Presenter: Marge Blanc, MA, CCC-SLP
This course is the first in the 3-course NLA series. It is suggested that learners complete these 3 courses in sequence.
This NLA Level 1 Course describes the linguistics of echolalia in language development, starting with the use of large units of meaning known as language gestalts. It compares the gestalt language processing of neurotypical children with that of autistic children. It reviews research on the communicative use of echolalia, and addresses the differences between autistic echolalia in the past and in the present.
This course discusses the natural stages of language development from Stage 1 (communicative echolalia) to Stages 4-6 (self-generated grammar) in individuals who are gestalt language processors, and focuses on supporting autistic children as they move through the stages. Described will be a protocol for assessing spontaneous language in autistic children, determining the stages of language development, and deriving appropriate language development goals.
Offered for 0.3 ASHA CEUs – 3 contact hours.
Course Overview – Run Time: 3:06:44
"I absolutely loved every aspect of this course. It has opened my eyes to the whole world of natural language acquisition, Gestalt language processing. A must for all SLPs. Thank you so much!"
– A.H., prior course participant
"This course sets the clinician up for success to be able to start ax & tx right away with gestalt processors. Very practical information with precise examples to refer back to as you start working with a new client."
– J.D., prior course participant
The presenter of this course is also the author of the text, "Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: The Journey from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language" that is mentioned as part of this course. The presenter does not benefit financially from the sale of this book, however, the non-profit center, Communication Development Center (CDC), for which the presenter is founder and director, does receive royalties.
Video PowerPoint presentation with author narration & downloadable handout. Stop and re-start the course at any point. Learners retain access to course content after completion for ongoing reference and review.
"I like the encouragement and reminders to analyze and look more closely at echolalic function and how to support language development." K.A. (Dec. 2022)
"I gained and understanding of the progression of language development through each stage. This gives me an excellent framework and targets for each stage. I felt that the language sample charts were really helpful in seeing where a child is at in terms of the different stages." M.J. (Nov. 2022)
"Lots of examples of language samples and how therapy progressed. I like the strong theoretical and practical foundations, along with research history." J.A. (Nov. 2022)
"All of this was useful because I didn't know a lot about gestalt learning." E.A. (Nov. 2022)
"I like the ability to move at your own pace." M.C. (Nov. 2022)
"I learned that it is important not to rush a child to the next level before they are ready. I like that it gives some structure to language development for children with echolalia." K.B. (Nov. 2022)
"All topics are good. Developing skills to observe and understand Gestalt processors learning a tool for assessing Gestalt processors learning, and a way to explain natural language acquisition by children to their caregivers." N.M. (Nov. 2022)
"Breaking down each stage of NLA and using language samples was very extremely beneficial to help me understand better what level my students are at." A.H. (Nov. 2022)
"The information was very clear." J.F. (Nov. 2022)
"I like the pace." R.A. (Nov. 2022)
"The information about mitigating long gestalts into phrases and recombining will be beneficial to my daily practice. I enjoyed learning about how some individuals hear single words while some individuals hear sound contours." R.H. (Nov. 2022)
"Recognizing that ASD children with echolalia may be using the same language acquisition strategies as typically developing children who are demonstrating jargon." M.F. (Nov. 2022)
"The slides had a lot of information and the presentation went into depth on each slide." T.D. (Nov. 2022)
"Understanding the stages of language development in NLA and how to approach treatment was good." L.W. (Nov. 2022)
"It was interesting to consider neurotypicals and divergent children as passing through the same language stages at different times. I like the convenience and ease of the course. I will be able to benefit from her lifetime body of work." K.K. (Nov. 2022)
"Using the language sample model across multiple sessions will be beneficial. The pace was great." C.F. (Nov. 2022)
"Great introduction to the NLA process. Very helpful information." J.H. (Oct. 2022)
"The NLA stages, assessment, and application of goals were beneficial to my daily practice. I like the detailed examples with students on caseload." K.U. (Oct. 2022)
"Differentiating between treatment approaches between analytical and gestalt language processors was good information. I like the examples." B.S. (Oct. 2022)
"The references to the presenter's personal experience/stories made the information relatable. Very complete and applicable novel information to me; exciting." K.W. (Oct. 2022)
"I like the real world examples." D.A. (Oct. 2022)
"The assessment for gestalt language learners is applicable for much of my caseload and extremely important to understand." R.L. (Oct. 2022)
"A new way to look at the gestalt language processor. So glad to know this new info and share it!" D.D. (Oct. 2022)
