Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc. is a family-focused speech language pathology practice. We provide articulation, language, oral-motor/feeding, and AAC services to our patients.
In this unit of study, we are digging in deeper with concepts around communication with our students with complex communication needs. We will explore the assessment process, goals and treatment and AAC systems.
Communication is learned first and foremost in the home. Our families need materials and supports to help them help their own children at home. These modules include resources and ideas to get those families on board and talking!
This set of modules gives you material and resources to take charge of your own professional learning. Staff without time or funds to travel to conferences, or attend after school workshops need ways to access training material. We will discuss ways to access these types of trainings, and provide some right here!
This set of modules discusses literacy, arguably one of the most important skills we can teach students. The ability to read and write using traditional text allows students to communicate and learn, imperative skills for students with additional challenges. We have years of research showing the discrepancy in literacy instruction between students in general education and those in special education. These resources help us narrow that gap! Most of the resources we share follow a 4-Blocks for Literacy model, which has been adapted and modified for students with special needs.
The Classroom Communication Checklist is a tool developed to identify communication supports in place in the classroom and to determine potential supports which may be of value to add into the existing program. This planning tool helps teachers & administrators consider a variety of supports to help their students communicate effectively in the classroom. Download, save and use as a writeable form!
These modules include tools we use to help students understand what is expected of them and to help them comfortably and cooperatively complete tasks to move throughout their daily activities. We are concerning ourselves with giving students information in a way they can understand, and teaching them tools to help them function in the academic environment. We are striving for independence, cooperation and communication, NOT compliance. We often add visual elements to support our verbal explanations and directions.
These modules help you develop a variety of communication displays for your classroom so that ALL children can communicate ALL the time. You'll find large displays that allow you to "talk" to your students pointing to symbols as you speak. Turning your classroom into a giant communication "system" makes it easy for you to model communicating using AAC to students learning to use their own personal AAC systems. Each student has their own comprehensive communication system too, so that they can follow along and talk when they want to as well!
This set of modules help you support robust communication systems. These include tablet based AAC applications, speech generating devices and comprehensive communication books. Robust systems are ones that include all a comprehensive set of vocabulary, core words, alphabet/keyboards, and support for sentence building. These systems support language development for all students, replace absent or insufficient speech and assist students with intelligibility challenges.
One of the biggest challenges teachers face is the lack of appropriate, standard cross-subject curriculum in self-contained special education classrooms. Many teachers are doing an amazing job creating curriculum from scratch year after year. This module is looking at several curriculum options for communication, academics and literacy, which are presented in a standardized manner to help you use your time teaching rather than creating curriculum.
In our AAC Systems Unit, we are considering all of the features in our AAC systems. We are looking at the AAC applications, printable light tech starter systems, physical access, vision considerations, symbol selection and message organization. We will also think about the cognitive and attention demands of communicating using AAC.
Assessing the communication skills of complex communicators is a bit different than our typical speech language evaluation. In this unit we are introducing you to specific assessment tools you can use to assess AAC skills, cognitive-language and symbol knowledge. We also are taking a look at the DTA Schools Assessment process so you can follow along with us OR conduct your own assessments to select the most appropriate communication supports for your student.
Choosing appropriate goals for communication involve considering the student's current skills, their environment, the communication demands and supports in place. In this unit we are considering concepts around goal selection, using our assessment results to drive treatment plans and considering treatment strategies.