I've been home from the 2016 ASHA Convention for almost a week now, and have had some time to reflect. Several people have asked me, "Is it really worth the time and expense?"
In a word, yes.
The ASHA Convention is one of the most exhausting and rewarding experiences I have all year. I end up walking more miles per day than I want to know, am on my feet for 6+ hours a day, and don't get enough sleep. Last year, I literally wore holes in my shoes! I miss my family terribly while I am gone.
But, it also gives me the chance to renew my passion and enthusiasm for speech language pathologist, while surrounded by some of my best friends that I only get to see once or twice a year. (Seriously, these ladies are amazing, and I am so proud to call them my colleagues and friends!)
I am surrounded by 14,000+ people from around the country that share my passion for communication. I get to meet hundreds of them myself at our blogger booth, and make amazing new connections that I wouldn't otherwise. I have wonderful conversations with random strangers at our booth or in line to grab some food.
I have the opportunity to share my ideas on a live stage with other SLPs who will go home and try them. (Many thanks to my friends Hallie Sherman and Felice Clark for presenting with me!)
I get pushed out of my comfort zone again and again in the five days I am away from home. This is why I love the ASHA convention, and why you'll see me next year in LA!