AAC, AT, Families, Inclusion, Literacy, UDL

Florida Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists Winter Conference 2008

by Samuel Sennott
Here are some notes, and information from my experience at the FLASHA 2008 Winter Conference. It was an invigorating day that helped me to learn more about children, teaching, as well as research.

Part One

Autism and Sensory Workshop
by Marvie Ellis
“How are we going to get them there?” says Marvie Ellis. The lively presenter painted a picture of multidisciplinary approach filled with sensory integration techniques and engaging student focused instruction. The power of this workshop was in the passion of the presenter and her willingness to bend the genres of speech, OT, PT, and teaching. I look forward to reading her picture books about children with autism.
Marvie Ellis’ Blog Site:
Article by the Presenter: Five Issues Facing Families with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Sound Bites:

  • I will always teach you before I show you and expect of you. (paraphrase) Speaking about an approach to working with children.
  • I am trying to help you use terminology that you could use to teach your grandmother about it. (paraphrase)
  • If you modulate your voice, you are stimulating my senses, (your saying) I’m approaching, sending information through your feet, and I have something interesting to see. (paraphrase) In speaking about a highly engaging style of getting children’s attention.
Interesting Books by the Author
Tacos Anyone Book Image
Keisha's Doors Book Image
Keisha’s Doors by Marvie Ellis

Part Two

Communication Partner Interventions to Target Early Language and Emergent Literacy Skills with Children who use AAC

by Jennifer Kent-Walsh, Ph.D. , CCC-SLP, S-LPC(C) University of Central Florida, e-portfolio of presenter

Department of CSD and leader of the regional center for FAAST

Article by the Presenter: Fostering Emergent Literacy for Children Who Require AAC

This workshop focused on a terrific study of how to help improve how communication partners interact with AAC users. This investigation was set in the context of a partner book read of engaging books. The simple training and intervention showed good results for increased communicative interactions, increases in both partner’s interest level, and generalization after the intervention. The presenter used a nice Wh-question format to guide the session. Also demonstrated was a powerful teaching strategy of using acronyms to help make the communication partners be more automatic in their approach.

The Before Video: Two peers are reading a book together. One girl is reading the book in a monotone voice and the other girl is listening. She has a Springboard, but is not using it.

The Intervention Video: The two girls are engaging in a lively read of the book, taking turns commenting and identifying characters and actions. They proceed to read after mentioning they want to test their predictions. Both girls are smiling and visibly enjoying the experience.

You can read an article on the topic, published in the electronic edition of the ASHA Leader here:

Communication Partner Interventions for Children Who Use AAC

Storybook Reading Across Culture and Language

Handouts that are Good Read Throughs from the Presenter’s Website:

Part Three

This small more personal group gathering of SLP’s was terrific. The conversations I had today were inspiring. From speaking to one of the presenter’s mother, to hearing a story about one of the first externships of a student from Nova Southeastern University, to meeting a couple of welcoming colleagues that invited me to their school, I enjoyed the connections made today.


February 25, 2008 Posted by | AAC, conference, ot, play, Special Education | Leave a comment

AAC and OT by Aileen Costigan and Janice Light at ASHA

By Samuel Charles Sennott

AAC and OT shot

Seating and positioning often has a significant effect on AAC users. Teachers of all kinds can do a great deal in this domain, but it is important to know when you need the help of an OT or PT. This hour long presentation at ASHA titled: Practical Principles of Seating & Positioning in AAC for SLPs was a terrific way to learn or review seating and positioning principles and learn about how these considerations work in the team process. Would you like a refresher course or have a quick way to share with a friend or colleague about some basics regarding seating and positioning?

Download the excellent handout here.

AAC/OT handout shot

The main presenter Aileen Costigan was terrific. Not only was the information extremely well prepared and organized, but the presentation style was great. I think that this topic would make a great component in an AAC/AT/UDL course at the undergraduate and graduate level in both teacher training of special educators and in the training of SLPs. For you all trying to follow the handout, you will see a marked similarity to the SETT Framework, as in OT there is a very similar consideration principle. This is definitely a handout to print and fyi your favorite special education teacher, OT, PT, or SLP.

November 24, 2007 Posted by | AAC, Access, ot, Special Education, Uncategorized | 2 Comments