June 9-11 2020

PALSS Standard Content

Bruce Baker, AM, LHD, (Hons. caus.)
Debbie Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP
Tracy Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP
Russell Cross, BSc (Hons.), DipCST, MRCSLT

Each PALSS event regularly includes presentations of Bruce Baker’s work and presentations by Debbie Witkowski, Russell Cross, and Tracy Kovach. The seminar includes theoretical and practical information regarding vocabulary selection, language development and building competence for individuals who use AAC. In addition, the importance of building motor automaticity when using AAC systems will be discussed. Participants will also have the opportunity for hands-on practice with the UNITY® language system.


Guest Presenter Topic:

AAC Intervention Strategies for Beginning Communicators and Facilitating Team Buy-In

Lindsey Paden Cargill, MA, CCC-SLP

This session will cover AAC intervention strategies for beginning communicators, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and how to establish and maintain buy-in from parents and other professionals.  As an increasing number of young children are prescribed high-tech speech generating devices, teachers, parents and clinicians are left to determine best programming practices, vocabulary selection, teaching strategies and how to gain buy-in from other team members. Many of these answers can be found in the processes of natural language development and the principles of the Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) program. Current clinical practice shows that natural language development processes can be mirrored in AAC language development from the earliest cause and effect stages through the development of grammatical structures, even for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. In the earliest stages of language development (in natural speech or using AAC), beginning communicators learn new words by connecting motor movements to their resulting auditory signal to the natural reaction they receive. The session will include discussions about the sensory and neurological foundations of language development, vocabulary selection, goal setting, intervention strategies and evidence-based strategies for establishing and maintaining buy-in from parents, teachers and other professionals. Theories and concepts discussed will be supported by video evidence, hands-on activities and group discussion.