Facilitate Independence and Success by Integrating Technology Into a Functional Skills CurriculumBy Mahan, Karen, MA, CCC-SLP; Nolder, Terri, MA, CC-SLP; Skaden, Marla, OTR/L; CSUN Technology and Persons With Disabilities Conference - 2002,
Publication Date: 2002
Paper focuses on efforts by members of the Sioux Falls School District in South Dakota to develop a Functional Skills Curriculum for students ranging from early childhood through high school. The curriculum outlines functional tasks that enhance students’ ability to reach their maximum potential in various environments, including home, school, and the community. The tasks correspond with individualized education plan goals and objectives, as well as state standards. Assessment measures are included, as is a teaching kit that includes the materials necessary for providing individualized instruction. The use of assistive technology is included, as a description of a child entering an early childhood program provides an example of the various supports that have been implemented. The student was diagnosed with autism at age three, and was unable to use a picture communication system. The school’s assistive technology team developed an object communication system that utilized object cards for transitions both within and outside of the classroom. Using object cards, the student's daily schedule was placed in a highly visible location on the wall. The cards were attached with Velcro to a strip of carpet mounted on the wall. In addition, a switch was placed under the cards to provide voice output. Following the cue, "check your schedule," the student took the card. Removal of the card activated the voice output, which provided reinforcement for the student. When the student arrived at his destination, he was assisted in placing the card on a strip of carpet either attached to the work area or located outside the classroom door he was entering. Prior to transitioning to a new activity or to a new location, the student "checked his schedule" and used the appropriate transition card to move to a new activity, to a new classroom or to return to his classroom. The approach was successful and the student began to show an understanding of the system. At this point, the team implemented a picture system schedule. New vocabulary was continually introduced as the student progressed with the system.
Published by: Center on Disabilities at CSUN (Website:http://www.csun.edu/cod/)
Link to text: http://www.csun.edu/cod/conf/2002/proceedings/129.htm