Friday, February 1, 2013

CEU Challenge: Week 2 - Evidence-Based Practice

It's a good thing I committed to taking these online CEU courses once a week. I'll admit, I left things to the last possible minute this time. This week I took the Evidence-Based Practice course at LinguiSystems and received 0.2 CEUs or 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit.

This was a very nice course on why clinical decisions and therapy methods should be based on a combination of high-quality research evidence, practitioner expertise, and client preferences and values. The course discusses how to locate research and evaluate the quality of that research. It also discusses what to do if you cannot find high-quality research available to answer a specific question. I really do believe evidence-based practice is critical to efficacy in therapy.

Two years ago, when it became apparent to me that Ava's speech was significantly delayed in a manner consistent with a motor-speech disorder (apraxia) I knew that I didn't know enough about apraxia treatment to help her. I needed to know more. I dug into the online ASHA archives for any journal articles written about CAS. I purchased the Source for Childhood Apraxia of Speech and read it cover to cover. I came to understand that the evidence shows that CAS cannot be treated with the same treatment methods as a generic articulation disorder or even the methods most appropriate for children with phonological disorders. If you treat a child who has a motor-speech problem that way, treatment results will not be maximized. Therapy progress will be slow.

My research led to an increased understanding of CAS. Understanding CAS helped me to understand the best ways to treat CAS. Understanding the most effective treatment methods helped me to help Ava. As a side effect, I was able to share a lot of that knowledge on this blog. I have also been able to create therapy materials that focus on the unique needs of the CAS population. I wouldn't have been able to do any of that without digging into the research first.

The Evidence-Based Practice course was well written and easy to read. The 20 question multiple-choice quiz was straightforward and fairly quick to complete. I earned 0.2 more continuing education credits towards the 1.5 I need to earn this calendar year.

Did anyone else take this course? What did you think?

Don't forget to complete Week 3: Intervention Programming for Nonverbal Children - 0.2 CEUs for next Friday!

See the complete 7-Week Free CEU Challenge here.

If you missed it, catch up on my Week 1 review: Counseling Theories and Skills for SLPs - 0.2 CEUs.

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