"The clarity of the course and examples were helpful." D.B. (Oct. 2022)
"There are specific examples of language samples." V.S. (Oct. 2022)
"The course has clear descriptions of stages." S.H. (Oct. 2022)
"Assessing the stages through language samples and Marge's comment to keep many language samples to track progress were beneficial for my daily practice." S.L. (Oct. 2022)
"The course was informative. Learning more on treatment for Gestalt Language Processors." M.B. (Oct. 2022)
"I liked the SLP's personal experience as examples throughout each stage. And learning the stages of teaching functional language." E.B. (Oct. 2022)
"Easy to follow, broken into manageable sections." L.B. (Oct. 2022)
"Lots of examples with good relevance." K.R. (Oct. 2022)
"I liked how there was research included to back up the information presented." A.H. (Oct. 2022)
"My new assignment includes 3 SDC classes serving children in grades K-5. Now I can see there are children in all stages of Gestalt language processing." K.R. (Oct. 2022)
"Love that this type of language learning is finally coming to light!" A.P. (Oct. 2022)
"I liked the examples and the reality of older children not being able to get to the more complex stages of the language grammar." N.O. (Sept. 2022)
"I love the means of language sampling and will be using this in my practice. This framework has given me a whole new way of thinking about how to assess, write goals for, and teach grammatical language in practice." K.J. (Sept. 2022)
"I appreciated how it was divided into smaller consumable sections." A.D. (Sept. 2022)
"Everything in this course was beneficial to me. They did not teach most of this in grad school." L.G. (Sept. 2022)
"I appreciated the insight into the stages of gestalt language development, assessment, and intervention." M.L. (Sept. 2022)
"I have a better understanding of Echolalia now. I enjoyed the stories about the children the presenter worked with in her research and seeing their progress." K.M. (Sept. 2022)
"The stages of NLA and the general understanding of this form of language development were good." T.L. (Sept. 2022)
"I liked how the course was separated into sections." K.A. (Sept. 2022)
"The dialogue examples were useful." A.B. (Sept. 2022)
"I now have a better understanding of gestalt language as something more than “just echolalia.” H.K. (Sept. 2022)
"The course was very informative." L.W. (Sept. 2022)
"I liked the topic about how to assess children on our caseloads and modeling more mitigatable phrases for them." T.R. (Sept. 2022)
"I have been very interested in NLA and this course was a great introduction. I liked that it was provided by Marge Blanc, had a strong research base, and was very practical." H.D. (Sept. 2022)
"I liked that it was self-paced and that I am able to re-view the course as often as needed." C.H. (Sept. 2022)
"I like that it's broken into sections and has lots of examples." J.P. (Sept. 2022)
"I am thrilled to have a developmental model to follow when assessing language development for my students who are gestalt language learners. I enjoyed seeing examples of language sampling and the straightforward presentation of the material." N.G. (Sept. 2022)
"I like that I can go back to the part I did not understand and go into depth to other part that I may have doubts." D.C. (Aug. 2022)
"All of this is new information for me and I'm so excited to implement NLA with several of my clients. I like that I can implement this into my practice immediately." N.P. (Aug. 2022)
"I work with many children with ASD and this course will affect how I teach them language. The course was well-organized and even difficult concepts were explained in detail." W.F. (Aug. 2022)
"The topics were all extremely beneficial to me. The instructor was passionate and engaging and had a good combination of research and anecdotal information to teach us." G.V. (Aug. 2022)
"The course clarified the topic for me." K.J. (Aug. 2022)
"I like the info it provided about a new topic." A.M. (Aug. 2022)
"I found the review of Natural Language acquisition vs. Typical Language Development helpful as it pertains to assessment and intervention with both neurotypical and ASD gestalt language processors. I liked the practicality of learning about how to mitigate a child's echolalia as a support to continuously building grammar and ultimately self-generated, meaningful utterances." M.D. (Aug. 2022)
"The flexibility in completing the course was nice." J.T. (Aug. 2022)
"The different steps you can take to turn echolalic speech into functional language were good to learn." H.P. (Aug. 2022)
"I liked the handouts and the presenter's knowledge." S.T. (Aug. 2022)
"It was nice to stop and continue as needed, going at my own pace." K.C.-M. (Aug. 2022)
"Marge is very passionate about this topic." K.W. (Aug. 2022)
"I liked the way the information is organized." B.K. (Aug. 2022)
"This course sets the clinician up for success to be able to start ax & tx right away with gestalt processors. Very practical information with precise examples to refer back to as you start working with a new client." J.D. (Aug. 2022)
"I benefitted from learning about the origins of GLP, and how it compares to ALPs. I appreciate how the presenter de-stigmatizes GLPs." A.T. (Aug. 2022)
"This course gave a framework that can be used in practice." A.P.-S. (Aug. 2022)
"The knowledge of ASD communication and how to better support this population was good." L.O. (Aug. 2022)
"The use of language samples to illustrate the NLA stages was very helpful." J.S. (Aug. 2022)
