Communication is paramount to student success. All of my students have one or more disabilities which adversely affect their ability to communicate their wants and needs, thoughts, and ideas. Though communication is not easy for my students, they have a determination to learn like none other!
All of my students have one or more disabilities, ranging from speech sound disorders to autism and down syndrome, which negatively affects their ability to effectively communicate their wants and needs, thoughts, and ideas.
They come to speech to work on expressing themselves more effectively, as well as their articulation and language skills. My school is phenomenal and always strives to include our students with special needs in all activities school-wide. Though many of my students come from difficult backgrounds, they have a desire to learn and succeed. Many of my students require visual picture reminders to follow a schedule, use good behavior, and answer comprehension questions about what they have been learning. Some of my students have more severe needs, which hinders them from communicating verbally at all. These students rely on using gestures and pictures to communicate with others.
My students all have a burning desire to interact with others and express themselves. Visual pictures help my students to follow rules, follow schedules, demonstrate understanding and comprehension of lessons, and communicate what they want and need. Because lessons, vocabulary, and wants/needs change frequently, I have to create new picture cards and visuals regularly. These pictures need to be laminated using durable laminating paper so they will last. We encourage the students to handle and hold their visuals, so they take ownership in them, and engage in handing them off to others as a form of communication. Laminating pouches are important to help these visuals last. In addition, office supplies, such as the binder clips, paper, sticky glue, magnet strips, and book baggies will help us keep order in our classroom, stay organized with student work, and allow students to keep track of their important visuals. Finally, we have been able to acquire four small exercise balls for my students to use for flexible seating and sensory needs; however, we need four large balls for the older students in my room.
My school's resources are limited.
Budgets for laminating pouches, school supplies, and flexible seating are non-existent at this time. Many of my students require visuals that they use throughout the day. These visuals change as lessons and vocabulary change, and as the students' needs change. It is vital for me to continue to provide visuals for my students to give them a voice that they so desperately want. Every one of my students can be successful if they have the tools they need to communicate.
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