[ Post a Response | AAC, Special Education, and Inclusion ]
how do i get this student communicating????
Posted by tiff27 on 9/23/2004, 1:38 pm
Hi, This is my second year working as an slp. I was placed in a skills center at the high school this year and don't have much experience working with this population. There is one student in particular in this class that I am lost at what to do. He was born normal and was in a drowning accident when he was 3 or 4 and was left severely brain damaged (very, very sad). He is in a wheel chair and has very limited mobility of his hands and some control of his head. He is unable to communicate. I'm not sure how cognitively with it he is. Some of the staff seem to think more so than others. He has been using eye gaze to communicate. The person he is working with gives him two choices by using the two hands (often signing yes or no with each hand) and he gazes towards the hand with the answer he wants to give. The problem is only one assistant in the class finds him to be consistent and he's not consistent with anyone else with his yes/no answers. The bigger problem is I don't think he is really consistent with that assistant at all, and I really feel like he leads him towards the answer he wants him to say or he only gives him one choice and of course he will look at that hand. Apparently last year the assistive tech person came in and set him up using the superhawk system by head switch (I'm not really familiar with this system). It would work fine with the assitive tech person and with the slp, but then when they were gone the staff said it never worked. In talking with the former slp and assitive tech person, they both said it worked fine, but that the problem was that they set it up for very simple communication and the staff kept trying to make it more involved and would mess it up while programming it. From what I've heard about the parents, they are very guilt ridden about the accident and just do everything for him and are not advocates for him to be able to communicate. So there is always the question about carryover into the home. I took him away from the classroom yesterday to see what I could get out of him and I got nothing. I did not see a consistent eye gaze for anything, not even his name. I do think there might be potential to work with the eye gaze system, but I question if he was ever really trained well with it. He is graduating this year and I really want to find some sort of communication system for him before he leaves or I'm afraid he'll spend the rest of his life sitting in the corner. I'm in a tough situation too b/c there is a lot of tension in that classroom between the one assistant that works with him a lot and the lead teacher, assitive tech person, former slp, other assistants regarding his communication. And now that I'm new everyone is telling me their side of the story. Any suggestions for what route to take with this student? Thanks!
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