Saturday, April 27, 2013

Augmentative Communication Systems

·      Key questions should be considered when selecting educational applications to meet students goals and objectives
o   What is the intended outcome of the use of the educational application?
o   Is the educational application likely to fulfill its stated purpose?
o   Can the educational applications be used as an alternative to traditional classroom activities to enhance student participation?

·      Kinds of educational applications that can be used to address automaticity/math fluency
o    FASTT Math (Fluency and automaticity through Systematic Teacher with Technology) a math intervention program that helps students acquire math fact fluency
o   Timez Attack (Big Brainz) focuses on multiplication facts, teaching the 2 to 12 times table.
o   ArithmAttack is an online game that students can practice basic math skills.
o   Arcademic Skill Builder that is games designed to help develop automaticity in math skills.

·      Kinds of technology tools can be used to address visual-spatial or motor control difficulties
o   MathPad (Cambium Learning) A talking math worksheet program
o   Virtual Pencil is an educational application designed for students who are pencil impaired.
o   Number Navigator (Oats Progect) Serves as a simple math processor.
o   Scientific Notebook (MacKichan Software) A high-end application that is designed to do more than allow users to write equations on the computer but to solve equations.

·      Kinds of educational applications can be used to teach math concepts, math skills, and problem solving
o   Math Playground- provides wealth of recourses to support learning math concepts.
o   Conceptua Math-focuses on fractions and offers a variety of tools for teachers to use to enhance their whole class instruction.
o   Destination Math-targets the development of skills in math reasoning, conceptual understanding, and problem solving for students in grades K-12.

·      Kinds of low-tech and mid-tech adaptations can assist students with disabilities in completing math assignments
o   Manipulatives
o   Fraction rubber stamps
o   Number lines
o   Multiplication tables
o   Rulers
o   Plastic Coins

·      Strategies teachers can use to overcome “learned helplessness”
o   Build a daily expectation of communication through specific activities such as choosing the activity during recess, picking a book to read, or identifying where to eat lunch
o   Construct a brief daily report to parents that is communicated by the student
o   Allow natural consequences to occur and provide avenues for repair.
o   Provide for choice making whenever possible that requires the student to use his or her augmentative communication system.
o   Provide powerful phrases on the device for students to reject or protest something.

·      Integrating augmentative communication into the IEP
o   Important that student’s use of system is integrated within and across the school day, including instructional and noninstructional periods.
o   Once a system is determined the components of the system should be outlined in the IEP.
o   IEP should also include the use of the augmentative communication system within the students educational program to ensure that fundamental opportunities are provided for the student to practice communicational skills.
o   IEP must clearly state student’s communication needs.
o   List of augmentative communication services to be provide by related service personnel and identification of the party responsible for device maintenance and operations.

·      Importance in supporting the use of augmentative communication systems at home and in the community
o   Reinforces the communication skills learned in school and helps generalize them to other settings.
o   Critical to success of augmentative communication.
o   Both environments reflect different and varied communication demands, and coordinated efforts can significantly increase the likelihood of effective communication.
o   Using augmentative communication systems in the community make it easier for the individual to communicate with unfamiliar people.

·      Designing a students augmentative communication system to meet the communication demands of home and the community
o   Appropriate vocabulary needs to be added to the augmentative communication system.
o   Use of board maker can help to create and collaborate different materials for every activity and lesson to allow the student to communicate with those individuals around them.
o   Clear organization is mandatory for easy access and navigation.
o   Progress must be monitored to make sure the child is progressing appropriately.


  1. Tara, I think your blog is very detailed and explains the main purpose of the topic. Next time, for other readers it may be nice to add a short sentence or two that follows each blog, so that readers are able to follow along!

  2. The information you have provided is very useful to all educators. In the technological age we work in there is so much out there for our students to benefit from and you have provided great resources. If someone in the field of education stumbled upon your blog that would benefit from reading what you have provided. Great job!