Presentation on theme: "Session 6 Assessing Communication Skills, Social Skills & Assistive Technology Needs."— Presentation transcript:
Session 6 Assessing Communication Skills, Social Skills & Assistive Technology Needs
Article Review# 2 Due Today Assessment Tool Box Project & Presentations Due Next Week: August 11 th Right now I am going to give you 30 minutes to work with your group on this to work out logistics and I will answer questions within each group. We may have more time at end of class.
Outcomes for today Discuss Readings as a class! Lecture on Communication Assessment Activities on Communication Assessment Lecture on Assistive Technology Assessment Social Skills Assessment
Discussion on Readings 1.Teaching Communication Skills (Ch 11) 2. Sigafoos et al. Ch Using Technology to Enhance Teaching & Learning (Ch 19)
“If I could not express myself, I would become like the tree in the forest—the one for which it does not matter if it makes a sound when it comes crashing down, because there is no one around to hear it. Unfortunately, there are still many silent fallen trees all around us if we stop and look.” Bob Williams, AAC user with complex communication needs (Williams, 2000, p. 250)
Communication Bill of Rights Each person has a right to: Request desired objects, actions, events, & people Refuse undesired objects, etc. Express personal preferences & feelings. Be offered choices & alternatives. Reject offered choices & alternatives. Request & receive another person’s attention/interaction Ask for & receive info about changes in routine & environment. Receive intervention to improve communication skills From the National Joint Committee for the Communicative Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities. (1992). Guidelines for meeting the communication needs of persons with severe disabilities. ASHA, 34(Suppl. 7), 2–3.
Communication Bill of Rights Each person has a right to: Receive a response to any communication, whether or not the responder can fill the request. Have access to augmentative and alternative communication and other assistive technology services & devices at all times. Be in environments that promote one’s communication as a full partner with other people, including peers. Be spoken to with respect & courtesy. Be spoken to directly and not spoken for or talked about in 3 rd person while present. Have clear, meaningful, and culturally & linguistically appropriate communication.
“Communicative competence implies the ability to meet the demands of participation and communication within the culture” (p. 55). The adequacy of one’s communication is based on having sufficient knowledge, judgment, & skills needed to convey a message to a communicative partner. This complex behavior is learned within a cultural environment
1. Linguistic Competence 2. Operational Competence 3. Social Competence 4. Strategic Competence
AAC user needs to perform in at least two environments -Both native language & AAC codes need to be mastered -represent two different cultures -AAC user by default is bicultural and has to learn to function adequately in at least two environments.
Technical skills needed to operate systems used by AAC users. Skills include: ◦ Access, transmission, and operational skills needed to reach mastery level in accuracy and speed in using a given system. Mastery level may differ in different cultures Evaluation of preferred operational methods and transmission modes within a culture should occur within an AAC assessment for a student These preferences may be evaluated while assessing student strengths (e.g., person/family-centered planning)
Achieved when the user has the knowledge, judgment, and skill to understand and adequately function within their cultural community Relates to knowledge of how to use language (i.e., what terminology and forms are used, at what times, and with what people) ◦ What behaviors are expected (at what times, with whom, for what purposes) ◦ What is considered appropriate decorum and dress in public & home ◦ How the culture perceives the world
AAC users must learn to use specific systems or strategies of communication that often differ from the verbal communication systems of the family or community AAC users may be highly dependent on communication partners to infer meanings of messages. Strategies for communicating AND the technology of communicating make up a communication system AAC users must achieve competence in both
Communication strategies are often developed by the practitioners without adequate knowledge of the AAC user’s culture. Providing a culturally acceptable strategic system may enhance the strategic competence while enabling the user appropriate use of the chosen technology. What can you do to ensure a student’s culture is considered in the development of a communication system?
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 will probably involve…..???? Use of objects, parts of objects, gestures, & manual signs
Downing, J.E. (2005)Teaching Communication Skills to Students with Severe Disabilities Soto, G. & Zangari, C. (2009). Practically Speaking: Language, Literacy, & Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs.
