College: Education and Allied Health Professions
Program Director: Carmen Russell
The Speech-Language Pathology master's program is part of the Department of Communication Disorders and Deaf Education at Fontbonne University. Each year, SLP graduate students are required to make a poster or thesis presentation on a topic of their choice, usually at the annual convention of the Missouri Speech-Language Hearing Association. Materials from those presentations are archived here.
“Up to 62-70% of persons with aphasia following a stroke experience symptoms of depression. Furthermore, multiple studies indicate that the QOL (Quality of Life) of persons with aphasia is significantly worse than the QOL of stroke survivors without aphasia” (Kristinsson & Halldorsdottir, 2021, p.244). Aphasia is a diagnosis that can cause social and emotional isolation by affecting one’s ability to communicate daily needs and wants. Regarding treatment, the utilization of specific treatment approaches, therapy techniques, and group treatment interventions will be discussed in relation to emphasizing addressing linguistic factors instead of incorporating the social and emotional needs of people with aphasia. This session will explain the importance for people with aphasia to seek speech-language therapy services and how addressing expressive and receptive language deficits can affect integral emotions and social interactions for persons with aphasia. Furthermore, an overview containing the physiological, social, and emotional effects of aphasic patients' communication-related quality of life will be discussed in relation to selecting treatment approaches and techniques.
Stuttering therapy is a distant cousin to many other subfields of Speech and Language Pathology. Incorporating many client feelings, beliefs, and attitudes compared to other subfields we practice.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an acquired neurological disorder caused by trauma to the brain. Those who have experienced a traumatic brain injury often report changes to their personality immediately and sometimes lasting for years after the initial injury. Personality changes like depression, anxiety, mood swings, emotional lability, and impulse control can negatively affect the patient’s recovery. These changes are a result of the damage done to the frontal lobe and other parts of the brain; therefore, it is important to understand the structures and functions of the brain and how they are affected by a TBI. od can be predictive of long-term effects of TBI.
Speech-Language Pathologists in the NICU are tasked with many roles and responsibilities. An SLP needs to be aware of what these different roles and responsibilities require because, with an “increase in the birth and survival rate of the premature infants, a need for supportive health care services becomes more evident” (Ghomi et al., 2019). This presentation will provide an overview of the general roles and responsibilities of SLPs within the NICU. Specifically, Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention (PIOMI) will be discussed. PIOMI was compared to Oromotor Stimulation (OMS), and it was found to ultimately be more effective on oral feeding readiness than OMS (Sumarni et al., 2021). PIOMI has also been linked to a decreased length of hospital stay in premature infants (Ghomi et al., 2019). Given the effectiveness of PIOMI, it is beneficial to be aware of the rationale and implementation of this technique and the associated benefits.
Advantages of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Use in Individuals with SATB2 Gene Mutation
This poster discusses the gene mutation SATB2 associated syndrome and how Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices benefit the group. The history of this mutation will be discussed, along with its side effects, dysmorphology and cause. An examination of how using AAC devices facilitates language, increases social communication, and encourages oral language will be provided. Available AAC devices will be provided, along with the research supporting the use of AAC on non-verbal children.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths (CDC, 2020). Survivors may experience various cognitive or communication disorders symptoms depending on the type of TBI sustained. The injury can range from mild to severe and may increase the risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Speech-language pathologists (SLP) use counseling to address the psychological well-being of people affected by TBI. However, SLPs report low counseling knowledge, skill, and confidence for working in various communication disorders (Kaderavek, Laux, & Mills, 2004) caused by TBI. This session will provide an overview of counseling and mental health concerns of persons with TBI; exploring SLP’s role. The definition and symptoms of TBI related to mental health issues will be identified. Discussion of counseling-related strategies to aid and support individuals with post-brain injury and their families will occur. Finally, a survey of students in speech-language pathology programs and clinical fellows will be provided to examine their training levels in counseling skills.
Down Syndrome is defined as a genetic disorder that is caused by abnormal cell division that results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. Children with Down Syndrome (DS) experience delays in all areas of development; however, they have specific deficits in developing expressive language acquisition. This review explores the effect of both play and joint attention on expressive language development. It also discusses the effect of Naturalistic Sign Intervention. The LENA (Language Environment Analysis) was used to explore the effect of behavioral phenotypes on expressive language development.
Nicole Rose Colflesh
In 2013, the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) introduced the diagnosis of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder (SPCD) as a disorder characterized by deficits in pragmatic abilities. Many professionals often compare this diagnosis to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) due to their similarities in diagnostic criteria. However, unlike ASD, SPCD currently has no standardized assessments created specifically for this diagnosis. Furthermore, SPCD lacks culturally valid assessment tools. Considering recent research and data on SPCD and methods to provide culturally valid evaluations, this poster aims to provide a resource for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) to self-educate and improve their cultural responsiveness in this area and in general. While there is a need for more research in this area and the formal assessments used to help assess social communication skills in culturally and linguistically diverse individuals, clinicians must harness the resources available to educate themselves and provide the best possible diagnosis and intervention for clients and their families.
