5116 AAC Strategies for COMMUNICATION with Preschoolers and School-Aged Children with ASD

Friday, July 9, 2010: 12:45 PM-2:00 PM
Reunion H (Hyatt Regency Dallas)
MP3 PDF Slides Handout

As speech pathologists, we often recommend low-level techniques for augmentative communication with young children. This often limits the children from developing functional expressive language skills. Case studies of young children, ages 2-7 years, who are being trained to use dynamic display speech-generating devices using Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) techniques will be presented. The course will also address using developmentally based language techniques, recommendations for goal development and strategies for therapy activities for this population. Meredith Potts is a speech-language pathologist in private practice. About 90% of her caseload is comprised of children, aged 2-7 years, diagnosed with ASDs. She trains children to use AAC through Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) strategies. She has seen tremendous success with her patients' communication skills through using LAMP techniques. Using these strategies, children with severe expressive communication disorders are able to utilize AAC through the use of learning motor patterns for accessing language to communicate with others. They are able to make requests using meaningful core language, answer and ask questions, comment and socially interact with family and peers. The results have been amazing and powerful. These techniques have led to functional language and communication, rather than a picture exchange method or labeling of nouns. While using these strategies, it has become clear that many children diagnosed with ASDs can communicate using real language if we teach them to utilize their strengths in motor planning, consistency, visual cues, visual memory and motivating linguistically-based activities. This presentation will be a collection of case study examples from Meredith’s patients who are currently being trained to use speech-generating devices.

This course will provide video examples of five children that are diagnosed with autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Each of these children are being trained to use dynamic display speech-generating devices. They all use the Vantage Lite from the Prentke Romich Company with Minspeak language software program. Prior to receiving their personal AAC systems, they initiated training in speech therapy sessions to learn the language of these devices to facilitate their ability to generate functional and meaningful communication. The clinical overview of each child’s plan and progress will be presented during this session.  The information will be provided with verbal account from Meredith Potts, video documentation of the children with and without the use of AAC, video and verbal description of LAMP strategies, and videotaped parent/guardian interviews for each child. The following information will be provided for each child in order to share ideas, educate and provide invaluable information to others about the possibilities of using AAC for people diagnosed with ASDs:

1)      Medical and Speech/Language-Related Diagnoses

a.      Age at which diagnoses were made,

b.      Age at which speech/language therapy was implemented,

c.      Frequency of language therapy, and

d.      Prognosis for independent communication.

2)      Behavioral and Social Description (video examples)

3)      Receptive and Expressive Language Skills, Speech Skills

a.      Standard scores and informal data description.

4)      Treatment and Strategies Utilized Prior to Speech-Generating Device

a.      Types and 

b.      Effectiveness.

5)      Decisions to Recommend AAC and Variables of Vocabulary Selection

a.      Receptive language skills,

b.      Child’s refusal of more popular methods,

c.      Motor planning,

d.      Core vocabulary concerns,

e.      Visual orientation,

f.      Auditory feedback

g.      Visual representation of a functional language system, and 

h.      Motivation to use language.

6)      Application of LAMP Strategies with Video Examples

a.      Frequency of treatment,

b.      What a session looks like (video),

c.      Constantly evaluating and changing the plan,

d.      Family support and training,

e.      Importance of motivation for learning communication,

f.       Importance of consistency,

g.      Importance of core words

h.      Modeling, and 

i.       Submersion of the plan.

7)      Effect on Communication

a.      Linguistic data collected after implementation.

8)      The Parent’s Perspective

a.      Without AAC,

b.      Using AAC with LAMP strategies,

c.      Have the child’s verbal language skills increased?,

d.      Child’s reaction,

e.      Commitment and learning curve from the family,

f.       Adversity & challenges, and

g.      Future of the child and how AAC will affect that future.

If her family and schedule allows, a mother of one of the children presented will also attend the session to provide her view of the AAC device, methods of LAMP, implementation at home, and the effects of this model with her child. She will also be able to answer questions from parents in attendance.

The presenter will also give the clinical rationale for the importance of using LAMP strategies with people diagnosed with ASD using AAC devices. There are several critical features related to vocabulary selection that need to be considered for this delicate population. This rationale will be evident while viewing the videos of the children presented in this course.

Clinical resources and tools for parents for LAMP strategies will be given to attendees throughout the presentation.

Learning Objectives:

  • The learner will have a basic understanding of developmentally based language techniques, recommendations for goal development, and strategies for therapy activities for this population for the use of AAC.
  • The learner will have a basic understanding of the importance of motor planning and language acquisition for the use of AAC for meaningful language production.
  • The learner will be able to recognize the functional communication during interactions between children with ASD communicating with non-AAC users.
  • The learner will obtain information and references for determining if Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) strategies is appropriate for their child, patient, or student with ASD.

Content Area: Communication


Meredith Potts, M.A., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Potts Speech Pathology Associates, P.C.
Meredith is a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice. About 90% of her caseload is comprised of children, aged 2-7 years, diagnosed with ASDs. She trains children to use AAC through Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) strategies. Meredith conducts trainings on using AAC for school districts as well.