Competence in a symbolic and language system (e.g., spoken English, manual ASL)? Formalized rules of word representation, production, & use? Breathing is the only real pre-requisite (Mirenda, 1993)
Allows control over physical & social environment Allows for acquiring new skills (strong correlation between literacy & communication skill development for students with severe disabilities; Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005) Allows for socially acceptable way to express feelings of frustration Allows for development of friendships
Better to err on the side of assuming competence even if it is not there, rather than err on the side of assuming incompetence when competence is the case. All individuals need to communicate
Students who demonstrate minimal communication skills and are not adequately expressing themselves. Cognitive Referencing---Many professionals still believe that for children with severe intellectual challenges communication services are irrelevant (Downing, 2005)— Question should not be whether students will benefit from communication intervention, but how best to provide support
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
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).
Receptive Language: ◦ Understanding what people mean when they speak to you. Expressive Language ◦ Being able to speak/communicate so that others understand you.
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
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
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
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 no how to ask questions.
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
Daily/ Weekly Yearly Monthly/ Quarterly Identify Potential Communicative Acts Verify communicative functions, Analyze environmental demands Review Assessment Info Select appropriate interventions Write communication goals Select Instructional Procedures Create opportunities for comm. Implement relevant procedures Program generalization & maintenance Graph learner progress Modify procedures as necessary Expand plan as necessary Person/family-centered planning Summarize student life/learning/cultural background Identify preferences
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
Current communication Environmental conditions Motor capabilities Cognitive/linguistic capacities Language capacities Literacy capacities Sensory/perceptual capacities
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
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?
See Communication Style Assessment— handout Interview questions for professionals---handout
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.
Communication Matrix by Charity Rowland (designs to learn website) Organized by communication function List of behaviors Not used, emerging or mastered
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)
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
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.
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
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
Complete the communication ecological 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)
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 sug gest ions
Significant other interviews Ecological Assessment Direct observation in natural environments Interrupted chain procedures ◦ Interrupt a routine that student has to complete and see how student communicates Assess student in interactions with other students Provide direct assessments to determine if student understands words, pictures, symbols, etc.
As we talked about last class, take an inventory of the vocabulary used in the settings student’s are in or will be going to. Conversation inventories with same age peers Could use audio recorder if allowed.
Standardized Tests may provide age- equivalencies in receptive & expressive language, but often fail to recognize the unique characteristics of students with severe disabilities (Cress, 2002; Ross & Cress, 2006; Snell, 2002). Recommendation is interviewing significant others (Bailey, Stoner, Parrette, & Angelo, 2006) Analyze Communication Environment (Blackstone & Hunt Bert, 2003; Downing, 2005); Use of Video recordings (Suarez & Daniels, 2009)
ports/free/index.php ports/free/index.php Number of free publications WATI Assessment- provides an overview of the assistive technology consideration, assessment and planning process WATI AT Checklist in your book pg
Framework The SETT Framework, developed by Joy Zabala (2005), is an organizational instrument to help collaborative teams create student-centered, environmentally useful, and tasks-focused tool systems that foster the educational success of students with disabilities. SETT is an acronym for Student, Environment, Task and Tools. Key questions are asked in each area to in order to guide teams in gathering data and information to support the consideration and implementation of appropriate inclusive technologies. These questions provide a framework and not a protocol, as they guide the discussion and provide a vehicle for the team to collaborate and form a consensus on ‘where to from here’.
TASK STUDENT ENVIRONMENT TOOLS
STUDENT – Examples of guiding questions concerning inclusive technologies: What are the student’s current abilities? What are the student’s special needs? What are the functional areas of concern? What are the other students doing that this student needs to be able to do? What does the student need to be able to do that is difficult or impossible to accomplish independently at this time? A useful resource to support these questions from a student point of view is Bowser, G., & Reed, P. (2001). Hey Can I Try That? A Student Handbook for Choosing and Using Assistive Technology. This is available from
ENVIRONMENTS – Examples of guiding questions concerning inclusive technologies: What activities take place in the environment? Where will the student participate—classroom, home, community, therapy? What is the physical arrangement? 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?
Environments Work Recreation Community Education Home
Sensory Considerations (new) New section as a subset of Student & Environment – Does this student have sensory deficits or sensitivities that will impact his/her ability to …. ? – Do the learning environment(s) impact the sensory issues of the student?