Allison Cosma, Lauren Blodgett, and Monika Bozickovic Bozickovic
- Explain the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) and how it relates to persons with aphasia and their caregivers.
- Discuss the significance of Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) and explain how it can be implemented in the community, as well as what resources are available for Persons with aphasia (PWA) and their caregivers.
- Perform activities that observe the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia.
The Passy Muir Valve (PMV) is a one-way speaking valve that allows a patient with a tracheostomy to inspire through the trach tube and exhale through the upper airway and vocal cords. The PMV provides opportunity for increased communication for respiratory patients, decreasing psycho-emotional distress and increasing overall quality of life while the tracheostomy is placed. Additionally, the PMV also improves secretion management and swallowing leading to a reduced risk of aspiration. While it is common to delay intervention until a patient is no longer using mechanical ventilation, a review of literature has indicated benefits to initiating PMV intervention prior to ventilator weaning. A PMV may be placed in-line during mechanical ventilation with the proper knowledge and support from the patient’s respiratory team. By placing a PMV in-line during mechanical ventilation, a patient may experience benefits during the ventilator weaning process and rehabilitation. Beginning early PMV trails provides opportunities for improving overall communication, swallow function, and respiratory status. This session will provide an overview of the mechanisms, inclusionary criteria, procedures, and outcomes of implementing in-line speaking valves during mechanical ventilation.
Communication Approach for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Picture Exchange Communication System
There is a range of intervention approaches for individuals with autism who have minimal verbal expressive language. This study reviews a commonly used low-tech option known as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to teach functional communication to individuals through a multi-phase process. Through different research findings, the study will demonstrate factors influencing the effectiveness of PECS for communication development at a school setting. As seen in Ganz et al. (2012) meta-analysis, it has been determined that PECS can be effective in developing functional communication for individuals with autism.
Mckenzie De La Cruz
Gestalt language processing is a form of language development in which full phrases or (scripts) are memorized and used before basic units of speech such as individual words. “At first, children produce “chunks” or “gestalt form” (e.g., echolalic utterances), without distinction between individual words and without appreciation for internal syntactic structure” (ASHA, 2022). Current literature suggests various definitions and methods of treatment to support gestalt language learners. Inconsistent definitions of gestalt language have led professionals working with this population to utilize subjective treatment frameworks. The purpose of this review is to provide effective and peer reviewed strategies for speech language pathologists to apply to their interventions in order to maintain evidence-based practice services.
Right-side neglect is a result of a stroke in the left portion of the brain, however, there is limited knowledge of this consequence in comparison to a stroke in the right side of the brain resulting in left-side neglect. As a result of limited data on ride-side neglect – misdiagnoses have occurred. The most common symptom of right-side neglect revolves around an individual’s daily operations that include naming (identifying objects) and reading. This impairment can impact an individual’s ability to be independent. The purpose of this presentation will be to pinpoint focal areas that will result in RSN, symptoms, and describe how these symptoms will affect daily life.
Christopher Logan Durr
Dementia is a type of condition that is generally characterized by any progressive decline in the brain’s ability to function cognitively and linguistically, brought by either injury or disease. Around the world, roughly 55 million people, live with dementia, with an incidence rate of nearly 10 million per year. Some of the individuals affected by this condition are also bilingual speakers, who comprise about 43% of the global population (World Health Organization: WHO, 2023). Individuals who speak more than one language actively engage in code-switching, where they must alternate between languages. Because of this, speech-language pathologists and other allied health professionals need to know how to properly analyze assessment results for language characteristics seen in bilingual individuals with dementia. The following review will analyze common characteristics of the language in individuals with dementia and how to create an effective treatment from assessment findings.
Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) often present with some degree of compromised language processing (LP). This may impact the rate and accuracy individuals with TBI process language which can lead to pragmatic concerns. This presentation will focus on how each end of LP may impact components of pragmatic language, including but not limited to topic maintenance, turn-taking abilities, relevancy of response, and listening skills. Pragmatic deficits (PD) may impact the ability to create and sustain human connection or participate in vocational settings resulting in negative impacts on quality of life. Although behaviors of accelerated LP may overlap with executive functioning (EF) deficits, embodying a conversation-based treatment approach may be more functional, applicable, and generalizable. Assessment of the relationship between compromised LP and PD may help to create specific, functional goals to address in speech-language therapy within TBI populations to improve treatment outcomes.
This session provides an overview of the use, benefit, and implementation of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) with children who present with challenging behaviors. The basic process of when to implement AAC will be discussed. There will be a brief review of literature regarding the benefit of AAC on students with challenging behaviors. Application of this knowledge in practice will also be discussed.
