By Siyang Sun, Speech-language Pathologist

During the weekend of June 18th, I spoke twice at The Annual Conference of the Chinese International Speech-Language and Hearing Association located in Foshan First People’s Hospital, Guangdong province. Each of my talks had around 150 attendees, consisting of Chinese speech-language therapists, doctors, and pediatricians.

Both talks introduced recent developments in the research of speech-language therapy providing the audience with beneficial information to further their knowledge on the practice.  My first talk focused on the topic of establishing a special education and speech-language practice in developing countries, which included sharing my experiences in Shanghai.  The following presentation discussed my studies on speech and language therapy in the United Kingdom and promoting speech-language therapy services online in China.
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The audience was especially interested in finding ways to learn more and get involved. In both speeches, I integrated the story of The Essential Learning Group, which greatly touched those listening. I emphasized how ELG makes a concerted effort to ensure that services are personalized and work well for individual children. Hearing about our service delivery model and the incredible dedication of the entire staff, many speech-language therapists informed me that they were inspired to visit ELG and learn more.

Giving back was a theme through both talks. Attendees were also curious to learn more about Xiersen, ELG’s sister NGO.  At the conclusion of the second talk, a discussion was sparked about enhancing the promotion of speech-language therapy as a service to the public. My speech got people thinking about how they can contribute, as many members of the audience expressed interest in joining campaigns such as the International Communication Project and other local initiatives.

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Seeing this event bring together speech-language therapists from different provinces all working in various fields exemplified to me the profound community working to create a better and more supportive society. I enjoyed sharing my experience and learning from others as we work to improve the resources available in China.