My students are incredibly creative and engaging children with special needs who display moderate-severe deficits in language and communication. My students have all been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the majority of my students are non-verbal or minimally verbal.
My students use a vast array of Assistive Technology via iPad applications (such as Proloquo2Go, Touch Chat, LAMP) in order to communicate at home and in school.
During this new phase of distance learning, it has been a challenge to remotely provide speech therapy and speech/language supports (i.e. direct models, visual prompts, gestural prompts) for students who communicate using speech-generating devices due to a lack of needed technology. My students benefit from a highly structured environment and familiar routines, which has made the transition to remote learning and teletherapy a challenging feat. Together, with my classroom teams and my students' parents, I am doing everything in my power to ease this transition in ways that are exciting, reinforcing, and motivating for my students.
In lieu of an iPad, I have found some success in using printed screenshots from each student's respective communication system to provide supports for the time being. However, the lack of better resources has made the already challenging transition to tele-therapy that much more difficult for my students. I was recently awarded a code that would allow me to download the Assistive Technology applications that my students use onto an iPad, but I lack a device that can be used to download these essential applications.
An iPad will be transformed into a speech-generating device for non-verbal and minimally verbal students that mirrors their own communication devices at home.
It will be equipped with many motivating applications to further aid in speech therapy activities (i.e. countdown timer, token economy systems, interactive apps that align with classroom curriculum). Parents will also be able to receive further supports to aid families in the transition to learning from home. The myriad of benefits will extend into the summer learning term and upcoming school years to come as well!
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