Authentic AAC:
Implementing Communication Systems for Autonomy & Connection

In this course, Kate McLaughlin, CCC-SLP gives you the tools you need to support your emergent communicators in a way that fosters their autonomy, self-determination, and  connection to those around them.  This course is 12 contact hours and is registered for 1.2 ASHA CEUs and 1.2 AOTA CEUs and you can get it for $419. 

Continuing Education
from Learn Play Thrive

ASHA Brand Block AAC

Learn to truly support authentic communication
so your clients can connect and flourish

MODULE 1: Introduction to AAC

New to AAC but ready to master the terms and options? In this module, you’ll learn all the fundamentals to get you and your clients started on their AAC journey. 

MODULE 2: Communication Autonomy

In this module, you’ll move beyond compliance-based and inauthentic approaches to AAC and replace them with an empowering and effective framework. Learn all about communication autonomy, requirements for autonomy, and how focusing on it will allow for real connection with your client. These strategies will set you up to finally achieve the outcomes you have been striving towards.

MODULE 3: Theory: Technology & Implementation

You know your client needs AAC, but are they ready? What skills and tools do they need? How do you know if the AAC system you have is enough? Get all the answers so you can make decisions and confidently navigate these conversations with families and teams.

MODULE 4: Application: Technology & Implementation

This module will help you confidently determine whether an AAC system is a good fit for your client. You’ll learn about one of the most powerful strategies: AAC modeling. After this module, you’ll be equipped to achieve the greatest results for your learners with confidence and ease.

 

MODULE 5: Communication Partners

The success of AAC users often depends on the strength of their communication partners! Learn what you can do to be a great communication partner and how to effectively train others to do the same. 

 

MODULE 6: Supporting Expression

Move beyond traditional prompting, which limits communication autonomy and does not respect body autonomy. You’ll learn strategies that encourage and expand expression through AAC while respecting and connecting authentically with your clients. After this module, you’ll be ready to teach your AAC learners in a way that is effective and aligned with your values.

MODULE 7: Supporting AAC in Schools

AAC doesn’t just happen in speech therapy! In this short module, you’ll tackle service delivery, goals, data, and more to learn how to make it work in schools.

This course is
practical and empowering

If you’ve been waiting around for the right therapist to refer out to for your AAC learners, we’ve got good news. That therapist can be YOU. In this course, we’ll leave behind prompting, hand-over-hand and other inauthentic strategies for teaching AAC. And in their place, you’ll learn a truly empowering and practical framework that will allow you to approach every session with skill, confidence, and respect for your clients.  

Investment

You’ll get over 12 recorded hours packed full of actionable content and 12 continuing education contact hours for $419 We also offer payment breakdown to 3 payments of $140. 

Access

This course is entirely self-paced. You’ll have access for 6 months after it launches to complete on your own time.

Continuing Education

Authentic AAC is registered for 1.2 ASHA CEUs and 1.2 AOTA CEUs (12 contact hours).

FAQs

Information about completion requirements, accommodations, and more can be found in the FAQs.

Authentic AAC is
for you if…

You are an SLP or OT working with autistic clients in any setting

You want to learn concrete skills to teach AAC to your emergent communicators

You know your work will be more effective if your teaching strategies are strengths-based, respectful, and person-centered

You’re ready to feel confident that you can teach robust AAC systems to any learner without barriers

You want your teaching strategies to help your clients to engage and connect authentically in their daily lives

Meet your
Instructors

INSTRUCTOR

Kate McLaughlin,

SLP
Course Instructor, Speech Language Pathologist

Please note: disclosure statements are contained in the Bio page for each speaker. Click on "READ BIO" above to review the disclosures.

When done right, AAC is a pathway to successful communication, autonomy, authentic connection, and self-determination

– Kate McLaughlin, CCC-SLP

Full Course Objectives

MODULE 1: Introduction to AAC

 41 minutes

Learn all the fundamentals to get you and your clients started on their AAC journey.

Evaluate the role of symbolic AAC within the frameworks of multimodal communication.

Create a long-term goal for AAC implementation for non-speaking clients.

MODULE 2: Communication Autonomy

53 minutes

Get the information you need to reframe your AAC teaching.

Differentiate autonomy from independence when implementing AAC.

Evaluate compliance-based approaches for teaching AAC with an emphasis on how these approaches impact interest, motivation, connection, body autonomy, and long-term outcomes.

MODULE 3: Theory: Technology & Implementation

2 hours, 37 minutes

What skills and tools do your clients need? How do you know if the AAC system you have is enough? Get all the answers so you can make decisions and confidently navigate these conversations with families and teams.

Critique the “readiness” model for AAC implementation, including the impact that having a complex body can have on demonstration of early language and communication skills.

Differentiate the needs of aided language learners from typical language learners.

Analyze individual AAC systems and their features to determine if they provide sufficient features to support communication autonomy.