"Overall topic was of interest for my caseload and my own daughter." (Aug. 2022)
"I like the outline, the visual paired with the lecture." E.E. (Aug. 2022)
"The easy access and that it's available for us to continue with the program at our own rhythm is great!" M.F. (Aug. 2022)
"I loved how in assessment that it was reiterated several times that this could take a month. It is so important to get this right as to where to go with therapy." K.C. (Aug. 2022)
"Learning the different stages and assessment was beneficial. I liked the ability to access the course online, and go at my own pace." W.H. (Aug. 2022)
"Marge is engaging & provided information to reshape my therapy sessions with students who are echolalic." S.S. (July 2022)
"Each section was clearly explained and the examples from children were extremely helpful." N.S. (July 2022)
"I liked the real life examples." M.D. (July 2022)
"Good and important topic." C.T. (July 2022)
"The assessment portion was very helpful and the content was relevant." F.H. (July 2022)
"I like the discussion regarding how to do the assessment and how to do the detective work to figure out the stages that are observed. I also liked the language samples. Having not done this before, it was helpful to see examples of each of the stages." M.K. (July 2022)
"The process of language development section was informative and I loved how Marge reminds us that until we know a child is not using language, we cannot call him/her "nonverbal." I also found the assessment and treatment sections beneficial for starting to think about where to go with my students who are echolalic. Also, it was easy to follow, I loved the notes to follow along and the usefulness of the content." L.C. (July 2022)
"The Information related to NLA, the stages of NLA and how to integrate those stages into treatment/practice were good." T.O. (July 2022)
"The course is very informative" V.L. (July 2022)
"Seeing examples of how to score a language sample to determine stages of NLA was very helpful. Both examples and research background were helpful." L.O. (July 2022)
"The examples and language samples were easy to learn from." N.C. (July 2022)
"The entire presentation will be beneficial for my daily practice because I work with many gestalt language learners who do or do not have a diagnosis of ASD. I like that I can reference the course again when I need a refresher and that I am able to see the slides and videos at my own pace." M.P. (July 2022)
"The discussion around the Stages of Development of language with the addition of the stages for the Gestalt learner was of particular interest to me. I appreciated the review of prior research and language acquisition across neurotypical and ASD children." L.A. (July 2022)
"The examples were very helpful to my understanding of how to progress a child's language development and how to assess their language sample." S.B. (July 2022)
"The stories about students, the research highlighted, recognition that SLPs need to take their place on teams to assist children were great!" T.H. (July 2022)
"I found the stages of natural language development most helpful. It is interesting to see the grammatical breakdown of utterances. I like the pace, organization and ease of navigating through the slides." J.S. (July 2022)
"Loved the assessment portion, the breakdown of stages and specifically the information about grammar and getting to single words. I like the content, and the fact that I could take it on my time." E.K. (July 2022)
"The background into the research that has already been done. I had not learned about this in graduate school, but I think it is so important as many of the students I have worked with seemed to have been gestalt language processors. I wish I had been taught this in graduate school instead of doing therapy that was just reinforcing gestalts and not offering opportunities for spontaneous language to occur." A.Y. (July 2022)
"I think understanding how the echolalia becomes mitigated and potentially how to use that more functionally during therapy will be beneficial." A.R. (July 2022)
"I absolutely loved every aspect of this course. In particular language foundation and the research articles. Case Examples too. I loved the course, was very flexible and beautifully explained by the presenter. Loved the pace and helped me rewind whenever I wanted to. The handouts offered with the course makes it easier to refer and stay on topic. It has opened my eyes to the whole world of Natural language acquisition, Gestalt language processing. A must for all SLPs. Thank you so much!" A.H. (July 2022)
"I enjoyed the in depth discussion and examples of NLA, gestalts and functions of echolalia. The examples of language samples and scoring was very beneficial. In depth discussion of how autistic children learn language and that all echolalia is functional. I look forward to being able to use the NLA assessment protocol to assess my autistic learners and also begin teaching new phrases." J.B. (July 2022)
"Learning about Gestalt language processing in general - this was not something we really touched on in schooling." B.G. (July 2022)
"I like the life examples." B.M. (June 2022)
"The dedication of the speaker was great!" K.S. (June 2022)
"I loved the specific examples and the breakdowns of language samples." J.D'C (June 2022)
"I loved the practical examples provided and the language samples taken from real clients. It made the information much easier to conceptualize." K.W. (June 2022)
