Amy Fleischer & Corinne Nelson - Implementing a Specific Language System First Approach to AAC Selection - Part 2

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By Rachel Madel and Chris Bugaj, Rachel Madel, and Chris Bugaj. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week, we present part 2 of Chris’s interview with Amy Fleischer and Corinne Nelson! Amy and Corinne continue with their questions about changing their district to a “specific language system first” model of device selection, and how it can be adapted to best fit the needs of their school district. They also discuss whether PECS should be a prerequisite for getting a device, ideas for rolling out training on modeling, and more!

Before the interview, Rachel discusses a recent conversation she had with a mother of a person with complex communication needs. This person doesn’t have access to a robust AAC system and was initially given only a switch to communicate with - even though she has no access issues. Rachel questions why so many children she hears about with complex communication needs are being given a switch when no access issues are present. Rachel feels many of her clients have been held back due to myths, such as “an AAC user must show cause and effect with a switch before they can use high-tech AAC.”

Key ideas this week:

🔑 If you are concerned with hesitancy with changing how device selection occurs in your district, you can use a collaborative approach to select the device for a few students, then down the road you can look back and have everyone decide what is best.

🔑 To be more collaborative with device selection, you can take a facilitative, coaching approach to the meeting (e.g. teachers, related service providers). Then, in the meeting, try and fill out a grid or chart that looks at the communication needs of the student and the needs of the circle of support. Focus on long term growth, not just what would be easiest to learn in the short term. If you try device selection with a more collaborative approach, then down the road you can look back and have everyone decide on what worked best.

🔑You can pick one strategy or process to teach modeling, like SMORRES, and adopt it across the district. You can implement this modeling strategy more quickly than moving to a specific language system first model that would take a longer amount of time.

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