Susan Berkowitz

United States - California - san diego
Susan Berkowitz
4,138 votes
All kids can communicate. All kids can learn to read.
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While many students are reluctant writers, for students with language and reading disorders writing is even more painful. These students need to experience success with genuine writing activities, rather than receive writing assignments back from
16 ratings
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Writing with symbols can be useful for AAC users, emergent writers, students with language disorders. Emergent writers who have communication disorders - especially complex communication needs - often have few opportunities to create genuine written
16 ratings
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AAC users and other emergent writers often need to use alternative pencils. Use of word banks is best practices for creating genuine writing opportunities to these students. These topic boards can be used for several purposes: ☀They can serve as
5 ratings
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Meet the CCSS requirement for informational text in Special Education with this clinician written 17 page book about bats with a lot of facts. This book can be used in general education elementary classes and special education middle school or
4 ratings
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AAC users and other emergent writers often need alternative pencils. Using word banks has been shown in the research to be a good place to start. These topic text boards can be used for several purposes: ⭐ They can serve as communication boards
1 rating
Digital Download PDF (0.94 MB)
If you're looking for some new and fun ways to introduce genuine writing activities into your speech-language therapy or special ed classrooms, try this! Emergent writers in special education don't get enough genuine writing activities. While
2 ratings
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Some research indicates that children with expressive/oral language deficits are 4-5 times more likely than peers to have reading & writing problems. One strategy for reading comprehension is connecting text to self; students’ understanding
1 rating
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This is a summer writing project that you can send home with students over the summer and review when school starts up again. Students practice writing skills over the summer, and provide you with sufficient information to help them develop a
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Create a “Let Me Introduce Myself” or “All About Me” hand-shaped book for each child to share in class with peers at the start of a new school year. This pack is also good for those who have a unit on ‘Myself, My Family, My Neighborhood.’ There
1 rating
Digital Download PDF (1.76 MB)
This is an activity that is fun, motivating, and addresses Common Core State Standards in Writing and Listening. What more can you ask? A great back to school activity that absolutely starts students off with a fun exercise that combines art,
1 rating
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If you want to introduce genuine writing to your students with special needs, language disorders, or Complex Communication Needs, this bundle of writing activities is for you! From using alternative pencils to writing simple stories ( from 1
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This is a sample of my UPDATED summer writing project that you can send home with students over the summer and review when school starts up again. Students practice writing skills over the summer, and provide you with sufficient information to help
4 ratings
Digital Download PDF (35.66 MB)
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I have been a speech-language pathologist for 40 years, before which I worked with kids with autism. I have been in the classroom, therapy room, and worked as an administrator. I have worked in public and nonpublic schools. I currently specialize in alternative-augmentative communication for nonverbal students and in training staff to implement aac in their classrooms. I teach workshops locally and nationally on augmentative communication and on teaching literacy skills to students with complex communication needs, and have written CEU on-line courses for SLPs about AAC. I have published research articles in peer reviewed journals, and spent considerable time working on translating research into practice.


Working with students with significant special needs has taught me to do whatever works - which can be different for every student in the group. While I have a strong background in applied behavior analysis from working with kids with autism, I utilize a wide variety of strategies and styles! I want to teach teachers and SLPs to consider all options for teaching students with Complex Communication Needs because we need to presume competence for ALL kids. I feel strongly that if a child doesn't learn HE has not failed. WE have.


I have had research papers published in peer review professional journals, and have presented at numerous national and international conferences and on webinars. I have also written more than 16 professional CEU hour courses for an on-line university program for SLPs about AAC. And have recently written a book about AAC implementation for parents, teachers, and SLPs. My blog has been named one of the top 5 AAC blogs, one of the top100 Language blogs and top 100 speech therapy blogs.


I have a B.A. in Psychology, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology, M. Ed. in School Administration, and extensive graduate level classes in Special Education (enough for a whole other Master's degree - but why?). I believe this varied background has given me a deeper understanding of what these kids - and their teachers - need.


I have 2 (grown) children, 1 husband, and 2 cats. I spend as much spare time as I can in my art studio, creating unique jewelry and mixed media assemblage art dolls, or just stealing time for a quick sketch.

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