Sensory Considerations STUDENT Visual (glare, color vs. black & white, white space between symbols, etc.) Auditory (voice, volume, button click) Tactile (velcro, weight) Personal space Student specific ENVIRONMENT Background noise Lighting (full spectrum vs. flourescent) Physical space
TASKS – Examples of guiding questions concerning inclusive technologies: What specific tasks occur in the environment? What activities is the student expected to do? What does success look like?
Tasks Access to standard apps Education/Rehab Alternative Writing Recreation Organization Internet
TOOLS – Examples of guiding questions concerning inclusive technologies: Tools are devices and services—anything that is needed to help the student participate and access learning programs. 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? Are tools being considered because of their features that are needed rather than brand names? What is the cognitive load required by the student to use the tool? What are the training requirements for the student, family and staff?
Tools Access to –Keyboards –Mouse –Monitor –Drives/Storage –Printer
AT Continuum Follow the progression of low tech, through mid tech to high tech when selecting assistive technology tools
Low Tech Tools Assistive Technology for Communication
AT Communication Continuum Low Tech Concrete Representations Real Objects – Calendar box – Tangible Symbols – Miniatures – TOBIs (true object based icon)
AT Communication Continuum Low Tech Communication system with pictures, symbols, letters &/or words
Mid Tech Tools Assistive Technology for Communication
AT Communication Continuum Mid Tech Simple Voice Output Devices BIGmack Step-by-step CheapTalk Hip Talk
AT Communication Continuum Mid Tech Speech Generating Device with levels Bluebird II Tech series Message Mate 7 Level Communication Builder Leo
High Tech Tools Assistive Technology for Communication
AT Communication Continuum High Tech Speech Generating Devices with icon sequencing OR Pathfinder Plus Vantage Plus SpringBoard Lite
AT Communication Continuum High Tech Speech Generating Devices with a Dynamic Display Dynavox V series & V-Max M 3 ChatPC Tango! Eyegaze System
AT Communication Continuum High Tech Text based device with speech synthesis DynaWrite PolyTABLET with Persona LightWriter SL40 Freedom LITE
Solution Selection: Tools & Strategies Review the list of potential tools – Now is the time to evaluate for a match with: Student (abilities, difficulties, likes/dislikes) Environment (supports, obstacles) Tasks (what 1-2 things do you want the student to do?) – Prioritize selections
What are the functional areas of concern? What are the student’s special needs? What are the student’s current abilities? What are the other students doing that this student needs to be able to do? What does the student need to be able to do that is difficult or impossible to accomplish independently at this time?
What assistive technology does the student have access to or currently use? What activities take place in the environment? What activities do other students do that this student cannot currently participate in? What is the physical arrangement? Where will the student participate— classroom, home, community, therapy?
What does success look like? What activities is the student expected to do? What specific tasks occur in the environment?
Are tools being considered because of their features that are needed rather than brand names? Are the tools student centered and task oriented and reflect the student’s current needs? Are the tools being considered on a continuum from no/low to high-tech? What is the cognitive load required by the student to use the tool? What are the training requirements for the student, family and staff?
SETT- similar to ecological inventory Student S Environment E Task T Tools T 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?
◦ This may mean that the device/system is not meaningful or does not meet a communicative need (OR BOTH) ◦ Re-evaluate student’s opportunities to communicate. ◦ May need to manipulate the environment in such a way that necessitates the student use the device/system (Reichle, 1997; Snell, 2002) ◦ May be too difficult in comparison to other communicative means…think of some unaided means of communication (facial expressions, gestures, etc.) OR different symbols, colors, etc.
Conduct person-centered ecological assessment on communication Team approach- teacher, SLP, parents Consider contextual-fit Consider: durability, ease of use, transportability, flexibility, cultural sensitivity, cost of device, & quality of speech (McCord & Soto, 2004; Mirenda, 1999). Ability of student to access an AAC system need to be assessed prior to purchasing system
Consider their home-language, culture, and long-term vision for the student’s communication. Want to build system so that you can bridge home and school vocabulary, language, etc. May be an issue when device is not allowed to go home. Try to work with school to allow device to go home. Parents may need to sign responsibility for device.
