Oh, the Places We’ll Go! (With Apologies to Dr. Seuss) In this season of renewal, it’s time to pursue what we’re good at: anticipating and managing change. From the President
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From the President  |   April 01, 2015
Oh, the Places We’ll Go! (With Apologies to Dr. Seuss)
Author Notes
  • Judith L. Page, PhD, CCC-SLP, is associate professor and former director of the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Kentucky. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 10, Issues in Higher Education; and 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication. judith.page@uky.edu
    Judith L. Page, PhD, CCC-SLP, is associate professor and former director of the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Kentucky. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 10, Issues in Higher Education; and 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication. judith.page@uky.edu×
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Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / From the President
From the President   |   April 01, 2015
Oh, the Places We’ll Go! (With Apologies to Dr. Seuss)
The ASHA Leader, April 2015, Vol. 20, 4-5. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.20042015.4
The ASHA Leader, April 2015, Vol. 20, 4-5. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.20042015.4
It’s spring! A time for blooming flowers, warmer temperatures, longer days, spring fever—a time of growth and change. Change is one of those certainties in life. Things change. Nothing stays the same.
No matter how hard we resist it, change happens. We all know it. We grow up, go to school, make friends, get married, have children, watch our children grow up and leave the nest, grow older, move, lose old friends, make new ones, cut our hair, lose our hair, color our hair, change our fashions, retire … It’s hard to predict the places we’ll go through change.
As audiologists and speech-language pathologists, we should embrace change. After all, aren’t we in the business of helping our patients/clients/students change in some way? Or deal with change? And aren’t the outcomes we seek typically measures of the changes made by those we serve?
If you want a good example of the role of change in our professions, look at our work with individuals with autism spectrum disorders. As Bridget Murray Law, Leader editor-in-chief, describes in the feature article on page 42 of this issue, a major focus of our work with these clients is helping them expect the unexpected and manage change. In this issue you’ll also find information on other places we’ll go in providing service to those with ASD—documenting progress in social skills groups, using apps in intervention and keeping up with emerging treatments.
If our goal is to bring about change—either through habilitation or rehabilitation—why should change worry us or scare us? Yet it does. I think it scares us because there are two different kinds of change: change we control and change we don’t control. When we are the agent, a change is typically welcome or sought. When we are not the agent, the change can feel threatening. We feel like we don’t know the places we’ll go: what will happen, what decisions will be made, and how the changes will affect us and those we care about. We feel out of control. Changes in our workplace structures, service delivery models, reimbursement models, professional expectations, workload expectations, scope of practice and legislative mandates are all areas where others are the change agents and where it would be easy to feel out of control. As Dr. Seuss writes in “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,”
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
You’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
That can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
Lucky for us, we’re not alone on this adventure. Each of us has professional friends and colleagues who share our local struggles; at least one state association to advocate on our behalf at the state level; and at least one national professional association to provide advocacy and support. With all this support, none of us need ever feel like we are alone in the places we’ll go.
ASHA’s Board of Directors has spent a lot of time recently thinking about the places we’ll go in our professions: thinking about current and anticipated changes affecting ASHA members and their patients/clients/students with disorders of communication, balance and swallowing. With the help of several ad hoc committees, the board has taken a close look at several questions relating to change: What changes are coming? What changes are we already experiencing? What changes would we like to see happen? What do we need to do to respond to current changes? How should we get ready for anticipated changes? What strategies can we use to lead and manage change?
From recent ad hoc committees, we have more than 120 recommended actions to address current or anticipated change, and at least four new ad hoc committees will soon submit their reports and recommendations—I’m sure with additional compelling change initiatives. The committees’ recommendations have been compiled into a master list with timelines and assigned responsibilities. That work is well underway and proceeding on track.
In addition to identifying action steps to position ASHA and its members to respond to current and anticipated changes, the Board also developed a vision of where we think ASHA can be by its 100th anniversary in 2025. I invite you to take a look at that document (on.asha.org/asha-future) and to join your ASHA colleagues in advocating for our professions and those we serve. Take action! Get involved at the state level. Volunteer for a committee. Contact your legislator. Visit ASHA’s advocacy page for ideas.
Remember what Dr. Seuss tells us in “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”:
You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting
So … get on your way.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
April 2015
Volume 20, Issue 4