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  • Writer's pictureTiffany J Chen

Tiffany recognized by ASHA for leadership achievement as an ECP

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

About ASHA

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 211,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students.

On November 17, 2020, ASHA officially announced the recipients of the 2020 Distinguished Early Career Professional (ECP) Certificate. This award was created to recognize and identify ECPs in the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology who are making an impact in the areas of leadership, volunteering, or advocacy at the local, state, and/or national level. The award also highlights the involvement of ECPs in their local, state, and community speech-language-hearing associations.

Tiffany Chen, ELG’s bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, specializes in conducting speech-language therapy with children with various degrees of speech-language delays and disorders in both English and Mandarin.

Born in California and spending her most childhood and schooling years in Taiwan, Tiffany later moved to New York for her graduate studies and there she became a member of ASHA. With great passion, dedication, and advocacy for both local and multicultural families and communities, she decided to move to Shanghai and joined ELG, a social enterprise founded in 2006, committed to helping families and children with additional needs to be future-ready.

ELG provides me with a platform to reach out to children, families and communities in need. My work is international-based - I work in Shanghai, providing services to children and families from different countries worldwide.

Apart from providing therapeutic sessions and services, Tiffany is also an active speaker at various educational events, delivering comprehensive trainings to teachers and educators. During these trainings, Tiffany helps attendees better understand how to identify red flags in communication disorders and when to refer students to related professionals – a critical knowhow for educators to better support students in the classroom.

Meanwhile, in order to increase awareness about speech and language difficulties among local Chinese families, she has also facilitated many parents’ trainings, helping them better support their child’s language development. Previous topics covered included: Early Language and Literacy, Holistic Approach to Supporting Your Child’s Well-being, Social Skills Parent Training, etc.

Below, Tiffany shares her personal feelings about this great milestone:

Applying for this certificate was a brave moment for me, where I saw the open application flyer and thought I should give it a shot, regardless if I would miss the aim or not. While I was writing my leadership essay for the early career professional certificate application, I had the opportunity to reflect on my accomplishments and the strides I had made since I joined ELG.

In less than a year and a half, I had reached out to more families, schools, and individuals across Shanghai than I had in New York. I had continuously pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone and my limits. All this time I was pushing myself forward, I was also struggling with depression. I began writing my leadership statement to apply for this certificate right when I relapsed into depression and everything hit the rocks. I was suffering from sleep deprivation, loss of interest in daily activities, lack of appetite, and on the edge of emotional and physical burnout. My inner voice kept telling myself, I deserve to be seen. I wanted to earn validation from the negative voice inside me that kept telling me, “You’re not good enough.”

As I wrote my story to the board of ASHA, I returned to mental health therapy again. My supervisor and mentor also encouraged me to take time to take care of myself supported all of my decisions to focus on my mental health. Finally, a month after receiving the ECP certificate and several weeks of treatment/therapy, I am on an upward recovering process. I can finally say, “Yes I have been seen by ASHA”. This ECP certificate is a personal affirmation for me that I do deserve be seen and have been seen. Yet, this is not the end of my career trajectory or a happy ending to my struggles with mental health. It is merely a semicolon, a pause, a new chapter where I can say to that inner voice that judges myself, "Remember you are good enough."

As a Speech-language Pathologist part of ELG’s wider multidisciplinary team, Tiffany and her high-qualified expert colleagues work collaboratively to provide consultation, therapeutic sessions, assessments and trainings to continuously support our children, parents and communities. #speechlanguagepathologist #ASHA #earlycareerprofessional

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