Alaska <br>  Speech-Language-Hearing <br>         Association

AKSHA is PROUD to announce our 2021 annual Convention “Reengaging with Convention”. Teresa Moore and Andrea Toth have been working hard to bring this convention to the Downtown Anchorage Marriott September 24th and 25th 2021!

Please see our flyer for more information! This page has been updated to reflect a change with our schedule. At this time, the convention will feature two speakers. If there are any further changes, they will be reflected.


Michelle L.W. Dawson M.S., CCC-SLP, CLC

"Pediatric Dysphagia: Chasing the Swallow and Treating it"


Sarah Ward M.S., CCC-SLP

"Executive Function Skills and Strategies for Professionals"

 Summary: The ability to eat with peers in the school cafeteria, or participate in family dinners may be the norm for the general population, however there is a significant subset of the population that does not have the ability to independently or safely engage in these activities of daily living due to oropharyngeal dysphagia.  This one day course is designed to educate attendees on the intricate interplay of the Brain-Mouth-Gut connection and how breakdowns in this system, (such as inter-uterine CVA, diminished mastication reflexes, and delayed GI motility), can result in oropharyngeal dysphagia and to walk away with functional interprofessional practice based treatments.  Specific attention is given to the unique needs of the medically fragile and complex pediatric patients from birth to early childhood.

Presenter: Michelle Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC, Member/Manager of HeartWood Speech Therapy in Columbia, SC, is the acclaimed host of “First Bite: Fed, Fun, Functional” a Speech Therapy Podcast/Podcourse that addresses “all thangs” Pediatric Speech Therapy.  She is an accomplished lecturer, traveling the nation delivering ASHA approved CEU courses on best practices for evaluation and treatment of the medically complex infant, toddler, and child with respect to their pediatric oropharyngeal dysphagia, as well as language acquisition within the framework of Early Intervention.  She has served as the Treasurer for the Council of State Association Presidents, is a Past President of the South Carolina Speech, Language, and Hearing Association, is a Community Ambassador for Feeding Matters, a 2017 graduate of the ASHA Leadership Development Program, has been awarded Feeding Matters “Pediatric Feeding Disorders Awareness Champion”, and is 5-time recipient of the ASHA ACE Award. 

Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Explain typical development and sequence of respiration, deglutition, and digestion.
  2. Explain the typical development of at least 3 reflexes related to mastication and deglutition.
  3. Name 4 common pediatric medical diagnoses and describe how each diagnosis in conjunction with medical management can contribute to oropharyngeal dysphagia.
  4. Name 3 different “tubes” for feeding and describe their impact on the normal Brain-Mouth-Gut connection.
  5. List 5 examples of therapeutic interventions to help re-establish the brain-mouth-gut connection and treatment of orophayrngeal dysphagia and how to implement.

 Presenter: Sarah has over 25 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations and treatment of executive dysfunction.  Ms. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Sarah is an internationally recognized expert on executive function and presents seminars and workshops on the programs and strategies she has developed with her Co-Director Kristen Jacobsen. Their 360 Thinking Executive Function Program received the Innovative Promising Practices Award from the National Organization CHADD. She has presented to and consulted with over 1400 public and private schools in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing this program, you will be able to…

  • State the functional working definition of  what is meant by the term “executive function skills”as it pertains to therapeutic interventions.
  • Be able to identify what is the typical developmental course of the executive function skills
  • Define how situational awareness, self talk, forethought , gesture/movement and episodic memory are the foundational skills for successful task execution
  • Define how situational awareness, self talk, forethought and episodic memory are the foundational skills for successful task execution
  • Develop an intervention program to foster a student’s  ability to form more independent executive function skills by describing therapeutic activities to improve:
    • Situational awareness, self talk and forethought
    • Self regulation and following routines
    • Task planning, task initiation and transition within and between tasks
    • Active self-management of the factors related to the passage of time
    • Student management of materials
    • Describe 4 methods for teaching a student how to visualize and plan hourly, daily and weekly time and prioritize tasks across multiple hours/days
    • List 3 interventions to teach a student how to visualize complex tasks and then sequence and plan the requisite steps to complete assigned work

Cancellation and Refund Policy: 

All cancellations and refunds will be processed after the convention. Full refunds will be made only if a written cancellation request is received three (3) weeks prior to the convention (by September 3, 2021).

Sept 4 – 10th refund 75%

Sept 11 – 23rd refund 50%

After the 23rd refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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