Teaching is my passion. I am a second-year teacher and I am loving it! My students have Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, and Sensory Integration Disorder. They attend a Public Day School for students with Autism in Lawrence, MA. Our school utilizes the strategies of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and the values of the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program. I have 6 students in my class, four boys, and two girls. They are in second, third, and fourth grade. More than three-quarters of my students come from a low-income household. 100 percent of my students receive free breakfast and lunch.
According to Autism Speaks, 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism.
The prevalence is 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls. Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S. There is no medical detection or cure for Autism.
The students in my classroom are minimally-verbal or non-verbal. They do their best to communicate non-verbally, focusing on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). My students need AAC devices to communicate their wants and needs throughout the day. The GoTalk 9+ and iPad will reduce their frustration due to their inability to verbally communicate.
According to the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, "Studies indicate that 20-30% of these children will be unable to communicate their wants, needs, and thoughts verbally."
The GoTalk 9+ is a recordable touch communication device that has the capacity to record 45 messages. We will use the GoTalk 9+ for both social communication opportunities and group learning activities. I will record morning greetings, calendar words and some silly phrases and jokes to keep us laughing while we learn. My students will have the opportunity to use the iPad during group lessons and 1:1 teaching. Having the opportunity to use an iPad will help reduce their frustration and positively impact their learning.
"When individuals have severe speech and language disabilities, augmentative and alternative communication strategies (AAC) can provide them with an opportunity to express themselves and have a voice." My students are an amazing group of kids, I can't wait to hear what they have to say.
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