This course is a podcast episode.

You can listen to this course for free on most podcast players (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, etc.). Once you have listened to the episode / course you can access the post-test and earn your certificate / ASHA CEUs using the links above.

In lieu of a handout....

We offer you the article published on the PrAACtical AAC Blog

Course Description and Learning Outcomes

In this series “Bringing it all Together,” we review different intervention strategies with a focus on implementation.   In the last episode of this series, we reviewed Aided Language Modeling, a popular augmentative alternative communication (AAC) interventions that is commonly used throughout the field of AAC.  But there are other interventions, like chaining, that don’t quite get the time in the limelight that they deserve.  Chaining interventions in the AAC world might be best known for their role in the PECS ®  protocol, however chaining is commonly used throughout AAC interventions without being named.    

We are excited to present to you the second episode in our series of Bringing it All Together: Chaining Procedures in AAC.  Our goal is that you read this article and leave feeling like chaining is the friend you never knew you had.

  1. Describe a task analysis and relationship to chaining interventions
  2. Describe the difference between forward chaining, backward chaining, and total task chaining approaches
  3. Identify specific variables that may make a certain chaining approach a better fit for your clinical needs compared with other chaining approaches or non-chaining approaches


Course Presenters

SLP/BCBA; SLP Kate Grandbois (she/her) & Amy Wonkka (she/her

Kate and Amy are co-founders of SLP Nerdcast. Kate is a dually certified SLP / BCBA who works primarily as an "AAC Specialist." She owns a private practice with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, augmentative alternative communication intervention and assessment, and consultation. Amy is an SLP who also works as an "AAC Specialist" in a public school setting. Amy's primary interests are AAC, typical language development, motor speech, phonology, data collection, collaboration, coaching, and communication partner training and support.

Speaker Disclosures

Kate Grandbois financial disclosures: Kate is the owner / founder of Grandbois Therapy + Consulting, LLC and co-founder of SLP Nerdcast. Kate Grandbois non-financial disclosures: Kate is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. She is also a member of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT), MassABA, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the corresponding Speech Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis SIG. 

Amy Wonkka financial disclosures: Kate is an employee of a public school system and co-founder of SLP Nerdcast.  Amy Wonkka non-financial disclosures: Amy is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

Time Ordered Agenda

10 minutes: Introduction, Disclaimers and Disclosures

20 minutes:  Descriptions of Task Analyses and their role in chaining

15 minutes:  Descriptions the different types of chaining

10 minutes:  Describe the pros and cons of chaining and what to consider when choosing to use each type

5 minutes: Summary and Closing

References and Resources

Adams, A. E., Rogers, W. A., & Fisk, A. D. (2013). Skill components of task analysis. Instructional Science, 41(6), 1009-1046. doi:10.1007/s11251-013-9270-9

Frost, L., & Mcgowan, J. S. (2011). Strategies for Transitioning From PECS to SGD. Part I: Overview and Device Selection. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 20(4), 114-118. doi:10.1044/aac20.4.114

Preston, J. L., & Leece, M. C. (2017). Intensive Treatment for Persisting Rhotic Distortions: A Case Series. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 26(4), 1066-1079. doi:10.1044/2017_ajslp-16-0232

Preston, J. L., Leece, M. C., & Storto, J. (2019). Tutorial: Speech Motor Chaining Treatment for School-Age Children With Speech Sound Disorders. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 50(3), 343-355. doi:10.1044/2018_lshss-18-0081

Slocum, S. K., & Tiger, J. H. (2011). An Assessment Of The Efficiency Of And Child Preference For Forward And Backward Chaining. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44(4), 793-805. doi:10.1901/jaba.2011.44-793

Stevenson, B. S., Flynn, P. F., & Test, D. W. (2016). Evidence-Based Practices and Predictors: Improving Post-School Outcomes for Students with Disabilities. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 1(16), 47-62. doi:10.1044/persp1.sig16.47

Embrey, D., PhD. (n.d.). TASK ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES - Human Reliability. Retrieved August 28, 2020, from

Velleman, S., PhD. (1970, November 28). Backward Build-Ups: A Therapy Technique for Multisyllabic Words. Retrieved August 28, 2020, from

When Everything Clicks: The Power Of Judgment-Free Learning. (2018, June 05). Retrieved August 28, 2020, from


The contents of this episode are not meant to replace clinical advice.  SLP Nerdcast, its hosts and guests do not represent or endorse specific products or procedures mentioned during our episodes unless otherwise stated.  We are NOT PhDs, but we do research our material.  We do our best to provide a thorough review and fair representation of each topic that we tackle.  That being said, it is always likely that there is an article we’ve missed, or another perspective that isn’t shared.  If you have something to add to the conversation, please email us! We'd love to hear from you!