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Welcome to AT/AAC Session 2

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to AT/AAC Session 2"— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to AT/AAC Session 2

2 Updates to wiki Added: Resources on person-centered planning Resources on assessment “Cool & Free AT Resources” resources Please check and make sure links are working to the readings & assignments, etc. Let me know if there are any problems accessing materials on the wiki

3 Annotated Bibliography Assignment
Example on the wiki. 5 Peer-reviewed, empirical journal articles Use APA format for citation Topics (Choose One….Now!): Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Functional Communication Training Video Modeling for teaching communication/social skills Video Modeling for teaching academic/functional skills Literacy Interventions for Students Using AAC Peer Mediated Instruction/Peer Supports for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities

4 How do you involve general education in the process of supporting students with significant disabilities? Ability awareness for staff School-wide approach/vision Empower general education teachers as the main teacher for the student, SPED and instructional aides are supports to instruction in class Curriculum co-planning with general education teacher, speech/language therapist, etc. Consider supports as both class-wide and specific to the student within the general education curriculum.

5 Teaching Communication Skills
General Education Classroom Ideal environment- numerous opportunities to communicate with responsive communicative partners However, students need specific & systematic instruction to acquire desired skills Educational Team must develop teaching strategies and implement them consistently

6 Six Guiding Principles to Creating an Inclusive School
All instruction is guided by General Education All school resources are configured to benefit all students School Proactively addresses social development and citizenship School is data-based learning organization School has open boundaries in relation to its families and its community District supports school-centered approach and extensive systems-change activities required to implement a school-wide model Sailor & Roger, 2005

7 Change When change occurs individuals are usually pushed out of their box, or their comfort zone. In the case of full inclusion, this change will effect the general education teacher and the special education teacher the most. Incorporate notion of Team-Work where we can pull together, instead of pulling apart, each team member’s expertise into an inclusive educational program

8 Person-Centered Planning
Strength-based shared understanding of : Values, Long-term goals, Current programs, Barriers to participation & success , Possible variables influencing barriers

9 Person-centered Approach to Assessment
Involve the student & family every step of the way Don’t think of assessment “on” a student, but rather “with” a student Essential to understand student’s unique physical and sensory skills How they see, hear, move E.g., if a student has no functional vision and does not use speech, then an alternate form of expressive communication may probably involve…..???? Use of objects, parts of objects, gestures, & manual signs

10 Supporting AAC learners is a collaborative effort
Family/caregivers & friends Present & future employers Teachers (SPED & Gen Ed.) Speech/language specialists Physical & occupational therapists Student

11 Parody on Special Education Director Leading a Staff Meeting
Strictly meant to be a parody …though a lot of truth is said in jest… BA

12 Review for Quiz #1

13 Define Assistive Technology:
Assistive technology (AT) is defined as any item, piece of equipment, or product, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. (P.L , The Technology Related Assistance Act of 1988).

14 Define Augmentative & Alternative Communication:
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. -American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (

15 Loman et al., 2010

16 External Community Supports
I hear “One Voice” Academic Support System: Response to Intervention Social/Behavior Support System: School-wide PBS Context for: Person Centered Planning, Functional Assessment & Wraparound

17 SETT- similar to ecological inventory
Student S Environment E Task T Tools What are the student’s current abilities? What are the student’s special needs? What are the functional areas of concern? What activities take place in the environment? What activities do other students do that this student cannot currently participate in? What assistive technology does the student have access to or currently use? What specific tasks occur in the environment? What activities is the student expected to do? What does success look like? Are the tools being considered on a continuum from no/low to high-tech? Are the tools student centered and task oriented and reflect the student’s current needs? What are the training requirements for the student, family and staff?

18 Functional Communication Training (FCT)
FCT involves teaching specific communication skills that are functionally equivalent to problem behavior, based on a functional behavior assessment (FBA) Behavior may serve a number of functions: -obtaining desired items, activities, attention, or environments -escaping a nonpreferred or nondesired activity -regulating levels of sensory arousal

19 Light (1989), Communicative Competence for AAC users made up of:
Linguistic Competence Operational Competence Social Competence Strategic Competence

20 Correct quiz

21 discussion Get together with a partner to discuss this week’s readings using your discussion guide. Do this for about minutes.

22 Lecture



25 Basic Conditions for Communication (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005)
At least 2 people who understand each other Form (i.e. a way to send the message) Content (i.e., something to talk about) Function: Reason/Purpose to communicate Educational team members must ensure these are addressed

26 Social Issues in Communication
Students in special education classrooms tend to have interactions with adults but limited interaction with other students (Foreman et al., 2004) What affects does this have on: learning communication, and making friends? Foreman et al., found that students with disabilities in general education were involved in significantly higher levels of communication interactions than their matched pair in special education classrooms (2004).

27 Two key parts of language…
Receptive Language: Understanding what people mean when they speak to you. Expressive Language Being able to speak/communicate so that others understand you.

