Thursday, July 24, 2014

Using Communication Scripts & New SPED Forum

Students with expressive communication deficits have a difficult time expressing themselves. They need to be taught how to communicate and how to have a conversation with others. Typically, expressive communication deficits are seen in our students with Autism. Vocabulary development, rehearsal, and practicing the use of language during social situations are methods that can be used to help these children. But in some cases, these children have their labels down and have the vocabulary knowledge, they just don't know how to use it. So how do we teach them??

One method I recently began using with one of my students is "Communication Scripts." With communication scripts, we provide the child with a script of exactly what to say. This begins to teach them the back-and-forth nature of communication as well as decreases their dependency of verbal prompts. Prior to using the scripts, I was verbally prompting this student and she was becoming prompt dependent. For example, if she was pointing to computer, I would say to her, "Say computer." 

The communication scripts will promote more independent verbal communication, require more than one word, model more natural speech, and is much easier to fade than a verbal prompt. Here are a few examples of some of the scripts I have made for my student. 

Now these will be different for each child. I made these centered around activities and situations that specifically occur in this child's day. To make yours, just ask yourself "What does the child point to during the day?" "What situations require the student to speak during the day?" "When am I currently prompting this child?"

Now of course with any prompt, you will want to fade as soon as possible! You'll also want to give the child immediate praise every time for "using their words." Let them know it's a good thing and that you are proud of them! 
If you have further questions on this topic, I'd like to introduce to you my new SPED discussion forum I started today on my FB page! There are discussion forums all over the web for general Ed teachers, but nothing for Special Educators!! Even on our campuses, most Sped teachers continue to lack the support and advice that general Ed teachers have right at their fingertips! I'm the only SPED teacher at my school besides the Resource Room teacher, so I have no one to turn to if I need advice or no department to collaborate with!  

Here's how it works! Every Thursday afternoon I will post the button above on my FB page inviting teachers to post their SPED related questions. I will then post the most relevant questions throughout the week and try to get answers for you! And it just went live what are you waiting for??? Head over to my FB page and post your question!!! Easy access to my page {here}.

Look forward to hearing from you!

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  1. Hey Traci,

    I teach grades 2-4 now, so I will be visiting your blog often. :-) It's obvious that you are good at what you do and I LOVE the new question post, Let's Talk SPED! Great idea.

    I have started doing a link up each Sunday called Sunday Special Tidbits if you would like to join! You just share a short and sweet post about something that is helpful for you and/or your students.

    A Tender Teacher for Special Needs

    1. Thank Tasha! I am very excited about the response already on my new question forum! I think it will continue to grow! Thanks for telling about your Sunday linky. Can't wait to link up tomorrow!


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