Session 5–Social Communication Intervention for Diverse Toddlers and Their Families

Check out the third post from our blog series recapping the 2019 Summer Institute! This blog post discusses social communication intervention through a cultural lens.

This session focused on providing routines-based intervention for children under three with particular focus on children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and children with autism spectrum disorder or other social communication delays.

The session provided participants the opportunity to reflect on their own culture and cultural humility, develop strategies for providing culturally sensitive services, and gain ideas for incorporating everyday routines into home- and childcare-based intervention.

Participants also learned core elements of early intervention tailored for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Session objectives

In this session, participants:

  • Defined social communication, described the development of social communication and pragmatic language, and recognized commonly seen deficits in social communication
  • Identified and described cultural and linguistic variables that may impact the development of social communication and service delivery for culturally and linguistically diverse families
  • Analyzed, synthesized, and applied the basic principles and procedures of routines-based intervention for children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Summarized the core elements of naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorder

Intended audience

Early childhood service providers (especially Early Childhood Special Education teachers, Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists)

Intended skill level

Beginner to Intermediate


Sheri StronachSheri Tracy Stronach

Sheri Tracy Stronach, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses and leads the graduate Bilingual and Multicultural Emphasis Program.

Her research focuses on the early identification and intervention for young toddlers with autism spectrum disorder, with an emphasis on community engagement, interdisciplinary professional education, and early red flags of autism across cultures.

Sheri is a licensed speech-language pathologist in Minnesota and certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.