2-Day Virtual POPARD Super Workshop
March 4 & 5, 2021 9am-3pm
Communication: Supporting Minimally Verbal Students in the School Setting
It is estimated that about 30% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are minimally verbal. Having a means of effective communication is an essential life skill that supports positive behaviour, academic achievement, and quality of life. Is my student minimally verbal? How can I support their communication skills? Should they be using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this 2-day interactive workshop. By the end of the workshop, participants will feel prepared to support communication skills in the areas of social interaction, expression, and understanding in individuals along the spectrum.

Participants will:
  • Understand how the characteristics of ASD relate to communication development
  • Define the terms minimally verbal, echolalia, scripting, interaction, expression, understanding
  • Understand how interaction, expression and understanding are inter-related
  • Discuss the skills needed to be a successful communicator and the reasons we communicate
  • Define joint attention and understand its relationship to developing interaction skills
  • Recognize the importance of motivation, reinforcement and rapport building when teaching communication skills
  • Differentiate between interaction, expression, and understanding strategies, and how to apply them to the classroom setting
  • Discuss how to involve peers to support students’ interaction, expression and understanding
  • Understand how AAC supports expression
  • Explore and practice using paper-based AAC materials
  • Compare and contrast messages using a communication (theme) board and a core board
  • Recognize the pros and cons of using PECS and Sign Language
  • Identify commonly used voice-output AAC devices
  • Label the prompt hierarchy for using AAC and discuss its significance
  • Understand and explore how using visuals can support understanding
  • Practice implementing a task analysis to complete a math worksheet and analyze potential adaptations
  • Recognize the difference between using the first/then (Premack) principle and a visual schedule, and between using choice time and break time
  • Create a communication intervention plan for a student they know
Audience: This training is directed toward employees of BC school districts and independent schools. This includes teachers, paraprofessionals, and other educational staff supporting students with ASD at any grade level (K-12) in developing their social, academic, and adaptive skills.

March 4 - 5, 2021

POPARD Virtual Workshop

, BC

Open Map in new window

Registration for this event has closed.
Contact Denise Reid by email at

online registration system provided by: PlanetReg
©2021 Hemko Systems Corp. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.