Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) can be a powerful option for students with significant communication challenges due to autism and related disabilities. However, between behavioral issues, difficulties with engagement, and limited time for preparation, SLPs often struggle to develop effective AAC therapy sessions for students with autism who are minimally verbal/nonverbal. This session covers essential ingredients for smooth and efficacious AAC sessions and discusses key intervention strategies. Considerations for how to differentiate AAC supports for learners across a range of communicative abilities will also be reviewed along with suggestions for developing and implementing visual supports. Resources for free and low-cost materials that can help clinicians develop engaging, age-respectful activities will also be shared.
ASHA: 0.2 Intermediate
CA SLPAHB: 2.0
Dr. Carole Zangari is a professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) where she teaches master’s and doctoral courses in AAC, coordinates the AAC Lab, supports graduate student clinicians, and guides doctoral students in their AAC research. In addition, Dr. Zangari serves as the Executive Director of the Broward satellite of the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD). Dr. Zangari was named the 2019 Professor of the Year at the NSU College of Health Care Sciences and is also a Fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She is a frequent presenter on AAC topics at international and national conferences. Dr. Zangari is the co-editor of Practically Speaking Language, Literacy, and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs and co-author of TELL ME: AAC in the Preschool Classroom. Her educational website, www.PrAACticalAAC.org, is widely respected and used by professionals, families, and higher education programs around the world.
- Discuss 4 elements of successful AAC sessions
- Explain ways to differentiate AAC instruction based on individual needs/abilities
- Describe at least 2 key AAC intervention strategies
- Explain the role of visual supports and discuss appropriate implementation
- Identify resources for AAC materials across grade levels
This course must be watched in its entirety. In order to receive the CMH or the CEU certificate, a quiz is required to be completed with 80% success.
Financial— Dr. Zangari receives a speaking honorarium from the Lavi Institute/Power Up Conference.
Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancialDr. Zangari is the co-editor of Practically Speaking Language, Literacy, and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs and co-author of TELL ME: AAC in the Preschool Classroom and author of www.PrAACticalAAC.org. In addition, Dr. Zangari serves as the Executive Director of the Broward satellite of the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD).
20 minutes: Essential ingredients for smooth and effective AAC sessions
15 minutes: Considerations for differentiating AAC supports across ability levels
20 minutes: Key intervention strategies
15 minutes: Effective use of visual supports to support AAC learning
20 minutes: Resources for engaging activities and materials
20 minutes: Recommendations
10 minutes: Q&A