COURSE NUMBER: ABIO2332
WHEN: Available September 5, 2023 – September 5, 2028
WHERE: Available under “Course Content” at the bottom of this page.
DESCRIPTION: This session explored collaborative augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention, strategies to promote language development, and supporting home carryover. We discussed fostering client motivation and caregiver buy-in through effective coaching. We discussed supporting clients with complex communication needs and adapting treatment plans for diverse populations to promote independence.
Who This Course Is Good For:
- Any ASHA member, CCC holder, or other professional that is licensed or credentialed to practice speech-language pathology (SLP) or audiology or preparing to earn ASHA CEUs.
- A professional who works with pediatric clients that have limited natural speech.
- A professional who works with pediatric clients that use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems or may be good candidates for AAC.
Who This Course Isn’t Good For:
- Any professional who is not have any AAC learners on their caseload or plan to in the near future.
- Any professional that does not currently work with any pediatric clients or plan to in the near future.
Venita Litvack, M.A, CCC-SLP (she/her)
Venita is an Assistive Technology (AT) Consultant in south Florida. She has a passion for using AAC, AT, and literacy to support individuals with complex communication needs, autism, and other disabilities. Venita has delivered poster presentations on several topics related to AAC at ASHA and co-presented several ASHA CEU accredited courses.
Stephanie Ekis MS, CCC-SLP (she/her)
Stephanie is a Speech Language Pathologist with a passion for helping individuals realize their full potential. With over 30 years of experience, Stephanie has provided assessment and treatment for children and adults with complex communication needs. With a specialty in augmentative and alternative communication, she is committed to helping support teams and families successfully implement practical strategies to encourage language, literacy, and social skills development using both low and high-tech solutions. Stephanie has led several initiatives to increase awareness about diversity and representation for AAC users. She believes in an interdisciplinary approach where the entire team works together to find the best solutions to help clients meet personal, educational, and vocational goals. Stephanie has presented at both national and international conferences with a focus on successful AAC assessment and implementation.
Barbara Fernandes M.S CCC-SLP (She/Her)
Barbara Fernandes, an award-winning Brazilian-American Speech-Language Pathologist, immigrated to the United States as an adult with very limited English skills. She went on to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in her field, founding two businesses and revolutionizing her field with nearly seventy successful product launches to date. As the founder and CEO of Smarty Ears, she is well known for her innovative and breakthrough product development for speech and communication disorders. For over a decade, Barbara has translated science into user friendly and powerful technology to support individuals with communication disorders. Barbara transformed an entire industry to adopt mobile technologies through the design and development of over sixty mobile applications and an entire symbol library: Smarty Symbols.
Lisa Salazar M.S CCC-SLP (She/Her)
Lisa Salazar is currently an Early Intervention Speech Language Pathologist in Indianapolis, IN. Lisa’s career has enabled her to support children in meeting their communication potential in a variety of settings, ranging from clinics, schools and summer camps. She is passionate about the benefits of introducing robust AAC at a young age with a multiple disciplinary approach for complex communicators. Lisa has a two year old son, Rylan, with L1CAM syndrome/x-linked hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and CVI. Rylan is learning to become an AAC eye gaze user. Lisa enjoys using her background to incorporate his device into their everyday routines. She recently started @slp.aacmama on Instagram to share their journey and promote AAC awareness and education. Lisa loves seeing his eyes light up when he uses his talker.
Emily Diaz M.S CCC-SLP (She/Her)
Emily Diaz, M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed and ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. She has 8 years of experience working in the school setting and 2 years experience owning a private practice. She supports complex communication needs across all ages, with a focus specifically on AAC and Gestalt Language Processing. Emily shares free ideas & strategies for AAC implementation on her YouTube channel, as well as Instagram (@emilydiazslp).
Christina Royster, EdD, CCC-SLP (she/her)
Dr. Christina Royster received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science & Disorders from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her doctorate at Arizona State University in 2020, specializing in Educational Leadership and Innovation. Christina is a Board Certified Specialist in Child Language and licensed in both Maryland and Washington, DC. She has a variety of clinical experiences. She has worked in public schools for eleven years and on an AAC team for six years. Since 2017, she has owned a small private practice working with complex communication needs in the home and preschool environments. Christina also has over nine years of experience serving adults with disabilities in group home settings/day programs. Each of these experiences has shaped her into the therapist she is today!
Venita Litvack has the following relevant financial relationships to disclose: ownership interest in Speechie Side Up, LLC and Tassel Learning, LLC; royalties from the Lou Knows What to Do book series.
Venita Litvack has the following relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose: member of the ASHA Special Interest Group 12.
Stephanie Ekis has the following relevant financial relationships to disclose: Stephanie is a full-time employee at Dynamic Therapy Associates and the co-owner of Interact Therapy LLC. An honorarium was received for this presentation.
Stephanie Ekis has no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
Barbara Fernandes has the following relevant financial relationships to disclose: Barbara Fernandes is the owner of Smarty Symbols. At some point I share experiences of starting and running a business as a minority woman (Owner since 2014). Barbara Fernande is the owner of Smarty Ears. At some point I share experiences of running a business as a minority woman (Owner since 2009). Barbara Fernandes is the author of the book titled “Sis, you got this. From Surviving to Thriving as a Minority SLP” and received royalties from the book (Published in 2022).
Barbara Fernandes has no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
Lisa Salazar has the following relevant financial relationships to disclose: Lisa is employed by Children’s Therapy Connections. She will receive a speaking fee for this panel.
Lisa Salazar has no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
Emily Diaz has the following relevant financial relationships to disclose: Emily Diaz is the owner of Emily Diaz, SLP and offers paid workshops, evaluations/therapy, and consulting services. She also received an honorarium for offering this course.
Emily Diaz has no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
Christina Royster has the following relevant financial relationships to disclose: Christina is the owner of Play on Words, LLC. She also received an honorarium for offering this course.
Christina Royster has no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
As a result of this activity, participants will:
- Analyze the significance of collaborative teamwork in AAC intervention.
- Identify effective AAC support in educational settings.
- Explore effective caregiver coaching to support AAC carryover at home.
- Identify common barriers in AAC intervention and strategies to overcome them.
- Evaluate client motivation factors and techniques to increase engagement.
- Describe appropriate cueing levels to support language learning and communication.
- Organize AAC vocabulary to optimize user experience.
- Describe how to target specific language functions to support expressive and receptive language skills.
|10 min||Introductions, Backgrounds, & Disclosures|
|10 min||Discussion of the role of interdisciplinary collaboration in AAC treatment.|
|10 min||Discussion on challenges and solutions related to implementing AAC in different settings and strategies to promote carryover.|
|10 min||Discussion of common barriers in AAC intervention and strategies to overcome them, including client motivation.|
|10 min||Discussion of specific language functions, cueing levels, and AAC vocabulary to support expressive and receptive language skills.|
|10 min||Live Question and Answer session with guest speakers.|
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