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Strategies for Emerging Communicators May 19 th and May 27 th 7-8:30 Barb Lark, SLP and ATP.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Emerging Communicators May 19 th and May 27 th 7-8:30 Barb Lark, SLP and ATP."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Emerging Communicators May 19 th and May 27 th 7-8:30 Barb Lark, SLP and ATP

2 Session #2 Tonights agenda Overview of symbol assessment Overview of symbol assessment Not all Emergent Communicators are the same Not all Emergent Communicators are the same –Strategies for various levels of skills within the category of Emergent Communicator

3 Symbol Assessment – ala Pat Mirenda, PhD Research has shown that, for visual symbols (nouns), there is predictability regarding easiest – to – hardest. Research has shown that, for visual symbols (nouns), there is predictability regarding easiest – to – hardest. This is the general hierarchy: This is the general hierarchy: –Objects (identical and non-identical) –Color photos –Black & white photos –Line drawing –Printed words From Pat Mirenda, Ph.D copyright 10/08 From Pat Mirenda, Ph.D copyright 10/08

4 Gather info through interview and observation Ask those who know student well, Ask those who know student well, –Does student recognize familiar logos (e.g. McDonalds) –Does student recognize pictures when you name them? –Has student used any symbols successfully? Observe Observe –With books & magazines –With pictures

5 Direct Assessment Collect objects the student is familiar with. Ask the family, to make sure. Collect objects the student is familiar with. Ask the family, to make sure. Collect picture symbols to match the objects Collect picture symbols to match the objects –Identical photos –Non-identical photos –Line drawings –Words Examples: plastic food, bubbles, bowl, wash cloth Examples: plastic food, bubbles, bowl, wash cloth

6 Check receptive understanding of words Two or more objects or symbols are placed in front of the student. Two or more objects or symbols are placed in front of the student. Ask the student to look at, show, or give each, one at a time. Ask the student to look at, show, or give each, one at a time.

7 Matching Show one object to the student. Show one object to the student. Then place 2 symbols on the table, one of the object and a second symbol. Then place 2 symbols on the table, one of the object and a second symbol. Ask the student to find, match, give one like the one you are showing. Ask the student to find, match, give one like the one you are showing.

8 Check reliability in a variety of settings Times of day Times of day Noisy Noisy Quiet Quiet Busy/calm Busy/calm

9 What do use for intervention In order to use a symbol for intervention, the student needs to be successful selecting the symbol with about 80% accuracy. In order to use a symbol for intervention, the student needs to be successful selecting the symbol with about 80% accuracy. If they can manage a symbol, it needs to be provided for their use. If they can manage a symbol, it needs to be provided for their use.

10 Teaching Recognition of Symbols… Pair the symbols with requests Pair the symbols with requests Pair the symbols with schedules, to help organize their day. Pair the symbols with schedules, to help organize their day. Pair the symbols with steps in an activity or task Pair the symbols with steps in an activity or task Start with the symbol level at which they have success, but also pair with the next highest order symbol. Start with the symbol level at which they have success, but also pair with the next highest order symbol.

11 Emergent Communicators By definition, these students do not reliably use symbols to communicate. By definition, these students do not reliably use symbols to communicate. So what do you do to help build communication? So what do you do to help build communication? Determine Likes and Dislikes Determine Likes and Dislikes Build communication exchanges that have meaning to the child, based on their likes and dislikes. Build communication exchanges that have meaning to the child, based on their likes and dislikes.

12 Barbs hierarchy w/in category of Emergent Communicators 1. Has awareness of activity 2. Communicates, non-symbolically, that he wants an activity to continue. 3. Has a non-symbolic way to indicate a choice within an activity. 4. Move toward more symbolic representation by 1.Pairing the symbol with the choice 2.Pairing a symbol with a request for continuation of pleasurable activity. 3.Pairing a symbol with cessation of undesirable activity.