Low-incidence funding ◦ (property of school) Health Insurance (property of student) Medicare (property of student) Department of Rehabilitation ◦ Dependent on potential for employability w/ device In Oregon, Educational Service District (ESD) may have guidelines for this.
Developmental Vocabulary ◦ To encourage language & vocabulary growth ◦ Should include words or messages that encourage students to use various language structures and combinations E.g., more, no, there ◦ Variety of nouns, verbs, & adjectives to support word combinations E.g., more car, OR no eat ◦ As vocabulary expands encourage use of combinations of 2,3,4, or more
Substantive words (i.e., people, places, things) Relational words (e.g., big, little) Generic verbs (e.g., give, get, make) Specific verbs (e.g., eat, drink, sleep) Emotional state words (e.g., happy, scared) Affirmation/negation words (e.g., yes, no, not) Recurrence/discontinuation words (e.g., more, all gone) Proper names for people first (Mike) and personal pronouns (his) later Single adjectives first (e.g., hot, dirty) & polar opposites later (e.g., cold, clean) Relevant colors Relevant prepositions (e.g., on, over)
If limited sight word recognition… Messages chosen from a functional rather than developmental perspective Single words or whole messages are selected to meet individual communication needs. ◦ One or more symbols to represent messages ◦ Age/context/culturally appropriate. Include some developmental vocabulary in AAC systems ◦ Added whenever new environments or participation opportunities are included
Words & messages that are commonly used by a variety of individuals and occur very frequently. Sources to identify core vocabulary items ◦ 1. Word lists based on the vocabulary-use patterns of other individuals who successfully use AAC systems (http://aac.unl.edu/vocabulary.html)http://aac.unl.edu/vocabulary.html ◦ 2. Word lists based on the use patterns of the specific individual ◦ 3. Word lists based on the performance of natural speakers or writers in similar contexts. ◦
Single-level Devices: deliver a limited number of messages (about 20), simple to program & operate (e.g. BIGmack) Multi-level Devices: Up to thousands of messages, more difficult to program, multiple symbol displays to program messages on two or more levels. Comprehensive Devices: “dynamic display” technology
Greetings & Farewells ◦ Age-appropriate vocabulary, mannerisms ◦ May not necessarily need a Speech Generated Device (SGD) Asking for Attention/Help Comments of Approval & Rejection Social Closeness ◦ Observe what typical students do to achieve this ◦ E.g., admiring another’s hairstyle, telling secrets Communicative Skills specific to a class or an activity
[to Bobby] “You don't have what they call "the social skills." That's why you never have any friends, 'cept fo' yo' mama.” From Waterboy, 1998 starring Adam Sandler
Besides communication skills, what other factors affect a student’s development of social skills? Based on what we have talked about in this class thus far, how would you go about assessing the social skills of a student with significant disabilities?
What types of interactions do they engage in? (e.g., academic, social) How do they establish relationships/friendships? How do they gain membership & belonging? What about romantic relationships? What about relationships with adults?
7 th grade at Chavez Middle School Spanish is his first/home language Can be quite shy when meeting someone for the first time & it takes him a while to feel comfortable around new people. Has autism & tends to repeat a few favorite phrases, avoids making eye contact, & holds fast to specific routines. When topics of video games, movies, or comic books are brought up his entire demeanor changes
What are Esaul’s strengths? What are (or can) be barriers to Esaul developing positive social relationships? What process would you use to assess these barriers?
4 th grader at North Elementary School. Only knows a few of her classmates and often feels alone at school. Has moderate intellectual disabilities, a mild hearing impairment, and a severe physical disability for which she uses an electric wheelchair. Alexis discovered she has a knack for abstract painting that features vibrant colors and bold lines.
What are Alexis’ strengths? What are or can be barriers to Alexis developing positive social relationships?
