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AT/AAC. Session 3 Assessing Communication Skills & Analyzing Communicative Environments. Review for Quiz #2. Using Single Subject Research to Establish “Evidence-based Practices”. A “practice” may be considered “evidence-based” when :

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at aac

AT/AAC

Session 3

Assessing Communication Skills & Analyzing Communicative Environments

using single subject research to establish evidence based practices
Using Single Subject Research to Establish “Evidence-based Practices”
  • A “practice” may be considered “evidence-based” when:
    • The practice is operationally defined, and implemented with fidelity.
    • The outcomes associated with the practice are operationally defined.
    • The context in which the practice in use is operationally defined
    • Results from the single subject studies used to assess the practice demonstrate experimental control.
    • The effects are replicated across 5 single subject studies conducted in at least 3 locations, and with at least 20 different participants.
dependent and independent variables
Dependent and independent variables
  • Dependent variable (DV) – the behavior (measure) that you are analyzing
    • You want to produce change (variability) in the dependent variable
    • Studies may have multiple DVs
  • Independent variable (IV) – the variable (event, intervention, condition) that is of experimental interest and that the researcher manipulates in an experimental research design
    • Studies may have multiple IVs
slide5

Phase A

Phase B

Phase A

Phase B

Immediacy of Effect

Variability

Level

Trend

Overlap

Research Question???

in ssd a functional relationship experimental control has occurred when
In SSD, a Functional Relationship/Experimental Control has occurred when
  • There are 3 demonstrations of an effect at 3 points in time.
    • Effect could be: change in trend or level
    • Also want to see immediacy of effect
  • Good research has at least 5 data points in each phase to establish a consistent pattern in the data.
defining features of multiple baseline designs
Defining Features of Multiple Baseline Designs
  • A multiple baseline design involves three or more AB interventions (series) with phase changes staggered across at least three points in time.
  • Key Features
    • Series are independent of each other
      • People, places, materials, behaviors/skills
    • The same IV is applied in each series
    • Staggered implementation of IV
slide8

Lollipop for R+

BL

Treatment

6

100

80

60

40

20

Vivian

0

Lollipop for R+

100

80

60

Percentage of Correct Responding

40

20

Tammy

0

Lollipop for R+

100

80

60

40

20

Dr. Cathy

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

Sessions

defining features of withdrawal and reversal designs
Defining features of withdrawal and reversal designs
  • Sequential phases of data collection involving the implementation and withdrawal of an independent variable(s)
    • within each phase, multiple data points are collected to establish a representative pattern of behavior
    • phase change should occur only after stability of behavior within the phase is established
    • traditionally, the first phase is Baseline, followed by implementation of the IV (Intervention)
      • this is not required, however, as you may begin a study with an intervention phase
slide10

4B

Baseline

FCT

Baseline

FCT

6

5

4

Total SIB per minute

3

2

1

0

1

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

Sessions

alternating treatment designs
Alternating Treatment Designs
  • Alternating Treatment Designs employ rapid phase reversals across 2 or more conditions to assess sensitivity of change in the dependent variable to change in condition.
student 1 hypothesis escape math work
Student 1Hypothesis: Escape Math Work

2. Is Esc different than Attn?

1. Is Esc different than Control?

slide14

#3

Lollipop for R+

BL

Treatment

6

100

80

60

40

20

Vivian

0

Lollipop for R+

100

80

60

Percentage of Correct Responding

40

20

Tammy

0

Lollipop for R+

100

80

60

40

20

Dr. Cathy

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

Sessions

slide15

# 4

4B

Baseline

FCT

Baseline

FCT

6

5

4

Total SIB per minute

3

2

1

0

1

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

Sessions

student 1 hypothesis escape math work1

#5

Student 1Hypothesis: Escape Math Work

2. Is Esc different than Attn?

1. Is Esc different than Control?

discussion
Discussion
  • Get together with at least 2 other people to discuss the readings this week.
  • The Bridges (2004) article discussed multicultural issues in AAC, think of their points and how they can shape the way you go about assessing students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds….and
  • Students from those backgrounds that require AAC
lecture
Lecture
  • Assessing student’s need for AT or AAC.
cultural aspects of communicative competence hetzroni harris 1996
Cultural aspects of communicative competence (Hetzroni & Harris, 1996)
  • “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
light 1989 communicative competence for aac users made up of
Light (1989), Communicative Competence for AAC users made up of:
  • Linguistic Competence
  • Operational Competence
  • Social Competence
  • Strategic Competence
linguistic competence
Linguistic 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.