13 I am giving you permission to have fun! For a student at the emerging level of communication, you must build a bond. You must establish yourself as someone this student wants to communicate with. For a student at the emerging level of communication, you must build a bond. You must establish yourself as someone this student wants to communicate with. The interactions you have with this student must be meaningful. The interactions you have with this student must be meaningful. The interactions must provide your student with some sense of power and control. The interactions must provide your student with some sense of power and control.

14 So…. With this student, you get to do the thinks he finds enjoyable. With this student, you get to do the thinks he finds enjoyable. With this student you dont need to stress about how his activity aligns with grade level standards. With this student you dont need to stress about how his activity aligns with grade level standards. Look for materials that are going to present the most age-appropriate interactions, but dont stress about how it relates to Washington State History or Venn diagrams. Look for materials that are going to present the most age-appropriate interactions, but dont stress about how it relates to Washington State History or Venn diagrams.

15 Awareness level You have done your likes & dislikes checklist, so you probably have some idea about the kinds of things this student attends to. You have done your likes & dislikes checklist, so you probably have some idea about the kinds of things this student attends to. Here are some activities I have found positive with some students at this level: Here are some activities I have found positive with some students at this level: Musiclight activated toys Fansinging animals Lotion on armwater fountains

16 Next steps to look for: Sharing activities the student enjoys is a great way to establish that all-important bond. Sharing activities the student enjoys is a great way to establish that all-important bond. Pause during the activity to see if the student indicates, in some recognizable way, that he wants the activity to continue. Pause during the activity to see if the student indicates, in some recognizable way, that he wants the activity to continue. See if there is a way to make that gesture/movement used for a variety of activities. See if there is a way to make that gesture/movement used for a variety of activities.

17 Continuation of Activity If your student has a way to indicate she wants a pleasurable activity to continue, see if you can make it more standardized. If your student has a way to indicate she wants a pleasurable activity to continue, see if you can make it more standardized. See if you can introduce a voice output switch like a Big Mack. If they can touch the switch with more recorded on it, see if they begin, over time, to look expectantly to you after touching the switch. See if you can introduce a voice output switch like a Big Mack. If they can touch the switch with more recorded on it, see if they begin, over time, to look expectantly to you after touching the switch. You might also look for a natural gesture and see if that gesture is followed by the same kind of expectation. And see if the gesture is used in more than one activity. You might also look for a natural gesture and see if that gesture is followed by the same kind of expectation. And see if the gesture is used in more than one activity.

18 Making a choice between activities Start by offering 2 objects the student likes. Start by offering 2 objects the student likes. –Starting with 2 preferred objects establishes reaching/pointing/gazing. As quickly as possible, introduce a foil. This would be something the student is neutral about. As quickly as possible, introduce a foil. This would be something the student is neutral about. Gradually add a third object – 2 preferred and one foil. Gradually add a third object – 2 preferred and one foil. You can also do actions like Go and Stop when pushing on a swing or pulling in a wagon. You can use more and all done for singing songs like Row, Row Your Boat. You could use 2 Big Mack switches in this case. But realize that actions, while powerful, are more difficult to represent in concrete ways. So this connection might come later than use of 2 objects to request. You can also do actions like Go and Stop when pushing on a swing or pulling in a wagon. You can use more and all done for singing songs like Row, Row Your Boat. You could use 2 Big Mack switches in this case. But realize that actions, while powerful, are more difficult to represent in concrete ways. So this connection might come later than use of 2 objects to request.

19 Pairing Symbols with Activities Once your have established objects and/or actions the student will request, start pairing the objects with symbols that represent the activity. Once your have established objects and/or actions the student will request, start pairing the objects with symbols that represent the activity. –If she likes face washing, pair a part of a wash cloth with the activity. Dont use it in the activity, just pair it. –If he likes the vibrating coil, pair a piece of blue foam that might represent the coil. –If he likes a Hallmark singing bunny, pair a small bunny with the one in the activity.

