Progressive And Systematic Speech And Language Training For Children On The Autism Spectrum





Course Type


Learn to use non-verbal communication to jumpstart verbal communication.

This comprehensive, intervention-focused course discusses how children with autism develop speech and language and how best to initiate interventions for children who have limited functional communication. Presented from the perspective of a practicing SLP who is also a board certified behavior analyst, this course features effective interventions drawn from both fields with video examples of implementation included throughout the presentation.

Content presented will support the SLP in making critical intervention decisions, including whether intervention should focus on the development of vocal language or on an alternative method of communication, variables that must be considered to teach an alternative communication system (with focus on sign language), and how and when to transition a child from an alternative communication system to vocal communication. Offered for 0.9 ASHA CEUs – 9 contact hours.

Participants will learn how to select first words to build language, how to use word simplification techniques to promote speech acquisition, and how selection of appropriate motivators is critical to gain progress in therapy. Also presented will be systematic social communication training from dyadic facilitated peer play, to various social communication groups, to "Friends and Fitness" (a social communication class with a fitness emphasis), and direct instruction in work related social skills.

Course Run Time: 9:00:00

Course Overview:

Part 1:

  • Challenges in Working with Children with Autism
  • Building Motivators and Selecting Vocabulary
  • Suggestions for Teaching Initial Sign/AAC Requests
  • Strategies to Transition to Speech and Improve Speech Intelligibility
  • Vocal Verbal Imitation Training Using Successive Approximations
  • Additional Procedures

Part 2:

  • Moving Beyond Single Words
  • Moving Beyond Basic Requesting
  • Requests for Information
  • Social Communication with Peers
  • Party Club and Friendship Camp
  • Small Group Social Skills
  • Results and Research
  • Business Persons Social Skills

The content of this online CE course does not focus exclusively on any specific proprietary product or service. Presenter financial and non-financial disclosures may be found by clicking on the Presenter & Disclosures tab.

Course Format:

Video PowerPoint presentation with author narration & downloadable handout.

Course Objectives

  1. State criteria to use in determining a form of communication.
  2. State conditions under which sign language might assist in the development of communication skills.
  3. Explain the rationale for using motivators during the intervention process.
  4. List core vocabulary to include in early verbal training.
  5. Identify methods for identifying appropriate early vocabulary.
  6. List the words that should be avoided during initial communication training and the rationale for avoiding these words.
  7. Identify basic procedures of errorless teaching.
  8. Understand key principles to increase vocal communication attempts.
  9. Identify variables to consider when selecting initial multiple word combinations.
  10. Identify additional uses of sign language for more advanced learners.
  11. Select method of analysis to determine motivational barriers or skills deficits to development of conversation.
  12. List the motivational variables and skills that are necessary for conversation.
  13. Identify the components of behavioral skills training model.
  14. State the components of a social skills program.

Presenter & Disclosures

Tamara S. Kasper, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA, is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist who has treated children with challenging behavior since 1990, specializing in children with autism since 1995. Tamara's commitment to the children she serves led her to pursue treatment methods outside the field of Speech-Language Pathology. She has advanced training in Nancy Kaufman's strategies for apraxia of speech and partnered with Nancy to create The K&K Sign to Talk Materials. She has advanced training in Applied Behavior Analysis/Applied Verbal Behavior and under the mentorship of renowned Behavior Analyst Dr. Vincent Carbone and his protégé she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Tamara is a frequently invited international lecturer, enthusiastically sharing intervention techniques that build functional verbal behavior, social communication skills and combine social skills training with physical training. She has lectured and treated individuals across the United States and Canada as well as in Ethiopia, Senegal, Greece, Germany, England, Ireland, and other countries. She is a past recipient of WISHA's Clinical Achievement Award. Tamara directs The Center for Autism Treatment near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial — Tamara Kasper is a presenter of online CEU courses sponsored by Northern Speech Services receives royalty payments.

Financial — Tamara Kasper is an author of treatment materials published by Northern Speech Services; receives royalty payments.

Financial — Tamara Kasper is Owner and Director of The Center for Autism Treatment; ownership interests.

Financial — Tamara Kasper is an author of treatment materials that are self-published; receives royalty payments.

