study of an individual initially diagnosed with stroke-induced aphasia whose decline in conversation abilities was the first sign that, in fact, she had PPA. The participant, a 71-year-old woman, was video-recorded while she and her son engaged in seven minute conversations at five time points. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, we examined her conversational behaviors to determine which were the most salient signals of decline. Her use of gestures, the length of her turns and trouble-and-repair behaviors proved to be important indicators. We also examined how her son’s conversational behavior changed as her abilities worsened. This information can contribute important insights into how conversation can be used as integral part of assessment for PPA.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe decline of conversation in primary progressive aphasia
    • Discuss primary progressive aphasia’s effect on communication behaviors
    • Explain how a conversational partner modified their communication behaviors during a conversation with a person with primary progressive aphasia

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Adult

    Anjelik Espanola, BS; Laura Guempel, BS; Marolyn Lozano, BA; Ghenecis Muyulema, BA; Katarzyna Prorok, BS; Kathleen Nagle, Seton Hall University

    Up to 60 percent of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual, making bilingual aphasia patients a common demographic for speech-language pathologists. Due to the prevalence of anomia concomitant with aphasia, naming treatment is important for this population. This Critically Appraised Topic review looks at the effectiveness of naming tasks and cross-linguistic generalization of therapy in bilingual aphasia patients. Findings from three studies suggest that participants have increased naming abilities when traditional semantic naming tasks in the person’s L1 are used as compared to traditional naming therapy in L2. The studies also suggested that greater generalization was seen in the patient’s stronger language. More research is needed in order to generalize these results and transfer to real-world practice.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe cross-linguistic generalization effects on bilingual patients with aphasia.
    • Describe ideal treatment strategies for bilingual patient’s with aphasia.
    • Describe the influence of therapy language on bilingual patients with aphasia.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Adult

    Jaime Horowitz, BS; Joan Besing, PhD, CCC-A; Maryrose McInerney, PhD, CCC-A; Faith Mogila, ScD; Kenneth Bodkin, AuD, Montclair State University

    Word recognition testing is standard in an audiologic evaluation. The NU-6 and CID W-22 word lists were designed for one full 50-word list to be administered to each ear, which can be time consuming. Hurley and Sells (2003) addressed this for the NU-6 by creating shortened word lists. This study focuses on creating shortened versions of CID W-22 lists 3 and 4, modeled after Hurley and Sells (2003). Seventy-five eligible participants with 146 eligible ears, 80 with sensorineural hearing loss and 66 with normal hearing, were tested across three facilities. CID W-22 lists 3 and 4 were administered to each subject, one list per ear. Error rates were calculated for each word and the lists were reordered by item difficulty. Each subject was given 10 words; if 10/10 words were not correct, an additional 15 words were administered. Clinical Decision Analysis was used to assess the ability of the reordered 10 and 25-word lists to predict performance of greater than 96 percent on a full 50-word list.

    For lists 3 and 4, the most valid results were obtained using passing criteria of 9/10 for a 10-word screening test, and 23/25 for a 25-word screening test. This is indicative that scoring 90 percent for the first 10 words or 92 percent for the first 25 words can accurately predict a full word list score.
    The developed 10 and 25-word screening protocols for list 3 predicted valid and reliable results; for list 4, only the 25-word screening list was valid.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Summarize how to develop shorter word lists that are reliable and yield valid results
    • Apply the Clinical Decision Analysis to analyze the diagnostic value of a new screening list
    • Discuss the differences in performance amongst participants with varying degrees and configurations of hearing loss

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Audiology

    Miranda Labbree, BA; Kalli Lota, BA; Madeleine Oppenheim, BA; Mary Moynihan, BA; Kaitlyn Stoerger, BA; Haralambia Kollia, William Patterson University of New Jersey

    Cultural competency and diversity has become an increasingly researched topic, both in the field of speech-language pathology and in general. Much of this research focused on speech-language pathologists (SLPs) is focused on the diversity and cultural acceptance of clinicians, the tests used in the diagnostic process and the education SLPs have received on the topic. However, diversity is important to continue throughout the treatment process. Clinicians research and complete continuing education hours in order to have increased competency on how to diagnose and treat clients with cultural and linguistic diversity, but oftentimes still fall short in some area of cultural and linguistic competency.

    This study set out to determine any specific areas of cultural and linguistic competency that SLPs may be struggling with in order for them to create more culturally and linguistically diverse practices. The main aspects of an SLP’s practice include: the diagnostic process, treatment, furthering education and family counseling. The purpose of this study is to determine the main areas in which clinicians need further assistance to create more culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) environments for clients. Researchers hypothesized that despite SLPs having increasing knowledge in cultural competency from both formal education and continuing education units, school-based SLPs often do not have access to the materials they need in order to create a CLD practice.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe the notion of cultural and linguistic diversity and how it applies to the field of speech-language pathology.
    • Discuss the areas within the scope of practice of SLPs that require effort to become more culturally and linguistically diverse.
    • Identify issues pertaining to the access of culturally and linguistically diverse diagnostic and treatment materials available to SLPs working with school-aged populations.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Cynthia Roesler, MS, CCC-SLP; Teresa Realpe-Bonilla, MPH; April Benasich, PhD, Rutgers University

