A Low Cost and Effective Approach to Developing Communication and Literacy

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1 Interactive Convention 2014 Learning Labs A Low Cost and Effective Approach to Developing Communication and Literacy Cindy Gee & Yvonne Romero, Ysleta ISD Lillian Montes, El Paso ISD

2 Core Vocabulary Project Getting to the Core A Low Cost and Effective Approach to Developing Communication and Literacy Cindy Gee (YISD), Lillian Montes (EPISD), Yvonne Romero (ESC-Region 19) El Paso, Texas ~ July, 2014 History of the Core Vocabulary Project Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar Gail Van Tatenhove, P.A., M.S., CCC-SLP Bruce Baker Gail Van Tatenhove, P.A., M.S., CCC-SLP Gail Van Tatenhove is a Speech Language Pathologist who specializes in Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC). She has authored chapters in text books, articles for national publications, and numerous how to papers on a wide variety of subjects related to the field of AAC. She has created therapy support materials and AAC products, such as the Pixon Project Kit.

3 Pixon Symbols Pixonsare a picture system A systematic use of pictures to code vocabulary What you know about one picture helps you interpret another picture The more you learn, the less you have to learn from scratch Bruce Baker Founder and president of Semantic Compaction Systems. His company develops, translates, and licenses iconic interfaces for computers in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, and Swedish. The Baldwin Township resident was compelled to develop Minspeak in 1980 after meeting intelligent people who were physically unable to write, talk, or use hand signs. He used his classical linguistic training to create a patented visual language system based upon ancient hieroglyphics. With the Minspeak system, hundreds of words and sentences can be encoded with very few keystrokes. Although originally designed for adults, speech-language pathologists are now using the system to teach children with developmental disabilities. Minspeak Symbols Minspeaksymbols are used in the Unity language system used in devices such as the Vantage/Vantage Lite and, most recently, the Accent series.

4 Core Vocabulary Project Team Bonnie Cera, M.S., CCC-SLP (Clint ISD) Cindy Gee, M.S., CCC-SLP (Ysleta ISD) Jessica McKay, AT Specialist (Ysleta ISD) Lillian Montes, M.S., CCC-SLP (El Paso ISD) Yvonne Romero, M.S., CCC-SLP (ESC-Region 19) Lou Ann Rosario, M.Ed. (ESC-Region 19) History of the Core Vocabulary Project 2008 Texas AT conference (TATN), Gail Van Tatenhove presents her Pixon Project with compelling video of nonverbal adults using her paper-based language boards to communicate! Spring three Core Team members attend Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar conference presented and hosted by Bruce Baker! (YISD, ESC-Region 19) Fall 2012 Two Core Team members attend Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar. (EPISD, CISD) Spring 2014 Final Core Team member attends Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar. (YISD) Yvonne creates a rough draft of a CORE BOARD and shares. A SERIOUS MIND MELD OCCURS! Core Vocabulary Project Our Mission To provide a consistent AAC symbol system within ESC-Region 19, in the classroom setting.

5 Our Goals Develop a structured communication board with a combination of developmental vocabulary and high frequency words to establish core vocabulary Implement the use of a core vocabulary board to teach and model and understand meaning of symbol systems. (Pixon, Minspeak, Boardmaker, Dynasyms) Model Prompt (different types hand over hand,, full prompt, mand, partial prompt, cue) Our Goals Collect data on student comprehension and use of board to include level of support and prompt hierarchy. To establish independent use of communication across settings and environments. Development of Boards SLPs from 3 districts Clint ISD El Paso ISD Ysleta ISD ESC-Region 19 Assistive Technology Specialist

6 Picture Symbols Different language representation methods Pixon symbols, Minspeak, Board Maker, Dynasyms Transparent vs. Opaque icons Planning the layout how many core words to include organization of the board (color coding, parts of speech, Fitzgerald Key) size of the board which words should be used? High frequency words Lists reviewed (Banajee, Marvin, Fry, DolchWord Lists) Vertical and Horizontal alignment campus to campus, ISD to ISD region wide training February 27, 2013, April 19, 2013, (ECI February 26, 2014), April 10, Total trained to date = 151 (teachers, SLPs) and 74 ECI staff Trainings were set up as Make and Take, ESC- Region 19 covered most of the expenses for materials

