The 2013 National Conference is now behind us and over 320 enthusiastic participants headed home to four countries and over 40 states. Denver, Colorado was the perfect location for the conference that kicked off this year with three pre-conference sessions. In an attempt to help those who are new to the diagnosis, Sue Caspari, MA, CCC-SLP and David W. Hammer, M.A., CCC-SLP presented a special session entitled ‘A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech.” At the same time for professionals and those looking for cutting edge information on assessment, Ruth Stoeckel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP presented “ Dynamic Assessment: How It Can Help Determine Presence. Severity, and Prognosis in Childhood Apraxia of Speech” which presented information on the Dynamic Evaluation of Motor Speech Skill (DEMSS). CASANA was also thrilled that Tricia McCabe, Ph.D. from Australia was also able to participate in the pre-conference sessions and present the third session of the day with information on her recently developed treatment and randomized clinical treatment trial for CAS, “ ReST: A New Treatment for Prosody and Speech Accuracy for School-Aged Children with CAS.”
The second day of the conference kicked off with a lovely continental breakfast that found old friends becoming reacquainted and first time conference attendees making new friends. Many of our families return to the Conference each year, not just to learn new ways to help their children, but to visit with friends they’ve made through the years at the Conference, as well as through various online forums, such as the CASANA listserv and Facebook pages. We at CASANA love to hear all about how well the kids are doing and all the changes that have occurred over the year. We also enjoy meeting new friends each year, making new connections and adding to our growing CASANA family.
So many things were going on at the same time during the second day of the conference it was hard to decide which session to attend or which event to join. There were 24 sessions to choose from on Friday alone and for the first time CASANA offered a session for the siblings of children with CAS. The 10 little attendees were led by David Hammer, M.A., CCC-SLP on a discussion of just what exactly is CAS and the role they play in their brother or sister’s issues. The annual Speaker Raffle was a huge hit again and approximately 25 attendees won a private lunch with the speaker of their choice. The Exhibit Hall was crowded throughout the day as various vendors shared the latest toys, books, videos and information on CAS. The first day of the conference ended with some participants participating in the men’s poker game or the ladies canvas and cocktails painting event. Families were able to relax at the Family Movie Night and watch “A Bug’s Life” amid pillow and blankets.
The conference ended with the announcement that the 2014 National Conference on CAS would take place in Nashville, Tennessee at the downtown Hilton Hotel on July 10, 11 and 12, 2014. Thanks so much to all our attendees for making the conference in Denver such a wonderful event and we look forward to seeing all of you again next year in the fabulous city of Nashville!