    The ability to efficiently process rapid changes (RAP) in auditory signals in the millisecond range is related to differences in language acquisition. Early deficits in RAP are predictive of later language disorders, such as Specific Language Impairment and Dyslexia. This study examines whether an early Interactive Acoustic Experience (IAE) for typically developing infants is associated with later language/cognitive scores. Findings from such an investigation would allow us to understand the effects of an early IAE. Infants engaged in six weeks of IAE (4.5-6 months-of-age), including presentation of three non-speech stimuli: complex tones, band pass noise and sweeps during an operant conditioning task designed to develop RAP and discrimination skills. Follow-up behavioral assessments occurred at seven, 12 and 18 months of age. Training variables measured discrimination (D-prime), processing speed (response to increasingly smaller inter-stimulus intervals between sounds), and trials-to-criterion (TTC). At seven months, expressive language scores (Preschool Language Scale-4) were significantly associated with D-prime and TTC. At 12 months, cognitive scores (Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III) were significantly associated with TTC. Finally, at 18 months, both cognitive and expressive vocabulary (MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory) assessments were significantly associated with processing speed and TTC, respectively. The pattern of associations demonstrated that fewer TTC, better discrimination and faster processing speed during an IAE were indicative of higher expressive language and cognitive scores at seven,12 and 18 months-of-age. Thus, IAE may have far reaching implications for amelioration or prevention of developmental language disorders.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Define the details of an Interactive Acoustic Experience (IAE) designed to enhance rapid auditory processing and discrimination for infants.
    • Identify the training variables measured, including trials-to-criterion, D-prime and Gain in processing speed.
    • Identify the importance of the relationship between IAE training variables and early expressive language and cognitive development.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Dana Katulak, BS; Kandi Morales, BS; Janet Koehnke, PhD; Joan Besing, PhD, CCC-A; Ilse Wambacq, PhD, Montclair State University

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether sound localization is negatively impacted when an individual increases their distractions in competing modalities, such as texting while they are actively mobile via pedaling in the absence or presence of background noise. Fifteen young-adult participants were instructed to accurately localize three warning signals (car horn, sirens and skidding tires) while text messaging simultaneously in four listening conditions including: pedaling, background street noise or both. Effects of number of cross-modality tasks and presence of background noise were assessed by localization accuracy (via RMS error) and subjective performance questionnaires.

    Objective localization accuracy was measured by average RMS error. It revealed the smallest average RMS error was for the skidding tires while the horn had the largest average RMS error. However, a repeated measure ANOVA analysis across all the three signals revealed that the differences amongst parameters (background noise, pedaling, or both as distractors) were not significant (p greater than 0.05). On a post-experimental accuracy questionnaire, a majority of subjects (44.6 percent) perceived that the horn was the easiest warning signal to localize and the skidding tires as the hardest (66.6 percent). These subjective perceptions appear to contradict the objective performance RMS error scores. Increasing competing modality distractors does not significantly decrease the sound localization accuracy of warning signals in young adults. Additionally, the subjective perception of what warning signal is the easiest to accurately localize is not necessarily correlated with objective performance.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Recall the name of the three binaural cues used for sound localization and the frequency range from which these cues are extracted.
    • Describe why certain warning signals may be easier or more difficult to localize to than others.
    • Explain the impact of increasing the number of modalities and presence of background noise may have on a person with normal hearing on sound localization ability.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Audiology

    Nicole Costello, BS; Vanessa Garcia, BA; Melissa Manning, BS; Vishwa Bhat, PhD, William Patterson University of New Jersey

    Previous studies have examined the effects of a variety of environmental settings and potentially abusive habits of singing and speaking voice of professional performers. Overall, it was found that those performers were more likely to engage in vocally abusive behaviors in an outdoor environment, where performers felt like they needed to compensate for the lack of an acoustic environment to support their vocal performance. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, theatre companies across the world were unable to continue live performance in theaters; however, smaller community theatres have been able to pilot sustained outdoor performances in a way that professional theatres could not during this time. We are planning to connect with local community theatre performers in the northern New Jersey area and disperse a questionnaire containing questions related to their current vocal habits and changes they have noticed in their voice performing outdoors as compared to performing indoors previously before the beginning of the pandemic. We predict that community theatre performers will be more likely to use their voice in a vocally abusive manner performing in an outdoor environment to compensate for poor acoustics an outdoor performance space may provide, including increased background noise to compete with outside and lack of adequate surfaces for sound to propagate off of. We predict that the most prevalent vocal complaint in our participants will be vocal fatigue caused not only by the change in performance environment but also due to stress related to the restrictions imposed upon them resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting lifestyle changes.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Define the nature of the relationship between theatre performers and speech-language pathologists.
    • Identify the vocal habits and activities that are the most prevalent and potentially damaging in this population of theatre performers.
    • Explain if a significant difference exists in the manner in which theatre performers utilize their voice in both indoor and outdoor performance settings.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Adult

    Yusa Liu, BA; Sarah Choe, BA; Jennifer Vega, BA; Yao Du, CCC-SLP

    The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in an increased use of mobile applications (apps) by speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Decisions regarding implementation of apps during therapy pose challenges for clinicians, especially among pediatric clients who may benefit from multimodal interaction. App store reviews are publically available data sources that allow developers to understand user needs related to individual components of app design and development. Although users left numerous reviews on the app store, no studies have examined the content of app reviews. In our study, we conducted a content analysis of 484 reviews for 17 apps based on several ASHA Big Nine areas, including articulation, receptive and expressive language, social communication, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). User reviews suggested that AAC apps consistently demonstrated more usability issues due to violations of Universal Design Principles in areas of aesthetics, user errors, controls, and customization; while reviews from other speech and language apps were mostly submitted by SLPs who requested and recommended specific app features (e.g., customization of visuals, recorded voice feedback within app, culturally diverse character roles) to enhance clinical practice. These publicly accessible app reviews provided both client- and clinician-generated design and clinical recommendations that can be beneficial for clinicians and researchers to evaluate app qualities prior to implementing them for clients, especially those who receive teletherapy services. Future research will continue to investigate individual app features through field testing with clients and clinicians during teletherapy sessions to better understand additional usability issues.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe the value of technology usability through the examination of iOS speech therapy app store reviews.
    • Identify critical issues in application design features and how they impact user experiences.
    • Recognize different user benefits and challenges while using AAC and speech-language apps.

