Achieving Independent Communication Skills
with Cindy and Grant Blasko
In this three-hour workshop, Cindy and Grant Blasko will share practical experiences in planning, practicing, and achieving various degrees of communication independence. By sharing video clips and outlining stages along the way, attendees will acquire understanding of achievable targets for personal improvement.
Topics of discussion include:
· Assessing current levels of independent communication
· Communication Partner and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) user skill development
o Interaction between the Communication Partner and AAC User
o Acknowledging and decreasing influence
o Building AAC user accountability
o Dynamic goal setting
o Efficient technique
o Portfolio building
· Signs of progression towards independence
· Common Obstacles and Strategies to Overcome Plateaus
· Incorporating Communication Supports into the Educational Setting
Registration includes a buffet luncheon at noon.
General public: $28
Autistic Individuals: $18
Grant Blasko is a ninth-grade autistic AAC user and honors student now living in Bellevue, Washington. He was introduced to Facilitated Communication in 2011, and then Rapid Prompting Method in 2012. Using these strategies as well as many additional AAC tactics, Grant developed the ability to independently type with a communication partner by June 2015. He is a budding author, public speaker, and advocate. After a childhood filled with sensory sensitivity and educational struggles, Grant now enjoys challenging academics, deep conversations, running, skiing, world travel, and is a self-described foodie.
Cynthia Blasko, PA, is the proud parent of three children with a medical-surgical background as a physician assistant. Since 2012, she has worked with public school districts to support children who type to communicate. First in Montgomery County, Maryland, and now in Bellevue, Washington, she has advocated, trained, coached, and collaborated with elementary, middle, and high school staff to support inclusion for children with complex communication needs. She does training for workshops and conferences both locally and nationally, and is also a co-founder of Connections through Communication, a monthly social forum that connects typers, families, educators, and therapists from the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas.