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Professional Resources & Education

Aphasia-Apraxia Therapy: Exploiting Neuroplasticity and Mindfulness


Speaker: William A. Connors, CCC, SLP

Target Audience: SLP, OT/OTA, Psychology (NP)

Course Date: Saturday, October 01, 2016

Time: Registration at 7:30, Course from 8:00-4:45 pm


TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital
1333 Moursund, Houston, TX 77030
2nd floor Research Conference Center


Handouts will be electronically shared with all attendees 1 week prior to the course. Please print or download the materials prior to the course for your use. Wi-Fi is available to all TIRR guest under “MH_Guest” however, we cannot ensure connectivity at all times.


As many as 2 million citizens of Canada and the USA continue to endure the hope-robbing and independence-depriving effects of aphasia and its related disorders. This highly interactive presentation will share with practitioners innovative treatment protocols, materials and technology-based tools that enhance clinical skills and assist in the integration of existing scientific evidence and patient values into aphasia rehabilitation. The use of mindfulness techniques to mitigate aphasia stress will be introduced and practiced. The presentation format will include: lecture, discussion and active participation. It will include the demonstration of and participation in real-time distance therapy (telepractice) and demonstration videos. Techniques to implement clinical, formative assessment and to facilitate data collection will be presented as well smart ways to address weaknesses in the cognitive underpinnings for language recovery such as verbal working memory, flexibility of thought, and attentional skills. Areas of focus may also include treatments specific to: initiating self reliance and independent practice; training coaches; phonological encoding and decoding, motor planning-apraxia; auditory comprehension; alexia; letter-by-letter reading; agraphia; keyboarding; verbal working memory; attention; cost-benefit of intensive aphasia treatment; critical elements of acute vrs ongoing treatment; use of groups; and working with the adolescent and young adult with aphasia. The workshop is appropriate for all clinicians of all experiential levels including those focusing on school-age children.

This presentation will present innovative treatment protocols, software, and technology-based tools that enhance clinical skills, assist in the integration of evidence and patient values into aphasia rehabilitation, and save clinician preparation time. Included will be: lecture, discussion and active participation with telepractice and demonstration videos.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. The participant will be able to identify 10 techniques to simplify, adapt and maximize computers and information technology for aphasia, alexia, agraphia and cognitive therapy.
  2. The participant will be able to identify 5 key cognitive/mental processes that underpin and support language and its rehabilitation and incorporate these into treatment protocol development and application.
  3. The participant will be able to identify 5 techniques for applying adult evidence-based rehabilitation techniques in working with adults, adolescents and young adults with communication problems.
  4. The participant will be able to identify 4 observation and analysis techniques of aphasic client behavior to use in applying evidence-based treatment to maximize rehabilitation activities and effectively train caregivers/coaches participation in the treatment process.

Assessment of Learning Objectives: Large group discussion, interactive dialogue with music and/or videos, written evaluation

Speaker Information

Bill Connors

Bill Connors, MA, CCC-SLP specializes in combining technology, neuroscience and learning theory with current evidence and research to advance the treatment of aphasia and related disorders. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with an M.A. in Speech-language pathology and had post-graduate study at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He founded the Pittsburgh Aphasia Treatment, Research and Education Center in 1999 in collaboration with Dr. Malcolm McNeil and Dr. Patrick Doyle. In 2005, he founded in order to provide speech/language treatment to clients world-wide using video-conferencing, collaboration with SLPs, and tools designed particularly for online rehabilitation and exploitation of neural plasticity. He is a clinical instructor for the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and served as chairperson of the 17-hospital University of Pittsburgh Medical Center SLP Committee. He has assisted on numerous research studies in the assessment and treatment of aphasia and related disorders. Bill is a state representative and member of the Multicultural Task Force for the National Aphasia Association and a member of the Advisory Board at He has presented at numerous state, national and international conferences.

