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(Grades P-12)

Presented by MariBeth Plankers, M.S., C.C.C., SLP
Outstanding Speech Language Pathologist and National Presenter

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Specifically Designed for Speech Language Pathologists Serving Grades P-12

  • Valuable, practical strategies and tools for supporting your students needing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Easy-to-use methods for modifying curriculum to meet the needs of your AAC users
  • Realistic methods for assessing the AAC needs of your nonverbal and minimally verbal students that lead to best practice interventions
  • Highly effective intervention strategies you and members of your collaborative team can use immediately with your AAC users
  • Specific strategies for complex and challenging populations, including students with autism, cortical vision and motor impairments
  • Ready-to-implement ideas for strengthening the literacy and language development of nonverbal students
  • Receive a detailed resource handbook to support your immediate use of the outstanding therapy methods presented in the seminar
ASHA CEUs Available

Practical Ideas and Strategies

Specifically designed for speech-language pathologists and those who work in collaborative teams, this seminar presents practical assessment and intervention strategies for introducing AAC to students, providing access to the general curriculum for AAC users, and making sure AAC users have access to literacy learning.

Far too often, students who are nonverbal or whose verbal skills are not functional to meet their needs, are not provided access to sufficient communication or to core curriculum. Educators, therapists and even parents underestimate the ability of these students to learn language and literacy skills. Some children are labeled as “too low functioning” to benefit from alternative communication systems. Others are thought to be too young to be ready for such systems. Too often, we fail or neglect to provide an alternative mode of communication while we wait for verbal skills to develop.

This seminar will show you that these preconceived ideas about AAC users are not true and will give you practical information about how to serve these groups of students. You will learn how to create meaningful AAC systems that can help these students succeed in being competent communicators. In addition, you will learn ways to use communication to reduce inappropriate behaviors.

You will leave this engaging seminar with a wealth of evidence-based practical assessment and intervention techniques that will assist you in addressing suggested knowledge base in the area of AAC. Participants will take back specific strategies for immediate use with their program planning.

Ten Key Benefits of Attending

  1. Learn the Best, Current Ideas about AAC Systems
    Learn about “no-tech, low-tech and high-tech” components of AAC systems … Discover how to combine them to create the most effective multiple modes of communication to increase your students’ communication skills
  2. Acquire New Solutions and Intervention Strategies that You Can Use Immediately with AAC Users
    Discover a wide variety of intervention activities that are highly effective with AAC users … Receive numerous practical ideas for adapting classic therapy methods for nonverbal learners
  3. Discover Specific Assessment Methods Designed for Nonverbal Students
    Learn genuine activity-based evaluation ideas that move away from discrete skills-based assessment … Learn how to function as a collaborative team in the evaluation process to provide child-centered activities and observations to evaluate your students’ skills and needs
  4. Manage Your AAC System Space More Effectively
    So many words, so limited space – the greatest challenge for those who design AAC systems for their students … Learn how to manage your AAC system space effectively by using core and fringe vocabulary strategies
  5. Incorporate Communication Tools that You Can Use Immediately
    You will be given sample communication boards that can be used immediately to strengthen the communication, literacy and behavior skills of your AAC users … Learn about Pixon Boards, PODD books, Flip books, topic boards, and more
  6. Adapt Books for AAC Users
    Take home an extensive number of ideas for adapting books for nonverbal students of all ages to enhance literacy instruction … Choose from simple strategies for repeated line books to symbolating complete text … Discover a wide range of approaches for adapting text to meet the needs of all students on your caseload
  7. Use AAC and Visual Cues Along with Video Monitoring for Behavior Intervention with Your Students with Autism and Other Challenging Behaviors
    Examine visual schedules, behavior mapping, transition cards, power cards, and sequence strips … All of these visual supports are part of an alternative communication system for students who work best with visual input
  8. Adapt AAC Materials for Students with Cortical Vision Issues
    Cortical vision impairment is not about visual acuity; it is a different and ever-challenging need … Acquire tools and strategies for working with students with these challenging issues
  9. Develop Roles and Responsibilities when Working as Collaborative Team Members to Address the AAC Process
    See how to develop a plan to work with team members including occupational therapy, physical therapy, general and special educators, and paraprofessionals … Incorporate these team members’ vital roles in supporting the AAC system and the needs of the AAC users
  10. Use What You Already Know as a Speech-Language Pathologist in Working with AAC Users
    Many strategies for teaching language apply to all students with communication needs … Learn how to build on what you already know about learning strategies for language as well as acquiring new skills to use with your students with AAC needs

