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​​"Thinking in Speech"
Promoting Independent Problem Solving in
Children with ASD

Presented by
Janice Nathan, M.S., CCC-SLP

Friday, May 30, 2014
9:30am - 12:30pm

Autism Connection of PA Community Education Room
35 Wilson Street, Suite 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15223
412-781-4116 or 800-827-9385

About our Speaker
Janice Nathan is a certified speech-language pathologist and owner of Nathan Speech Services. Janice works with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) providing individual speech and language therapy as well as social skills therapy. Her area of expertise is cognitive processing of language and its effect on child development, interpersonal relationships and learning. Janice's interest and unique language intervention approach in this area developed as a result of growing up with a brother and a mother with ASD.

Speaker Disclosure

Financial: Janice Nathan is owner of Nathan Speech Services and has a financial stake in promotion of Nathan Speech Services. She also provides consulting services with Family Behavioral Resources and is a Clinical Supervisor with University of Pittsburgh's Communication Sciences and Disorders Program and receives compensation for her services.
Nonfinancial: Professional Advisory Council and Facilitator for Family Members of Teens and Adults on the Spectrum Support Group for Autism Connection of PA; Advisory Council for Parents in Toto Autism Resource Center; Member of International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) and receives no compensation for these roles.

Program Description
The ability to "think in speech" is critical for flexible behavior and cognition, and is the foundation for effective self-regulation (Vygotsky, 1987). Over time, children develop the ability to regulate their own behavior by engaging in dialogue with themselves, in the absence of others. Evidence is emerging that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have diminished or underdeveloped inner speech (Williams et al., 2012). Individuals with ASD engage in relatively little of the early communicative exchanges that are considered critical for the formation of verbal thinking. This presentation will describe a language intervention approach designed to facilitate independent problem-solving through the development of inner speech. As children begin to employ "inner speech" in their daily environment, the ability to pause, plan and reflect increases which are pre-requisite skills needed for social and academic success. The presentation will describe: Pre-cursor strategies to promote readiness for inner speech problem-solving. The research-based problem-solving framework used to help children with ASD develop inner speech for problem-solving; and applications of inner speech for developing emotional control. In addition, the presentation will go over findings of a research study which compared this language intervention to "traditional" speech-language therapy with respect to developing the ability to ask for help at home and at school when faced with a task deemed stressful or challenging.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this program, participants should be able to:
1. Identify typical and atypical language development in children with ASD.
2. Explain the three stages of learning and its importance for writing language goals for children with ASD.
3. Apply strategies specifically designed to promote independent thinking for problem solving in children with ASD.

The following credits will be offered:
Act 48, Social Workers, ASHA, AOTA, Act 62 (pending)