Welcome to Functional Curriculum: Week 8 Upcoming Due DatesToday- Instructional Plan for Functional Skills DueMay 25th- Instructional Plan for Communication Skills June 1st- Instructional Plan for Academic Skills June 8th- Implementation Plan (for one of the above)
Communication Skills Across Classes & Subjects • 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
Middle School Activities • Unstructured, highly social time now found during nutrition breaks, hall transitions, changing for PE, extracurricular activities • The way teachers conduct their classes will determine the extent, amount, & type of communication interactions possible • Think of ways to facilitate opportunities for students to work on communication
Students with limited communication skills need to be taught a broad array of communicative functions…more than just requests
Rejecting or protesting.. ”No” • Anticipate possible rejections • Watch for the behaviors that lead to unconventional rejections • Provide students with appropriate ways of expressing “No” • May be shaking head, pushing items away, using signs, device, etc.
Gaining attention • 3 steps: • Selecting a listener • Increasing proximity to listener • Obtaining listener’s attention (e.g., Saying others name, establishing eye contact) • Actively teach students alternative and more appropriate behavior for obtaining attention. • How might you teach a student to gain someone’s attention in a socially acceptable manner? Think of setting up a situation and strategies already taught in this course (e.g. prompting levels, time-delay, etc.)
Gaining attention example • Difficult to teach gaining attention when attention has already been gained. • Get a third party involved • Ex: Student needs paper • You tell him that you do not have paper • He must ask another teacher/person (may need to prompt after 5 seconds) • Other person “ignores” student until uses appropriate behavior to gain attention • You model getting that person’s attention • If student does not follow model (prompt) • Person does not help student until appropriate behavior used.
Greetings, farewells, social niceties • How would you teach? • Shape behaviors by modeling • Direct students attention to others engaged in similar behaviors • Make sure AAC devices are readily available • Least-to-most prompting strategy may NOT be most effective because greetings & farewells occur quickly • Physically shape response quickly & directly
Commenting • How would you teach this? • Need creative ways of expressing thoughts & opinions • Picture system that allow her to say, “I like that,” Or “I think it needs more stuff”, etc. • Model • Time delay • Physical prompt • Recommend a comment • Ask student to confirm or deny (Yes or No)
Social Closeness: Tease, joke, etc. • How would you teach this? • Encourage students to bring items of interest from home • Program an option on device to say, “See what I’ve Got” • Jointly exploring an item with partner • Conversational partner trained to make comments, questions • Target student prompted to continue conversation
Asking for Information • How would you teach this? • Prompt to raise hand • Use device to generic ask questions • “Where did you say you got that?; Can I get a closer look?”, etc.
Confirming or denying • How would you teach this? • Conversation partners need to remember to give students this opportunity. • Indicate whether they were understood correctly by saying “Yes or No”, noddding, etc.
Teaching students conversational skills • How would you teach this? Example? • Emphasize initiation…not common for students with disabilities • Have another person be the partner as you teach initiation. • Ensure student has a reason to initiate interaction..wants something, etc. • Has some means with which to initiate an interaction • Has easy access to potential communication partners • Model, prompt, fade
Maintaining Interaction • How would you teach this? Example? • Falls on shoulders of communication partner • Provide communicative aides beyond Yes/No…conversation books, boards, boxes of items. • Things that can be used to direct partner’s attention…conversation piece • Teach taking turns
Terminating the Conversation • How would you teach how to do this appropriately? • Teach conversational partners to prompt termination behaviors…e.g., “see ya, gotta go” • Students would need a device or means to make these statements • Teach to respond to farewells • Again least-to-most may not be the best prompting here…use most to least
Teaching students to generalize communication skills • How would you do this?
In-Class Activity • On back of your entry activity you have a case study • Work with a partner to identify ways student can or could communicate during these activities.
More Rx on Intervention • Use of Communication Dictionary for students with very unique communication needs (Mirenda, 2005) • Requesting is the most frequently used and easily learned by students with severed disabilities (Carter, 2003; Snell et al., 2006) • Teasing, joking, age-appropriate behavior is difficult to teach without symbolic communication, use of conversation books (Hunt et al., 1997)
Eliciting Communicative Behavior • Facilitate communication & teach partners to: • Increase proximity to student • Position self at eye level • Look expectantly to encourage participation • Accept student’s current modes of communication • Wait for student to initiate/respond • Less directive • Ensure student has way to express self
Communicating should be motivating to students • Home environment, past experiences, cultural values, learning styles, & perceived importance of communicating influence the learning process • Communication intervention should not be stressful, but where student sees benefit..meaningful in natural environments
Creating the Need to Practice Skills • Could refrain from giving student materials that they need for an activity until they request them. • Include giving too little of something so the student must ask for more • Giving different item than what was requested, so student must correct • Giving most of items but leaving out an item in order to prompt the student to request missing item
Motivating the student to communicate • Team must be careful that student is empowered to control as many aspects of day and recognize their control. • Accepting approximations • Pay attention to their facial & gestural responses and make comments. • “Don’t worry that was just Stephanie’s book”---when student startled by sound of banging
Offering choices to motivate students • Encourage choice-making • Based on preference assessment • Choices should be easy so student does not need to deliberate too long • If student does not make a choice, find more interesting items.
Enhancing social environment • Limit lecture and independent seat work • Use cooperative learning, small groups, & partner learning
Make communicating fun • Students need to see immediate pay off for communication • Engage in interesting & unusual acts to facilitate engaging in joint attention with their partner (Jones & Carr, 2004) • E.g., try to put adult shoe or coat on student at the end of the day • Don’t make communication seem like work. Continuous pointing can get boring....think of other things to do!
Considerations prior to direct intervention • Physical ability of student—positioning, vision, hearing • Modeling behavior- provide a lot of exposure to desired communication models---have peers use device to model. • Prompting- consider level needed & plan for fading • Reinforce desired behavior- know what student likes…function of their behavior…remember functional communication training?
Introducing New Symbols • Pair new symbol with the actual item, person, or activity • When student attempts to communicate using a previous method (e.g., reaching for an object), the new symbol should be placed so that it is front of or next to the object. • Considerations for adding new symbols: visual abilities, auditory skills, memory, cognitive skills
More Rx on Intervention • Pivotal Response Training (Koegel et al., 1998) used for teaching requesting information/ asking questions. • Teaching students ways to deal with “communication breakdowns” is a critical communication goal (Cress, 2002) • Teach students to repeat initial efforts, or respond to yes/no suggestions by partners..”Did you mean..?” • Train conversational partners to follow the lead of student, respond immediately, and expand on responses (Dennis, 2002; Kaiser & Grim, 2006)