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Session 6

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Session 6

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  1. Session 6 Assessing Communication & Social Skills (Continued)

  2. “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)

  3. Academics & Communication…is there a link?? Core Vocabulary:

  4. Updates • February 18th–Task Analysis #1 • February 25th- Task Analysis #2 & Quiz #3 • March 4th- Ecological Assessment Report & Quiz #4 • March 11th - PLAAFP Assignment • Remember to always check the wiki for the assignments and materials. • If links are not working, please email me ASAP. • You should have been invited to goalbookapp:

  5. Today’s Agenda • Review • Discussion • Communication • Communication to Academics

  6. Steps in Ecological Assessment Process • Step 1: Plan with Student & Family • Person-centered Planning • Step 2: Summarize what is known about the student • Record Review, IEP Review • Step 3: Encourage Self-Determination/ Assess Student Preferences • Preference Assessment • Step 4: Assess student’s instructional program • Daily Schedule Analysis • Task Analyses • Other Assessments • Step 5: Develop ecological assessment report • To inform IEP: PLAAFP, Goals & Objectives, Interventions

  7. Qualities of a Well-Designed Standards-Based IEP (modified from Wakeman et al., 2010)

  8. Infused Skills Grid • Focus on Goals. • Increase Participation

  9. Bryant, D.P., Smith, D. D., & Bryant, B. R. (2008). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Bryant, D.P., Smith, D. D., & Bryant, B. R. (2008). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

  10. Task Analysis

  11. Data Collection Procedures for Functional Routines • Task Analysis • List steps student needs to complete the routine • By observing other students or target student attempting to complete routine • Identify Features to Vary to Promote Generalization • Record student performance or prompt Level used (1-Full physical to 4-Independent) • Count & Circle the total number of 4’s (or prompt level of interest)

  12. Process for Developing Task Analyses • Select a needed skill by using ecological inventory (daily schedule analysis) to identify a functional and age-appropriate skill that is important. • Define the target skill simply. • Perform the task and observe peers performing the task, using the chosen materials in the natural settings noting the steps involved. • Adapt the steps to suit the student’s abilities. • Validate the task analysis by having the student perform the task, but provide assistance on steps that are unknown so that performance of all of the steps can be viewed. • Revise task analysis so that it works.

  13. Write the task analysis on the data form so that steps … • Are stated in terms of observable behavior • Result in a visible change in the product or process • Are ordered in a logical sequence • Are written in the second-person singular so that they could serve as verbal prompts (if used)…example: Step #7- “Go sit on rainbow rug” • Use language that is not confusing to the student, with the performance details that are essential to assessing performance enclosed in parentheses Ex. Step #6- Go to schedule get Ms. W’s room card [when circle done]

  14. Functional Analysis • What is it? • Why do we do it? • How do we do it in Real Life/Real Classrooms?

  15. Functional Analysis Uses experimental method to determine function of behavior Requires strict env’l control Used predominantly in research w/ application to classroom Functional Behavioral Assessment Relies heavily on indirect measures (interviews & observations) to ID function of behavior Written into Special Education law for use in schools Results in a hypothesis of the function of behavior Functional Analysis v. FBA

  16. What would you use for the conditions to test this hypothesis? If Problem behavior occurs: Easy/Preferred Activity w/ Peers Ignore Provide him w/ attention from Peers Work Alone on easy task Remove the task Work w/ Peers on difficult task

  17. What would you use for the conditions to test this hypothesis? If Problem behavior occurs: Easy/Preferred Activity Ignore Provide him w/ attention Work Alone on easy task Remove the task Work w/ teacher on double digit problems

  18. Functional Communication Training: Carr & Durand, 1985 Desired Behavior Typical Consequence Summary of Behavior Setting Event Antecedent Problem Behavior Maintaining Consequence Alternate Behavior

  19. Discussion • Chapter 6: Designing & Implementing Instruction for Inclusive Classes • Roles & Responsibilities within an inclusive classroom • Adaptations: Curricular, Instructional, Alternative • Steps & Tools for Making Individualized Adaptations • Chapter 13: Teaching Academic Skills • Selecting Academic Skills for Instruction • Determine Instructional Approach • Within typical instructional routines/activities • Parallel instructional activities • Community based activities • Literacy, Writing, & Math Instruction • Instructional Methods: Prompting, Fading, Shaping

  20. 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)

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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

  24. Define Augmentative & Alternative Communication: • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. -American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (

  25. Functional Communication Training (FCT) • FCT involves teaching specific communication skills that are functionally equivalent to problem behavior, based on a functional behavior assessment (FBA) • Behavior may serve a number of functions: • -obtaining desired items, activities, attention, or environments • -escaping a non-preferred or non-desired activity • -regulating levels of sensory arousal

  26. Functions That Behaviors Serve

  27. SerenaCompeting Behavior Summary Turn off computer & transition Do another assigned activity Setting Event: No computer for several days Continues to work on computer (preferred activity ) Asked to turn off computer in a firm tone Yells at teacher Use picture symbol or sign to Ask for “1 more minute”, then go to schedule

  28. 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

  29. 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).

  30. 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.

  31. 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

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

  33. Content 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

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

  35. 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.

  36. Assessing current communication • Communication Matrix by Charity Rowland (designs to learn website) • Organized by communication function • List of behaviors • Not used, emerging or mastered

  37. 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)

  38. Important Results from Ecological Inventory of Communication Skills • Student’s current FORM (modes) of communication. • What ways he/she is presently communicating • What ways could be used to communicate more effectively (fluency, comprehensible to others) • CONTENT of the environment and activities • Vocabulary: Expressive & Receptive • Natural Supports • Communication Partners (will have to teach them) • FUNCTION/ Intent of student’s communication • Requesting, Refusing, Initiating