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SCERTS Part 2: The Social Communication Domain

presented by Barry M. Prizant, Amy Laurent & Emily Rubin

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Part two of this seven part series introduces the first domain of the SCERTS Model, Social Communication (SC). Participants will learn about SC as a core challenge for individuals diagnosed with ASD and how these challenges differ depending upon developmental stage, i.e., the Social Partner, the Language Partner, and the Conversational Partner. The neurodevelopmental basis of social communication is reviewed, as are the capacities of joint attention – why we communicate and symbol use – how we communicate. Participants are also introduced to critical transactional supports for each developmental stage – how we can help others communicate. Sample objectives used to address those challenges are also presented.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP

    Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP has more than 40 years experience as a clinical scholar, consultant, researcher and program consultant to children and older persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related developmental disabilities and their families. He is both the Director of Childhood Communication Services (CCS), a private practice, and an Adjunct Professor in the Artists and Scientists as Partners Group, Brown University. Barry has served as a tenured Professor of Communication Disorders at Southern Illinois University and Emerson College, where he developed specialty tracks in language disabilities and autism in the Master’s and Doctoral programs. He also was Founder and Director of the Communication Disorders Department at Bradley Hospital, with an Associate Professor Appointment in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Brown University Program in Medicine, and was an Advanced Post-Doctoral Fellow in Early Intervention at UNC-Chapel Hill. Barry has developed family-centered programs for newly diagnosed toddlers with social-communication disabilities and ASD and their families in hospital and university clinic settings, and consults widely to schools and agencies in New England as well and nationally and internationally, from early intervention through high school settings. He has published more than 120 articles and chapters on autism, childhood communication disorders and child development, has given more than 700 seminars and workshops at national and international conferences and has served on the Editorial Board of six scholarly journals and writes a regular column for Autism Spectrum Quarterly. Barry has received widespread recognition and many honors in his career. He was an invited speaker at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day (April, 2013) and received the Divine Neurotypical Award of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (www.grasp.org), for contributions to improving quality of life for persons with autism spectrum disorders. Barry also was the recipient of the 2005 Princeton University Eden Foundation Award for career contributions in autism, Fellowship in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association Clinical Achievement Award on two occasions.

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  • Amy Laurent, PhD, OTR/L

    Amy Laurent, Ph.D., OTR/L is a developmental psychologist and a registered pediatric occupational therapist. Currently in private practice, Amy specializes in the education of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related developmental disabilities. The majority of Amy’s work involves collaborating with and supporting early intervention teams, school teams, and families. Her consultative services focus on the creation of educational programs and environments that facilitate children’s active engagement and learning at home, in schools, and throughout their communities. The SCERTS Model, of which she is a coauthor, along with differentiated instruction and developmental theory guide her practice. Amy is an adjunct faculty member for the School of Education at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI. She teaches courses focused on Research Methodology for educators. Previously, she has served as an adjunct faculty member for the Communication Disorders Department at Emerson College and at the University of Rhode Island. In these roles, she developed graduate courses focused on preparing clinicians to meet the needs of children with autism, as well as the needs of their families. Amy’s current research interests involve examining the relationship between characteristics of young children diagnosed with Autism and strategies used by parents to support them within the context of natural routines and play. Her publications focus on social communication and emotional regulation in individuals diagnosed with ASD. She frequently lectures and provides training throughout the United States and internationally on the SCERTS Model, and other topics related to therapeutic and educational intervention for children with ASD.

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  • Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP

    Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP is the Director of the Educational Outreach Program at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, GA, an affiliate of Emory University and an NIH Autism Center of Excellence. She is a speech-language pathologist specializing in autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and related social learning disabilities. As a former adjunct faculty member and lecturer at Yale University, she served as a member of their Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic. She has also served as an instructor for the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts where she has developed courses to prepare graduate level students for addressing the needs of children with autism and their families. More recently, she has joined the team at the Marcus Autism Center, affiliated with Emory University, as an educational outreach specialist. Her publications have focused on early identification of autism, contemporary intervention models, and programming guidelines for high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. She recently participated as a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Ad Hoc Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a committee charged with developing guidelines related to the role of speech-language pathologists in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of ASD. She lectures internationally and provides consultation to educational programs serving children and adolescents with autism and related developmental disorders.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. The SC of SCERTS

    1. The SC of SCERTS

    Chapter one emphasizes the importance of Social Communication as a domain of SCERTS due to broad ranging impact that progress in Social Communication has on many areas of functioning. The components of SC are presented, and the multi-modal nature of SC in SCERTS is explained.

  2. SC at the Social Partner Stage

    2. SC at the Social Partner Stage

    Chapter two examines SC for children who have not yet developed symbolic communication. Common SR challenges at this stage of development, as well as critical priorities for goal selection are introduced. Finally, developmentally appropriate transactional supports for learners at this stage of development are discussed.

  3. SC at the Language Partner Stage

    3. SC at the Language Partner Stage

    This chapter examines SC for children who are early language learners. Common SC challenges at this stage of development, as well as critical priorities for goal selection are introduced. Finally, developmentally appropriate transactional supports for learners at this stage of development are discussed.

  4. SC at the Conversational Partner Stage

    4. SC at the Conversational Partner Stage

    The final chapter of this course examines SC for children who use creative language and are conversational. Common SC challenges at this stage of development, as well as critical priorities for goal selection are introduced. Finally, developmentally appropriate transactional supports for learners at this stage of development are discussed.