Rating scales- from those in environment Teacher nomination & ranking- ◦ List of students who demonstrate a specific behavioral characteristic to the greatest or least extent in comparison to classmates Self-report- student’s subjective perceptions about own social competence Direct behavioral observation-
Contextual approach- ◦ Assess the skills of students within the environment. ◦ Identify skills that need to be taught ◦ Ensures meaningful social development ◦ Ensures the identification of skills that are relevant to the student’s culture.
Easy answers: It’s obvious….we all have them and know what they are. Defining social relationships is like defining the meaning of life…it’s relative to the individual. More useful understanding of social relationships, focused on interrelated aspects of our social lives: ◦ Patterns of contact ◦ Subjective satisfaction
Social relationships are based on contact patterns between two people Example: 2 students might see each other in class on a regular basis, or that contact might be intermittent such as 2 students getting together for lunch once a week. Contact does not need to be direct for a social relationship to exist (e.g., ) Student’s social life can be understood as a collection of interactions with other people.
Social Support Behaviors Social contacts Social Networks Social Relationships based on: how often 2 students interact, how long, what days, etc. What occurs between students when they interact Different patterns of interaction among students
Variation among students regarding what constitutes a desirable social life. Some individuals prefer to interact with a small number of people, but interact frequently Large number of people, but interact less frequently There is no metric for what constitutes a “good social life” What would be the best way to define a “good social life” for a student?
Social support- behaviors that are a part of social interactions ◦ Emotional support, companionship, access to others, information, material aid, decision making ◦ Goal should be to increase a student’s access to social support & improve student’s ability to provide social support to others Membership/belonging- sense of “connectedness” with others ◦ Stable and something shared by individuals involved ◦ Circle of friends (Haring & Breen, 1992) ◦ Part of their school/community Personal happiness-be aware of student’s perception of the adequacy of his or her relationships (Strully & Strully, 1985)
What makes social relationships develop? Still not specifically identified in research General areas we will discuss relating to social relationship development & maintenance ◦ How relationships develop? ◦ Balancing independence and interdependence? ◦ Types of social interactions? ◦ Variables that influence the course of a relationship?
Predictable pattern (Goldstein et al., 2001), 3 phases: 1- Initial social encounters ◦ Introduced to students ◦ 55% of peers who are initially met go on to second stage 2-Preferred interaction contexts ◦ Try out different activities with one another ◦ Make decisions of what form relationship will take ◦ Majority of relationships do not extend beyond this 3- Durable relationships ◦ Described as friendships ◦ Most satisfactory of relationships ◦ Sustained social interaction ◦ Routine develops
Social relationships influenced by social competence ◦ Student’s ability to effectively interact and maintain social interactions Independently engage in set of behaviors= social skills More independent students are in initiating, taking turns, and providing reciprocal social support= more likely to self-determine a happy social life Caution: No “readiness” prerequisite to developing relationships Balance with interdependence: able to work collaboratively with others to accomplish a common goal (e.g., finding a role within a class activity/situation…determine what to search, controlling the mouse, etc. when searching the net)
Where we interact & what we do are closely linked Schools have 3 broad contexts: class, break/mealtimes, & brief interactions in other settings Think about what types of social interactions are “appropriate” during these times.
1. Identify the times & settings to be assessed. 2. Identify what aspects of a person’s social life you want to assess. Formal & informal information gathering Increasing number of people that student meets? Maintaining already established social relationships? 3. Summarize info & make recommendations
List the people with whom you interact ◦ Is each person a friend or an acquaintance? ◦ How many times per week do you interact with each person? ◦ In what settings do you interact with each person? ◦ Does this person know any of the other people you interact with? What areas of your social life could be improved? ◦ Would you like more interactions with a particular person? ◦ Would you like to interact with this person in new settings? ◦ Would you like to do different activities with this person? ◦ Would you prefer individual or group activities? ◦ Would you like to meet new people?
Barriers to Social Interact/Relationships Suggested strategies Access to general education (GE) settings Facilitating inclusive placements Access to peers without disabilities in GE settings Peer supports Classroom participation Access to GE curriculumAdaptations/modifications Skills for facilitating interactionsPivotal activity skills Reciprocity skills Teaching interdependence Access to peers over timeClass scheduling Alternative school interaction opportunities Afterschool interaction opportunities