Proceeds from 'Walk for Autism' make it possible.

    RiverView Health will sponsor a free full day workshop for parents and professionals titled “Teaching Critical Communication Skills’’ on Oct. 8 in Bede Ballroom on the University of Minnesota Crookston campus.

    Presenter Jill Waegenaere, M.A., CCC-SLP, will describe nine critical communication skills required by all communicators, independent of their communicative modality. We distinguish between communication that is spontaneous, responsive, or imitative. When people cannot initiate or otherwise calmly use these skills, many serious behavior problems are likely to arise. These skills are broadly divided between those needed by “speakers’’ (expressive skills) versus those needed by “listeners’’ (receptive skills). Participants will learn effective training strategies for children who speak or sign as well as those using augmentative or alternative communication systems.

     This workshop is ideal for anyone working and/or living with people with complex communication needs. It is an important adjunct to training in Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS), but also stands alone for those who have not completed PECS training. Parents, caregivers, and professionals alike will benefit from this day.

    The workshop is made possible from funds raised at the 2012 Walk for Autism sponsored by RiverView Health.

    Registration for the day will be held from 7:30 to 8 a.m. on the day of the workshop. It will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch on your own will be from noon to 1 p.m.

    Continuing education certificates will be provided.

    To register online, go to, click on “news’’ and “Teaching Critical Communication Skills." Registration must be completed by Sept. 30. Limited space is available.

    For more information, contact RiverView Health Speech-Language Pathologist Andrea Reynolds at the RiverView East Grand Forks Clinic at 218 773-1390 or 866 773-1390.