Teaching Communication Skills to Students with Severe Disabilities, Third Edition
Special Education

Support every student's right to communicate with this trusted text and teaching guide, now updated with today's best research and strategies on technology, literacy, challenging behavior, and peers as communication partners.

76559 978-1-59857-655-9
2015 296
Available Stock

How can educators and therapists support effective communication for students with severe and multiple disabilities? Today's best research and strategies are in the NEW third edition of this trusted textbook and teaching guide. Current and future education professionals will get up-to-date information and practical guidance on the entire process of supporting communication for students of all ages, from assessing their communication skills to involving peers and adults in intervention. An important textbook and professional reference, this comprehensive volume will help educators, paraprofessionals, SLPs, and other school staff skillfully support every student's right to communicate.

TOPICS COVERED: communication assessment * intervention strategies * identification of natural opportunities to teach skills * augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) techniques * collaborative teaming * challenging behavior * Functional Communication Training * literacy instruction * peers as communication partners * teaching a wide range of skills that go beyond simple requesting, from commenting to gaining attention


  • More emphasis on technology throughout the book
  • Timely new contributions by experts in the field
  • New chapter on the relationship between communication and challenging behavior
  • New chapter on communication and literacy
  • More on making AAC devices accessible and attainable
  • Expanded guidance on friendship development and how peers can aid intervention
  • More strategies for teaching specific communication skills, highlighted for easy reference
  • New case examples to show strategies and interventions in action
  • FAQs, extension activities, and study questions that highlight key ideas and trouble spots


About the Authors
Foreword by Janice Light

  1. The Importance of Teaching Communication Skills
  2. Mary Falvey

  3. Integrating Team Expertise to Support Communication
  4. Diane Ryndak

  5. Assessing Communication Skills
  6. June E. Downing, Kathryn D. Peckham-Hardin, and Amy Hanreddy

  7. The General Education Classroom: A Rich Communicative Environment
  8. Amy Hanreddy and Kathryn D. Peckham-Hardin

  9. Beginning Steps in Communication Intervention
  10. June E. Downing and Deborah Chen

  11. Considerations in Developing and Acquiring Communication Aids
  12. Pat Mirenda

  13. Teaching a Wide Range of Communication Skills: Beyond Requesting
  14. June E. Downing, Kathryn D. Peckham-Hardin, and Amy Hanreddy

  15. The Relationship Between Communication and Literacy
  16. Amy Hanreddy

  17. The Relationship Between Communication and Challenging Behavior
  18. Kathryn D. Peckham-Hardin

  19. The Importance of Peers as Communication Partners
  20. Erik W. Carter, Heartley B. Huber, and Elizabeth E. Biggs



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Susan Copeland, The University of New Mexico - December 16, 2014
“Provides practical strategies to build communication skills of individuals across ages and ability levels. It is full of ideas to embed communication opportunities within naturally occurring activities that are motivating to children and youth.”
Susan Bruce, Boston College - December 15, 2014
“June Downing and colleagues remind us about what is at the heart of our work, a deep respect for individuals with severe disabilities and a commitment to their right to receive appropriate communication services to support their active engagement in their school and larger community.”
Martha Snell, University of Maryland - December 15, 2014
“This third edition teaches exactly what is needed to get communication going in every individual, young and old … Its pages hold the keys to open doors for those who have a lot to say but so often are locked out.”
Michael Giangreco, University of Vermont - November 25, 2014
“Provides practical strategies and plentiful examples rooted in evidence-based practices and inclusive values.”