Systematic Approach to Teaching Speech to Non-Vocal Individuals with Autism

Systematic Approach to Teaching Speech to Non-Vocal Individuals with Autism

In cooperation with our international partner Birdhouse!

Date: January 22-23, 2018

Location: Odense, Denmark

Presenter: Renee Roy Hill, M.S., CCC-SLP

The Course

Developing functional speech in non-verbal clients with Autism can be one of the biggest challenges for Speech Pathologists as well as Behavior Analysts when those clients do not respond to traditional verbal modeling approaches. Working with those clients who present with challenging behaviors can be difficult as well. 

This course presents a systematic approach to developing functional speech with individuals who are non-verbal or non-imitative. The course is a comprehensive program that combines principles of Applied Behavior Analysis with Oral Placement Therapy. For Behavior Analysts, the course demonstrates the importance of using specific techniques within hierarchies to develop the oral placement skills for speech and feeding.

For Speech and Language Pathologists, this course demonstrates techniques developed within the Applied Behavior Analysis field to maximize learning for functional speech using reinforcement based procedures. 

The course guides all participants through a complete program beginning with developing cooperation and ending with functional vocabulary. Videos are shown throughout the presentation to demonstrate each technique. This course benefits Speech and Language Pathologists, Behavior Analysts, Teachers, Parents and others working with non-verbal individuals with autism.


Participants will be able to: 

  • Describe how the science of Applied Behavior Analysis in conjunction with oral placement and tactile therapies can be used to teach non-verbal or non-imitative clients with autism to speak.
  • Identify the prerequisite skills necessary to teach vocal speech and apply 3-4 techniques in the applied behavior analysis research that have been used to develop vocalizations.
  • Describe the sequential steps of developing functional communication beginning with motivation, reinforcement, motor imitation and specific shaping strategies that can be used to maximize learning of functional speech.
  • Explain how many non-verbal clients with autism have underlying oral motor and motor planning deficits that should be addressed.
  • Apply specific task analyzed techniques to assist the therapist in applying TalkTools hierarchies to individuals with autism.
  • Identify the connection between oral placement skills and the motor aspects of speech
  • Apply specific sequential techniques to transition oral placement skills to functional speech for those clients not responding to traditional verbal modeling and shaping techniques.

    Presenter Bio: Renee Roy Hill has provided therapeutic assessments and program planning for adults and children with oral placement, feeding and motor speech deficits for over 17 years. She is the owner of Crossroads Therapy Clinic in New Braunfels, TX and a member of the TalkTools® speakers bureau . . . more 



      Workshop Details:

      International Partner: Birdhouse |  Peder Skrams Vej 1, 5220 Odense SØ, Denmark

      (including registration and other logistical information)