Providing speech, language, and social communication services to children of all ages for 15 years! We specialize in physically-supportive services to children with autism diagnoses, and others who benefit from sensorimotor supports.

CDC News

Join us in denver!

2015 Asha convention, Colorado convention center

Friday, November 13, 8AM - 10Am

Minimally-speaking kids with autism — the success stories!

Our clinic has been supporting kids' speech access for over 15 years: their development from breath support to phonation to intonation to vowels — and then to consonants and clarifying their connected speech.

Starting with physical support of deep breathing, our clinicians help kids coordinate airflow with voice, with vowels, and then series of consonants — as they move up the hierarchy of supports for dyspraxia. Published as When Speech Gets Stuck in the Autism Asperger's Digest in 2004, the hierarchy provides a reliable framework for supporting our kids as they progress.

Marge is partnering with Lillian Stiegler, Southeastern Louisiana University, whose 2007 article illustrates a qualitative protocol for documenting communicative intent in such children: "Discovering Communicative Competencies in a Nonspeaking Child With Autism."

Joining their methodologies in this presentation, Marge Blanc and Lillian Stiegler will give case examples of both the 'hierarchy' and Conversation Analysis in action.

Blending research and clinical practice, this session will present assessment and treatment methods that fit naturally into the lives of our kids and their families.

If you're at ASHA, this presentation should not be missed: Severe Motor Speech Challenges in ASD: Using Conversational Analysis to Discover Meaning and Communicative Intent.

2015 ASHA Convention Schedule

"It is hoped that this important work will help educators, therapists and parents move to more contemporary understandings and practices."

Barry M. Prizant, Ph. D., CCC-SLP
Adjunct Professor
Brown University

"Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: The Journey from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language is a wonderful resource that provides the most comprehensive consideration of echolalia and language characteristics of persons with autism to date."

"In this seminal work, Marge Blanc, an experienced clinician and clinical researcher, brings us back to a crucial understanding of language characteristics and language acquisition in ASD based on her deep understanding of language development from a social-pragmatic, child-centered perspective. Unfortunately, too many educators and therapists hold on to outdated and disproven perceptions of echolalia and gestalt language and attempt to 'treat' echolalia with a lack of knowledge of the historical context and research basis of our understanding of language development in ASD."

"By looking at echolalia only through a behavioral lens of pathology rather than through a developmental perspective based on research on autism and typical development, such practices may actually be hindering functional language development. It is hoped that this important work will help educators, therapists and parents move to more contemporary understandings and practices."

"This book is a 'must-read' for all who care about supporting social communication for persons with ASD based on research and sound clinical practice."

Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Adjunct Professor
Brown University

Director, Childhood Communication Services
Cranston, RI

Echolalia unscripted!

Echolalia communicates! And it jump-starts our students’ natural language development!

This ground-breaking book will show you how to:

  • Recognize the meaning and intentions behind echolalia
  • Support students on the autism spectrum from echolalia to self-generated language
  • Bring this information to families and your school teams
  • Connect with your students on the autism spectrum, and watch them grow!

NLA Book

Order your copy today!
$29.95 plus shipping and handling.

What's new on facebook?

Check out this thought-provoking and eye-opening blog post about "Motor Difficulties in Severe Autism," and other links in our CDC Facebook page!

even if you've read the articles on echolalia, you may want to read about: dyspraxic speech support, language retrieval, and self-regulation.

Read more at our articles page.

articles by Marge Blanc

Bringing It Home: Physical Supports for Speech at Home and in Other Environments

It's All Gibberish to Me: Redefining "Non-verbal"

More Than Words (Parts 1-6)

Click here for more articles by Marge Blanc


A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words


Last Day of Fall Session:

December 18, 2015

Winter Break:

December 21 — January 1

Spring Semester:

January 4 — May 27

Spring Break:

May 21 — May 25

Summer Session:

June 20 — August 12

First Day of Fall Session:

September 12, 2016

Welcome to CDC!

We are a small, non-profit clinic on the west side of Madison, WI, specializing in communication services for children who benefit from play and physical activity to support their interactions and language: children with challenges associated with autism, dyspraxia, and sensorimotor coordination. Please browse our site to learn more about us!

For some of the latest thinking on ASD and child development, please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

Featuring ...

Welcome to our new column, featuring one or two of our superstars each month!

We’ve had the pleasure of knowing ‘B’ and his family for a long time. His mom is known as the world’s best cook, his big sister as the protector, his little brother as the dinosaur guy – and his dad as the master mechanic. B and his dad have a lot in common, and although he lives several hours away, his dad is one of B’s constant sources of inspiration. To keep him close when he’s away, B has been sharing his favorite dad/son scene with us, reenacting it on the trampoline, complete with hand gestures, sound effects, and stage directions. Running around the trampoline together, B and one of the clinicians played out a part of the scene when the dinosaur chases them in their car, all the while composing a story that another clinician wrote out for the book he was creating.

B has always been an impressive communicator, but his access to his great language varies quite a lot. He has always made the most of every session he has attended at CDC, finding ways to communicate even when he doesn’t have the best vocal access. He will rise above any challenges that he may be facing, and comes into clinic knowing he will find the help he needs to get to his optimal regulation and his team will support him wherever he is.

B has always shown his love for his CDC friends in everything he does. Proof of that came recently when B dared to advocate for himself, even when his friends had different ideas. Recently, B combined his two favorite activities: watching his funny movie clip, and Legos. He had the idea to make a book of the lego stickers he had found, and soon it became a team project. B directed a selected team member to do a particular task, such as tracing a piece of tape. Soon, B had his whole team coloring together with him, each taking part through individual tasks, but working towards a common goal. B clarified with his friends that this was a very important book to him, and advocated for himself and his play partner when another team member inserted a rather random idea.

B’s ever evolving speech and language progress and his social skills continue to impress his team and family. He has a spark and a desire to communicate that he is able to fulfill in several different ways, depending upon the day. Whether that is using voice, intonation, or having the confidence to self-advocate, B’s team is always ready to take part in his creative endeavors.