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Episode #010: Getting Started With AAC- An Interview with Susan Berkowitz

Something I find so inspiring is to watch a student find a way to communicate with the people who exist in their world. For over 47 years, Susan Berkowitz has been helping students with autism learn to communicate by whatever means are necessary. Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Susan is reaching students who are complete non-speakers or who struggle to communicate the full range of their thoughts and feelings.

Susan has a wealth of knowledge, and she’s passionate about helping teachers, parents, and fellow Speech Language Pathologists find the tools they need to teach their students. She tells the amazing story of one of her students who stopped his self-injurious behavior after she created a POG book filled with 120 pages of pictures that he was able to use to communicate that he wanted to run outside.

There are so many options for AACs, and since the technology for this field is so new, there will continue to be new options every year. Susan has found it helpful to become good friends with the AAC customer service reps so that she has direct insight into this industry.

If you think one of your students would benefit with an AAC, or you’d like to learn more about apps, games, or strategies that you can use in your therapy sessions, Susan is really a wealth of information. Check out her book, her websites, or her TPT store for more resources.

What’s Inside:

  • Why we should never rearrange the symbols on a child’s AAC system.
  • How to move a student beyond requesting and into communicating.
  • Susan’s tips for using technology to teach students how to communicate.
  • If you have limited cognitive energy, you’re limited by how much effort you can put into communication.

Today’s Guest:

Susan has been a speech-language pathologist for 42 years and has worked with children with nonverbal autism for about 47 years. She has worked in public and nonpublic schools, nonprofit organizations, group homes and has run her own private practice for the past 23 years as an AAC consultant. She has published research in peer reviewed professional journals and presents at national and international conferences. Her book on AAC implementation, “Make the Connection!: A Practical Guide to Parents and Professionals to Teach the Nonverbal Child to Communicate with AAC” is available on Amazon.

Mentioned In This Episode

Make the Connection
Susan’s Teachers Pay Teacher store
Susan on Instagram
Susan on Facebook
Susan on Pinterest
LanguageLearningApps on Twitter
Free Distance Learning AAC Resource

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