The aim of this poster is to provide speech-language pathologists an overview of the development of post-stroke depression (PSD) in individuals with aphasia and its impact on rehabilitation outcomes. Information provided regarding the underlying causes for development of PSD for people with aphasia (PWA) that aids referring for appropriate screening and assessment. PSD treatment considerations and outcomes for PWA will also be discussed. Given the high prevalence of people with aphasia developing PSD, adults with aphasia are 7.408 times more likely to exhibit PSD symptoms when compared to adults without aphasia (Zanella et al., 2022). In closing, it is important for speech-language pathologists to be knowledgeable about PSD so that they may provide pertinent support and intervention for PWA.
This case study looks retroactively at one now 20-year-old white male's case history -- for privacy purposes, our participant will be referred to a ZG -- reviewing his Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, his bilateral hearing loss diagnosis, and treatment services he received. This study will review literature relating to those who have had similar dual diagnoses, how one can look like the other by discussing symptoms of both and where they overlap, and what treatment was given to those patients. By the end, the author will infer if the best choices were made given his diagnoses and which diagnosis was given precedence in his life.
The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) states that social communication deficits can be present alongside a wide variety of diagnoses and are characterized by the difficulties in the usage of language in social contexts, which can affect language expression and comprehension ("Autism spectrum disorder," n.d.). "Research reveals that males are 4 times more likely to receive a diagnosis of ASD compared to females" (Fletcher, 2022). The criteria for diagnosis are viewed in terms based on a male's inability to present appropriate social communication and pragmatic skills. This oftentimes leads to missed or inaccurate diagnoses for females. The literature reviewed will provide research on differences between males and females- their social communication deficits, how those deficits are perceived by others, and how this impacts the diagnosis itself. By recognizing the unique characteristic differences between the two genders, females will have more opportunity for an accurate and timely diagnosis, along with treatment options best suitable for them.
Cognitive and communicative deficits are experienced by individuals with dementia, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and developmental disabilities. Skilled speech therapy services are required for these individuals’ experiencing impairments in communication, memory, problem-solving, and processing. Treatment targets may vary including communication, attention, focus, orientation, word retrieval, and executive functioning. Treatment tasks must be personalized and purposeful to provide the most functional therapy possible. Virtual reality (VR) has been proposed as a means to provide these services for individuals to promote independence in their environment, and in turn, more functional success in real life. VR is the “use of interactive simulations created with computer hardware and software to present users with opportunities to engage in environment that appear and feel similar to real-world objects and events.” This session will provide an overview of VR and its effects on cognitive and communicative impairments in adults.
Effectiveness of Core Vocabulary on an AAC Device in Children with Expressive and Receptive Language Disorders
Core vocabulary is a set of words in any language used in an everyday context. Words that fall into this category include: “can,” “do,” “want,” “more,” “have,” “where,” “when,” “why,” “get,” “give,” “have,” “me,” “you,” “go,” “stop,” “yes,” “no,” etc. Children who are using an AAC device will practice communicating with these core vocabulary words along with nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc to build phrases. Research indicates that core vocabulary is just as beneficial to high-functioning students as it is too low-functioning students (Cannon, Edmond, 2009). Most of what individuals say is communicated through core vocabulary words which is why children between the ages of birth to five must be learning that vocabulary. The literature review in this poster will further explain how core vocabulary is displayed and effective for children. The focus on core vocabulary, may open up doors to other important key factors needed on an AAC device.
Challenges in auditory comprehension ability are some of the most crippling aspects of aphasia. The degree to which auditory comprehension is impacted by aphasia is variable, can be inconsistent, and may depend on the severity of the neural damage. ‘High-level’ aphasic patients can be dismissed or go unnoticed due to ignorance of symptoms, passing scores on standardized assessments, and the frequent, inconspicuous nature of a mild-moderate diagnosis. Understanding deficits in mild-moderate aphasia related to auditory comprehension could aid in choosing beneficial communication modalities for conversation partners to use during intervention, interactions, and daily activities.
Peer relationships are needed for positive development, but children who are deaf/hard of hearing (DHH) experience difficulties when socializing with their typically hearing peers. This poster will provide an overview of various supports that can be put in place to facilitate socialization for DHH children with their hearing peers. Opportunities for practitioners and parents to promote peer socialization will be provided.
Peer-mediated intervention consists of the instruction of particular strategies to a small group of peers that demonstrates strengths in communication and social interactions with classmates diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder(ASD)(Thiemann-Bourque et. al., 2016). Peer-mediated intervention in a school setting is essential because it integrates the education of all children to provide opportunities to address play and functional communication skills.
This poster presents information from the literature regarding the preparedness of SLPs to work with the deaf and hard-of-hearing population compared to the hearing population when enrolled in an intervention program related to speech, language, and listening development.