"A super interesting course that helped me expand my resources to support the communication and language of autistic children. I would only hope that one day it would have a Spanish translation option. I liked the research sources and the exposition of real cases about the boys Marge worked with." A.M. (June 2022)
"I learned a lot more in depth about echolalia." M.I. (June 2022)
"The speaker was concise." D.G. (June 2022)
"I appreciated the assessment piece, as well as the very real examples of what NLA language samples look like." K.U. (June 2022)
"How language acquisition and pragmatic skills develop simultaneously and how treatment activities facilitate this acquisition." T.C. (June 2022)
"I have a lot of students who are gestalt language processors. This course is very applicable to my work. I always have found it challenging working on with these children. The speaker provided a good explanation about the gestalt language processing and analytic language processing which I was not exposed to this information in the grad school." T.H. (June 2022)
"The patient/case study examples with language sample analysis provided to model her discussion were great! Thorough examples and discussion of meaning." J.T. (June 2022)
"The entire course will be beneficial for me as I begin to assess and treat my GLP's! Marge is wonderful to listen to. She explains things so simply, yet eloquently. Great presenter and great notes to follow along with, and make notes on. This course is the foundation for the next two courses in NLA." S.P. (June 2022)
"The representor's content is impactful on a daily basis." J.A. (June 2022)
"I like the pace and relevant information." L.U. (June 2022)
"I liked that I could do it at my own pace and go back if needed." M.S. (June 2022)
"I liked that it was separated into sections. This helped to break it up and take pauses, if needed. Of course the content was great, too." T.J. (June 2022)
"I like that it has self-paced modules." N.C. (June 2022)
"I like that it had lots of repetition of key info throughout each component of the course." J.S. (June 2022)
"The explanation of how to model language for gestalt language processors based on their existing gestalts were beneficial. I appreciated the background information, as well as the useful information that can be applied to practice." J.W. (June 2022)
"Easy to navigate the modules, great topic and useful in my practice." R.W. (June 2022)
"Can watch at my convenience, pause, come back to it, preview assessment." M.M. (June 2022)
"I found the assessment and treatment strategies easy to understand and implement. I like that it validated how I viewed echolalia and treated it as communication. It gave me better strategies on how to help develop more functional lang and grammar in gestalt language users." K.K. (June 2022)
"I enjoyed learning about the process of language development in gestalt processors. The presenter was easy to listen to and presented the information in an easy to understand way." M.M. (June 2022)
"Learning about the different stages and how to progress from echolalic/gestalt speech to more single words, phrases, etc. Also learning how to integrate this stages into practice and how to help others foster the language development. liked that we were provided with a handout to follow along with and there were personal/clinical examples brought in to the presentation (real-life examples)." H.P. (June 2022)
"It provided information that I can implement right away." C.B. (June 2022)
"I think the assessment analysis and examples will be helpful." H.H. (June 2022)
"This was so enlightening and made so much sense! I appreciated the history, detail and examples provided. I will use this and also apply to AAC aspects of my practice. I appreciated the examples given throughout!" K.N. (May 2022)
"Gestalt Language Processing or Natural Language Acquisition was not something I was readily taught in graduate school and I need this information for my NLA clients! Marge followed her outline and visual supports well, and encouraged the participant that they could do it!" S.S. (May 2022)
"This provided me insight into how to work w/ a young child on my caseload who presents w/ echolalia." C.S. (May 2022)
"This course makes so much sense that I can't believe it's the first time I'm learning about this. Using these strategies has totally changed the way that I relate with parents and children who are gestalt language processors in my daily practice." L.W. (May 2022)
"I really like this topic – it's been so eye-opening to helping me understand the language development profiles of my clients." E.C. (May 2022)
"I LOVE the way this will help me help my ASD students learn more communicative language!!! I'm so excited to get started!" R.W. (May 2022)
"I appreciated the more in-depth discussion of sequence of learning that happens." A.S. (May 2022)
"Useful to apply to my students and their language development and states." R.K. (May 2022)
"This completely changes my perspective on what echolalia and scripting are. I now understand what purpose they serve and feel like I can rework MANY plans of care to better fit the needs of my patients. The instructor made the content easy to understand by providing examples and repeating information to solidify learning." K.D. (Apr. 2022)
"I have been looking for a course about echolalia and how to best support my autistic patients in growing language skills from echolalia, and this course was perfect! I liked the steps of language development in NLA provided and the examples of assessment and treatment." M.M. (Apr. 2022)
"The process of teaching gestalt language learners language was helpful, as I have multiple echolalic children who I work with now." L.F. (Apr. 2022)
