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Episode #004: Building Engagement For Students With Autism with Jessie Ginsburg

Have you ever worked with students who have trouble engaging in a session? If you have, then you’ll love this conversation with Jessie Ginsburg. As a speech pathologist and the CEO of Pediatric Therapy Playhouse in Los Angeles, Jessie helps young kids on the autism spectrum build foundational skills.

For SLPs, one of the biggest misconceptions is that we’re supposed to immediately start working on speech when a child walks in the door. But without foundational skills in place, we won’t be able to have improvement in speech. That’s why Jessie focuses on three areas first before diving into speech therapy. You’ll hear how she uses regulation, engagement, and motivation to build that foundation for her clients.

Therapy can’t occur in a child until they’re in the optimal level of arousal. Think of the challenge of teaching an “Eeyore” energy level child, or a “Tigger” energy level child. Using alerting or calming activities, Jessie talks about how she gets a student’s energy centered just right so that work can begin.

Motivation is so specific to each student that it will take some sleuthing to uncover what makes a student want to learn. Jessie loves involving parents to help her get the low-down on what students like, and she often collaborates with parents to see a child’s sensory preferences.

Collaborating with other speech language pathologists can help you strategize when you’re stuck on how to help a child with autism. Connect with Jessie’s Facebook group, or visit ABA Speech for more tips and advice.

What’s Inside:

  • Hear how Jessie aims to go as long as possible without bringing out a toy in a therapy session.
  • Because every child brings daily challenges with them, Jessie practices flexibility in her practice to meet those challenges.
  • How can you increase a student’s attention to a task once they’re in the perfect optimal space?

Today’s Guest:

Jessie Ginsburg is a speech-language pathologist and CEO of Pediatric Therapy Playhouse, a multidisciplinary clinic in Los Angeles. She is an internationally-known autism specialist and the creator of ASD from the Inside Out, an online course that teaches SLPs innovative ways to assess and treat young children on the autism spectrum. She is a national presenter on autism, contributor to the American Speech Language Hearing Association magazine, and a board member of the California Speech Language Hearing Association.

Mentioned In This Episode

— Young Autism SLPs Facebook group
— Jessie Ginsburg
— Jessie Ginsburg on Instagram
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