1 hr 15 min

Benjamin Bennett - Implementing the Specific Language System First Approach District-Wide Talking With Tech AAC Podcast

    • Education

This week, Chris has an amazing interview with Benjamin Bennett, an AAC Specialist for the Escondido Union School District near San Diego, CA. Benjamin has a wealth of information to share, including his school’s move from doing traditional AAC evaluations to a model that is more focused on the considerations of the whole team. Benjamin has lots of questions about the strengths and drawbacks of the Specific Language System First Approach (SLSFA) - his district is strongly considering moving more towards the SLSFA and he wanted to think through possible issues before rolling it out. To learn more about about the SLSFA from Chris, click here.

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel have a great discussion about writing effective goals for AAC users, including tracking spontaneous language and independent initiation. According to Rachel, independent initiation has to be a foundational skill if we want everything else, because “we see a lot of kids who can do a lot with support, and not a lot without it.” She thinks that we need to be open to all the ways students are communicating with us - if they aren’t using the word we are working on but they are communicating, that is still growth and should be recognized. 

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Students in school should not be required to respond - they aren’t getting paid to be there and it isn’t their choice. We shouldn’t put all of the communication responsibility on the student - instead, let’s ask, what can we do to make communication more tempting?

 

🔑 Benjamin shares about a school site that has a variety of students who are nonspeaking, minimally verbal, and verbal all using the same systems in the moderate/severe classrooms. This helps get everyone involved with AAC and no longer isolates the nonspeaking students. It just becomes “how we teach” instead of a tier 3 support that only a few students have access to.

 

🔑 One thing to consider if someone comes in with an AAC system that is different than what is typically used at a new school site - are they independently using the device to communicate? If the device is being used effectively, there is a very strong argument for keeping them on that system and not disrupting their motor plan by moving them to a different one.

 

🔑 People often think about putting everyone on the same tool, but what about strategies? Is there consistency of communication partners between sites? Do people focus on the same things and model the same way across the district? That is often a bigger concern than the particular system. 

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

This week, Chris has an amazing interview with Benjamin Bennett, an AAC Specialist for the Escondido Union School District near San Diego, CA. Benjamin has a wealth of information to share, including his school’s move from doing traditional AAC evaluations to a model that is more focused on the considerations of the whole team. Benjamin has lots of questions about the strengths and drawbacks of the Specific Language System First Approach (SLSFA) - his district is strongly considering moving more towards the SLSFA and he wanted to think through possible issues before rolling it out. To learn more about about the SLSFA from Chris, click here.

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel have a great discussion about writing effective goals for AAC users, including tracking spontaneous language and independent initiation. According to Rachel, independent initiation has to be a foundational skill if we want everything else, because “we see a lot of kids who can do a lot with support, and not a lot without it.” She thinks that we need to be open to all the ways students are communicating with us - if they aren’t using the word we are working on but they are communicating, that is still growth and should be recognized. 

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Students in school should not be required to respond - they aren’t getting paid to be there and it isn’t their choice. We shouldn’t put all of the communication responsibility on the student - instead, let’s ask, what can we do to make communication more tempting?

 

🔑 Benjamin shares about a school site that has a variety of students who are nonspeaking, minimally verbal, and verbal all using the same systems in the moderate/severe classrooms. This helps get everyone involved with AAC and no longer isolates the nonspeaking students. It just becomes “how we teach” instead of a tier 3 support that only a few students have access to.

 

🔑 One thing to consider if someone comes in with an AAC system that is different than what is typically used at a new school site - are they independently using the device to communicate? If the device is being used effectively, there is a very strong argument for keeping them on that system and not disrupting their motor plan by moving them to a different one.

 

🔑 People often think about putting everyone on the same tool, but what about strategies? Is there consistency of communication partners between sites? Do people focus on the same things and model the same way across the district? That is often a bigger concern than the particular system. 

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

1 hr 15 min

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