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SLP Course Details

Course # 5459
Supporting Communication as ALS Progresses: The Role of SLPs

Monday, August 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm EDT

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Course Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neuromotor disorder affecting speech, swallowing and communication, with most persons with ALS (PALS) losing natural speech before death. SLPs should be involved in service delivery early on and throughout the course of the illness. This course provides an overview of the types of ALS, the progression of ALS (re speech and communication), and the impact of loss of communication on patients and families. Types of potential communication supports (from no technology to high technology AAC devices) are described, barriers to AAC use are identified, and participants will be provided with recommendations about assessment, intervention, family support, and interdisciplinary team involvement.
Disclosure: This learning event does not focus exclusively on any specific product or service.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • After this course, participants will be able to describe the forms of ALS and changes in motor and speech functions over time.
  • After this course, participants will be able to identify evolving communication needs throughout the disease progression.
  • After this course, participants will be able to describe appropriate AAC strategies and systems and potential barriers to AAC use and more broadly to maintaining communication.
  • After this course, participants will be able to identify at least one way they can be more effective in supporting the needs of persons with ALS and their families in the SLP’s local community.

Time-ordered Agenda

0-10 Minutes Introduction and overview of topic, including discussion of ALS diagnosis, forms, prevalence
10-30 Minutes Changes in speech over time, broader communication needs as they evolve over time, family needs
30-45 Minutes Delivery of AAC services to persons with ALS: options (low tech, high tech, strategies), barriers to AAC usage, best practices
45-55 Minutes Discussion with participants of comfort with provision of services to persons with ALS and their families, barriers to providing needed services in their locale, strategies for implementing change in service delivery to persons with ALS
55-60 Minutes Conclusion; Q&A

Average Rating

(30 Ratings)

Most Recent Comments

Review by: gabriela on August 9, 2012
interesting topic
Review by: Tracy on August 7, 2012
Good examples of high- and low-tech devices, clearly presented stages of speech decline
Review by: Kathleen on August 7, 2012
Knowledge base, research presented, manner and organization of content!
Review by: Melissa on August 7, 2012
Was lengthy and extended past the hour by a considerable amount of time but the information was good and well presented.
Review by: Gwendolyn on August 6, 2012
Very organized with practical information.
Review by: Susan on August 6, 2012
There was a lot of good specific information. It would have been helpful to see how she developed goals for therapy at the different stages. Her work and her commitment to her friend Steve is inspiring!
Review by: Susan on August 6, 2012
Practical ideas for evaluation and treatment
Review by: Minnie on August 6, 2012
Speaker was clear, knowledgeable, comfortable with topic.
Review by: gina on August 6, 2012
simplicity, resources available,
Review by: Margaret on August 6, 2012
Included references and resources to gather more knowledge.
Review by: Kathleen on August 6, 2012
A great deal of relevant, research-based information was packed into one hour. The speaker has a very engaging presentation style. This was a great course.
Review by: Mary on August 6, 2012
superb delivery and pertinent points of explanation
Review by: Silvia on August 6, 2012
The ability to cover the most important assessment and treatment approsches for SLP in dealing with ALS, providing also insight in the counselling part that we need to play to help with end of life communication adjustments
Review by: Eileen on August 6, 2012
On a personal note, my husband has ALS. It's been 3 years. I'm feeling validated after taking this course regarding everything I've done for him so far. However, I am distraught about the lack of appropriate AAC services out there.
Review by: Jan on August 6, 2012
Extremely knowledgeable instructor presented information in a systematic interesting manner.
Review by: Melissa on August 6, 2012
Good supplemental handouts.

Course Information

The Event has already taken place, you may no longer register.

Course Presenter

barbara b shadden

Barbara B. Shadden, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS

Barbara B. Shadden is a University Professor Emeritus in Communication Disorders and Co-Director of the Office for Studies on Aging at the University of Arkansas. She joined the faculty at the U of A in 1979. Previously, she served as Clinical Services Coordinator at United Cerebral Palsy in Bridgeport, CT, Co-Coordinator of Neuropathology Services, University of Tennessee, and speech-language consultant to two hospitals in Fayetteville, AR. She is ANCDS Board Certified in Adult Neurologic Communication Disorders. Dr. Shadden received her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. She is an ASHA Fellow, has been active in the ASHA Gerontology SID and accreditation initiatives, as well as past president of ArkSHA and the CAPCSD. Dr Shadden has published and presented on topics in aging, neurogenics, discourse, and augmentative communication, including five textbooks and editorship of five journal issues. Most recent research and service interests focus on the health of seniors, caregiver needs and issues, communication support for persons with ALS (PALS), and the impact of neurogenic communication disorders on sense of self or identity. Over 10 years ago, she assisted in creating the first chapter of the ALS Association in northwest Arkansas, set up the first AAC loan closet, and served as Patient Services Coordinator for four  years. She continues to provide AAC services to PALS and ongoing support for PALS and their famlies. She serves on the Board of the ALS Family Foundation.


Disclosure: This presenter has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Continuing Education Information

CEUs/Hours Offered: ASHA/0.1 Introductory, Professional; SAC/1.0

Time will be allowed for interaction between the participants and the presenter.

Login and logout times will be recorded and documented.

Passing an online exam will be required to earn continuing education credit.

Please Note: The CEU exam and course evaluation must be completed within 7 days of the live webinar.

To participate in the course, complete the CEU exam and earn continuing education credit, you must be a CEU Total Access member.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Assn.

This course is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional Area)


Speech-Language and Audiology Canada

Clinically certified members of Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) can accumulate continuing education equivalents (CEEs) for their participation with SpeechPathology.com. One hour of coursework equals 1 CEE. All SAC members are encouraged to participate in on-going education.


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