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Interventions for Persons with Dementia: External Cueing and Effective Instruction

presented by Ellen Hickey

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Translating assessment into effective intervention is essential for speech language pathologists working with persons experiencing dementia. In this course, Dr. Ellen Hickey describes resources for SLPs seeking information on evidence-based interventions for clients with dementia. Dr. Hickey defines social and memory models of treatment for persons with dementia. Specifically, effective use of external cueing techniques, and principles of errorless learning and procedures for spaced retrieval training are discussed.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Ellen Hickey, PhD, CCC-SLP

    Ellen Hickey is an associate professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She received her doctorate in speech language pathology from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA in 2000. Dr. Hickey's teaching focuses on motor speech disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, and the treatment of cognitive and language disorders in adults. Dr. Hickey's research focuses on topics in aphasia, dementia, traumatic brain injury, and communication and participation after brain trauma. She is a member of several ASHA special interest groups including Neurogenics and Neurophysiology, Gerontology, and Global Issues in Communication Disorders and Sciences.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Introduction to Treatment

    1. Introduction to Treatment

    In the first chapter of this course, Dr. Hickey provides strategies for finding and evaluating evidence-based intervention strategies for clients experiencing dementia. This chapter also gives participants the tools to apply a social model of treatment of persons with dementia, and to identify how memory processes should be considered in treatment of persons with dementia.

  2. Direct Interventions

    2. Direct Interventions

    In the second chapter of this course, external cueing techniques are discussed in detail. The participant will be able to describe the evidence for use of external cueing techniques, describe how to construct effective external cues with challenging clients, and describe how to use external cueing techniques to improve daily activities, conversation, and functional activities.

  3. Errorless Learning, Vanishing Cues, and Spaced Retrieval Training

    3. Errorless Learning, Vanishing Cues, and Spaced Retrieval Training

    In this chapter, participants will explore the general principles of effective instruction, including the evidence for use of effective instruction techniques for persons with dementia. Participants will learn steps for three effective instruction techniques, including errorless learning, vanishing cues, and spaced retrieval training.

  4. Spaced Retrieval Training Procedures

    4. Spaced Retrieval Training Procedures

    In the final chapter of this course, participants will receive instruction on the steps to effective spaced retrieval training (SRT) procedures. Participants will be able to describe the important variables to control in SRT procedures, describe the structure of the first three SRT sessions with a client with dementia, describe alternative formats for service delivery of SRT, and give examples of how SRT and external cuing techniques can be combined to achieve functional goals for persons with dementia.