     
    Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Multi-Interest

    Olivia Milano, BA; Samantha Cohn, BS; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder in which children present with difficulties in the social pragmatic area of communication (e.g., conversation), demonstrate obsessive fixations of preferred items or activities, and repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand flapping) (Cresswell & Cage, 2019). Neurodiversity is a paradigm gaining popularity in the Autism population. This concept acknowledges and supports autistic traits (e.g., rocking) (Dinishak, 2019). The purpose of this study is to determine whether parents of children with ASD have perspectives that align with the neurodiversity paradigm.

    There were a total of 16 participants recruited through an online digital community to participate in the online survey. The survey contained likert scale questions with answer choices: “strongly agree”, “agree”, “neutral”, “disagree”, “strongly disagree” and “N/A” for the participants to share their opinions. Survey questions were separated into three categories; preference, social communication, and therapy. The researchers found that eight out of 11 preference questions responses aligned with neurodiversity, three out of four social communication questions responses aligned with neurodiversity, and three out of three therapy questions did not align with neurodiversity. The analysis revealed that the parents mostly align with the neurodiversity paradigm. Limitations throughout the study included a small sample size and incomplete survey responses. Clinical implications revealed that it is important for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to understand the preferences and experiences of autistic individuals, therefore providing education on therapy approaches that align with the neurodiversity paradigm.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe the neurodiversity paradigm
    • Identify parent’s perceptions of nuerodiversity
    • Describe polarizing opinions involving neurodiversity and therapy services

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Mariah Beach, BS; Kyla Gualtieri, BS; Vishwa Bhat, PhD, William Patterson University of New Jersey

    Recent scientific studies claimed that wearing face masks have some degree of protection from droplet dispersion and as well as inhaling air possibly contaminated with COVID-19. During this pandemic crisis several studies focused on how facial masks affect the acoustic measures of speech. The effects were variable and depended on the weave, density of thread counts and composition (layers) of face mask. There is considerable evidence showing that high frequency fricative sounds were attenuated by 3-12 dB. Along these previous findings, the present study was designed to examine the effect of face masks on speech perception in participants from ages 18 to 34 with normal hearing. Independent variables include the thickness of the mask, the addition of background noise, and a male versus female speaker. A total of 20 participants will be included in this study. It is hypothesized that the face masks will affect speech comprehension ability across all listening conditions. We predict that the presence of background noise will further impair speech comprehension. It is further hypothesized that thicker masks will affect speech comprehension even more. Speech comprehension will be relatively better with a male speaker because of lower fundamental frequency than with a female speaker’s speech. The statistical significance among the variables will be established using two-way ANOVA and independent sample tests. The findings will be compared with previous researchers’ findings.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Summarize how the facial masks impact the perception of speech
    • Identify the differences in speech perception with various types of facial masks
    • Explain how the gender of a masked speaker affects speech comprehension.

     

    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Multi-Interest

    Chelsea A. Libreros-Cortes, BA; Kylie Trebour, BA; Nicholas Zablocki, BA; Jessica Scheuer, Kean University

    Aphasia is a multimodal communication disorder that arises secondary to acquired focal damage to the language processing centers of the brain creating mild to severe communicative impairments (Brookshire & McNeil, 2015). Group therapy as a form of intervention for individuals with aphasia has been shown to improve social skills and increase language abilities (Ribeiro Lima et al., 2018). Typically, group therapy sessions were held in-person however, due to recent social distancing mandates, there has been a rapid shift to teletherapy as the main service delivery model. It has been observed that individuals may shift their typical performance level when given a different environment (Robertson & Callinan, 1998). This study examines how personality styles can impact participation and contribution levels during group therapy sessions across service delivery models. Participants completed a questionnaire that focused on their personality traits and how they may impact performance during service delivery models for stroke rehabilitation. Additionally, researchers analyzed in person and teletherapy group sessions to measure levels of participation across delivery models. Data collection for the present study is ongoing however, it is hypothesized that individuals who participated less frequently during in-person sessions will have an increase in participation/contribution to the session during teletherapy since specific personality types are considered to have predictive responses to various stimuli and presentation models (i.e,, in person meeting/online). This study may have clinical implications as it relates to the clinicians knowledge of their clients personal styles and how it may impact individual participation levels throughout group sessions.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify how different personal styles can impact the success and effectiveness of a teletherapy group therapy session.
    • Define the benefits of determining their patient’s personal styles/preference in order to promote an effective teletherapy session for all group members.
    • Assist clinicians who have worked with the same individuals during in person and telehealth services analyze their patient’s behavior and facilitate increased participation during group therapy

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Multi-Interest

    Emily Atwood, BS; Joan Besing, PhD, CCC-A; Maryrose McInerney, PhD, CCC-A; Ilse Wambaqc, PhD, Montclair State University

    Approximately 26 million American adults have thresholds within the range of normal hearing, who also complain of hearing difficulty and experience issues understanding speech in noise. Self-reporting has been shown to be a valid measure of hearing handicap, and therefore, further research is essential to investigate this population. This study attempts to identify additional tests beyond the standard audiological test battery, that may aid in treatment recommendations and/or counseling for this population. The present study investigates the relationship between speech in noise testing (WIN, QUICKSIN and ANL) and perceived listening effort (Adapted version of NASA Task Load Index) in two subject groups: individuals with normal hearing who report hearing difficulty, and individuals with normal hearing and no perceived hearing difficulty. The results of this study show differences in speech in noise performance, as well as perceived listening effort for each of the subject groups. On average, individuals who reported hearing difficulty perceived greater listening effort and had poorer performance during speech in noise tasks. Results from this study support the rationale that further testing beyond the standard test battery, is necessary for individuals with normal hearing yet perceive hearing difficulty.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify background information about individuals who self-report hearing loss but, show normal audiologic results.
    • Identify speech in noise testing that may be beneficial for treatment/counseling for this population.
    • Define the importance of self-reporting hearing difficulty and perceived listening effort.