"Learning the NLA Stages so as to understand what language I can model to help children to the next stage was beneficial for my daily practice." E.J. (Apr. 2022)
"The Assessment section and background of the framework are beneficial for my practice. I like the straightforward presentation of materials." L.M. (Apr. 2022)
"I liked that the course is self-paced." K.K. (Apr. 2022)
"The course is systematically structured, easy to follow and understand." M.L. (Apr. 2022)
"Great examples! I like hearing about the author's personal experiences." D.B. (Apr. 2022)
"Looking at echolalia more closely as intent, and working with staff who are around our students all day to help work collaboratively to increase our student's ability to communicate is beneficial for my practice." K.S. (April 2022)
"I like Marge Blanc's style, examples, and depth of knowledge." R.C. (Apr. 2022)
"Makes sense and gives me guidance in how to assign language goals for these kids and how to understand their language and help them progress." S.G. (Apr. 2022)
"This course made me look at language development through an entirely new lens. I feel rejuvenated in my treatment of language development for gestalt language learners." L.T. (Apr. 2022)
"I was not familiar with the Gestalt learner. This course explained how they learn." D.C. (Mar. 2022)
"It was easy to follow. The assessment section was especially helpful." T.R. (Mar. 2022)
"Recognizing echolalia as a path to better overall language." S.H. (Mar. 2022)
"This was very informative and very interesting to follow." A.D. (Mar. 2022)
"I found the assessment and background knowledge (development) most beneficial. I liked the examples." M.P. (Mar. 2022)
"I liked that I have a little bit of all the areas to get started and that makes me feel slightly more prepared to work with my students tomorrow. I also really appreciated the comment about how we cannot call our unintelligible students 'non verbal'." A.A. (Mar. 2022)
"I liked the evidence for letting children learn through their scripts, and for letting parents feel more comfortable about what is going on when their child scripts." J.B. (Mar. 2022)
"I am really interested in how to change my intervention style when working with a GLP. Excellent information that I can apply immediately to my practice." J.R. (Mar. 2022)
"The examples of different gestalt language processors are beneficial because I realized that another one of my students does this. The course clearly laid out the stages that students move through." E.B. (Mar. 2022)
"This applies to a particular student that I have been trying to figure out and will help me teach his team and create a better therapy plan for him." A.W. (Mar. 2022)
"I liked the manner in which it was presented with specific examples and consistent review of what was previously explained." S.C. (Mar. 2022)
"ALL OF IT was beneficial... especially how to move through each stage and when to move through them. Easily digestible and interesting tying the older research to newer information." J.S. Mar. 2022)
"I better understand why children use gestalt language and how that language can be mitigated in order to help them become more flexible in their language use. I like the examples of utterances from actual children and how to assess them." J.G. (Feb. 2022)
"I like how it was broken up into manageable sections. I also loved the illustrations. They helped me understand some of the concepts better." C.P. (Feb. 2022)
"I appreciated the presenter's delivery. It was very clear and engaging." L.K.-L. (Feb. 2022)
"I am working with several individuals that I plan to start assessment with right away! I found the assessment and treatment information very helpful. I like that I can assess without necessarily making extra purchases for specific tests/ tools based on what I learned." J.F. (Feb. 2022)
"The whole course was very beneficial. I have a high number of gestalt processors on my caseload. I will start taking language samples next week!" H.C. (Feb. 2022)
"Learning how to use a child's gestalts to help the child generate novel language." M.H. (Feb. 2022)
"I liked learning language development through the lens of NLA. Course is easy to access and listen to." A.S. (Feb. 2022)
"I liked the breakdown of language development in both typical and neurotypical children." M.K. (Feb. 2022)
"Now that I understand that many of the children that I see are using gestalts, rather than give them scripts to use like I have seen before, I can help them mitigate their gestalts into new phrases. I liked that Marge used real examples to help us to understand what the levels of language development might look like." C.J. (Jan. 2022)
"Going through the stages helps me to better understand where my clients are developmentally and how I can better model language during our sessions! I loved the content and thought the course was engaging and easy to follow." E.F. (Jan. 2022)
"I have been learning about NLA, and this was a good review before I dive into the next two stages." Y.S. (Jan. 2022)
"I have read the NLA book, so was looking forward to hearing more re: the ax and tx components of the presentation." M.S. (Jan. 2022)
"I appreciate the break down of gestalts. I feel like I may be able to figure out how to use them, however, many of my clients aren't even at this level yet." N.M. (Jan. 2022)
"Marge is SO passionate about this and it shows through her enthusiasm, quality descriptions and dedication to our gestalt language processors." M.H. (Jan. 2022)
"The course is very informative and easy to understand." A.S. (Jan. 2022)
