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NOTICE: The Saturday Autism Webinar has been postponed to after the first of the year (due to low registrations). Stay tuned for more information.

Join us for our annual professional education event as we exchange ideas, gain new skills, hear the latest research and information related to speech-language pathology and audiology.  The goal of the MSHA Fall Convention is to provide a networking and educational opportunity for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists in Montana and surrounding states. The dates are October 19th-21st, 2022. 

STEP 1:  RENEW your membership for the 2022-2023 year (October 1-September 30) to receive the member rate for the conference. REMEMBER: you will need to login with the email address your membership was established with. Your email address is recognized as the unique identifier for your membership. If you think you may have multiple emails/accounts, contact

New to MSHA? Click Here to Join now!

STEP 2: Register for the conference!

STEP 3: Book your Lodging. The room block deadline has passed but the Home 2 Suites maybe still have rooms available. Please call (406) 502-2113 and reference the Montana Speech, Language and Hearing Association to make your reservation. The Home 2 Suites offers a free continental breakfast. 

Additional options are the Hampton Inn and the Wingate with a rate starting at $129/plus tax. Reservations at the Hampton Inn can be made by calling 406-443-5800 and the Wingate by calling 406-334-2135. Reference MSHA Conference. Based on availability.

MSHA 2022 Presenters!


Walter A. Lajara-Nanson

Dr. Lajara-Nanson, MD, is a board-certified physician in neurology and psychiatry. His subspecialty is in neuropsychiatry and movement disorders. He is an attending physician at Benefis Medical Center in Great Falls, Montana. Dr. Lajara-Nanson has no relevant financial or non-financial disclosures. 

Clinical Features, Diagnosis, and Management of Primary Progressive Aphasia and Myasthenia Gravis (Advanced Level Course offered for .15 ASHA CEUs)

8:30-10:00 AM Presentation

Presentation Description: 

Dr. Lajara-Nanson will review the epidemiology, main symptoms, exam findings, and management of primary progressive aphasia and myasthenia gravis. He will also address how to recognize key symptoms in myasthenia gravis. 

Learning Objectives: 

1. Participants will describe the clinical features of primary progressive aphasia and myasthenia gravis. 

2. Participants will explain the diagnostic procedures for primary progressive aphasia and myasthenia gravis. 

3. Participants will list effective treatments for primary progressive aphasia and myasthenia gravis. 

Amy Graham

Amy Graham is a speech language pathologist and owner of Graham Speech Therapy, a private practice in Colorado Springs,that specializes in pediatric speech sound disorders (SSDs). She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton, and she has been an SLP for over 20 years. Amy frequently speaks to and trains SLPs on various evidence-based practices regarding the assessment and treatment of SSD and is the creator of numerous SSD-specific assessment and therapy resources. She has been a guest on numerous SLP podcasts and has a particular interest in supporting and equipping SLPs by posting frequent therapy videos and practical therapy tips on social media platforms. For relevant financial disclosures, Ms. Graham is the owner of Graham Speech Therapy, and she receives a salary. Additionally, Ms. Graham has developed materials available for purchase on her private practice website,, Bjorem Speech Publications, Teachers Pay Teachers, Boom Learning, and Holland Healthcare. Although this course does not focus specifically on any of these products, they may be mentioned during the course of this presentation. Ms. Graham also receives Medbridge revenue share and has received an honorarium for today’s presentation. 

Crash Course in Speech Sound Disorders (Intermediate Level Course offered for .6 ASHA CEUs)

8:30-10:00 AM Presentation

Break from 10-10:30 AM

10:30 AM-12:00 PM Presentation continued

Lunch Break 12:00-1:00 PM

1:00-2:30 PM Presentation continued

Break from 2:30-3:00 PM

3:00-4:30 Presentation continued

Presentation Description: 

Speech sound disorders often comprise a majority of SLPs’ caseloads, but many aspects of assessment and intervention are often neglected or misunderstood. This full-day presentation will cover key components of a thorough assessment for the differential diagnosis of SSDs and important factors to consider when deciding among particular intervention approaches. Specific interventions, including phonological, motor-based, and phonetic approaches will be covered, as well as strategies for elicitation and generalization. Videos of actual therapy sessions demonstrating implementation of various elicitation strategies, as well as articulation, phonological, and apraxia interventions, will be shown. 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will identify key components of a thorough SSD assessment necessary for differential diagnosis. 