     
    Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Audiology

    May Heideman; Nicole Mammano; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    Following the United States’ first peak of COVID-19 cases in March/April of 2020, universities and colleges were required to evacuate all students from their dorm and suspend in-person classroom teaching in order to reduce the spread of infection. For the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, some universities and colleges have reopened their campuses, including in-person classes, on-campus housing, as well as other buildings and facilities on campus. However, administrators of institutions of higher education (IHE) and local health departments have implemented mandated prevention strategies such as social distancing, use of face coverings, and discouraging group gatherings. These prevention strategies have limited the opportunities for college students to socially interact with one another. The consequences of COVID-19 have not only impacted students’ academic experience but have gone far beyond to affect college students’ social experience and overall well-being. Therefore, this study aims to explore the obstacles and challenges of social interactions and how these challenges have impacted their communication with peers and professors as well as their participation in college courses following the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Fifty college students ages 18 and older (Mode=18-20), part-time and full-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in either a two-year or four-year institution participated in this study. Participants completed a 36-question survey regarding social interactions and communication with peers and professors prior to COVID-19 restrictions and following COVID-19 restrictions as well as how these restrictions have impacted their ability to socially interact and build relationships. Survey questions consisted of likert-type questions, multiple choice questions, select all that apply questions, and open-ended/text responses. Participants were grouped by their year of education (i.e., Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate) in order to determine differences between groups. All groups reported a decrease in likeliness to interact and communicate with peers on college campuses. In regard to participation in college courses following COVID-19, Freshman students were the only group to report a decrease in their likeliness to participate. Of all five groups, Freshman students reported the greatest decrease in likeliness to communicate and interact with professors. All five groups reported a decrease in their likeliness to collaborate with their peers in their college courses. All groups reported that COVID-19 restrictions adversely impacted their ability to build social relationships. Data analysis based on specific demographics are still ongoing. These findings suggest that COVID-19 restrictions placed on college campuses as well as the transition to remote instruction have impacted students’ ability to socially interact with their professors and peers, thus impacting their ability to build social relationships.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on students likeliness to communicate with peers and professors.
    • Compare educational level and its impact on a student’s likeliness to communicate in college courses and on college campus.
    • Identify trends in likeliness to socially interact and communicate with peers and professors based on specific demographics.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Higher Education/University

    Anthony D. Koutsoftas, PhD; Krista Georgalas, BS; Meridith Farley, BA, Seton Hall University

    Print awareness encompasses three sets of knowledge: alphabet knowledge, print concept knowledge and concepts of written words (Werfel, 2015). Research has indicated that children with hearing impairments fare poorly on measures of print awareness (Ambrose et al. 2012; Werfel, 2015, 2017). The current study aims to address this gap. The purpose of this study was to develop and test an emergent literacy intervention focused on print awareness concepts in preschool children with hearing impairments.

    Single-case research designs were employed to identify a functional relationship between the intervention and a measure of print awareness skills. The intervention includes 11 lessons spanning six weeks. Results: Teacher and student data related to the intervention is currently being collected. Discussion will include clinical implications for the intervention.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe literacy intervention for preschool children with hearing impairments.
    • Explain the method of the study.
    • Explain one finding from the study that they can apply to clinical practice.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Emily Ackerman, BA; Betty Kollia, William Patterson University of New Jersey

    Traditional in-person therapy has been the primary model of service delivery. There is a growing necessity for telepractice services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide children with services. In 2005, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) endorsed the use of telepractice services and deemed telepractice “an appropriate model of service delivery for the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology” (ASHA, 2005). In order to employ the use of telepractice services, remote services must be comparable to services received in person and comply with the Code of Ethics (ASHA, 2016), the Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA, 2018), and adhere to state and federal laws. The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of telepractice as a service delivery model from the child’s parent’s or legal guardians’ perspective. An anonymous survey was distributed using the social media platform, Facebook as well as through email to families attending therapy at William Paterson University Speech and Hearing Clinic.

    Preliminary findings show mixed opinions about teletherapy services. Families are appreciative to be safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, novel challenges have surfaced due to teletherapy, such as children becoming reliant on parents/caregivers for affirmations and children being easily distracted by their environment. According to the data compiled, 18 percent of participants stated their child regressed and 60 percent of participants stated that telepractice is not equivalent to in-person services. However, data illustrated that 69.4 percent of participants stated that their child has improved and/or maintained progress toward their goals.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Discuss different types of teleservices available to families
    • Describe the challenges parents and families face during online services
    • Discuss advantages and solutions proposed by parents to improve telepractice for speech-language pathology services

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Colleen Keegan, BS; Christina Mandry, BA; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    The purpose of this study was to explore the growing perspectives and knowledge of neurodiversity in undergraduate students studying communication sciences and disorders. Neurodiversity can be defined as the concept that each human brain is wired differently, and that neurological differences occur in many persons. The neurodiversity movement holds that these differences should not be viewed as deficits, but celebrated as an important part of diversity and human variation. This study explored perspectives on multiple techniques used to normalize an autistic person’s atypical behaviors or performance, specifically in speech-language therapy. Examples include social skills training, masking/camouflaging, and tone/facial expression modification. The goal of this research was to understand the current knowledge and perspectives of undergraduate students studying communication and science disorders as it relates to neurodiversity and speech-language pathology, in order to interpret how future professionals view current practices.