"ALL OF THE COURSE WAS BENEFICIAL! I wish more families, clinicians, specialists, interventionists were required to take this course." L.A.H. (Jan. 2022)
"I need to mull this over a bit more but it really helps to re-frame echolalia for me. I now have a better idea of what to do with it beyond interpreting the underlying message, accepting it as communication, etc. I liked that I could do it at my own pace." L.H. (Jan. 2022)
"I love self-paced courses and having examples to apply to the knowledge and information presented." S.G. (Jan. 2022)
"It was very informative and helpful for both assessment and treatment. I liked the organization and handouts for future referencing." J.S. (Dec. 2021)
"I found the topic regarding evaluation of Natural Language Acquisition to be the most beneficial for my daily practice. I found the stages of development of Natural Language Acquisition extremely interesting and useful for evaluation and treatment." E.C. (Dec. 2021)
"It was most informative and very well presented." S.J. (Dec. 2021)
"ALL OF THE COURSE. IT'S AMAZING" A.H. (Dec. 2021)
"I enjoyed the clear break down of each level of development. Thank you so much for outlining how to do the assessment and touching on how to begin treatment! I'm finding it hard to say what I like best as it will all be so helpful. This is new for me as an SLP so all of the information presented will be so valuable." L.C. (Nov. 2021)
"I find it encouraging that children can develop spontaneous language from echolalia. I liked that the course explained the different stages well so that it can also help with treatment goals" N.G. (Nov. 2021)
"I was not aware of gestalt language processing before this course. I liked the self-directed nature of it. The practical examples." E.K. (Nov. 2021)
"The course was very informative. Good pace to follow along." M.C. (Oct. 2021)
"This was wonderful - gave me a whole new look at echolalia with some of my students, and ways to use it and shape it for their benefit. I liked that it was broken down into sections and the slides were also provided." L.T. (Oct. 2021)
"The importance of collecting and analyzing a language sample, and scoring language utterances within the various stages, will be most beneficial. I think it will help me to focus intervention at the correct stage to meet my students where they are. I appreciated the examples given, and the many resources provided for further study." C.R. (Oct. 2021)
"Well-organized and about a topic that is not generally focused on in school/at conferences/in trainings" K.C. (Oct. 2021)
"I liked the practicality of the course." M.D. (Oct. 2021)
"I liked that the course causes you to think about echolalia in a completely different way." M.M. (Oct. 2021)
"Learning more about different types of language learners and how treatment depends on the type of language learner. Researched based information that is key for SLPs to understand and apply." M.M. (Oct. 2021)
"The need to think more about the way that different children learn language and expanding my knowledge of how to work with children who don't follow expected trajectories. I liked the repetition of important concepts to emphasize them for me." S.T. (Oct. 2021)
"I found the research that is directly related to the communicative intents behind delayed echolalia is most beneficial. I liked the real-life examples Marge provided, as well as her recap and review at the end of each section." C.D. (Oct. 2021)
"Literally everything discussed in this course was beneficial- but especially the importance and necessity of echolalia! I liked how Marge explains these topics easily- I know now how to inform parents and teachers about this topic." L.F. (Oct. 2021)
"I work with many autistic children who are gestalt processors and I have never quite known how to approach their learning style. This is a great start to help shift my thinking. I liked the clear descriptions of analytic versus gestalt language processors." K.P. (Sept. 2021)
"I learned how to assess children who are gestalt language processors. It was helpful to see all the examples of the different stages of NLA based on real language samples." C.K. (Sept. 2021)
"I enjoyed the specific examples provided by the presenter." A.C. (Sept. 2021)
"That is covered the research and background with regards to applying this approach." K.W. (Sept. 2021)
"Great overview for a level 1 course." M.S. (Sept. 2021)
"The stages of NLA and using part of a "script" to teach a word in different ways was beneficial." A.D. (Sept. 2021)
"Recognizing the communicative power of echolalia and how to shape/mitigate for children will help my practice." C.C. (Aug. 2021)
"I liked the information on how to evaluate gestalt language processors. However, I think it will be difficult to implement in my current therapy situation (school district preschool). I appreciated that the course was broken into chunks so that I could take breaks and absorb the information." D.M. (Aug. 2021)
"How to help my NLA children move through the stages of language development by properly assessing and treating them. The examples were very helpful. How the material was presented and backed by research." R.V. (Aug. 2021)
Marge Blanc, MA, CCC-SLP, is the Director of the Communication Development Center (CDC) in Madison, Wisconsin, the non-profit clinic she founded in 1997. Until two years ago, CDC provided individualized physical and linguistic support for neurotypical and neuro-divergent children and young adults with complex communication profiles. Now CDC is the center of a growing international effort to share research and resources about gestalt language development.
