About The Book
ECHO: A Vocal Language Program for Easing Anxiety in Conversation is for clinicians supporting individuals who may experience social anxiety related to speaking in specific situations, or with certain individuals. Anxiety has a negative impact on working memory, which can make it difficult for individuals to communicate with ease. With reduced experiences talking to a variety of people in various situations, speaking often becomes more challenging.
The ECHO program was developed to build ease and comfort with social pragmatic communication, focusing on improving conversational skills for children from later elementary through teenage years. The program can be implemented by speech-language pathologists, psychologists, educators, and other facilitators (including parents), who support the needs of children and teens with selective mutism, stuttering, and those in need of social communication support. This unique intervention program combines methods of vocalization and verbalization to enhance conversational skills with role-play simulations for real-life application.
There are three modules in the ECHO program that build upon each other:
- Module 1 uses interactive games to focus on vocal control, helping the child or teen learn how to initiate voice, modulate intonation and volume with greater ease, and produce classes of speech sounds in words and sentences.
- Module 2 provides targeted skills for the child or teen to use language for different purposes, change language for the listeners or situation, and follow rules for conversation and storytelling; all with online interactive games to become a more spontaneous communicator.
- Module 3 builds on the previous two modules by providing conversational role-plays which simulate real-life situations in school, at home, and in social and public settings. A cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) framework is applied to help reduce cognitive distortions.
- Three modules bridging the gap from vocalization to conversation
- The ECHO Checklist to identify communication needs
- Social Communication Skills Pragmatics Checklist
- The ARC model for understanding anxiety tolerance, rescue reduction, and communication confidence
- Thirty-five interactive games and activities with over 150 photos (online and printed) to help children and teens gain skills necessary to vocalize and engage in conversation
- A PluralPlus companion website with interactive activities for in-person and telepractice use