Category Archives: Speech

ASHA Conference, November 9-11, 2017

This year’s annual ASHA conference drew over 14,000 speech-language pathologists, audiologists, hearing and speech scientists, and communications sciences and disorders students to Los Angeles for three jam-packed days of educational, networking, and fun events. On Thursday we welcomed the masses into the Expo Hall when they stopped by the Therapro exhibit by asking attendees what parts of the opening session inspired them. They reported enjoying Goldie Hawn’s Keynote Address with her emphasis on mindfulness and self-regulation. She discussed her foundation, the Hawn Foundation, which focuses on a program for schools to teach children the basics of brain science. It was a great kick-off for this year’s conference!

We designed our exhibit this year to focus on various areas we thought would interest attendees. Our “Games Corner” was a beehive of activity with Karen drawing therapists to play NovenopsTrunksLetter Treasure HuntA Fistful of Coins, and Obstacles: A Game of Imaginative Solutions. One therapist loved Novenops so much that she purchased one for herself and several for gifts! The zany sentences players constructed in this game had everyone laughing.

Another area we set up was filled with wind-up toys that drew a crowd with giggles, exclamations, and stories of creative ways they used the toys in therapy sessions. Everyone exclaimed how unique our collection was, including the FirefightersCatsLovely FarmBaby Critters, and retro appliances.

Friends we had met in previous years stopped by to say hello and to see what’s new at Therapro. Our auditory processing publications were much appreciated, including Help for Auditory Processing and The Source for Processing Disorders – 2nd EditionStory Starters Write-Abouts and Silly Starter Write-Abouts were very popular flip books with which students gain valuable writing and expressive verbal practice. Therapists loved the ConversacardsQuestion Series and Question Set with beautiful photos on one side and easy teaching steps on the reverse side.

Therapists who address feeding problems were excited to meet Kelly VahnDam, MS, CCC-SLP, editor and an author of the Therapro publication Pediatric Feeding Disorders. She graciously autographed the book and took photos with admirers. Several students from North Carolina reported that her book is part of their curriculum. Feeding therapists picked up Textured SpoonsNuk Massager BrushesMr. Juice Bear, and much more. It was fun to help therapists select appropriate materials and brain storm with them on ways to use chewies for their clients. Mary Schiavoni, MS, CCC-SLP, creator of Chewy Tubes visited our booth and introduced the new Sensory Dipper she showcased at the conference. Dawn Winkelmann, MS, CCC-SLP of ezpz stopped by as well – we love their Happy Mats and Happy Bowls!

After three exciting and full days of introducing Therapro to speech and language professionals from the US, Canada, and many foreign countries, we were pleased with the dedication and thirst for knowledge expressed by those we met. We left L.A. satisfied that we had met thousands of devoted and gifted therapists who truly LOVE their profession!

We can’t wait to welcome you to Boston next Fall for the ASHA Conference 2018!

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L

ASHA Convention 2015

ASHA-Convention-2015_750Arriving in Denver for the annual ASHA convention on the heels of the first snowstorm of the season was a good omen – we were optimistic that our 4 days there would be a positive experience for the Therapro “team.”

After setting up our mega display area in the convention Exhibit Hall, we were energized and prepared to meet and greet the 14,000 SLPs who were taking part in this magnificent event. Imagine streams of people strolling through the exhibit hall, pausing to visit our booth. Having two therapists available to greet attendees, discuss products, and distribute catalogs seemed reassuring for them. We spoke their “language” and were able to introduce them to Therapro’s vast product line. They loved playing games with us such as A Fist Full of Coins, Trunks, and Novenops, that are designed help students develop skills such as sequencing, working memory, following multi-step commands, creating sentences, and much more! We rolled out our newest game – Obstacles Game: A Game of Imaginative Solutions, to rave reviews.

Speech therapists sought out our exhibit, Booth #1018, to discuss pediatric feeding and oral sensory concerns. Both of us (Karen and Filomena) have had extensive clinical experience in those areas. Discussions about chewies: age appropriate chewies, durable chewies, baby chewies, school-appropriate chewies, etc. flowed throughout the conference days. Therapists loved these new oral sensory products we brought to the convention:Desk Buddy Multi Textured Tactile Ruler, Gentle Vibrations Toothbrush, Army Dog Tag Chew Pendants, and Tactile Tiger Chewable Arm Band.

Therapists enjoyed trying out these feeding therapy materials:

Products that therapists can quickly pack up and easily pull out for therapy sessions, like ConversaCards and Conversation Starter flip books were a huge hit. We quickly sold out of Interactive Reading Books once word leaked out about how functional they are; students move velcro-backed drawings to match, identify, label, sequence, and create sentences while learning to read.

Therapists sought books to add to their home libraries. Favorites were:

It was an exhausting but exhilarating 4 days filled with great conversations and collaboration among therapists. That’s what it’s all about – sharing information that will make our practice grow stronger and better. We overheard therapists repeatedly comment: “Therapro has what we need!” It warmed our hearts…and by then the snow had melted in Denver.

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L