  2. Participants will describe reasons to choose or not choose various interventions given the nature of the child’s specific SSD. 

  3. Participants will discuss elicitation techniques for target phonemes and strategies for generalization. 

Jennifer Schoffer Closson

Dr. Jennifer Schoffer Closson is an autism specialist and neurodiverse-affirming interventionist. She has been practicing for 27 years and served in the schools, private practice, and the university clinical setting. She is the developer and director of the YETI and MOSSAIC programs. Most recently, Dr. Schoffer Closson has initiated YETI Consulting LLC as the owner/member and provides consulting services and trainings/presentations. She is a past president of MSHA (2014), current member of the State Special Education Advisory Panel (21-22), recent Campus Compact Engaged Scholar (21-22), and recipient of the Montana Outstanding Clinical Achievement Award (2015) and University of Montana Americans with Disabilities Act Award (2015). Dr. Schoffer Closson is currently working with Rookie, her Belgian Boxer, to develop his animal assisted therapy skills with the goal of becoming a certified dog therapy team. For financial disclosures, Dr. Schoffer Closson is the owner of YETI Consulting, LLC. For non-financial disclosures, Dr. Schoffer Closson’s presentation includes links to her website, along with other resources. 

Neurodiversity in the Workplace (Intermediate level course,offered for .15 ASHA CEUS)

10:30 AM-12:00 Noon Presentation

Presentation Description: 

Two percent of the population has autism and up to 20% of the population is neurodivergent. Learn about what this looks like in the workplace with regard to your clients, coworkers, and administrators. Learn how to support this population through accommodations, acceptance, and understanding.

Learning Objectives: 

1. Attendees will be able to describe neurodiversity and what he definition includes

2. Attendees will articulate the unique challenges of people that experience neurodiversity

3. Attendees will describe accommodations and strategies to create inclusive spaces for people

that experience neurodiversity

Jenna Griffin

Jenna Griffin is a Clinical Assistant Professor and doctoral student in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational Sciences at the University of Montana. She co-directs the Big Sky Aphasia Program and is a founding member of the Mountain West Aphasia Research Collective. She mentors graduate students learning to become speech-language pathologists, and her areas of interest include intensive aphasia rehabilitation models, psychosocial well-being for stroke survivors with aphasia, and caregiver counseling and education. For financial disclosures, Ms. Griffin is salaried by the University of Montana. She is also receiving a speaking fee for her presentation. For non-financial disclosures, Ms. Griffin is the co-director of the Big Sky Aphasia Program. 

Refreshing Skills: What’s New in Aphasia and Motor Speech Treatment? (intermediate level course offered for .3 ASHA CEUs)

1:00-2:30 PM Presentation

Break from 2:30-3:00 PM

3:00-4:30 PM Presentation

Presentation Description: 

This presentation will focus on holistic rehabilitation for acquired neurogenic communication disorders in sub-acute and post-acute populations. The presenter will discuss recent evidence-based developments for aphasia treatment, with an emphasis on treating co-occurring motor speech disorders. Examples of treatment approaches will be provided. 

Learning Objectives: 

1. Describe the purpose of a holistic approach to aphasia rehabilitation. 

2. Identify three evidence-based treatment approaches that may be utilized to treat aphasia and acquired apraxia of speech. 

3. List two resources available to find evidence-based treatment approaches for stroke-induced aphasia. 


Eileen Crowe

Eileen Crowe is the Director for State Association Relations at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is responsible for providing assistance and support on legislative, regulatory, and administrative issues to the Western region of state speech-language-hearing associations.  She also oversees the state Education Advocacy Leaders network and serves as the ex-officio to ASHA’s joint committee on State- National Association Relationships. Eileen has presented in numerous venues nationwide on advocacy and legislative and regulatory issues along with having developed an extensive array of materials to assist the professions in these areas. Eileen is also a trained facilitator and strategic planner who conducts strategic planning for associations nationwide. Prior to joining ASHA, she spent four years with the Maryland General Assembly as a legislative analyst for the House Commerce and Government Matters Committee and under the Department of Legislative Services, Research Division. Eileen received her BA in political science and her Master’s degree in public administration from Louisiana State University. For financial disclosures, Ms. Crowe receives a salary from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She has no non-financial disclosures. 

