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Episode #155: What Is Gestalt Language Processing? with Sari Risen

GLP – Gestalt Language Processing, is taking social media by storm. BCBAs and SLPs alike are talking about it… But should it be something we follow and jump into without question? Dually-certified SLP-BCBA Sari Risen joins me to discuss her findings on GLP along with some warnings. 

So what is GLP? It is basically a distinction against NLA – Natural Language Acquisition, in which NLA individuals learn by developing single words and increasing over time, whereas GLP individuals have longer and longer utterances and develop single words over time. Sari uses the example of a toddler who says “ohh da do” [meaning open the door] will eventually learn the words open, the, and door but would start with the longer utterance before knowing the words individually. 

Sari took Marge Blanc’s 15-hour course on the topic and explained the history of GLP when Dr. Ann Peters made this distinction between NLA and GLP in the 70s. While information on Gestalt is available, it is mostly anecdotal, with very few official studies or evidence.

Educate yourself so that you can understand and explain GLP when and if parents ask. Sari and I warn practitioners to think critically about the strategies and theories they use and not to follow something just because of social media.

#autism #speechtherapy

Today’s Guest:

Sari Risen is a speech-language pathologist as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has had extensive experience working with individuals with complex communication needs, including individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and individuals with intellectual disabilities. She is passionate about combining empirically supported practices from the SLP literature with those from applied behavior analysis to create effective intervention plans that support the developmental needs of her clients. In order to allow her to provide this sort of approach, she founded Action Potential Services, a private practice in Toronto, Canada. Sari has a strong focus on supporting language development, from helping individuals produce their first words to helping individuals develop complex language skills, such as reading comprehension. She is also experienced in providing treatment to improve speech clarity, using a variety of methods, including Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC), the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol, and PROMPT. Having conducted her Master’s thesis in the area of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), Sari has always had a strong interest in this area and continues to have a strong focus on serving individuals with AAC needs within her practice. Sari also has a strong interest in anatomy and physiology and is passionate about combining her knowledge in these areas with ABA strategies in order to address feeding concerns in children with food selectivity and oral motor concerns. 

What’s Inside:

  • What is Gestalt Language Processing (GLP)?
  • Natural Language Acquisition vs Gestalt Language Processing.
  • Should BCBAs be using GLP?
  • What information and evidence is available about GLP.

Mentioned In This Episode

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