Outstanding Strategies You Can Use Immediately

  • Best, current ideas for working with AAC users in the school setting
  • Proven ways to increase interactive language skills of all AAC users
  • How to use a collaborative model to work from a team perspective
  • No-tech, low-tech to high-tech tools for supporting the learning of nonverbal learners
  • How to decide what vocabulary to put in your students’ systems
  • See the benefits of video monitoring as a visual support and intervention tool
  • How to use what you already know to further language skills of your AAC users
  • How to assess the classroom environment for inclusion of AAC users
  • Accurate methods for assessing your nonverbal and minimally verbal students
  • Differentiated classroom strategies to include AAC users in day-to-day lessons
  • Numerous ideas for using a single switch
  • Resources for step-by-step AAC teaching programs
  • Techniques for organizing vocabulary in AAC systems
  • How to use core and fringe vocabulary to manage your AAC system space more effectively
  • Specific core vocabulary lists to begin using tomorrow
  • Gain experience and understanding of sensory motor tasks used as intervention with AAC users
  • Ways to adapt books for a variety of AAC users
  • Specific steps for using Aided Language Stimulation
  • Practical strategies for supporting students with autism
  • Specific techniques for students with cortical vision impairment
  • Practical access strategies for students with motor impairments
  • Ready-to-use ways to increase students’ narrative language skills
  • New solutions and intervention strategies for helping your AAC users be more successful and purposeful in using AAC systems across multiple settings and situations

A Message From Your Seminar Leader

Dear Colleague:

The caseloads and workloads of speech-language pathologists in schools have changed dramatically over the past 35 years. Where once students with complex communication, behavioral and physical needs were absent from public school classrooms, this is no longer the case. As the student population has truly changed, the skills set that we, as speech pathologists, bring to the table have necessarily changed. Nowhere in the field of speech-language pathology can you avoid the need for augmentative alternative communications.

The field of AAC is a relatively young one, and research-based intervention is only recently proliferating. Many of us received no formal training in AAC in school or in clinical practice. So what do we do when faced with those students for whom an alternative to speech is necessary? I have designed this seminar to help you be more confident and knowledgeable about working with these students and to provide you with a repertoire of practical and useful ideas you can use in your practice. We will talk about ways to provide research-based intervention, and I will share a wealth of strategies for increasing communication skills of your AAC users.

Introducing literacy teaching to students with complex communication needs is an even newer field of study. Many teachers look at us and ask, “How do I teach literacy to a child who can’t talk?” We will examine ways to teach literacy skills to our AAC users and focus on fun ways to introduce phonemic study, word walls and literacy skills. I will provide you with practical ideas for making literacy possible for your students who use AAC.

I look forward to meeting you at the seminar and sharing ideas with you that I know you’ll be able to use immediately with your AAC users.

MariBeth Plankers, M.S., C.C.C., SLP

P.S. Again, this day will be filled with evidence-based practice strategies and practical ideas for providing intervention to students who will use and greatly benefit from AAC.

Who Should Attend

Speech-Language Pathologists serving Grades P-12.

Special Benefits of Attending

Extensive Resource Handbook
Each participant will receive an extensive resource handbook specifically designed for this seminar. Included in the handbook you will find:

  • Descriptions of various types of augmentative and alternative communication systems, their features, and how and when to use them
  • Sample communication boards for communication, literacy and behavioral interventions
  • Practical ideas and “how to’s” for adapting books and classroom curriculum for AAC users of all ages
  • Lists of core vocabulary for various age groups
  • Sample templates for informal observation and assessments
  • Collaborative planning worksheets for team members’ roles and responsibilities
  • An extensive list of resources for finding even more adapted books, communication boards, and innovative, free teaching strategies on the Internet

CEU Info
This course is offered for .5 ASHA CEUs per day (Intermediate level, Professional area).

On-Site Training Guarantee

BER is not a booking agency that just finds a presenter who presents on the topic you requested. Rather, we only recommend highly experienced BER presenters who have consistently received outstanding evaluations from educators attending their trainings.

Consequently, we provide a strong program guarantee.

We guarantee you'll be fully satisfied or you'll owe us nothing after your on-site training event.

Bring this seminar to your school or district!

Free Quote Button