Nonfinancial — Tamara Kasper is a student mentor with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; receives no compensation.

Intended Audience/Accreditation

This program is offered for 0.9 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level; Professional Area).

Intended Audience

  • SLP
  • BCBA

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:

  • Current ASHA Member
  • ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) Holder
  • Licensed by a state or provincial regulatory agency to practice speech-language pathology (SLP) or audiology
  • Credentialed by a state regulatory agency to practice SLP or audiology
  • Credentialed by a national regulatory agency to practice SLP or audiology
  • Engaged in a Clinical Fellowship under the supervision of an individual with their ASHA CCC
  • Currently enrolled in a masters or doctoral program in SLP or audiology

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:

  • California: NSS is approved as a provider of continuing education by the California Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Board. Provider #PDP4. Online CEU limits may apply; please contact SLPAHADB for current online CEU acceptance policies.
  • Iowa: NSS is approved as a provider of continuing education by the Iowa Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology Examiners. Provider #169.
  • Kansas: NSS is approved as a provider of continuing education by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Provider #LTS-S0005.
  • Florida: NSS is approved as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board. Provider #SPA-026.
  • New Jersey: NSS is approved as a provider of continuing education by the New Jersey Department of Education. Provider #1654.

Frequently Asked Questions

Customer Support: Please phone 888.337.3866 or email

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.

Content Access:

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:

Purchase orders are currently not accepted for online orders, if you wish to submit a purchase order please do so at 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 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.

Receiving CEUs:

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.

Testing requirements:

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.

Course formats:

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.

Course handouts:

Most of our online courses provide a link to download the accompanying handout as a PDF file. 

Group discounts:

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.

Computer requirements:

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. 

Special Needs:

Please click here for any special needs requests, and we will do our best to accommodate them. 

Contact Us |


"This Online Course by Tami Kasper is amazing!" – Nancy Kaufman, MA, CCC-SLP (Creator of the Kaufman K-SLP Treatment Materials)

“This course provided multiple videos highlighting strategies.” – L.S. (Feb. 2021)

“This course provided plenty of helpful, practical information and examples of how to implement in sessions.” – M.S. (Jan. 2021)

“I absolutely loved the topic on how to start teaching social skills to children with Autism. I plan to carry over all those social skills training ideas.” – J.V. (Dec. 2020)

“The content was fantastic! The video examples were helpful, and the presenter was engaging. Great course!” – L.P. (Nov. 2020)

“The content has been really useful in teaching me about the communication and language issues, and to consider the certain approaches or interventions (e.g. expressive, social skills) target problems that most children with Autism will show.” – C.C. (Oct. 2020)

“I found the entire course to be beneficial. I have gained knowledge concerning the different intervention strategies when working with children with Autism.” – M.S. (Aug. 2020)

“I found the entire topic of integrating both ABA practices and speech therapy practices very helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire presentation. I like that the topic started at the very beginning with non-verbal learners and followed through all the way showing work in developing conversation skills. The videos showing therapy techniques and the progress of various learners were especially helpful. It highlighted the fact that it will take years of both professionals and parents dedicated to developing communication skills with their learners with autism.” – K.Q. (Jul.2020)

"Everything was fantastic and very engaging. Explanations regarding how to choose vocabulary and how to progress to phrases and sentences was most beneficial for me. I liked the videos, and Tamara Kasper was just super easy to follow." – C.N. (May 2020)

“I really enjoyed the sections on manding for information and to peers and what the prerequisite skills look like for these. Also, manding using noun-verb combinations versus hand frames was really helpful to me. The video examples were very helpful.” – K.S. (Apr. 2020)

“I liked the videos of examples and going over therapy techniques.” – S.G. (Mar. 2020)

"I enjoyed going over what types of signs should not be used and why. I often taught very basic signs. This class has encouraged me to expand my ASL knowledge to provide more specific signs." – J.C. (Feb. 2020)

"I liked the use of peers. I really was impressed. I also enjoyed the behavioral approach. I was taught behavioral modification by Dr. Whaley years ago and am excited to see it improved and used in behavioral training again. The most beneficial discussion was the use of things the Autistic child enjoys as a positive reinforcement even though to use the activity or object he likes may be considered unusual." – E.C. (Jan. 2020)