7 Communication Training with Low Tech Manual board allows for the following skills to be targeted Joint Attention Shared Attention Pragmatics Semantics Syntax Discourse Communicative Intents Literacy Development Benefits of Manual Communication Boards Consistent Core Vocabulary students are exposed to the words daily core words are part of reading /spelling curriculum allow for many communicative intents to be taught Single sheet design considered the most language friendly less memory demands less physical effort promotes motor automaticity repetitive, consistent vocabulary ** Van Tatehnove 2009 Benefits of Manual Communication Boards Language Bridges process of learning language while also learning AAC device creates layers of learning. Board provides bridge to support language development while learning AAC Board parallels other devices to allow transition to higher AAC allows for building success at a motor and linguistic level using no tech materials Language Therapy studies show 70% of time spent on repairing, programming, learning to use high technology device and 30% on language intervention board allows for immediate language intervention board allows intervention of all areas of language development (semantics, syntax, morphology, pragmatics, discourse) board allows for SLP to use the same therapy strategies and materials used with speaking children ** Van Tatehnove 2009

8 Benefits of Manual Communication Boards Communication Partner Skills does not require extensive training for teachers Aided language Stimulation-model board as you communicate with child easy to teach to all easy to use during all academic and non academic activities Communication partners should be able to use a student s device, manual boards do not require additional training Core Vocabulary and Literacy Underlying The Core Project is the Role of Literacy Core Vocabulary and Literacy Literacy skills provide access to development of discourse skills and narrative skills. Literacy skills provide access to development of phonological skills Literacy skills provide access to higher linguistic concepts Literacy skills provide access to the development of syntax and morphology skills.

9 Core Vocabulary and Literacy The core language program is designed to modify the interaction strategies used by adult partners to increase the student's participation and facilitate their development of language and literacy skills. Implementation to Teaching Core Region 19 Provided material for core boards Provided material for classroom wall chart Provided training for teachers, SLPs, parents, administrators Continues to be supporting force for growth of the Core Project Implementation in the ISDs Clint ISD SLPs, SLP-Assistants and some teachers (PPCD, DSC, and ASC) were provided training through one of the first two Core training sessions made available by ESC-Region 19. All SLPs and SLP-Assistants were invited to Wiki Space in order to access Core Materials. They were encouraged to contact me with any questions. SLP and Teacher met to collaborate. Wall Chart and Core Boards were set up in PPCD Classroom (wall and desks). SLP modeled use of board initially in the classroom and observed initial teacher use of the board during instructional activities.

10 Implementation in the ISDs Clint ISD One child required use of cards (stop, go) but was still exposed to the board during natural routines; while the other two were encouraged to use the board throughout the day. SLP-Assistant also provided with model and observed while using board during language and reading activities. PPCD Teacher, SLP and SLP-Assistant were encouraged to continue with the use of the Core Board. One student began to use more 2 and 3 word phrases; another, who is very passive, began to defend himself by telling others to STOP!; and the 3 rd student who was using the cards continues to have difficulties. Implementation in the ISDs El Paso ISD 42 of 60 SLPs have been trained on core language through ESC-Region 19. Self contained teachers, specifically teachers from structured learning units were trained; three SLU classrooms currently implementing. Training will continue for SLPs not currently trained (ESC-Region 19). The plan for next year is to incorporate literacy into classrooms with teachers already trained. Implementation in the ISDs EPISD continued SLP uses Core Boards in CRC unit at middle school level. -Hearing impaired student/non-verbal able to use and follow group activity using Core Board. -Down Syndrome student increases sentence length from 2-4 words when using Core Board. -Other student with intellectual and expressive language delays now asks questions using correct grammar and syntax when using Core Board! These skills correlate directly with literacy!

11 Implementation in the ISDs Ysleta Independent School District Targeted various self-contained classrooms not pull out speech Collaboration between SLP and classroom teacher- best practice Teacher provided SLP with knowledge regarding curriculum SLP provided teacher with knowledge regarding communication, speech, language, and pragmatic skills Implementation in the ISDs Ysleta Independent School District SLP modeled use of board during pre, post, and reading activities-to allow teacher to see how to use board Communication training and communication board provided throughout day-best practice Communication provided during natural routines best practice Transition to Life Career Center (TLCC) special education students have continued on with producing material for core boards and wall charts Implementation in the ISDs Ysleta Independent School District Yvonne Romero, SLP, spent time at targeted campuses (minimum of 9 weeks to 1 semester) training teachers of special education units and campus SLPs. Teacher and SLP buy-in was a success Has become a Districtwide Initiative

12 Data Collection Classroom Videos Teacher, SLP, and Parent Testimonials

13 Resources Building Language Competence with Students Using AAC devices: Six Challenges, Gail VanTatenhove (June, 2009) Language Development and Language Disorders,New York: Wiley,Bloom, L. and Lahey, M. (1978)

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