Tag: Early Childhood

Powered Mobility in the Classroom

Research shows that those who used powered mobility devices showed improvements in cognitive skills, including attention, problem-solving, and spatial awareness. Research also shows that powered mobility use was associated with improvements in language skills in young children with mobility impairments. Studies also show that children who used powered mobility devices were more likely to participate in mainstream educational settings, which provided them with increased exposure to language stimulation.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to use a kill switch to keep all students and adults in the classroom safe.
  • Understand how to toggle from attendant control and student control to use the power chair throughout the entire school day.
  • Provided integrated activities so language, mobility, literacy and AAC skills are being addressed through powered mobility.

Autism, Behavior, Communication: Made as Simple as ABC

Do you work with children with autism who struggle to communicate? Have you tried AAC and feel it is not working? We must consider the characteristics of autism and the research-based strategies for utilizing AAC. When we put these together we can be more successful. When we look at the characteristics of autism and think about repetitive actions, whether verbally or behaviorally, we need to understand how that looks when using AAC. We must remember that the purpose of the communication device is to communicate rather than demonstrate knowledge. That means each person gets to say what they want, when they want to, while maintaining agency over their body. That means others don’t force their hand to touch a button and they don’t use another person’s hand to touch buttons. It is their voice and their body. (Donaldson et al, 2023). That results in independent communication. How do we get to independent communication? Let’s look at Autism, Behavior and Communication and clarify the process of implementing AAC with this population. Join this class to accurately define what communication looks like using AAC, what changes you can make to increase functional use of the device, and what IEP goals reflect this.

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will identify 3 strategies to use when a person with autism displays stimming behavior while using an AAC device.
Participants will identify 3 characteristics of autism that can impact the use of AAC and how to address each one.
Participants will learn 5 (SMART) components of an IEP goal required to measure increased functional communication using AAC.

Switch It Up: Creative Solutions for Play!

Play is a huge part of a child’s development and all children deserve the opportunity to engage in play regardless of their motor abilities! By providing simple solutions to assistive technology that any caregiver/therapist/parent can implement, a child with a complex motor condition can access activities with greater independence. Play-based switch adapted activities also provide another opportunity for learning and engaging in their environment. It is important to empower our children with diverse needs and using assistive technology is an incredible way to do so. From practice in our own practice we have seen the impact of implementing engaging activities with switches and the incredible outcomes that come from adapted play.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will understand what a switch is and how to place it.
2. Participants will be able to identify different types of switches as well as other switch adapted equipment.
3. Participants will be able to identify at least 10 fun ways to incorporate switches into their classroom/therapy/home!

Unleash Your Creativity: Book-Related Strategies to Support AAC and Literacy

We will target one activity for each research based area of emergent literacy, showing a book, and a strategy to support emergent learners. Examples include:
• Shared Writing
• Shared Reading
• Phonological Awareness
• Alphabet Knowledge
• Writing with the Alphabet
• independent Reading

Following each of our quick examples, we will challenge participants to extend this by:
• Choosing a Different Book For The Same Strategy: For example, they will apply CROWD in the CAR to a new book
• Proposing Light or High Tech Modifications for the Strategy: For example, they might share how they would adapt the activity for students with CVI, hearing impairment, or motor impairments.
• Developing Adaptations to Make the Activity Age-Respectful: While this often means choosing a different book, sometimes students can use a book intended for younger students and complete an activity that is very age-respectful, such as writing a review of I’m Not Just a Scribble for a classroom of younger students, or for their own younger siblings or cousins.

This approach is align with adult learning strategy research and is the most effect way to create real professional growth

Key Learning Outcomes

As a result of this presentation participants will be able to:

1. Compare books to select those that lend themselves to specific research based literacy instruction AND enhance motivation.
2. Apply literacy instruction ideas to a wide variety of books for students of all ages – including age respectful books for older students who are emergent readers.
3. Customize the activities demonstrated by the presenters to meet the needs of their own unique students

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