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Children With Autism: Matching Interventions to Communication Needs

August 1–13, 2018 | Online Conference

Session Descriptions

These pre-recorded lectures are on-demand and last only an hour, so you can listen to them whenever time permits! 

Setting the Stage: Moving From Assessment to Intervention for Children With ASD
Donna S. Murray, PhD, CCC-SLP

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) presents with a number of core challenges and co-occurring conditions that range in severity and that impact functioning and learning across the life span. In this session, the presenter will discuss the need to consider these challenges in order to create an effective learning environment for children with ASD as well as explore how to design intervention strategies to meet their unique communication needs. 

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • list the core challenges and common co-occurring conditions associated with ASD  
  • describe how these challenges may impact communication and social functioning
  • design or modify learning environments and interventions, taking into consideration the challenges specific to children with ASD

Evaluating Popular Interventions: Ensuring Evidence-Based Practices
Meher Banajee, PhD, CCC-SLP

This session will explore various intervention practices for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The speaker will examine popular intervention strategies and evaluate them through the lens of evidence-based practice. Discussion will include how to use research, clinical outcomes, and client/family considerations to make informed decisions on application of specific interventions.   

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • explain the importance of selecting evidence-based practices to parents, caregivers, and educators 
  • evaluate interventions for individuals with ASD to determine the level of evidence behind them
  • select evidence-based strategies for individual children with ASD based on the ability of the strategy to meet the goals for that child

Classroom Environmental Supports for Students With ASD 
Jessica R. Dykstra Steinbrenner, PhD, CCC-SLP 

Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can struggle with academic and social engagement as well as regulation in busy classroom environments, which impacts their behavior and participation. This session will provide real-world solutions for increasing engagement and decreasing challenging behaviors for students with ASD in classroom environments that can seem complex, confusing, or overwhelming for students. 

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify characteristics of activities or classrooms that create a more predictable and understandable environment
  • list evidence-based environmental supports that can be used in the classroom to improve engagement and behavior of students with ASD
  • create and implement environmental supports in collaboration with classroom teachers and other school personnel

A Blueprint for Constructing IEPs for Children With ASD
Diane Twachtman-Cullen, PhD

This session will discuss a five-step blueprint for crafting meaningful and measurable IEP goals and objectives specific to the research-based, language-learning needs of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The speaker will present relevant, seminal research findings in both the ASD and language development literature that guide clinical decision-making and lead to need-based social-language intervention for students with ASD.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • write IEP goals and objectives that are specific to the evidence-based, social-language learning needs of children and adolescents with ASD
  • use context-based experiential learning opportunities that support how children with ASD process language and form concepts
  • adapt how you teach nouns, verbs, and adjectives based on how children learn each class of words

Developing Social Skills in Students With Moderate and Severe ASD
Kathleen Quill, EdD, BCBA-D

Acquisition and generalization of social and communication skills is usually an intervention priority for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), especially those with moderate and severe ASD. This session will provide practitioners with a framework for planning social intervention that results in functional skill use by these children. The speaker will discuss assessment, social activity task analysis, skill-building through repeated practice of targets in natural settings, and outcomes measurement.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • list obstacles that limit skill generalization in students with ASD
  • develop a task analysis of social activities
  • plan a sequence to build skills in social activities
  • complete a data sheet to measure skill generalization

Using Video Modeling With Children With ASD
Tom Buggey, PhD

This session will present video modeling as an effective, research-based intervention option that may be particularly effective for children with autism spectrum disorder. The presenter will discuss types of video modeling and explain how to create videos for use in intervention.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • create movies of children performing appropriate or advanced skills
  • create peer or point-of-view videos that can be added to an ever-expanding database for multiple uses
  • explain the effectiveness of video modeling to parents and caregivers

Heritage Language Maintenance and Bilingual Development
Betty Yu, PhD, CCC-SLP

There is a convergence of research showing that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are capable of—and benefit from—learning more than one language. Despite this, families continue to experience challenges in their efforts to maintain heritage language use and develop long-term bilingual competencies. This session will discuss the sociocultural reasons for why these challenges persist and will present best practices to support heritage language maintenance along with bilingual development. Discussion will highlight key lessons learned from a 10-year ethnographic study of language use in Chinese-speaking families of children with ASD in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify at least two key issues affecting heritage language maintenance and bilingual development among children with ASD
  • counsel and give support to parents/caregivers regarding family language choices
  • identify at least two examples of best practices to support heritage language maintenance and bilingual development among children with ASD

