Hello’s Winter Retreat!

January 30, 2018 BY Gina Ossanna, CCC-SLP

A large group of Hello folks gathered on Mt. Hood to reconnect and collaborate at our annual Winter Retreat last weekend. We had a great day on the mountain – it was chock full of pastries, professional development, and chicken noodle soup. This year we had our biggest group yet!

In the morning, Janet Allison joined us from Boys Alive! to share information on boys’ neuropsychology and behavior, along with the communication skills and practical strategies that best support them.

Then our very own Kira, Kelly, and Jenny shared information from their ASHA presentation on teletherapy.  We got to see videos of actual teletherapy sessions courtesy of one of our fabulous SLP’s, Magdalene Lima-Fiallos. She is working with a student with a speech-generating device – via teletherapy, via an assistant, with mom “zooming” in on sessions. It was so valuable to see these sessions in real life – Magdalene rocked it (and her student did too!).
Some takeaways our staff have shared from the day:
  • “Boys need opportunities for movement to help them learn throughout the day.”
  • “I liked the example of having students write a math problem down on a piece of paper and then throwing it across the room to another student to solve. This is used as a brain break.”
  • “I thought the document for thinking about & documenting the appropriate modifications for telepractice was an excellent & useful tool.”
  • “Brain development in utero follows different patterns for males and females, drink water to dilute cortisol(!), and teach all kids strategies that can help their brain be ready to learn!” 
  • “I learned about Dr. Victoria Dunckley, who identified Electronic Screen Syndrome as a real thing.”
  • “Teletherapy can be tricky – but with the right tools and accommodations, all students can receive excellent services.”
  • “There is no such thing as an impossible teletherapy situation.”
  • “I’m really excited to use the accommodations checklist for telepractice!” 

And my key takeaway? Well, aside from all of the above, I’ll say that warm chocolate chips cookies are the bomb and should be eaten every afternoon 😉 

Thanks to all our presenters and attendees for making it a great day!