Support Personnel: Training, Trends, and Regulations (intermediate level course, offered for .15 ASHA CEUs)

9:00-10:30 AM Presentation

Presentation Description: Examine the ASHA assistant certification program and how public health emergencies impacted the role of assistants. Additionally, explore trends in the states relating to the laws and regulations governing support personnel, their evolving role, and on-line resources available on the roles and supervision of both audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel. Through scenarios, attendees will explore the impact of support personnel in various practice settings.

Learning Objectives:

1. Examine the ASHA audiology and speech-language pathology assistant certification programs.

2. Discuss support personnel initiatives in states for audiology and speech-language pathology assistants.

3. Examine support personnel trends nationwide for audiology and speech-language pathology assistants and ASHA resources available on support personnel. 

Tim Mackesey

For thirty years, Tim Mackesey, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, has devoted his career to helping people who stutter (PWS). He had a severe stutter well into his 20’s. Tim is an ASHA Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders and a Specialty Mentor. He has taught the graduate-level fluency disorders course at Georgia State University. Tim has served as an expert witness in litigation related to stuttering. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is essential to treat social anxiety, fear, and avoidance within many PWS. Tim offers a truly integrated and holistic therapy model of traditional fluency enhancing techniques and leading-edge CBT.

Stuttering and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): a Holistic Approach to Transform Speech and to Unleash Confidence (intermediate level course, offered for .6 ASHA CEUs)

9:00-10:30 AM Presentation

Break 10:30-10:45 AM

10:45-12:15 Presentation

Lunch Break 12:15-1:30

1:30-3:00 Presentation

Break 3:00-3:30 PM

3:30-5:00 Presentation

Presentation Description: 

Stuttering is a complex communication disorder that often has concomitant anxiety and avoidance behaviors associated with it. The best practices of speech therapy for stuttering will be illustrated. Cognitive behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an essential skill for clinicians but it is not part of most graduate programs. This two-part session will help clinicians better understand and treat stuttering from a holistic approach. CBT will be introduced through the lens of stuttering and social anxiety and then the presenter will expand to a broader application of CBT for clinicians. The concepts of CBT and counseling will positively impact each working day as an SLP.

Learner outcomes:

1) Identify 3 techniques for enhancing fluency in oral reading

2) Describe how to teach children who stutter (cws) about disclosure and how to collaborate with educators and parents

3) Identify 4 of the most common cognitive distortions that lead to anxiety in cws

4) List 3 language patterns that get results in therapy

Carolyn Long

Carolyn Long, MCD, CCC-SLP is an Auburn grad (back when the football team was actually good). She has been an SLP for 22 years, spending 15 years in school districts and 7 in healthcare and private practice. She has specialized in social communication / social pragmatics focusing on adolescents and students with autism. She designed and co-taught a communications class for students with autism at Bozeman High School and recently launched a web based social communication program for middle and high school students called Social Optics. She believes strongly in autonomy and that social communication competencies play a key role in developing one’s identity. For financial disclosures, Ms. Long is the owner of Social Optics, Inc. For non-financial disclosures, Ms. Long is professionally connected to autistic individuals. 

Social Communication and Social Identity in Adolescents (intermediate level course, offered for .15 ASHA CEUs)

10:45 AM-12:15 PM Presentation

Presentation Description: 

This program will give an overview of social communication and social

identity theory, as well as the developmental expectations of identity and self in adolescents. We will take a look at popular intervention strategies compared to these theories and adolescent identity. Participants will leave with a broader understanding of social pragmatic competency development and interventions that align with development of self.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Participants will be able to describe social learning theory, social constructivism theory,

and social identity theory.

2) Participants will be able to state 2 characteristics of the developmental characteristics of

self in adolescents.

3) Participants will be able to identify 1-2 strategies for evaluating social pragmatic

interventions and materials in relationship to an adolescent’s development of self.

Brittan A. Barker

Dr. Brittan Barker is an Associate Professor and Division Chair of Audiology at Utah State University in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. Her Aural Rehabilitation lab conducts experimental and qualitative research with people of all ages and levels of hearing. These research efforts span over 20 years, often overlap, and are centered on a common goal: to provide human beings with the opportunity to effectively communicate with those around them as they see fit. 

