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Everyone has the desire and the ability to communicate despite physical and neurological challenges. The upcoming Minspeak® Academy (formerly Semantic Compaction Systems) master class led by Karen Kangas, OTR/L offers a unique neurological perspective on how kids with complex bodies learn considering their positioning needs for active engagement and communication. You’ll explore how to provide for a child’s current level of functioning as well as plan for their growth while considering medical challenges, developmental interruptions, and limited independent postural control.

Exploring the Cognitive Load and Motor Load of Teaching and Using an AAC System

Register today for the interactive two-day course with master instructor Karen Kangas, OTR/L.

  • Wednesday and Thursday, May 29-30, 2024
  • 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., ET
  • ASHA CEUs: 0.6
  • Cost: $129 (discount available for parents and students)

In this dynamic master class, Karen takes an in-depth, scientific approach to cognitive and motor development and what is critical to an individual’s independent AAC use. You’ll examine cognitive load, motor memory, including cognitive mapping, senses maturation, and sensory processing, and how they impact a child’s ability to manage AAC.

View the full course description.

Karen shares her perspective in the following quote:

“We must regard children as interactive neurophysiology. The human body doesn’t separate “mind from body” nor “motor from cognition” and beginning to truly understand that will lay a foundation for support of true access to AAC and independent interactions. It is simple, yet complex, simultaneously.

Children are not small adults. Children are developing, maturing, growing, and gaining experiences. Access and AAC systems must be adaptable, yet robust, full of the language a child would use for the moment, and for the future. This growth is complex, and yet, evident. But if a child doesn’t speak or doesn’t move quickly, how do we support their complex structures of learning?”

Karen Kangas and AAC

Karen has worked as an occupational therapist in pediatrics since 1973 in many settings including the school system, early intervention programs, home health, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities. Since 1985, she has taught the following topics all over the United States, as well as in Canada, Sweden, Israel, Ireland, Scotland, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand:

  • Seating and Positioning
  • Sensory Processing and Sensory Integration as it relates to Seating for Function
  • Alternative Access and Powered Mobility
  • Assessment and Integration of Assistive Technology

With Karen, the focus will always be on the communicator and the learning activity, not the technology. Read Karen’s full bio.

Minspeak Academy Master Classes

Each Minspeak Academy master class is presented by an invited master AAC specialist and covers a specific topic, AAC user population group, or current practice. The new time-zone friendly format spreads virtual learning over two days instead of one to accommodate more schedules nationwide.

You won’t want to miss this important course with practical application for supporting children in succeeding with AAC. Register through AAC Learning Journey today.



Training  -    minspeak, minspeak academy, cognitive load, motor load, seating for function, positioning needs, aac, karen kangas