This webinar focuses on case examples that demonstrate a language-based approach to managing echolalia, from delayed echolalia to self-generated language. Using video clips and language sample excerpts, the speakers describe the stages of gestalt language development, illustrate the varieties of echolalia, and review case examples of the successful use of the Natural Language Acquisition (NLA) protocol to support gestalt language development in three individuals. The speakers also propose transparent terminology that can be used to help explain NLA to colleagues and families.
Content Disclosure: This course includes substantial discussion of the Natural
Language Acquisition (NLA) protocol.
You will be able to:
- Identify the stages of gestalt language development and describe them using both traditional and more transparent terminology
- Use the NLA protocol as a foundation for creating individualized communicative environments that will support individuals as they progress through the developmental stages
- Advocate for the recognition/honoring of each individual’s communicative intent by all communication partners
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Hear From the Presenters:
Marge Blanc, MA, CCC-SLP, has been an SLP for more
than 40 years, working for 20 years as an SLP in public
school settings and then as a Clinical Associate Professor at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the UW clinic, Blanc
began applying the research of Barry Prizant and colleagues
who first described gestalt language development in autism.
Initial clinical successes prompted Blanc to begin collecting
language samples that illustrated the progression. In 1997,
Blanc founded the Communication Development Center in
Madison, Wisconsin, which has provided specialized
treatment for children and young adults with significant
communication needs, including delayed gestalt language
development, severe apraxia of speech, and whole body
dyspraxia. Over the last 23 years, Blanc has presented numerous workshops and
seminars on both topics. For 10 years, Blanc wrote regular articles and columns for the
Autism Asperger’s Digest, and she is the author of Natural Language Acquisition on the
Autism Spectrum: The Journey from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language (2012). All
her articles are available on her clinic's website:
www.communicatondevelopmentcenter.com. Blanc has presented at ASHA and Autism
Society conventions on gestalt language processing and dyspraxia, and her courses on
Natural Language Acquisition (NLA) are offered through Northern Speech Services.
- Founder and director of Communication Development Center, which receives
author and presenter royalties from Northern Speech Services for the book
Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: The Journey from
Echolalia to Self-Generated Language (2012) and two courses presenter by the
- Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation will go Communication
- Author of Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: The Journey
from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language (2012), in which the NLA protocol
discussed in this webinar was published
Lillian Stiegler, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders
at Southeastern Louisiana University. She has worked with individuals on the autism
spectrum for 38 years, most recently in the role of consultant for families, clinicians, and
school systems. She has published several articles on autism-related topics and has
contributed numerous conference presentations and continuing education workshops on
state and national levels. She served for many years on Louisiana’s State Autism Team and other regional working groups. She created Louisiana’s
first graduate CSD course on autism spectrum disorder and
continues to teach it each summer, incorporating a minicamp for children on the autism spectrum.
- Salaried professor at Southeastern Louisiana
- Financial compensation from ASHA for this
- Provides consultations to families and clinicians as a community service
Alexandria Zachos, MS, CCC-SLP, is a licensed SLP in the
state of Illinois and has been practicing since 2003. Over the
past 17 years, she has provided intervention for all ages in a
variety of clinical settings, including public schools, home
settings, acute care, and outpatient clinics. She received her
Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from MGH
Institute of Health Professions in Boston and her Bachelor’s
degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of
Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Zachos founded Social Butterfly
Inc. – a niche private practice specializing in the treatment of
stuttering, social communication, delayed echolalia, and
language – in 2009, and it has grown from a tiny summer program into a busy outpatient
clinic. Zachos presented at the ASHA Convention in 2017 and 2018 on Natural
Language Acquisition and delayed echolalia. In 2020, she developed the membership
site meaningfulspeech.com to help SLPs learn how to identify gestalt language
processors and treat delayed echolalia.
- Owner and paid employee of Social Butterfly Inc.
- Runs Meaningful Speech, a membership site where Social Butterfly Inc. receives
payment for education provided to member SLPs
- Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
- Provides free consultations to families and SLPs regarding delayed echolalia
Self-assessment—Think about what you learned and report on the Completion Form how you will use your new knowledge.
To earn continuing education credit, you must complete the learning assessment by the end date below.
Program History and CE Information
Content origination date: March 16, 2021
End date: March 16, 2026
This course is offered for 0.2