Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W1
CE Offered: BACB
Assessment and Intervention Strategies for Individuals With Autism Who Use Augmentative Alternative Communication
Thursday, May 24, 2018
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Joseph Novak, Ed.D.
JOSEPH NOVAK (REED Academy; Advanced Behavior/Communication Solutions, LLC)
Description: AAC is reviewed for its benefits for expressive and receptive language (Light et al, 1998). Research-based information is provided as it relates to how vocal speech development is affected by AAC (Olive et al., 2007). Communication modes and the range of communication systems (low tech to high tech) are reviewed. The importance of selecting appropriate symbol types is discussed and assessments are highlighted. Consideration of prerequisite skills is discussed as are the importance of match-to-sample and imitation skills (Gregory et al., 2009). Indicators suggestive of an appropriate AAC system/approach are discussed and the idea of learner preference is explored (Sigafoos et al., 2005). Information regarding recommended prompts/prompt-fading procedures will be shared (Feeley & Jones, 2012). Steps for initiating intervention and selecting initial vocabulary are reviewed (Rosales, Stone, & Rehfeldt, 2009). Considerations for implementing FCT as it relates to AAC are reviewed (Carr & Durand, 1985). Addressing AAC needs for learners with partial vocal speech is addressed and a sample protocol is shared. AAC modeling techniques are reviewed in detail (Harris & Reichle, 2004). Additional strategies for common challenges with AAC intervention are discussed. Specific skill acquisition programs to target skills such as communicative repair will be shared.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) accurately describe the hierarchy of symbol types, the process of symbol selection, and strategies to ensure proper assessment for an AAC system; (2) accurately describe the initial steps in implementing an AAC-based intervention as well as curricular goals to move beyond requesting; (3) accurately describe various instructional strategies including language modeling and direct prompting.
Activities: - Instructional strategies include: lecture, discussion, small group breakout (as appropriate). - Workshop objectives will be met through a balanced presentation of lecture, video observation, and group discussion. Core content will be taught through lecture and video demonstrations of strategies will be provided. Supplemental materials for will be provided in order to support participant learning. - The format combines lecture and small group activities.
Audience: The target audience consists of BCBAs who may only have entry-level competence in the area of augmentative and alternative communication. Because collaboration with SLPs may not always be possible, it is important that BCBAs have a more thorough understanding of assessment and intervention strategies for individuals with autism who use AAC.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): AAC, Language Modeling, Picture-Based Communication, Speech-Generating Devices



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