Selecting and Confirming an Alternative Method of Speaking for Non-verbal Children and Adults

Presenter: Patrick McGreevy, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Saturday, April 16, 2016: 1:30pm - 4:30pm
3 BACB Type II CEUs (included in the price of registration)

Many children do not learn to communicate with spoken words. Many of these non- verbal children reach adulthood without an effective, alternative method of speaking. Some children are taught to ‘exchange pictures’, ‘select pictures on an electronic device with voice output’, or ‘use signs’. Still others are not provided with an alternative method of speaking at all.

As the children become older, those who were provided with an alternative method, often abandon this method in favor of methods like ‘informal gestures’ or ‘leading others to what they want’, which are portable and which do not require special equipment. This abandonment suggests the need for systematic procedures which insure that alternative methods of speaking selected for non-verbal children are effective and endure through their adult years.

The presenter will describe systematic procedures for selecting an alternative method of speaking for specific learners and then testing the effectiveness of this method. In order to insure active learner participation, the presenters will ask frequent questions of specific participants.

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will describe the major advantages and disadvantages of methods of speaking that include 'selecting or exchanging pictures' and ‘forming signs’
  2. Participants will describe the advantages of 'spoken words' retained by ‘signed English’ and 'exchanging pictures'
  3. Participants will describe the major disadvantage of 'signed English' as a method of speaking and why this may not be a disadvantage in some cases
  4. Participants will describe four barriers to an effective method of speaking