Speaker Disclosures & Conflicts of Interest:

Policy & Procedures exist whereby all speakers must disclose any relationships which may cause a conflict of interest. Any relevant financial and non-financial relationships will be disclosed via speaker agreement, written notification after agreement, and prior to presentation.

  • Financial disclosures: Bill Connors is the owner, has intellectual property rights to, and receives salary from The Aphasia Center of Innovative Treatment, INC. and The Telepractice Certification Community. He is an invited, paid speaker for this presentation.
  • Non-financial disclosures: Bill serves on the Board of Directors for The Brain Recovery Crew Connection. He is on a member and on a committee for the National Aphasia Association. He is a member of the American Telemedicine Association.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

TimeTopic & Activity
7:30 - 8:00amRegistration & Refreshments
8:00 am – 9:00 am

Treatment for motor planning and execution (apraxia that affects phonation; articulations; gesture; yes/no responses; prosody).
Addressing asymbolia; abulia; learned helplessness; focused attention.

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Treatment for phonological aphasia (neuroplastic phonetic decoding and encoding; phonological assembly and working memory).
Addressing working memory; alternation and sustained attention; independent practice; mining the syllabary.

10:00 am – 10:15 amBreak
10:15 am – 11:30 am

Treatment for phonological aphasia (neuroplastic phonetic decoding and encoding; phonological assembly and working memory)
Addressing working memory; alternation and sustained attention; independent practice; mining the syllabary.

11:30 am- 12:15 pm

Treatment and practice demonstrations; Training practice coaches.

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Lunch provided

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm

Treatment for Pragmatics. (turn-taking; clarification; verification; affirmation; eye contact) Addressing cognitive flexibility; question intent)

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm

Treatment for Lexical-Semantic aphasia. (word recall; fluent word recall; semantic-syntactic verb components) Addressing semantic figure-ground; divergent-convergent thought process.

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Treatment for alexia-agraphia.

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm


3:15 pm – 4:00 pm

Treatment for syntactic aphasia. (morphology; syntax; narrative; discourse) Addressing cognitive flexibility; sentence generation; mental resource allocation.

4:00 pm – 4: 30 pm

Exploring clinical applications; managing and creating stimuli; Summary; Q&A

4:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Evaluations & Certificates

4:45 pm


Instructional Methods Used: Lecture, PowerPoint presentations, small group discussions, case presentations



Participants must attend the entire course in order to receive CEU’s/CCU’s and course certificate. No partial credits will be given.

Instructional Level: Intermediate

OT: Memorial Hermann Health System is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. This course is offered for 0.7 AOTA CEU’s. The assignment of AOTA CEU’s does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures from AOTA. AOTA Classification Code: Occupational Therapy Process- Intervention

OT Approved CE

SLP: Memorial Hermann Health System is an ASHA Approved Provider of continuing education- provider ID ABAF. This course is offered for 0.7 ASHA CEU’s. The assignment of ASHA CEU’s does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures from ASHA. ASHA Classification Code: 3030

ASHA 2016

This course is offered for 0.7 ASHA CEUs(Intermediate level, Professional area).

Psychologists: Will receive a certificate of attendance for professional reporting needs.


Cost / Registration: Complete registration form and payment are due to reserve your place in the course. Registration fee includes: electronic access to Course Materials, light refreshments and lunch. Any questions, please contact:

Cancellation policy: Refunds will be granted if cancellation notice is received in writing no later than 14 calendar days prior to the course start date to If you register and do not attend, or do not fulfill the requirements of the class, your course fee will not be refunded. Cancellation of the event by TIRR Memorial Hermann will result in a full refund of monies received. TIRR Memorial Hermann is not responsible for the refund of travel or hotel expenses under any circumstances. TIRR Memorial Hermann reserves the right to cancel or change any programs for due cause. In the event of a cancelation, participants will be notified via email and contact phone number submitted in the registration.

Parking: Please refer to for information on parking. The closest parking is available in Garage 6 and is next to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Registration for this course is now closed.