April 7-9 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 Language and Narrative Development through Storybook Reading and Practical Considerations for Children with ASD

Tracy Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP
Amy Frisbie, MA, CCC-SLP

Language is initially learned in context. Through the process of “decontextualization” it becomes more representative. The process of decontextualization is one of the key dimensions of symbolic development that is embedded in the interrelated expansion of play and language. Narrative development incorporates skills used in extended discourse and interactive conversation. Although the importance of implementing language development strategies that are used in “normal language development” models is recognized for children who use AAC, there is a lack of understanding about the practical ways in which this can be accomplished.

This presentation will provide one model that can be implemented by families, teachers and therapists for a variety of age ranges and in a variety of settings, and promotes language learning, narrative and communication development in AAC. Using storybook reading, play-based activities that decontextualize the language provided and create rich language learning opportunities for narrative development using AAC are described and explored.