ASD, AAC and Behavior: Let’s Work Together


May 4, 2022


According to the CDC’s most recent estimates, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is now 1 in 54 school-age children in the US.  Many AAC specialists are seeing more clients with a diagnosis of ASD, who would benefit from AAC strategies and systems…and many autism specialists are just getting to know the amazing potential of AAC in their practice!  Now, add in the contributions of other providers to any given team, such as OTs, teachers, and BCBA’s, and we are ready for some serious collaboration: let’s work together!  We will consider how any evidence based ASD intervention plan must target both social cognition and communication, while respecting neurodiversity and personal choice, and support the day-to-day needs of families their autistic loved ones.  Topics will include updated information on co-occurring diagnoses and their potential impact on communication, hands-on strategies for successful implementation of AAC systems, and the successful use of supports related to behaviors that sometimes impact quality of life.  Considerations for communication partner strategies, parent coaching and multidisciplinary teaming will be provided as well as case studies from across the early lifespan.  We will illustrate the special considerations related to the implementation of AAC with children and young adults who have complex communication needs and autism.


Amy Frisbie, MA, CCC-SLP

Amy Fetter, MA, BCBA, CCC-SLP

Learning Outcomes:

State at least two other diagnoses that highly co-occur with autism and how they may impact communication abilities.

Describe 2 evidence-based treatment models that can be used to improve social attention and AAC use in non-speaking people with ASD.

Describe why it is important to teach multiple communication functions for individuals with complex communication needs and ASD who use AAC.

State the functions of behavior and identify when to replace them with communication.

Describe why functional phrases should be considered on a speech generating device to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of communication in order to replace challenging behaviors.


CEUs This activity is offered for up to 0.7 CEUs (6.7 hours of instruction). To register for CEUs:  

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Upon completion of the two forms and passing the quiz, a CEU certificate will be sent

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