"I thoroughly enjoyed so many of the topics that it is difficult to choose just one. I am very familiar with verbal behavior and ABA principles as I work in an ABA based program. I still learned a lot from these sections of the program. The one that will probably have the biggest impact in m own practice is the use of the Kaufman cards to shape syllables into words. I have the cards but realize that I can change many things about how I am using them to be more efficient and effective. I loved the inclusion of so many videos to demonstrate techniques. I am sure that I will revisit some of them in the future for the purpose of training staff with whom I work." – L.J. (Dec. 2019)

"The general over view of children with Autism. This course looked at more involved children as well as higher functioning children, which I found to be very helpful. The speaker lectured and then showed the skill in a video with real learners." – J.A. (Nov. 2019)

"Excellent videos and specific examples and outlines of her methods and procedures. I appreciated going over ways to increase initial communication in a young child with no language." – N.L. (Oct. 2019)

"I enjoyed the videos of the group interactions - especially how the group branched out to do the fitness sessions." – S.P. (Sept. 2019)

"All of it was beneficial! I began a new job in a school district, and the majority of my caseload is students ages 5-12 diagnosed with autism. I particularly enjoyed suggestions/strategies for teaching initial signs and requests as I am hoping to incorporate more sign language into my therapy this upcoming school year. Very engaging! I LOVED all the videos - especially the videos that showed the therapist working with the child." – R.C. (Aug. 2019)

"The lecturer was engaging and video examples were helpful. Going over teaching student how to ask conversational questions and strategies for involving typical peers in social skills intervention was most beneficial." – R.N. (July 2019)

"I found the fact that introducing general signs like more is not appropriate was very useful. I like that the course was very thorough with video example all along the way." – K.W. (June 2019)

"I liked the practical tools for application and videos to show them in action." – K.R. (May 2019)

"I appreciated the integrated use of ABA principles with speech-language therapy practices. I liked the videos that clearly demonstrated what the presenter was discussing." – R.M. (Apr. 2019)

"I LOVED this course! I really found the teaching recommendations for minimally verbal children with the steps clearly outlined to be very helpful. The videos were great too and really assisted in understanding the course material. I thought the content was great and that everything in it was super applicable and helpful." – K.W. (Apr. 2019)

"The entire webinar was excellent. My mind is spinning. I want to use all the strategies with my students." – M.W. (Mar. 2019)

"I really thought the practices for shaping behaviors by investigating and using the children's motivation/interest was important. I loved the videos of the difficult behaviors and lack of interest from kids and how to gear the sessions so the kids enjoyed the interactions. I thought it was an excellent course." – T.E. (Feb. 2019)

"Enjoyed the whole course - very useful immediately! Very well organized and at a good pace. Excellent course." – S.K. (Jan. 2019)

"The section on building motivators and selecting vocabulary was particularly beneficial for my daily practice. I really liked the numerous examples and video clips provided throughout the course. I thought this was an excellent course." – A.A. (Dec. 2018)

"I loved watching the videos of the social skills small group activities, especially the ones that involved friends and fitness. I love the way Tammy talked through the skills with the children, helped them problem solve, helped them discuss coping strategies, and helped them handle loss. The video examples were well done and made the course very interesting. This course held my attention the entire time. I thought the course was excellent." – C.W.C. (Nov. 2018)

"The information is very practical. It is in-depth and basic all at the same time. The way it is tied to A-B-C is very helpful." – C.P. (Oct. 2018)

"It was excellent! The discussions on building motivators and establishing vocabulary were especially beneficial. Tamara is an excellent speaker with very helpful information. I loved the many videos she showed as an example of the information she taught. Very thorough course!" – M.B. (Sept. 2018)

"I appreciated the discussion on incorporating movement and physical activity in my treatment sessions." – D.H. (Aug. 2018)

"I found the topic of pairing and motivation to be especially helpful when considering some of my more behavioral children on my caseload." – L.K. (July 2018)

"I enjoyed the hand cues demonstration video. I loved loved loved all the videos used as examples." – A.A. (June 2018)

"I loved how exercise was incorporated with speech therapy to promote interactions with peers. I liked how much I learned about the benefit of using competitive and cooperative games to help with conversational skills." – M.W. (May 2018)