The Value of Storytelling and Storylistening in Hearing Healthcare: Tools for Placing Patients and their Families at the Center of Care (intermediate level course, offered for .3 ASHA CEUs)

1:30-3:00 PM Presentation

Break 3:00-3:30 PM

3:30-5:00 PM Presentation

Presentation Description: 

Dr. Barker will define person-/family-centered care (PFCC) and discuss the value of its implementation in hearing health care. She will then discuss counseling in audiology with an emphasis on the notion of deep listening and its role in PFCC. Finally, she will introduce the concepts of storytelling and storylistening in the field of medicine. She will focus on how storytelling and storylistening can affect change on the front lines of clinical practice when we make time to listen to our patients’/families’ stories and use what they tell us to center their care. Dr. Barker will conclude by sharing recent findings from qualitative studies out of her lab that explored the experiences of people affected by hearing loss via their stories. Although the presentation emphasizes examples from hearing health care, the information is applicable to all healthcare professionals in the field of communication sciences and disorders. For financial disclosures, Dr. Barker received an honorarium for this presentation. Her non-financial disclosures are as follows: Utah State University is a university partner with the Ida Institute, an independent non-profit organization working to integrate person-centered care in hearing rehabilitation. Dr. Barker is a certified “Inspired by Ida Professional.” 

Learning Outcomes: 

1. Define person-/family-centered care. 

2. Define narrative sensemaking. 

3. Identify the ways in which clinicians can use patients’ (and their families’) stories to facilitate future hearing health care for those with and affected by hearing loss. 


Kim Clairy-Miller

Kim Clairy-Miller, OTR/L, is an autistic occupational therapist, international speaker, consultant, author, and self-advocate. Diagnosed with autism as an adult, Kim broke through many barriers as she defied a healthcare system that said, “your autism is severe; you need to live in a nursing home.” Her difficult healthcare experiences forged a passion for educating others on autism with the hope of giving insight into the inner world of autism. Using personal and professional experiences Kim educates on many facets of autism across the lifespan including eating disorders, trauma, mental health, relationships, self-awareness, classroom inclusion, community integration, problem-solving through challenging behaviors, and much more! Kim is accompanied by her mystery writer husband, William Miller. William helps Kim with aspects of presenting that are challenging for her because of her disabilities. Their presentation style is unique; they are “an open book” and share in real time positive ways to assist autistic individuals. When not speaking about autism, Kim can be found doing her other special interests-creating visual and aural rock art in the creek, searching for artifacts in the woods, and climbing trees! For financial disclosures, Ms. Clairy-Miller is receiving a stipend for her presentation. Her non-financial disclosures are as follows:, Ms. Clairy-Miller is autistic. She works with autistic individuals, and she has friends who work with autistic individuals. She is also a committee member of the Milestones Autism Resources Conference. Additionally, Ms. Clairy-Miller frequently presents with Kelly Mahier, Ruth Aspy, and Barry Grossman. Their products, along with many other products, are mentioned as resources and tools that can be helpful for autistic individuals. 

Thriving with Autism (introductory level course, offered for .4 ASHA CEUs)

8-9:30 Presentation (Part One)

Break 9:30-9:45 AM

9:45-11:15 Presentation (Part Two)

Lunch Break 11:15 AM-12:15 PM

12:15-1:15 PM Question and Answer

Presentation Description:

Research shows autistic people report feeling misunderstood by family, friends, teachers, and providers. This affects the types and effectiveness of supports offered. Instead of thriving, many autistics are merely trying to survive. For this to change, those supporting autistic individuals need to develop a deeper empathetic lens to look through. During this session, Kim, an autistic occupational therapist shares her inner world as attendees learn how to apply evidenced based strategies through an autistic lens to address sensory, emotional, cognitive, social, and communication challenges autistic individuals often experience.Additionally, attendees will learn ways to uncover and treat the root of problematic behaviors while also respecting autism’s unique ways of processing the world. Accompanying Kim as an accommodation is her husband William who helps with parts of presenting that are difficult for Kim because of her disability. 

Learning outcomes:

1. Provide key points about autistic processing differences through personal and case examples

2. Explain sensory, emotional, cognitive, social, and communication challenges those with autism


3.Discuss ways to problem-solve through problematic behaviors to find the root of the problem

4. Share evidenced based strategies and tools to help provide a supportive environment.

ASHA CE Provider approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.

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