Marge began combining clinical practice and clinical research in 1994 after she met her first autistic client as a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin. Recognizing his ‘delayed echolalia,’ Marge delved into the work of Barry Prizant, Ann Peters, and other qualitative researchers who had documented gestalt language processing (GLP) as a way of processing language naturally — and outlined the stages of gestalt language development. After her client followed the stages in the way predicted by Prizant, Marge decided to follow Prizant’s recommendation to conduct research to describe that process in detail. Founding her clinic in 1997, Marge continued to document how GLPs develop language from ‘delayed echolalia’ to self-generated language. Marge coined the term Natural Language Acquisition (NLA) to describe that process, and to emphasize the fact that ‘echolalia’ is not a pathology and should be recognized as the first stage of gestalt language development.
Marge first used the term ‘NLA’ in 2005 when she published the article, “Finding the Words: to Tell the Whole Story,” based on the case study of her first autistic GLP. Marge continued her clinical research until 2010, and assembled her findings in the book, Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: the Journey from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language, published in 2012. Endorsed by Prizant as “the most comprehensive consideration of echolalia and language characteristics of persons with autism to date,” the NLA book is known as a “seminal work” that “brings us back to a crucial understanding of language characteristics and language acquisition in ASD…” (Prizant, 2015)
NLA describes the first four stages of gestalt language development identified by Prizant, adds the two additional stages researchers had identified as further grammar development, and quantifies the developmental process. NLA can be used in assessment, measuring progress, and supporting the process of gestalt language development. The NLA book became the sourcebook for the courses, the presentations, and the resources that now have proliferated.
Along with Prizant and two other colleagues, Marge presented NLA at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in 2014. Lillian Stiegler was in that audience, and recognizing the significance of NLA, this seasoned CSD professor wrote an AJSLP review article bringing NLA to the academic community in 2015. Marge then authored several NLA presentations and workshops on NLA in 2016, and these steps spawned a movement that is now taking NLA into countries in North, South, and Central America, Europe, and Asia. Marge’s pioneering research is helping SLPs, SLTs, and other speech and language professionals understand that echolalia is meaningful communication, and the first stage in the journey towards self-generated language.
Marge is the author of three online continuing education programs offered through Northern Speech Services: Natural Language Acquisition in Autism: From Echolalia to Self-Generated Language (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3). Her most recent course adds crucial insights to the foundational courses of Levels 1 and 2, and dives deep into the stages of Natural Language Acquisition from Stage 1 (use of gestalts) to Stage 6 (use of complex grammar). Marge also presents regularly to school districts and other educational organizations, and provides networking and education for Speech-Language Pathologists through the CDC website, www.communicationdevelopmentcenter.com
Financial — Marge Blanc is a presenter of online CE courses sponsored by Northern Speech Services; royalties are received by the Communication Development Center.
Financial — Marge Blanc is the author of the book, "Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: The Journey from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language"; she does not receive royalties, however, the non-profit Communication Development Center does.
Nonfinancial — Marge Blanc is the founder and director of the Communication Development Center (CDC) in Madison, WI; she does not receive any compensation in this role.
This program is offered for 0.3 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level; Professional Area).
ASHA CEUs: NSS online courses are registered with ASHA and are offered for ASHA CEUs. The number of ASHA CEUs is noted above. Note that 0.1 ASHA CEU = 1 contact hour = equals 1 CEE.
