I have 2 students who were assessed to get Assistive Technology Communication Devices this year. In my school district, if the assessors are not sure of the best device for a kid, they do a month long trial. We create goals for the kids, take data, and monitor their progress. If they are successful, they then get access to the device. If they are not successful, they re-evaluate and try a different device. Earlier this year, we did a month long trial with the Nova-Chat with one kiddo which was super successful, and this month we are doing a trial of the Accent.
The student using this device is extremely rigid…so at first, he wanted nothing to do with the device. After one day of using it in morning group, his rigidity starting paying off because now, he will not complete morning group without it!
He is able to greet a peer, find the month, day, weather, etc. on the device! Most of these are 1-word utterances currently. So, to start expanding the length of his utterances, I wanted to find a repetitive activity with lots of opportunities to practice. While looking through my materials, I found these fun spinners from target. The kid chooses a color and a shape, and draws it on his paper.
To utilize the device, I wanted him to come up with a complete sentence to request the colored marker he needed to complete the activity. So, after spinning, he would request "I want color__." I would hand him the marker, he would draw, we would clear the communication device and do it all over again.
At the beginning, I was pointing to each button for him to push, but by the end of our 15 minutes together, he could make the request independently! I'm super excited he is learning all this so fast! Can't wait for him to be able to express himself more and more! Do you have any devices in your classroom? Any good activity ideas for teaching students to use the device?