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.
- 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.
|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|
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