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Communication Strategies and Technology Solutions for Students with ASD Lyn Phoenix Assistive Technology Coordinator S.T.A.R.S. Program Amy Percassi, Director Definition of Autism DSM-IV IDEA section 300 Communication Strategies Build Rapport Motivators/ Reinforcement Schedules/ Routines Provide means of Communication Focus on Functional Communication Communication Strategies Continued Commenting versus Questioning Decrease Directiveness/ Increase choice making Reduce Complexity/wait Teach Social Skills and Feelings in a concrete manner. What are the Advantages of Technology? Technology provides common receptive/expressive language. Gives the child power over the environment. Repetitive and consistent Non-threatening Improves comprehension Helps with organization, sequential memory and time concepts Teaches through multiple sensory channels to enhance learning Helps children transition from nonverbal to verbal systems Low Tech to High Tech Solutions Integrated Technologies Designated speech Devices with Synthesized Speech Designated Speech Devices with Digitized Speech Digitized Speech Output Devices (smaller scale) Classroom Aides Picture symbols Vocabulary Selection Things the child likes Easily accessible Independent access Commenting Questioning Carrier phrase/content Shared use Vocabulary Selection Determine the level of communicative function (cause/effect or better) Get input from parents for likes and dislikes, toys, games, places to visit, people they know, what they do in free time. Begin with powerful use of speech output (things desired) Expand to more words as soon as they experience success. What is Speech Output? Digitized or synthesized voice output device that can speak for the child Vocabulary organized by picture symbols and/or words Static overlay Dynamic Screen Branching system or MinSpeak What are the communication needs of students with ASD? According to the DSM-IV definition: – Qualitative impairment in social interaction – Qualitative impairment in communication (delay or total lack of spoken language) – Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities – Delays or abnormal functioning in social interaction, language in social communication and symbolic or imaginative play Picture Exchange Versus Speech Output Picture Exchange Communication Systems provide a low tech means for students to make wants and needs known. Speech Output devices can be set up in a similar fashion to PECS but the speech model is there when the child pushes the button. Speech Output devices are more portable when vocabulary becomes larger But My Child Can Speak? Research supports the use of speech output with children who have echolalia or limited verbal ability to improve their own speech. Speech output has NEVER kept a child from speaking! Children with Autism who are capable of speech still require help to know what to say, when and how. Speech output is an independent means of teaching appropriate language structure and responses to students with ASD. Social and Play Characteristics of children with ASD Social Initiation Social Responsiveness Play Characteristics Social Concepts- What to Teach Social Amenities Waiting How to get attention Turn-Taking Interrupting-when and how Changes-Transitions Understanding emotions What to Teach (continued) Initiating Social Contact Asking for Help Where and When to Touch (Self and Others) Appropriate Language Social Space Topics of Conversations Mistakes are OK Negotiating Developing Social Supports Proactive Strategies Reactive Strategies Collecting Data Where do we go from here? SocialSkills Training Techniques Samples of Objectives Things to remember Resources Question/Answer About the S.T.A.R.S. Program in Geauga County How and Why the program developed. Who is involved. Our philosophy. Key components: academic, social, community, parent involvement View video Putting It All Together At S.T.A.R.S. The students use speech output devices immediately. The students use speech output devices throughout the day. Speech output is incorporated into Discrete Trial Training tasks, group activities, therapy activities, play and snack/lunch times. Parents are encouraged to use speech output at home. Speech output is used by staff as well in an aided language stimulation format. View video Questions? A Quick Word About Geauga ATEC and OATDLP Geauga ATEC (Assistive Technology Evaluation Clinic) OATDLP (Ohio Assistive Technology Distance Learning Project Thank you!!
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