AAC, Literacy & the SLP

AACES Conference 2023 Session

AAC for Non-Speaking, Early-Stage Gestalt Language Processors: A Collaborative Journey Between a Parent & SLP

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Join parent Shubha Balabaer and speech therapist Natalie Kimmelman Maroni as they share how they've created an authentic AAC experience for Shubha's 3 year old non-speaking child through individualized gestalt selections, multi-modal modeling, and organizing Speak for Yourself in a way that allows for growth through NLA stages 1, 2 and 3. They share how virtual parent coaching has allowed them to collaborate and innovate to create something truly individualized and integrated into the child's daily life. They will also discuss the many ways the child uses their AAC beyond expressive language. 


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  • Natural & engaging webinar
  • Full year of on-demand access
  • CMH/PDH Certificate 
  • Online classroom community 
  • Links to resources

GLP & AAC connections.

Learn how to create an  authentic AAC experience through individualized gestalt selections, multi-modal modeling, and creative device organization. 
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Parent & SLP partnerships. 

Gain perspective on how virtual parent coaching can be used to collaborate and innovate, creating individualized and and integrated communication skill growth. 
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What You'll Learn

 As a result of attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

1. List three considerations when determining what individualized gestalts to model for a primarily non-speaking, stage 1 communicator.
2.  List three ways to organize the AAC to allow for natural growth into Stage 2 and Stage 3.
3.  Describe three functions of AAC exploration, including traditional definitions of “babbling”.
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Continuing Education Credit

This course offers eligible students a total of
1 certification maintenance hour (CMH)

Learn more about CMH/PDH  (versus CEU's or continuing education units) on your course syllabus and on our CEU Page.  All learners are encouraged to confirm that this course meets the requirements of their licensing board before purchasing.  
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Meet YOUR instructorS

Shubha Balabaer

Shubha Balabaer is Director of Operations for MediaJustice and an engineer, but in this context is also parent to an incredible 3 year old, non-speaking, autistic, gestalt processor. Perhaps as a consequence of the pandemic - Shubha and partner Daniel have thrown themselves into deep learning to support their autistic toddler, including deciding to get an AAC device and go at it themselves when their child was about 20 months old. They have done meaningful speech training, been heavily involved in Marge Blanc's NLA Facebook group and the Facebook group for AAC and Gestalt Processing. And thankfully, they met Natalie Kimmelman Maroni who has supported them in making sure what they did was appropriate for a Gestalt Language Processor. Shubha also blogs on Facebook to share how AAC supports their child's communication - "The North Star and the Compass".
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Natalie Kimmelman Maroni, MA, CCC-SLP/TSLD

Natalie Kimmelman Maroni, MA, CCC-SLP/TSLD is a Brooklyn-based speech-language pathologist who received her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from New York University and her B.A. from Columbia University. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCCs) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
(ASHA), her New York State Speech-Language Pathology license, and her certificate as a Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities (TSLD). As a private practitioner and co-owner of Small Steps Big Leaps, Natalie has worked extensively with autistic children and adolescents, as well as clients with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), Fragile X Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Angelman Syndrome, and others with complex communication needs. Natalie collaborates closely with families and school-based teams to support users of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) systems and devices. Natalie is trained in NLA (Natural Language Acquisition), PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) technique, DTTC (Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing) and DIR-Floortime approaches. On a personal note, Natalie has a great brother and a great kid who are both gestalt language processors and are just starting to use gestalts with each other! Natalie is passionate about combining evidence-based practice and respectful, creative child-led play, and about working with children and families together to achieve meaningful goals for authentic communication.
Patrick Jones - Course author
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Patrick Jones - Course author