    Participants included 180 undergraduate communication science and disorders students from 21 American universities, ranging in age, credit count and gender. Information was gathered through an online Qualtrics survey. Question responses were analyzed based on alignment with the neurodiversity paradigm, as well as reported knowledge of neurodiversity. The results of the study revealed that many undergraduate students reported being unsure of their opinion on traditional speech and language therapy targets and their supposed benefits to autistic clients. Participants reported goals such as eye contact and social skills training as important therapy goals for autistic individuals, but conversely reported that these goals may be harmful or unnecessary to autistic clients.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe the neurodiversity framework
    • Identify the neurodiversity paradigm as it relates to speech and language therapy
    • Explore perspectives of future and current professionals in regard to traditional speech and language goals for neurodiverse clients

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Higher Education/University

    Stephanie da Costa, BA; Brianna Reich, BA; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in 2006, that one in 54 children in the nation have autism (Prevalence, 2020). Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make up a large part of a speech-language pathologists (SLPs) caseload. As the topic of neurodiversity is currently receiving much attention in this field and related fields, this study explored the perspective of SLP graduate students regarding ASD and neurodiversity. The researchers included attendees of graduate speech-language pathology programs. Participants were recruited via search on social media platforms (e.g., Facebook). Each recruited Facebook group or page yielded 42 participants. The participants ranged between ages 18 and 54 years. The participants completed an online survey via qualtrics. The researchers utilized tools within qualtrics to collect and analyze data. Results of this study are Results were found to be inconclusive. Perspectives regarding treatment approaches and goals for therapy for the autism population were found to be varied. Some responses aligned with the neurodiversity paradigm, while others aligned with the medical model. While there is varied knowledge about the neurodiversity paradigm, further education should be offered in the form of CEUs and coursework should be introduced to graduate programs.

    References:
    Prevalence. (2020, March 31). https://www.autismnj.org/understanding-autism/prevalence-rates/.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify SLP graduate student’s experiences with the autism population.
    • Identify SLP graduate student’s choice in appropriate treatment approaches and goals for therapy for the ASD population.
    • Recognize the future of the neurodiversity movement.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Higher Education/University

    Arianna Robbins, BA; Nikita Philip, BS; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    The neurodiversity framework is based on the proposition that neurological differences should be normalized and not ‘cured’. However, a large number of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) follow approaches that are focused on eliminating or reducing autistic traits. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in acceptance of neurodiversity across: SLP professionals and students, SLPs in the United States (US) versus in other countries, and SLP professionals and students who were familiar with the term ‘neurodiversity’ prior to participating in the study compared to those who were not. A total of 193 participants participated in this study. Participants completed an online Qualtrics survey that consisted of seven demographic questions and 21 survey questions related to ASD, Neurodiversity, and Applied Behavior Analysis approaches and methodologies. The results of this study revealed a significant difference in scores between SLP professionals compared to students and between participants in the US compared to those in other countries. There was also a strong positive correlation between neurodiversity acceptance and familiarity with the term ‘neurodiversity’.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Explain the importance of understanding and accepting autistic individuals as the experts of autism and advocating for them
    • Describe the difference between the neurodiversity framework and the medical model
    • Explain why current therapeutic approaches for ASD go against the neurodiversity movement

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Higher Education/University

    Aidan Sharma, BA; Ilse Wambacq, PhD; Janet Koehnke, PhD, CCC-A; Maryrose McInerney,PhD, CCC-A, Montclair State University

    To examine the effects of different music types and signal-to-noise-ratios (SNR) on processing time of semantically related and unrelated sentences. Twenty monolingual young adults between ages 18-35 were tested. Sentences were played at three different SNRs in vocals only, instrumental only, and vocals + instrumental conditions. Subjects pushed a button to determine whether the final word of a sentence was related or unrelated. Reaction time (RT) in milliseconds was measured for correct responses. Results indicated that RT for related sentence endings improved as SNR got better and that RT for unrelated sentence endings is slower for -4 dB (decibel) SNR compared to other SNRs presented. For the unrelated condition, results indicated that vocal music is not as effective as a masker as instrumental music.

    In conclusion, semantic judgment is affected more by the presence of an instrument than vocals alone but only when semantic context is not supportive of the final word. This means listeners will have more difficulty understanding unfamiliar conversation when there are instruments present along with vocals.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Differentiate between energetic and informational masking.
    • Identify the effect of different signal-to-noise-ratios on processing time and how it relates to semantic relatedness.
    • Differentiate between accuracy and reaction time of semantically related and unrelated sentences.

     
    Level of Learning: Advanced | Track: Audiology

    Yao Du, PhD; Yusa Liu; Grace Breslin, BA; Shelby Davis; Cassie James; Amanda Pluchino, BA, Monmouth University

    In recent years, there has been an increased use of technology in pediatric speech-language pathology in a variety of clinical settings. A majority of pediatric speech-language pathologists (SLP) have utilized iPads in clinical practice with various populations to improve clinician’s productivity and data collection, and also to motivate children’s participation and interactions. However, little research has been conducted to comprehensively examine the process of design and implementation of technological applications (apps) for pediatric speech-language therapy. Both clinicians and app developers must understand the risks and benefits of using mobile devices and associated apps to determine clinical efficacy. This study investigates the design and implementation of mobile apps (i.e., Google Play, iOS, etc.) among SLPs who have designed and/or implemented apps for speech-language therapy with the pediatric population. Using clinician user personas, a technique from the field of human computer interaction, we conducted thematic analysis generated from 23 semi-structured qualitative interviews with SLPs to understand client, clinician, and app characteristics. We found that SLPs fluidly integrated diverse types of apps (e.g., AAC apps, speech-language apps, game apps, and utility apps) different clinical settings, client populations, and age groups. Learning from these clinicians’ mobile technology user experience brought further implications for adapting a plethora of digital tools for in-person and teletherapy services. This study contributes to existing literature of commercialized apps used by SLPs and points to multiple areas for future research (e.g., identify apps appropriate for tailored to populations, explore new app design opportunities, understand mobile app use challenges during teletherapy).