Key Components of Social Skills Training
Jed E. Baker, PhD 

Social skills training programs for school-age children with autism spectrum disorder need to fully address issues of relevance and motivation, matching intervention to language ability and ensuring generalization. This session explores six key components of effective skills training: identifying relevant skill targets, establishing motivation to use skills, matching intervention to language ability, planning for generalization, increasing peer acceptance, and evaluating progress.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify ways to motivate verbal and non-verbal students to socialize 
  • list strategies for teaching and generalizing skills based on language functioning level 
  • create a lesson to encourage typical peers to accept students with disabilities, reduce bullying, and model positive behaviors 

SLP Knowledge and Perceptions of Bullying
Erin Ofe Mauldin, MS, CCC-SLP

This session will explore bullying among school-age students. The presenter will discuss school-based SLPs’ knowledge and perceptions of bullying of children with ASD and describe the types of bullying students with ASD often experience. The session will present practical, research-based strategies for handling bullying incidents for all school-age children, focusing on the population of children with ASD.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • explain the different types of bullying and identify which types of bullying students with ASD commonly experience  
  • identify characteristics that put children with ASD at risk for being bullied  
  • intervene in instances of bullying of children with ASD using research-based strategies 

Service Delivery Models for Working with Students With ASD
Catherine B. Zenko, MS, CCC-SLP 

This session will present three main service delivery models that school-based SLPs can consider when planning evidence-based intervention that addresses the core learning styles and social communication challenges of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The speaker will address the most common barriers to providing quality speech-language services in a school setting and discuss creative solutions.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • create accommodations for students with ASD that address the disconnect between their learning styles/abilities and academic demands 
  • discuss creative scheduling ideas with the educational team to maximize the benefits of the three service delivery models presented 
  • create a professional learning community (PLC) that meets the needs of educational team 

Narrative Text Comprehension for Learners With ASD
Pamela Williamson, PhD, and Christina R. Carnahan, EdD 

Students with ASD often experience social communication challenges, which frequently contribute to problems comprehending narrative texts. This session will explain the relationship between social communication and narrative comprehension and present a systematic approach to selecting interventions so SLPs can best assist students with developing the knowledge and skills they need to work with narrative texts.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify tools to support narrative comprehension as part of a systematic approach 
  • monitor and adjust the amount and type of support offered as skills in comprehending narrative text increase 

Speech-Language Pathology and Behavior Analysis: Increasing Communication in Children With ASD
Teresa Cardon, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCBA-D 

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) and speech-language pathology share many fundamental characteristics and attributes. This session will identify these common qualities and present a case for the benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration. The presenter will discuss the behavioral interventions with the best supporting research base and provide strategies, tips, and checklists that SLPs can put into practice to increase communication in children with ASD.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • list some key characteristics of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and note how those characteristics manifest in ABA-based communication interventions 
  • describe the similarities and differences in theories and interventions used by SLPs and Board Certified Behavior Analysts 
  • create a list of the evidence-based and basic procedures for common behaviorally based interventions to improve communication for children with ASD 

AAC Solutions for Minimally Verbal Children With ASD: Empowering Stakeholders in Decision-Making
Billy T. Ogletree, PhD, CCC-SLP 

Everyday communicative interactions are a challenge for children with ASD who have minimal verbal abilities. This session will discuss functional, evidence-based AAC solutions for use in everyday settings with various communication partners. The presenter will discuss how to incorporate and empower all stakeholders—including family members, peers, educators, support personnel, and other professional team members—in decision-making about which AAC solution will work for a particular child to ensure they all are active partners contributing toward positive communication outcomes.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • apply the evidence behind unaided and aided AAC solutions to make informed assessment and treatment decisions for children with ASD who are minimally verbal  
  • create and use three strategies for engaging stakeholders in AAC decision-making  

Maximizing Parent-Provider Communication
Gazi Azad, PhD, LP, NCSP 

Effective communication and collaboration between the families of school-age children with autism spectrum disorder and the professionals who work with them is essential to ensure positive outcomes. This session will discuss research findings, present a conceptual framework, and provide practical applications for enhancing parental engagement as well as increasing collaborative teaming and communication between professionals and families.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • explain the rationale behind parent engagement  
  • list the barriers and facilitators to collaborative teaming  
  • develop efficient two-way communication systems

Friendships, Social Skills, and Interventions at School
Connie Kasari, PhD 

Building meaningful friendships can be a challenge for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Students may want friendships but lack the confidence and/or communication skills to establish them. This session will review research on social networks of students with ASD, explore intervention options to increase social skills, and analyze the gap between research in this area and its implementation.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • select targets for social interventions for children with ASD  
  • evaluate common interventions for children with ASD in schools, including the child-assisted and peer-mediated approaches 
  • describe the gap between research and practice for social skills for children with ASD

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