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  • Sydney AGOSCI National Tour Workshop Days 1 and 2

Sydney AGOSCI National Tour Workshop Days 1 and 2

  • 18 May 2023
  • (AEST)
  • 19 May 2023
  • (AEST)
  • 2 sessions
  • 18 May 2023, 9:00 AM 5:00 PM (AEST)
  • 19 May 2023, 8:30 AM 4:30 PM (AEST)
  • Ministry and Learning Centre, Morling College: 122 Herring Road Macquarie Park NSW 2113
  • 77


  • Discounted 2-day ticket
  • Discounted 2-day ticket.

Augmenting communication interactions for
early communicators of all ages


Practical AAC strategies for autistic early communicators

AGOSCI proudly presents
The combined 2-Day workshop of the
2023 National Tour


international guest presenter
Dr Cynthia Cress

Workshop 1 Overview - Augmenting interactions for early communicators of all ages

It can be difficult to plan Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) interventions for early communication interactions. Switches or symbols can be introduced into interactions for the earliest communicators, if they are used in ways that support and enhance the child’s or adult’s existing interaction strategies.

This 1-day workshop will present a variety of strategies for assessing and facilitating alternative and augmented communication in children and adults, from partner-based strategies to symbolic skills. This will include specific strategies for getting past situations where we may feel stuck or experience unexpected difficulties in meeting communication goals of early communicators and their partners.

The focus will be on multimodal interaction and meeting the communicative goals of the communicator and partner, rather than on matching specific modalities to people or purposes. Participants will apply information from the handouts and presentation to live demonstrations and videotaped samples of communication in a variety of children and adults with diverse communication needs.

Workshop 1 Learning Outcomes

  • Identify common sources of difficulty for AAC intervention with early communicators

  • Assess communication addressing a variety of functions, even among very early communicators

  • Plan communication goals in small and achievable steps for early communicators

  • Identify complications introduced for individuals who rely on AAC and their partners that differ from individuals who are primarily vocal communicators

  • Apply intervention strategies for planned early communication and symbolic goals including multiple behavioural and augmented modes

Workshop 2 Overview - Practical AAC strategies for autistic early communicators

The process of developing effective AAC can be complex for autistic communicators who may not often initiate social interactions with partners for shared communicative purposes. There are implications for intervention approaches that are applied to autistic individuals that differ in the focus on social/communication, language/cognitive, or behavioral/speech skills. Capitalizing on the strengths and limitations of each of these types of approaches can maximize the effectiveness of multimodal interventions and provide mechanisms for adapting intervention when breakdowns or limited progress occurs.

This workshop session will present a variety of strategies for assessing and facilitating early alternative and augmented communication in autistic children and adults, focusing on the development of person-directed and symbolic communication skills. We will include specific strategies for incorporating intervention strategies that take advantage of interactive strengths of autistic communicators, including AAC strategies that optimise visual, predictable, and social routine aspects of early interaction. Commonly used intervention approaches for autistic communicators will be compared and adapted systematically to address specific communication goals in video and live demonstrations. 

Workshop 2 Learning Outcomes

  • Identify common sources of difficulty for AAC intervention with early autistic communicators

  • Compare and contrast theoretical approaches and intervention models applied to autistic communicators

  • Plan communication goals in small and achievable steps for early autistic communicators

  • Identify strategies for working around complications introduced for autistic communicators who have complex communication needs

  • Apply intervention strategies for planned early communication and symbolic goals in autistic communicators 

Workshop Details

  • This registration gives you access to both workshops, for a 2-day learnig experience. 
  • These workshops must be attended in-person. A recording will not be available.
  • This workshop is fully catered with morning tea, lunch, and afternoon. Please ensure any special dietary requirements are listed in your registration.


Cynthia J. Cress, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

Dr. Cynthia Cress is an associate professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, specializing in language, AAC across the lifespan, and early intervention. She has provided workshops all over the USA and internationally helping professionals provide communication services to some of the more puzzling people on our caseloads –early communicators of all ages, autistic communicators, and children with a variety of diverse communication needs.

Dr. Cress researches patterns of communication in infants/toddlers with diverse communication needs, and has provided clinical service for children and adults who rely on AAC for 30 years. Her research has been to develop new communication assessment tools to screen and assess communication in very early communicators of all ages, including children and adults.

Cynthia brings a wealth of clinical as well as theoretical experience to her workshops about services for early communicators, and she loves to be interrupted with practical questions that help you provide better service tomorrow - like, “But I have a child who…”

Cancellation Policy

Registration is only confirmed upon full payment of fee. To access the discounted rate for members you must be logged into your AGOSCI member account prior to registration. 

Please note* all registrations incur a 3.5% paypal fee that can't be refunded

  • 96.5% refund until 60 days before event.
  • 46.5% refund between 8-59 days before event. 
  • No refunds within 0-7 days of event start date.

Applications for registrations are subject to final approval by AGOSCI to ensure fair and equal access to events across organisations. Waitlist registrations will be taken upon all positions being filled.

COVID Safety

If you are experiencing any cold/flu symptoms or don't feel well on the day, please support the safety of others by staying at home and not attending the workshop in person. 

If you are isolating due to COVID, please contact AGOSCI to discuss options for your registration which can include a partial refund, or transfer of registration to the LIVE online workshop dates. Email education@agosci.org.au to discuss further.


The information presented by Cynthia during the National Tour workshops represents the culmination of her expertise in both clinical and academic fields relating to AAC.

AGOSCI is an independent body. Information presented during the 2023 National Tour by Cynthia represents her own views, which may or may not align with AGOSCI's policies and philosophies. 

AGOSCI acknowledges the presence and contributions of all expertise and contributors to the Australian and international fields of communication diversity.

This workshop is proudly brought to you by AGOSCI


ABN 74 607 243 620
AO A0022584B

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