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Recognize the SLPs’ roles and perspectives in designing and implementing different types of digital tools
    • Identify multiple influential factors (e.g., financial, sociocultural, political, ethical) related to the selection and implementation of mobile apps
    • Describe app use techniques and strategies for both in-person and remote service delivery with pediatric clients

     
    Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Gillian Johnson, BA; Caryn Grabowski, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, Seton Hall University

    Dysphagia and cognitive impairment are two major symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), yet little evidence draws a correlation between the two. With advancements in technology and commonplace use in aging populations, the development of various applications and software programs to promote cognitive stimulation and to serve as adjunct to cognitive therapy intervention have become popular. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, further examination of the feasibility and effect of various methods of remote therapeutic intervention across domains of service in speech-language pathology is of critical need. This work aims to (1) examine baseline cognitive function and its relationship to symptoms of dysphagia in patients with PD, (2) examine the adherence and impact of an intensive remote application-based cognitive intervention on functional and standardized outcome measures of cognition, and (3) examine the impact of an intensive, remote tablet application-based cognitive intervention on dysphagia. Baseline measures of cognition and swallow function in individuals with PD were compared to post-treatment measures to explore the impact of a four-week remote application based cognitive processing intervention on overall cognition and functional swallowing ability. Pilot data will be collected from January through April 2021. Initial findings have demonstrated fair adherence and clinical outcomes on cognition and swallowing will be analyzed within-subjects. Qualitative insights and attitudes of participants will also be shared. Results contribute to a body of evidence supporting implementation of such programming and further effectiveness may support the ongoing need for therapeutic supports for symptoms associated with PD.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify the relationship between cognitive linguistic function and symptoms of dysphagia.
    • Consider the evidence of impact that an intensive, remote application based cognitive intervention has on functional and standardized outcome measures of cognition and dysphagia symptoms.
    • Appraise the feasibility of remote cognitive processing intervention and factors associated with trends in adherence.
    • Reflect on participants’ shared attitudes and experiences associated with a remote tablet- based application for cognitive intervention.

     Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Adult

    Maria Bongo, BS; Rawda Abdelmenam, BS; Ashley Gallina, BS; Anthony D. Koutsoftas, PhD, Seton Hall University

    The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of remote instruction provided to elementary aged children (grades K-8) who are struggling writers. This study utilized an intensive intervention framework consisting of focused instruction on one or two specific writing skills, including but not limited to, spelling patterns or story structure. The participants completed a pre-test written transcription that was analyzed for the assessment of written language productivity, complexity, accuracy, and mechanics at the word, sentence, and discourse levels. This information was then used to develop an intensive intervention specific to each participants needs. Intervention was then provided through video conferencing software that meets HIPPA and FERPA encryption requirements. Three children participated in the intervention and pre-post test writing samples will be compared on measures at the word, sentence and discourse levels. The discussion will include clinical application for writing instruction through remote platforms.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Describe literacy intervention for elementary aged children who struggle with writing.
    • Explain the methods and results of the study.
    • Explain one finding from the study that they can apply to clinical practice.

     Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Siobain McGonigal, BA; Taylor Rizzi, BA; Melissa Zak, BS; Kristen Victorino, William Patterson University of New Jersey

    The global health emergency (COVID-19) currently enforces restrictions on in-person instruction that impacts school districts and the services they provide. Alternative delivery models for speech-language services, such as telepractice, have seen an increase in usage in school districts. The purpose of this study is to better understand school-based SLPs’ perceptions on the validity and reliability of tele-assessments, as SLPs continue to be responsible for administering and interpreting assessments. An electronic survey was distributed to school-based SLPs regarding their experience administering tele-assessments. Topics included prior experience in the field, experience with telepractice, COVID-19, perceptions of tele-assessments, and identification of resources and barriers for implementation. Results from this study will add to the literature regarding the effectiveness of tele-assessments in the field of speech-language pathology.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Determine if school-based SLPs perceive tele-assessments as valid and reliable.
    • Identify barriers to and resources needed for successful implementation of tele-assessments in a school setting.
    • Determine future steps necessary to improve the reliability and validity of tele-assessments.

     Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Shannon Smith, BA; Christine Ritz, BA; JoAnne Cascia, Kean University

    Telepractice and remote learning has become rapidly widespread this year due to the arrival of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). With high transmission rates, several states signed executive orders to shut down and provide remote (or partially remote) instruction within schools and private practices. Not only has this shift caused by COVID-19 disrupted students across the world, but also individuals receiving special needs services have been met with additional challenges. This has affected children with ASD as they not only need to receive educational instruction, but also behavioral and speech-language and communication services. The purpose of this study is to determine how services have been affected by this shift in society, as well as how we can adapt as a field to cope and continue to develop the skills of students with ASD to the best of our ability.