28 Communication Forms (Behaviors) Multi-modal nature of communication
No one form of communication will meet all needs or all social situations Teaching a combination of different modes is necessary Examples: Vocalization, body movements, pointing, facial expressions, nodding, gestures, use of object symbols, picture symbols, manual signs

29 Communicative Functions/ Intent
Request Initiate/greeting Terminate Attention Naming Accept/Reject Protesting situations Affirming situations Expressing choices or preferences

30 Contents of Communication
When there is nothing to say, there is no communication (i.e. the awkward pause when run out of things to say) Individuals with severe disabilities need to have access to a variety of objects, pictures, and photos

31 Communication Skills Speech Language Conversation Skills
Articulation, Resonance, Voice, Fluency Language Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics Conversation Skills Turn taking, content, initiation, closure Articulation - production of consonants, vowels with lips, teeth and tongue Resonance - balance of airflow between nose and mouth Voice - vibration of vocal chords in larnyx Fluency - rate and rhythm; rising and falling; change in pitch Phonology - rules for structure, distribution, sequencing of speech sounds Syntax - rules for word order, sentence organization and word relationships Semantics - word meaning Pragmatics - language use in context; how adapted to different social situations

32 Problems in the Classroom?
Receptive language deficits Cannot recall sequences of ideas presented orally Difficulty understanding humor, sarcasm, figurative language May not understand questions Trouble following directions Cannot retain information presented orally Difficulty understanding compound and complex sentences

33 Expressive Deficits Spoken language may include incorrect grammar or syntax Limited use of vocabulary Frequent hesitations/can’t find right words Difficulty discussing abstract, temporal or spatial concepts Jumps from topic to topic Afraid to ask questions, does not know what questions to ask, does not know how to ask questions.

34 Assessing Communication Skills
Standardized Tests will not provide the information you need Assessment driven by questions that need to be answered to help benefit from communication intervention—Team Effort Interviews with Significant Others & Ecological- Functional Assessment Process

35 Research on Ecological Assessment
Arose out of dissatisfaction with failures in adapting standardized assessments for students with significant disabilities Information obtained had minimal impact on educational planning (Sigafoos et al., 1987; Blankenship, 1985; Cole et al., 1985) Ecological reports result in: Higher ratings of expected educational outcomes (Linehan & Brady, 1985) Educators more likely to recommend related services and less restrictive placements

36 Steps in Ecological Assessment Process
Step 1: Plan with Student & Family Step 2: Summarize what is known about the student Step 3: Encourage Self-Determination/ Assess Student Preferences Step 4: Assess student’s instructional program Step 5: Develop ecological assessment report

37 Considering assessment options?
Current communication Environmental conditions Motor capabilities Cognitive/linguistic capacities Language capacities Literacy capacities Sensory/perceptual capacities

38 Assessing Receptive Communication Skills
Receptive skills for a specific activity need to be identified What does the student do to demonstrate that the message has been received and understood? Document what forms of communication seem to be best understood

39 Assessing Expressive Communication Skills
Any attempt by the student to start, maintain, or end a communicative exchange should be noted. How the students communicates (the form)—Skill level? Why the student is communicating (function/intent)— different forms of communication for different purposes? What the student talks about (content)—information on breadth of skills and accessibility?


41 Significant Other Interview(s)
See Communication Style Assessment—handout Interview questions for professionals---handout



44 Embedded In-class activity
Practice using these interviews with a partner based on your case study OR you may use a student that you have or are working with. Note your evaluation of using these interview questions.

45 Assessing current communication
Communication Matrix by Charity Rowland (designs to learn website) Organized by communication function List of behaviors Not used, emerging or mastered

46 Embedded In-class activity
Use your case study or student you know and practice using the communication matrix website with a partner. Write your evaluation of the use of this online tool.

47 Ecological-Functional Assessment Process for communication
Uses observational techniques to analyze skill demands of the natural environment and determine how the student performs within the environment Leads directly to intervention plan (Snell, 2002)

48 3. List sub-environments
1. List Domains 2. List environments 3. List sub-environments 4. List activities associated with each sub environment 5. Task analyze each activity to identify skills 6. Observe the performance of the activity to identify needs

49 Communication Ecological Inventory Worksheet (Figure 8-10, p
Communication Ecological Inventory Worksheet (Figure 8-10, p.249, Best, Heller, Bigge, 2005) 1. Ask: Where does the student spend time? (environment, sub-environment, activities) 2. Select Activity: (e.g., ordering food) 3. Observe: (for vocabulary used in activity) List Expressive Vocabulary used in the activity List Receptive Vocabulary used in the activity 4. Review listed words and determine which words & skills need to be taught to the student.

50 Example of Communication Ecological Inventory
Where does the student spend time? Environment: Community: McDonald’s Subenvironment: McDonald’s counter area Activities: Ordering food, waiting in line, socializing in line Select activity: Ordering Food

51 Example Cont’d Observe vocabulary used in activity
Expressive: “I want, hamburger, fish sandwich, small, medium, large, coke, milkshake, yes/no, that’s all, thank you, my order is wrong, I need, extra ketchup, for here, please repeat that, how much?” Receptive: “May I help you?, Is that all?, Here or to go?, Your order will be ready soon?, I don’t understand, Your total is_____” Review listed words: which are above, below, and at the student’s level. Which are within or outside student’s experience, which are necessary for the task

52 Embedded in-class activity
Complete the communication ecological inventory worksheet on your in-class activity. Use only one activity in the school environment (e.g., asking to play a game at recess, participating in writing activity in language arts class)

53 Ecological Inventory of Communication Skills
Steps in Activity Natural Cues Comm. Skills Needed Student Performance Discrepancy Analysis Interv. Plan Receptive or Expressive + or - Why student isn’t doing the step suggestions



56 Concluding In-Class Activity
Use words or definitions provided in your envelope to match with another partner(s). Match the words and definitions.

57 Self-evaluation & feedback

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