I just got back from the ASHA convention in Philadelphia and what a convention it was! More than 15,000 speech-language pathologists and audiologists crowded the Philadelphia Convention Center for three very packed days of presentations, meetings, and celebrations. This was my second ASHA convention in 18 years (shame on me) and I left very impressed.
There are way too many take-aways that I could never even begin to touch upon here. So rather than talk specifics, let me share with you a thought percolating in my head during the convention (and over the past year)…
As a younger clinician, I was often easily impressed with presenters who liberally presented video examples of a therapy technique in use. Humans, being the visual creatures we are, can be lulled into believing a given technique is more effective than it actually is when seeing these uplifting videos. The problem is, videos don’t tell the whole story. All presenters show the cases where a client responds favorably to a treatment. And this makes perfect sense. No one wants to see the misses. Enter selection bias.
Please don’t mistake this post as an argument against using case studies and video examples. We need these videos to help augment our understanding of the presenter’s topic. The only point I’m trying to make here is that we have to put video examples into their proper context, balancing them against what we know (or don’t know) about the method or idea in question.
So the next time you’re mesmerized by a video of a client speaking, understanding, swallowing, or otherwise performing a seemingly difficult task that similar clients of yours are not yet able to do, stop and give pause. Ask yourselves the hard questions that need to be asked. Then find what is useful from that presentation, combine that with existing knowledge, and go out and record your own successful video examples!