20 Pairing Symbols with Activities (cont.) You dont always have to pair an object. See if pairing a photo or line drawing is as effective as the object. If it is, you have bypassed the object symbol step. You dont always have to pair an object. See if pairing a photo or line drawing is as effective as the object. If it is, you have bypassed the object symbol step. Quickly try presenting just the symbols, so see if he gets the connection. Quickly try presenting just the symbols, so see if he gets the connection. Take data so you arent guessing. Remember, no reliable is in the definition of Emerging Communicator. Take data so you arent guessing. Remember, no reliable is in the definition of Emerging Communicator.

21 I like to add voice output with the symbol at this stage. I provide 2 Big Mack switches with 2 symbols of preferred object. I place the switch within reach and the object they want beyond reach. The Big Mack is on the way to the object. I provide 2 Big Mack switches with 2 symbols of preferred object. I place the switch within reach and the object they want beyond reach. The Big Mack is on the way to the object. When they begin activating the switch and dont reach for the object, and they have a fair level of success, I use a preferred object and a foil. When they begin activating the switch and dont reach for the object, and they have a fair level of success, I use a preferred object and a foil.

22 This can be a very long process. Dont be discouraged. Making the connections between objects/actions and symbols can take years. Dont be discouraged. Making the connections between objects/actions and symbols can take years. Account for small steps in writing your annual goals. Account for small steps in writing your annual goals. Just know that the work is important for your student. This communication is POWERFUL. It will allow them to recognize the impact they have on the world, and to move toward their best level of independence. Just know that the work is important for your student. This communication is POWERFUL. It will allow them to recognize the impact they have on the world, and to move toward their best level of independence.

23 There are other things to consider… Try to include core vocabulary word symbols that are powerful along with nouns/object symbols. Try to include core vocabulary word symbols that are powerful along with nouns/object symbols. –More –Done –Stop –Go See how the student does using the symbol alone and symbol with voice output. See how the student does using the symbol alone and symbol with voice output. Take data so you arent guessing. Take data so you arent guessing.

24 Remember that symbols can be paired with schedules Pairing symbols, particularly object symbols, with daily activities can be a very effective way for your student to get a lot of exposure to a symbol; you will be using it every day, sometimes throughout the day. Pairing symbols, particularly object symbols, with daily activities can be a very effective way for your student to get a lot of exposure to a symbol; you will be using it every day, sometimes throughout the day. If using an object symbol, assess if it has meaning for your student. If using an object symbol, assess if it has meaning for your student. You can watch to see if the student begins using those object symbols to make requests. You can watch to see if the student begins using those object symbols to make requests.

25 In looking at your students schedule Think about this students schedule differently than your other students schedules. Think about this students schedule differently than your other students schedules. Think about what activities are meaningful to him and represent those activities to him. Think about what activities are meaningful to him and represent those activities to him.

26 Lets sum it up! 1. Your goals for these students is to actively engage in meaningful activities in order to develop a sense of control. 2. To determine what is meaningful, do a Likes and Dislikes checklist. Also look at problem behaviors to see what they might be communicating.

27 Lets sum it up! 3. Determine what level of interaction your student is engaging in: awareness continuation choices pairing symbols 4. Intersperse meaningful activities throughout the day, targeting on increasing focus toward recognizing symbols. 5. Look at ways to meaningful represent her daily schedule; look for ways she might make requests using those symbols.

28 About clock hour forms Because this is an online class, I have to have some kind of assignment. Because this is an online class, I have to have some kind of assignment. Your assignment is: Your assignment is: –In an to me, briefly describe an emergent communicator you currently work with, have worked with in the past, or can imagine working with. –Tell me 3 things that would have been Likes for that student, and 2 that would have been Dislikes. When I receive you assignment, I will send you your Clock Hour form. When I receive you assignment, I will send you your Clock Hour form.

29 Thank you for participating in this class! This format for Professional Development is new and evolving. This format for Professional Development is new and evolving. Your participation and feedback has been greatly appreciated. Your participation and feedback has been greatly appreciated. Please fill out the online class evaluation on the Professional Development website, under your login and your schedule. Please fill out the online class evaluation on the Professional Development website, under your login and your schedule.


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