MODULE 4: Application: Technology & Implementation

4 hours 4 min

Learn how to determine if an AAC system is the right match for a particular learner. Find out all about AAC modeling and how to do it to achieve the greatest results for your learners.

Evaluate a client’s individual AAC access needs and implement feature matching to determine appropriate technology trials.

Create an AAC implementation plan for an individual client, including strategies with an understanding of aided language input, communication skill requirements, and communication autonomy.

MODULE 5: Communication Partners

1 hour 4 minutes

Learn what you can do to be a great communication partner and how to effectively train others to do the same.

Analyze at least 3 access barriers and generate a plan to overcome them to ensure access to communication.

Create a plan to train communication partners to implement an AAC strategy to address an individual client’s learning need.

MODULE 6: Encouraging Expression

2 hours 15 minutes

Learn strategies that work to encourage and expand expression through AAC while respecting and connecting authentically with your clients.

Analyze the impact of prompting on language learning and autonomous communication.

Create feedback strategies to support individual clients in growing their expression while maintaining a focus on communication autonomy and connection.

MODULE 7: Supporting AAC in Schools

54 minutes

AAC doesn’t just happen in speech therapy! Service delivery, goals, data! Learn how to make it work in schools.

Critique service delivery models and identify models that are likely to support autonomous communication.

Critique goals and data collection procedures to identify procedures to support emergent AAC communicators in the school setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

This course is developed for occupational therapists and speech therapists who work with autistic children in any setting. This is not a course designed for parents, though parents are welcome to register. This course is targeted at the intermediate level.

The concepts in this course are useful for any population. The video examples span from young children through adults.

This course includes video lectures, video examples, case studies, slides, and handouts. You’ll get the chance to see videos of Kate practicing the strategies you’re learning in real therapy sessions. 

This course is registered for 1.2 AOTA CEUs and 1.2 ASHA CEUs (12 contact hours). It is not registered with any other professional organizations, but you can check your state board to see if it meets your CE requirements.

Yes! The course is self-paced and you have six months to complete it on your own time.

Yes! If 3 or more people from your company plan to enroll email me the names of everyone enrolling at admin@learnplaythrive.com and I’ll provide a coupon code. It’s 15% for 3 registrants, 20% off for 4 or more, and 30% off for 7 or more. You can also contact us to pay by a purchase order.

We offer full scholarships to therapists from under-resourced countries.

In order to get a certificate of completion, you must watch all of the video modules, complete the activities within the modules, and pass a quiz at the end of the course with 80% accuracy. Multiple attempts at the quiz are allowed. Only learners who complete the course and the quiz will receive a certificate.

You will have 6 months access to the course.

Full refunds are provided within 30 days of purchase if no more than 3 modules have been completed. Email meg@learnplaythrive.com to request a refund. Since this is a self-paced course, there is no option to cancel once the 30 day / 3 module limit has been exceeded. If for any reason the course is canceled by the provider before your registration period has expired, you will receive a full refund.

All videos in this course have closed captions that can be turned on or off. If you have other special learning needs, please email admin@learnplaythrive.com before registering. Accommodations will be made to support learners in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act.

You can send an email to admin@learnplaythrive.com

Authentic AAC is More Than Your Average CE Course

Group Discounts

We are happy to offer a discount for your group! Email your list of participants to admin@learnplaythrive.com to receive a coupon code.

• 3 participants: 15% off
• 4+ participants: 20% off
• 7+ participants: 30% off
• 50+ participants: please inquire

Handouts

When you register for Authentic AAC, you'll also get handouts that help you select AAC systems, plan out your intervention strategies, train communication partners, and more so you can bring your new skills to your work with confidence.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

We think you’ll love it. But take 30 days to complete up to three modules. If it’s not what you’d hoped, you get your money back.

Your Personal AAC Coach

Did you ever wish you could jump forward to a time when you were truly confident working with your emergent communicators? Kate has built this course from a decade of experience and countless hours of training, to teach you the exact skills you need to feel confident and effective right away.

Confidence and Skill

Maybe you have clients show up to your sessions with devices that they just ignore. Or maybe you have clients who would benefit from AAC, but there's no expert around to help them access it. With this comprehensive course, you'll become the expert you've been waiting for so your clients can connect and communicate with authenticity and autonomy.

Continuing Education Credit

Receive 12 contact hours of continuing education credit through a self-paced online course that you can revisit again and again to feel totally confident in your ability to synthesize and apply the new strategies.

Get Added to Our Referral List

If you complete one of our courses, you will be able to apply to be added to our referral list. Get connected with others in your area!

It’s easy to wait around for someone else to help your emergent communicators.

But with Authentic AAC you will learn to confidently and skillfully support autonomous communication to truly help your autistic clients flourish.

This course will be available for ASHA CEUs from November 30th, 2021 until November 29th, 2026 at which point Learn Play Thrive will apply for re-registration.
The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.
ASHA CE Provider approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.