Language Use and Generativity in Complex Communicators

One goal of communication is to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences spontaneously and flexibly. However, some individuals – including those who use augmentative and alternative communication – experience barriers. This project seeks to better understand communication needs and identify best fit interventions.

Scholarships and Activities

Supporting early vocabulary development for children who require AAC: The role of “core” words and other considerations. The Institute’s Distinguished Speaker Series (Emily Laubscher, The Pennsylvania State University, May 2021)


Empowering expression in children with complex communication needs: A framework of differentiated supports. CCCBSD Professional Development (Adrienne Koenig & Dana Peterson, May 2021)

Unlocking the language in the script: Empowering communication through echolalia. Adrienne Koenig & Dana Peterson, Foundation for Children with Special Needs (March 2021) and CCCBSD Professional Development (May 2021)

Deep Dive Workshop on Language Development in AAC Users (CCCBSD Professional Development, Spring 2020)

Using AAC and ASL with deaf and hard of hearing students. The Institute’s Distinguished Speaker Series (Elizabeth Rose & Nicole Salamy, Boston Children’s Hospital, December 2019)


Multisensory integration: Exploring brain science to inform practice. The Institute’s Distinguished Speaker Series (Susan Gibbons, Boston Children’s Hospital, & Szarkowski, May 2019)


Pitfalls of presuming competence: Considerations in working with children with communication challenges. The Institute’s Distinguished Speaker Series (Rebecca McCarthy & Katie O’Neil, Boston Children’s Hospital Augmentative Communication Program, January 2019)