    Facebook groups were used to gather participants instructing through an online format. A Qualtrics survey was constructed by the researchers and was sent out to Facebook groups in order to gather data on the overall effectiveness of telepractice and remote learning for children with ASD. The online survey contained 20 questions regarding Teletherapy and Regression. The results of the study are ongoing as data is still being collected.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify overall effectiveness of virtual platforms for learning and speech therapy
    • Identify challenges and opportunities when using telepractice and remote learning
    • Identify the impact of COVID-19 on students with ASD

     
    Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Hayley Clarke, BS; Giana Anglani, BS; Caryn Grabowski, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, Seton Hall University

    This poster will share the findings of a recently conducted survey which aimed to gather data regarding the ease of transition from in person therapy to telepractice during the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey was designed to determine how speech-language pathologists working with adults with acquired disorders of communication and swallowing impairments were able to adapt and provide the best quality care for their patients. The survey was posted on various forums and social media groups through an online platform from February-April 2021 and questions were presented in multiple choice and open-ended format. Through this survey, we identified demographic information including clinician age, location, years of experience, employment setting as well as additional factors contributing to use of telepractice such as methods of preparation, necessary resources, populations served. Questions were also asked to determine benefits and challenges found in using this method of service delivery. Final analysis will include descriptive statistics on study participant demographics and all questions pertaining to telepractice services for adults in the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings will inform the field of speech-language pathology on the clinician use, experience, and attitudes toward use of Telepractice in COVID-19 and beyond. Findings will also highlight areas of need or concern in practice implementation to maximize future utilization of telepractice services.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Recognize the demographic factors of SLP adoption of telepractice services in the COVID-19 pandemic in adult domains of service.
    • Identify the reported areas of success and challenges for use of telepractice in adult domains of service provision.
    • Identify trends about the use of telepractice in acquired domains of speech-language pathology service delivery.

     Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Adult

    Diana Aguilar, BS; Monika Pawlowska, PhD; Phillip Hernandez,EdD, CCC-SLP, Stockton University

    The total Hispanic population in the US is 18.5 percent (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.). In New Jersey, 200 speech-language pathologists (SLPs) identify as Spanish service providers. That makes up only 3.1 percent of the total SLPs in New Jersey (ASHA, 2018). Thus, many monolingual English-speaking SLPs are serving clients with Spanish-speaking families in New Jersey. The relationship between a clinician and the client’s family may be as important as their relationship with the client. The question addressed in the present study is, what are the SLPs’ perceptions of their relationship with their clients’ Spanish-speaking family?

    An online survey was created and sent to New Jersey SLPs through the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA). Questions addressed demographics (e.g. ‘what setting do you work in?’), the SLPs’ own perceptions towards what rapport is (e.g., ‘describe what client-clinician rapport is in your view;), how SLPs communicate with Spanish-speaking family members (e.g. ‘when communicating with a client’s Spanish-speaking family members, I typically use…’), and how they view their relationships with Spanish-speaking family members (e.g., ‘compared to the monolingual English-speaking clients, I perceive my relationship with the Spanish-speaking clients to be…’). Results show that SLPs believe they have a similar or weaker relationship with Spanish-speaking family members when compared to monolingual English-speaking family members and SLPs perceive Spanish-speaking family members’ understanding of therapy activities to be better than the understanding of therapy goals. Two of the most common barriers that were reported by the SLPs included the language barrier and low responsiveness/attendance/work schedules of the family members.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify barriers that can occur between SLPs and Spanish-speaking family members.
    • Identify ways for SLPs to develop rapport with Spanish-speaking family members.
    • Recognize the importance of rapport between SLPs and Spanish-speaking family members.

     Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Pediatric/School Based

    Mona Aburadi, BA; Geolenne Velasquez, BA; Kristen Victorino, William Patterson University of New Jersey

    The COVID-19 pandemic has created a shift in the way graduate student clinicians in speech-language pathology are trained to deliver services. To decrease transmission of COVID-19, student clinicians have transitioned from in-person services to telepractice. However, there has been limited research on the impact of this shift on student clinicians’ clinical confidence. Recent research in the field of psychotherapy has shown that students reported feeling anxious and worried because of the quick transition. Other research has indicated challenges with telepractice that include difficulties with data collection and technical problems. To limit these challenges, student clinicians may benefit from additional training in telepractice services. The current study focused on the shift to telepractice due to COVID-19 and its impact on graduate student clinicians’ confidence in their clinical development. It was predicted that students who received more training in telepractice will have increased confidence. The study utilized a survey procedure to measure graduate student clinicians’ confidence in delivering services via telepractice. Survey participants consisted of 1st and 2nd year graduate student clinicians in speech-language pathology in the United States. The survey gathered information on student information, confidence ratings, and questions regarding challenges and successes. The results of this research will be used to inform university clinics and clinical faculties on how telepractice is having an impact on student clinicians’ clinical education.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify how the shift to telepractice due to COVID-19 impacted graduate student clinicians’ confidence in their clinical skills.
    • Identify challenges associated with telepractice.
    • Recognize the relationship between training in telepractice and graduate clinician confidence.

     Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Multi-Interest

    Erica Alvarez, BA; Ilse Wambacq, PhD; Maryrose McInerney, PhD, CCC-A; Joan Besing, PhD, CCC-A; Alexandra Camacho, AuD, Montclair State University

    By utilizing questionnaires, professionals are able to obtain quantifiable information from the participants. The Auditory Behavior in Everyday Life (ABEL) questionnaire provides an objective measurement of a patient’s benefit from their assistive listening devices. The ABEL questionnaire has been translated in multiple languages, however, has not been translated into Spanish. Twenty-four children diagnosed with a mild to profound loss from the ages from four to 14 participated in this study. The parents of these children were screened with a checklist prior to participating in the study to evaluate their literacy level and determine the languages spoken at home. Parents were asked to note whether their children utilized hearing devices.

    Three independent non-parametric sample comparison was made with three question groupings that were utilized during Purdy’s original study which includes auditory awareness, social/conversational skills, and aural/oral as dependent measures. A Mann-Whitney U test analysis was utilized when two levels of independent variables were compared. Significant findings indicated that aided participants had higher scores with auditory awareness question grouping compared and in the aural/oral question grouping to unaided participants. It was also found that bilingual speakers had higher scores on aural/oral question grouping. A subject’s performance on the Spanish translated ABEL questionnaire, which assesses a child’s auditory behavior in everyday life, correlated with whether they were aided or not as well as whether the parents were bilingual or monolingual.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Explain the importance of having translated forms/questionnaires in the patient’s native language
    • Describe how assistive listening devices improves the quality of life in children with a mild to profound hearing loss
    • Explain how questionnaires validate whether a child is benefitting from their assistive listening device.

     Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Audiology

    Paige Garlasco, BA; Hannah Zadoyko, BA; Sabrina Qanaah, BA; Vishwa Bhat, PhD, William Patterson University of New Jersey

    During the current pandemic COVID-19 crisis, face masks proven to be one of the protective tool to minimize the possible droplet dispersion of virus or inhalation of contaminated air with the virus. Several recent studies have documented that the facial masks have noticeably altered the acoustic spectrum of the speech. This study is designed to investigate the impact of various types of facial masks on acoustic measures of speech. It has been reported that the facial masks filters out high frequency consonants and the perception of speech via facial mask sounds like an individual who has a mild high frequency hearing loss. The recorded speech sample consisting of vowels, words, and sentences with high ratio of fricatives in three facial mask conditions such as no mask, a single polypropylene surgical mask, and thick cloth mask with high-thread count. All acoustic measures will be analyzed using the PRATT software. We hypothesized that wearing masks will affect the fundamental frequency, intensity, and articulation rate of both in adults and children. Furthermore, regardless of the thickness of the mask, the older group will perform better in comparison to the younger group. We reason that the older group of participants will adjust their voice to accommodate for the face covering while the younger group will not do so naturally. The hypothesis will be tested for significance with the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and independent t sample tests and the results will be compared with the findings of previous researchers.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify the effects of facial mask on speech production.
    • Analyze how speaking rate affects with different types of facial masks
    • Recognize the impact of speech perception due to altered speech acoustics resulting from facial masks

     Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Multi-Interest

    Anne Fitzpatrick, BS; Katherine Lipovetsky, BA; Janet Koehnke, PhD; Joan Besing, PhD, CCC-A; Maryrose McInerney, PhD, CCC-A, Montclair State University

    The goal of this study was to determine whether alternative stimuli, such as narrowband filtered segments of a children’s play song could be used in audiometric hearing evaluations for children. The current and popular song, Baby Shark, was used to determine how thresholds for frequency-specific segments of Baby Shark would compare to pure tone thresholds obtained for adults. FRESH Noise was also used as a stimulus; the Baby Shark stimuli were filtered using the same filter characteristics as the FRESH Noise. Subjects included adults with normal hearing and with sensorineural hearing loss. The subjects were asked to detect three different stimuli, pure tones, FRESH Noise and filtered Baby Shark presented in a random order at various frequencies, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 4000Hz. Thresholds were obtained utilizing ASHA descending method techniques. Filtered Baby Shark stimuli thresholds were compared with pure tone thresholds and FRESH Noise thresholds. Subjects were split into three groups for analysis: Hearing Within Normal Limits (WNL), Borderline Normal Hearing (BNH) and Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL). Results indicate a significant correlation between thresholds for Baby Shark stimuli as compared to both pure tone thresholds and FRESH Noise thresholds for the SNHL group. Results also indicate significant correlations for all three stimuli at all tested frequencies when subject groups were combined. Further discussion of the use of Baby Shark stimuli will be presented as they relate to clinical error and application for clinical testing. Results indicate that filtered Baby Shark stimuli are a promising alternative to pure tones for audiometric testing.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Identify the importance of recorded stimuli
    • Analyze various stimuli for testing patients of various ages
    • Differentiate between infant directed speech and infant directed songs

     Level of Learning: Introductory | Track: Audiology

    Kerry Mulcahy, BS; Ilse Wambacq, PhD; Maryrose McInerney, PhD, CCC-A; Janet Koehnke, PhD, Montclair State University

    A person’s ability to process speech is difficult with background noise, even for those with normal hearing. If middle aged adults have deteriorated cognitive skills, it may lead to difficulty processing speech in noise and maintaining communication. This study examines if middle-aged adults, with normal hearing, have difficulty perceiving speech in noise due to impaired cognitive skills caused by aging.
    Ten middle-aged subjects with normal hearing were tested. They were given the Speech Spatial Qualities 12 questionnaire (SSQ) to inquire about their abilities when listening in different situations, to determine their perceived ability when listening in noise. Their cognitive abilities were tested using tests that assess working memory, semantic knowledge, reasoning, switching/inhibition, decision making, sustained attention/processing speed, and executive function. These tests include Boston Naming test, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Sentences (IEEE), Reading Span Test (RSPAN), and Trail Making Test.

    A Forward Stepwise regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between subject’s scores on the SSQ and all other variables. For this analysis, SSQ scores were compared to Boston Naming Test, IEEE, RSPAN and Trailing Making test scores. The only variable found to be a significant predictor of the subjects’ score on the SSQ, was the Reading Span test. A subject’s performance on the RSPAN, which assesses a person’s working memory and executive function, correlated with their perceived difficulty. This result can assist in clinical diagnosis and treatment and can give clinicians an idea of patients’ working memory and executive function skills.

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

    • Recognize the importance of the Speech Spatial Qualities Questionnaire for people with difficulty perceiving speech in noise.
    • Observe the correlation between an individual’s Reading Span Scores, assessing their working memory and executive function skills, and their subjective difficulty listening in noise.
    • Provide clinicians with a way to assess a patient’s cognitive skills, when they have a normal audiogram.

     
    Level of Learning: Intermediate | Track: Audiology