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  1. Functional Assessment Session 6 Assessing Communication Skills, Social Skills & Assistive Technology Needs

  2. Updates • Article Review# 2 Due Today • Assessment Tool Box Project & Presentations Due Next Week: August 11th • 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.

  3. Outcomes for today • Discuss Readings as a class! • Lecture on Communication Assessment • Activities on Communication Assessment • Lecture on Assistive Technology Assessment • Social Skills Assessment

  4. Discussion on Readings • Teaching Communication Skills (Ch 11) • 2. Sigafoos et al. Ch 3-5 • 3. Using Technology to Enhance Teaching & Learning (Ch 19)

  5. “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)

  6. Communication Bill of RightsEach 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.

  7. Communication Bill of RightsEach 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 3rd person while present. • Have clear, meaningful, and culturally & linguistically appropriate communication.

  8. Lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1QIhWa_4_A • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhLA-TQX4Ow&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAdEOXD9Tvk&feature=related

  9. 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

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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?

  16. 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

  17. Other Resources • 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Communication is essential to quality of life • Necessary to define oneself • Share ideas, feelings • Demonstrate knowledge & skills • Socialize • Perform job & daily tasks

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. Who Needs Communication Intervention? • 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

  23. 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

  24. 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).

  25. 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.

  26. 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

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

  28. Contentof 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

  29. Communication Skills • Speech • Articulation, Resonance, Voice, Fluency • Language • Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics • Conversation Skills • Turn taking, content, initiation, closure

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. Considering assessment options? • Currentcommunication • Environmental conditions • Motor capabilities • Cognitive/linguistic capacities • Language capacities • Literacy capacities • Sensory/perceptual capacities

  36. 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

  37. 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?

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

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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)

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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