operational competence
Operational Competence
  • 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)
social competence
Social Competence
  • 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
strategic competence
Strategic Competence
  • 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
aac users are vulnerable to the culture of practitioners
AAC users are vulnerable to the culture of practitioners
  • 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?
person centered approach to assessment
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 will probably involve…..????
  • Use of objects, parts of objects, gestures, & manual signs
outcomes
Outcomes
  • Define communication & identify who needs communication intervention
  • Identify ecological and observational approaches to determining communication skills and needs.
resources
Resources
  • Downing, J.E. (2005)Teaching Communication Skills to Students with Severe Disabilities
pre requisites for communication
Pre-Requisites for Communication?
  • 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)
communication is essential to quality of life
Communication is essential to quality of life
  • Necessary to define oneself
  • Share ideas, feelings
  • Demonstrate knowledge & skills
  • Socialize
  • Perform job & daily tasks
communication in daily life
Communication in Daily Life
  • 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
least dangerous assumption cardinal 2002 donnellan 1984
Least Dangerous Assumption (Cardinal, 2002; Donnellan, 1984)
  • 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
who needs communication intervention
Who Needs Communication Intervention?
  • Students who demonstrate minimal communication skills that they 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

basic conditions for communication beukelman mirenda 2005
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
social issues in communication
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).
two key parts of language
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.
communication forms behaviors multi modal nature of communication
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
communicative functions intent
Communicative Functions/ Intent
  • Request
  • Initiate/greeting
  • Terminate
  • Attention
  • Naming
  • Accept/Reject
    • Protesting situations
    • Affirming situations
  • Expressing choices or preferences
contents of communication
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
communication skills
Communication Skills
  • Speech
    • Articulation, Resonance, Voice, Fluency
  • Language
    • Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics
  • Conversation Skills
    • Turn taking, content, initiation, closure
problems in the classroom
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
slide45
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.

assessing communication skills
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
slide47

Person/family-centered planning

  • Summarize student life/learning/cultural background
  • Identify preferences

Identify Potential Communicative Acts

Verify communicative functions,

Analyze environmental demands

Monthly/ Quarterly

  • Graph learner progress
  • Modify procedures as necessary
  • Expand plan as necessary
  • Select Instructional Procedures
  • Create opportunities for comm.
  • Implement relevant procedures
  • Program generalization & maintenance
  • Review Assessment Info
  • Select appropriate
  • interventions
  • Write communication goals
individual student planning
Individual Student Planning
  • Multi-disciplinary Team approach
    • “One Voice”
    • Involving GE, SPED, other services
    • Review data, schedule and outline actions to better support student
  • 1 time per/ mon. until establish success
    • No longer than 45 minutes
    • Agenda with action plan
purpose of assessment
Purpose of Assessment
  • Clearly identify
  • Capacity Building vs Deficit Finding
  • Capacity Building (O’Brien & Mount, 1991)
    • Focus on strengths and preferences
    • Avoid use of standardized assessments that are not appropriate to a student because of physical or sensory impairments or cultural differences
    • Use of observations & interviews
deficit finding perspective
Deficit-finding Perspective
  • “Rebecca Ferguson has an IQ of 21 and a mental age of 1 year, 18 mos. Her scores on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales were below basal levels. She has Down’s syndrome and severe mental retardation. R cannot use the toilet or eat independently and will require lifelong assistance for personal care. She is nonverbal except for some random vocalizations. R sometimes engages in aggressive behavior including spitting, and slapping
capacity building perspective
Capacity-building perspective
  • “Rebecca is a 16-year old girl with brown eyes and black hair who has been medically classified with Down’s syndrome. Her scores below basal levels on the Vineland and the Weschler Intelligence Scale support her ongoing eligibility for special education services. R is highly social and greets others using eye contact, smiles, a wave, and an occasional hug. She makes her needs known by moving to an area or obtaining materials (e.g, her bathing suit to go swimming). She can sign “eat” to request food. She has strong preferences is assertive….
research on ecological assessment
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
steps in ecological assessment process
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
considering assessment options
Considering assessment options?
  • Currentcommunication
  • Environmental conditions
  • Motor capabilities
  • Cognitive/linguistic capacities
  • Language capacities
  • Literacy capacities
  • Sensory/perceptual capacities
assessing receptive communication skills
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
assessing expressive communication skills
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?
significant other interview s
Significant Other Interview(s)
  • See Communication Style Assessment—handout
  • Interview questions for

professionals---handout

embedded in class activity
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.
assessing current communication
Assessing current communication
  • Communication Matrix by Charity Rowland http://www.communicationmatrix.org

(designs to learn website)

  • Organized by communication function
    • List of behaviors
    • Not used, emerging or mastered
embedded in class activity1
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.
ecological functional assessment process
Ecological-Functional Assessment Process
  • 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)
communication ecological inventory worksheet figure 8 10 p 249 best heller bigge 2005
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.

example of communication ecological inventory
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
example cont d
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
embedded in class activity2
Embedded in-class activity
  • 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)
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