ASHA CE Registry: During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
ASHA CEUs: Attendees must meet at least one of the following conditions in order to be eligible to earn ASHA CEUs:
If an attendee is not an ASHA member or CCC holder but meets any of the above criteria, they may inform the ASHA CE Registry of their eligibility by visiting this site.
Licensing Boards: Most state licensing boards DO accept CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some state boards do, however, place a limit to the number of credits that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any credit limits related to home-study courses prior to registering for this course.
Additional accrediting agencies by which Northern Speech is an approved CE provider:
Course Completion Timeframe:
You have unlimited time to complete our online courses. You may log off and log on as often as you’d like to in order to complete all sections of a course.
However, completion dates are based on Eastern Standard Time. Therefore, if you need your CEUs by a certain date, be sure to complete the course test before 11:59pm EST on that date. For example, if you need CEUs before January 1st, you will need to complete the course test before 11:59pm EST on December 31st.
Access to course materials and content does not expire, even after completing the post test. You may continue to review course material by logging into your NSS account, clicking the My Online Courses tab, and then viewing your desired course.
Certificate of Completion:
On successful completion of the post test (80%), a certificate will be immediately available for download and/or printing. This certificate will include your name, date of completion (based on Eastern Time Zone, USA/Canada), and number of contact hours (CEUs / CEEs). Please note that CEUs are awarded on the date of successful test completion, not the date of course enrollment. Please ensure that you successfully complete the post test prior to any licensure renewal dates.
ASHA CE Registry Submission:
During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
Purchase orders are currently not accepted for online orders, if you wish to submit a purchase order please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 888-696-9655.
What is an Online Course?
Our Online Courses consist of video, audio, and/or text content and are offered for ASHA CEUs. Unlike a webinar, which requires participants to be logged on and at a computer at specific times, our Online Courses are available to you at any time, from any device, via your NorthernSpeech.com online account. You may work at your own pace and start and stop your course as you wish. Your course will conclude with a short post test. On successful completion of the post test (>80%), a printable certificate of completion is presented to you.
Northern Speech is an ASHA CE Provider and our online courses are registered with ASHA and offered for ASHA CEUs. Please note that successful completion of the online post test is required prior to the awarding of CEUs. Please contact your state licensing board for acceptance policies related to CEUs earned online. Please note that courses offered for university students are not applicable for CEUs.
Registering for an online course:
You may browse all online courses by clicking the Continuing Education tab above, then Online Courses. Once you find a course, click Enroll Now, and you will be asked to either log into your existing Northern Speech account or create a new online account. Once you’ve entered your account information and provided your credit card payment, your course will be immediately available to you.
Accessing your purchased course or returning to a purchased course:
You will be able to access your online course by logging into your Northern Speech account and then clicking the My Online Courses tab on your profile screen. Click the course you would like to start or to resume. From there, proceed through the course sections until you are ready to complete the post test. You do not have to complete your course all at once. You may log on and off as you wish.
Each online course concludes with a post test consisting of multiple choice or true & false questions. Scores of 80% or greater are required for successful course completion and awarding of CEUs. You may revisit course materials and retest as needed to achieve a passing score.
Number of CEUs offered:
We offer courses from 1 to 21 contact hours. Each course will note the number of CEUs offered. Please note that 0.1 CEU = 1 contact hour = 1 CEE.
State licensing boards and online CEUs:
NSS is an ASHA CE Provider and most state licensing boards DO accept ASHA CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some boards do, however, place a limit to the number of CEUs that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any CEU limits related to home-study courses prior to enrolling in an online course.
Our course formats include: text, audio, video, and PowerPoint with author narration. Each course will note the format on the course description page. Most courses include closed captioning.
Most of our online courses provide a link to download the accompanying handout as a PDF file.
Groups of 3 or more are eligible for a 20% discount on each registration on most of our online courses. To receive this discount, registrations need to be processed together via the "Group Rates" tab on the Online Course of your choice.
For our online courses to function best, we recommend that you update your computer to include the newest version of your Internet browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, etc.) and newest version of your computer's operating system. Also a high-speed Internet connection is recommended (cable or DSL). Speakers or headphones will be required for many of our courses as many contain audio components.
Course Cancellation Policy:
A purchased online course can be exchanged, refunded, or transferred to another individual if contact is made with NSS (via phone or email) within 30 days of purchase and the course materials have not been viewed or downloaded.
Please click here for any special needs requests, and we will do our best to accommodate them.
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