"It was very functional and brought attention to things that are often overlooked." – E.J. (Apr. 2018)

"Very good course. I work with autistic children and although I am doing a lot of these strategies already, it is good to hear new strategies and activities." – C.S. (Mar. 2018)

"I thought the course was well executed. It really opened my eyes as to how prompt dependent children become when using only the targets 'more, want, etc.' I also appreciated the videos as I am a visual learner." – E.W. (Feb. 2018)

"The improvement of vocal quality and intelligibility of young children with Autism was excellent. I liked the videos and stories from the author's work." – C.C. (Jan. 2018)

"The accompanying videos were extremely helpful in understanding how to deliver the approaches. It was a great course and very informative!" – H.B. (Dec. 2017)

"The strategies that were shared for oral language and sign language will prove extremely useful for my daily practice. The steps to developing social language with peers were extremely interesting. I could relate this topic directly to the needs of my students. What I liked best about this Online Course was the way in which examples and video tapings were utilized. It definitely provided clear examples of the various strategies that were presented." – I.G. (Nov. 2017)

"Determining the initial vocabulary targets and social interactions with peers were the most helpful discussions. I liked the videos of kids engaging in therapy activities." – E.M.A. (Oct. 2017)

"I liked the social skills training and appreciated that practical and useful therapeutic intervention was presented with research to back it up. Comprehensive presentation!" – J.T. (Sept. 2017)

"The various techniques and strategies for facilitating language in children with ASD were beneficial... I see kids birth to 5 years old so many of these ideas will be very useful in writing up their IEPs. I like that the course was easy to navigate... loved the outlines, handout type slides and the gal presenting it made it easy to listen to... good videos too." – J.L. (Aug. 2017)

"Absolutely everything was beneficial!!!!! Loved the videos, handouts were excellent, forms will be so helpful!!!!" – L.W. (July 2017)

"I enjoyed the examples of using ABA to teach social skills. I liked the clarity of presentation. This course was great." – H.S. (June 2017)

"The overall explanation of blending ABA practices with speech pathology was excellent. The two disciplines work so amazingly together, and this was a wonderful explanation on how to blend them. It was also helpful that she covered the full progression. I am very knowledgeable in how to start therapy with kiddos like this, but progressing once the basics have been covered is harder. I loved the models the presenter provided, because it is much easier to carry over what I have learned into my practice when I've seen an example." – J.B. (May 2017)

"This course had specific examples of real life activities for social group activities and provided me with a great number of starting points for a variety in our group planning. I've been providing therapy using various techniques highlighted here, so some of it was reinforcing and reassuring me that I am heading in the right direction with my treatment. In addition, it gave me areas to improve on with my therapy and provided me with concrete examples of how I may work to elicit desired results." – M.Y. (Apr. 2017)

"The entire presentation was engaging and could be applied to my everyday work, however the topic I found to be the most beneficial was the srategies to improve social interaction and conversational skills. The topics and ideas I could apply to the students that I work with tomorrow and having the videos was extra helpful." – L.M. (Mar. 2017)

"The modules on teaching verbal with sign and shaping words were most beneficial. I liked that there were many examples of techniques." – E.H. (Feb. 2017)

"I liked the information on managing behaviors and getting autistic children to cooperate and want to interact with others." – S.S. (Feb. 2017)

"Lots of great strategies were introduced. I'm already trying to incorporate the single word approximations of familiar words into daily therapy. I liked the progression from single words to conversation." – K.R. (Jan. 2017)

"This eCourse was phenomenal! It went above and beyond my expectations. I intend to re-listen to sections because there was too much information to absorb in just one viewing. The sections on working with kids with limited interests or reinforcers, increasing compliance, increasing motivation to communicate will be extremely helpful. Additionally, the section about which words/signs to teach first, when to begin targeting word combination and the discussion of the importance of TTR vs. MLU was thought provoking and will be very useful to me. Most of the sections on social communication were interesting to me. However, I primarily work with lower functioning kids, so a lot of that info was less relevant to me, although there was plenty of grains of information that I will keep in mind while working with my students, both to avoid some of the pitfalls pointed out by the instructor and to prepare my students for the future when they are better able to engage in social communication." – K.G. (Jan. 2017)