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3/22/2022, Book Study:  I See You in There, week 8, Chapter 9.  Early Adopters

Date: 3/22/2022 Time: 12:00-1:00 Location: internet Type: Webinar


In this book study, we will engage with both the content and the author in a way that informs our implementation of AAC in home and school settings and helps us connect with students with complex communication needs and their caregivers in a genuine way.


Week 1:  What Matters/Believe in your Why

Week 2:  Grief

Week 3:  Diagnosis and Prognosis

Week 4:  Access

Week 5:  Celebrating the Individual

Week 6:  I see you in there

Week 7:  Except and Accept

Week 8:  Early Adopters

Learning Objectives:

  1. Reflect on why you became a therapist/special ed teacher and understand that your journey so far brings a unique skill set to the table
  2. Gain understanding on how the cycle of grief impacts parents of children with disabilities
  3. Learn and apply the idea that “Access trumps language”
  4. Individualize your approach to match each unique student in order to see them for who they are
  5. Identify your “early adopters” and create a starting point with key players to begin to elicit change in your school

Book Description:

This book is a collection of personal stories of people I have come in contact with over my life but mostly over the last 23 years of my career as a Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). For those that don’t know that vocabulary, I usually explain my job by saying “think Stephen Hawking.” He is the most famous person I can think of that used AAC to communicate, and he is also the best example of a person who is highly intelligent but struggles to communicate verbally. He is a hero because he very publicly debunked that verbal ability and intelligence must go together.

My road to this career was anything but straight. I had the honor of attending the University of Washington for my Bachelor of Science degree in speech and language. I then attended Western Washington University and received a Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. Right from the start, I realized that even those in my field struggled to define what it is we “do.” Are we scientists or artists?

The field of speech and language cannot agree as to whether or not the degree is an Art or a Science. Whole colleges have decided it’s an art. Other colleges feel strongly that it is a science. Some that are more drawn to the educational and pediatric population, often consider it a Masters of Art. Those on the more medical side of things, and possibly more focused on adults, have often labeled this a Masters of Science. What is communication? Is it a science? Is it art? What is the facilitation of communication… The role of the actual therapist? Is that a science? Is that an art?


Brenda Del Monte, MA, SLP-CCC
Brenda Del Monte has been working as a therapist for over 18 years. Brenda received her undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Washington and her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology at Western Washington University. She has worked with children and adults with multiple disabilities since 2003. Brenda owns Technically Speaking, PLLC, a company that serves those who use AAC.  As an expert in AAC, Brenda contracts with Advanced Therapy Solutions to evaluate, train and treat those with multiple disabilities and complex medical conditions. 

Brenda serves as a practice scholar research mentor at Northern Arizona University’s OTD program. Brenda has taught courses for Central Washington University, Arizona State University Speech-Language Pathology SLP Master’s Program and Northern Arizona University Occupational Doctoral students.

Sarah Kinsella, MA CCC-SLP

Sarah Kinsella is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a passion for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and supporting students with complex communication needs. She holds a Master’s degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and has worked in the public school setting for 11 years. She also served as the district Assistive Technology Specialist for 7 years, working with multidisciplinary teams and families to support students with a variety of Assistive Technology and AAC needs. She is passionate about her field and thankful for the students with whom she works as they help her learn and grow along the way.

Kristin Leslie, ATP, MAT, OTR/L

Kristin Leslie is an occupational therapist and an assistive technology professional who is currently in the role of director at the Special Education Technology Center (SETC).  She has worked in special education in Washington state public schools for 23 years. Her leadership role at SETC includes providing guidance to administrators, families, and school teams on assistive technology tools and best practices to remove barriers to student learning.


Email Sue Wright at the SETC office

Clock hours for this webinar and others in this series are available from ESD105 for a small fee. The following Professional Development Enroller link provides more information about clock hours: