Building Communication Bridges, Using One Apple at a Time
My students need an iPad to access voice output communication software and specially designed speech and language apps that will maximize their ability to become confident and expressive communicators. Watch out world!
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
My day is spent in a low-income K-8 school, nurturing and witnessing incredible little miracles! My students are 3 and 4 year olds diagnosed with a moderate-severe speech and language disability. Many come to me on their 3rd birthday to start speech therapy with limited verbal communication, poor ability to understand spoken language or follow directions and visible frustration or behaviors because they know they can't express what they want or need. They don't stay quiet for long! It turns out my students have quite a lot to say.
My students face unique obstacles at home, school and in their community because of their significantly delayed communication skills.
Many of them are being raised in low-income households with few resources and little consistency and yet, they are resilient and thirsty little sponges.
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to build relationships with these children and their parents. My therapy classroom is a beautiful constellation of races and cultures that enrich my life and motivate me to keep working harder. My students are joyful, inquisitive, active and inspiring preschoolers who thrive on positive attention and are excited to learn. Every day is challenging but with a truly priceless reward.
What I find fascinating about my students is that many of them can grab their mother's smartphone, swipe, scroll and tap to access videos and games, but cannot use words effectively to tell her that they want to play on the phone. Most of my students at the age of 3 are comfortable users of technology, but struggle to verbally communicate their needs to their families. Witnessing how easily children are engaged with the use of technology, I began to intentionally research, seek out and incorporate more technology resources into my therapy provision.
By donating to my project, you will not only help to increase student engagement and participation in therapy tasks, but you will ultimately help to increase their functional and independent communication skills.
The iPad will meet my student's communication needs as technology users in the 21st century. It will be a platform for voice output communication software to provide an alternative means of communication for my most severely delayed students. Early childhood speech & language apps will provide creative opportunities to hear, shape and practice correct production of misarticulated speech sounds and present language building exercises, providing data collection and accuracy feedback to maximize our progress.
My students are usually motivated give me one more verbal attempt or speech sound production when the activity is novel or the reward is apparent. I know my students will begin to anticipate their turn with interactive language building apps that record their visual and auditory communication attempts for playback/feedback. When we've recorded their efforts in the past, it was hugely motivating and entertaining!
The simple act of hearing my students ask for a turn to communicate "Again!" and "Again!" is in itself a sure sign of progress and will foster perseverance to continue using their words with greater independence.
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