Communication Skills

Strategies to Enhance Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Skills

  •  Overview of communication as a core deficit for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  •  Discussion of forms of communication and pragmatic functions to teach.
  •  Presentation of techniques to facilitate verbalizations such as hand cues, signing and visual supports.
  •  Presentation of visual strategies to facilitate understanding of language.
  •  Video samples of strategies used to teach a variety of pragmatic functions including requesting, protesting/rejecting, labeling, commenting, greeting, asking and answering questions.
  •  Materials and resources displayed and discussed.

Sign Language for Individuals with Autism

  •  An overview of research supporting the efficacy of sign language will be presented.
  • The benefits of teaching sign language will be discussed
  • Functional signs will be practiced and handouts of these signs will be provided.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Strategies

  • An overview of augmentative and alternative communication strategies will be presented.
  • Sign language, picture communication boards, PECS, as well as high tech systems will be discussed.
  • Pros and cons of the various communication systems will be discussed.

Enhancing Communication in the Natural Environment

  •  Presentation of strategies to promote joint attention, social engagement and language during familiar routines.
  • Discussion of playful ways to use the consistency of repetitive activities to enhance both receptive and expressive language.
  • Hands-on learning and video samples will be used to demonstrate techniques to teach language in naturally occurring activities.


Supervision and Leadership: Cultivating a Passion for the Process

  • This workshop is a development course for staff that work or may work in a supervisory position.
  • Discussion of the difference between supervision and leadership.
  • Learn to identify and become more aware of your own attitudes and practices in regards to supervising or being supervised.
  • Explore effective strategies for facilitating open communication, dynamic problem solving, staff empowering, and a commitment to ongoing growth.