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Pat Mirenda is a Professor in the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology and Special Education, and Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA) at the University of British Columbia. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and teaches courses on augmentative communication, autism, inclusive education, and positive behavior supports. She is co-author of the 4th edition of “Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC): Supporting children and adults and complex communication needs” (2013) and co-editor of “Autism spectrum disorders and AAC” (2009). She has published numerous research articles and chapters and presents frequently at international, national, and regional conferences. Her current research examines the developmental trajectories of children with autism and their families, starting at the time of diagnosis.


Supporting individuals with complex communication needs: From research to practice?

This session will emphasize six key elements that are required for successful augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions for people with complex communication needs such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, and aphasia. These include involving people who use AAC as active partners in decision-making and research, designing interventions that are truly individualized and that support social relationships, and evaluating AAC outcomes in socially valid ways. The relationship between AAC, self-determination, and quality of life will be highlighted.