Speech-Language faculty to present at national conference in Washington

Two Lamar University professors are headed to a national conference in Washington, D.C. to present their research on “Examining an online, self-managed parent training program for interactive storybook: Extension to a Public School Setting.”

Speech-language pathology professors Monica Bellon-Harn and Lekeitha Morris began their research in 2018 focusing on parent-child interactions during storybook reading and the association with long-term impacts on children’s language and literary development.  drs-morris-and-harn

“We focused on interactive storybook reading because book reading is such a wonderful way to address literacy and language development,” Morris said. “Parents have shared that they read with their children, but sometimes aren’t sure of what else they can do with the book and we know that interactive storybook reading is beneficial for children, especially children who are at-risk for developing language and literacy problems.”

Last spring, they submitted a proposal on their research to the American Speech Language-Hearing Association –– the paper was reviewed by their peers and accepted for the 2021 ASHA Convention. The ASHA Convention is an annual national professional education event for speech-language pathologists, audiologists and speech, language and hearing scientists. The conference presents the best thinking on speech language research, new skills and resources. This year, it will be held on Nov.18-20 in Washington, D.C.

“Any time that we have the opportunity to share our work with colleagues we want to do that because it impacts the reach of the work we are doing. The more speech-language pathologists we can reach, the greater the potential of impact for the families we aim to serve,” Morris said. “By presenting at this conference, we are exposing others to the work that we’re doing, but we also have the chance to impact more families.”

The team recently published an article on their research in the ASHAWire, the online home for ASHA journals. Morris said the next step is to continue to evaluate the program and its impact and explore how to integrate this type of digital training programing into a school system, particularly Head Start centers.

For more information on Lamar University’s Speech Language Pathology program, visit lamar.edu/speech.