First 3 things to tackle when you have a new student with complex communication needs
Read the current IEP
- Look at eligibility (this should tell you the “big picture”)
- The first thing is to see if you need to dig further into the medical background. If not-move to the next section.
- I need to do an entire post on what eligibility it and what it says or indicates and what it doesn’t
- Read present level (should paint a picture of communication abilities)
- Special Factors- do they need assistive technology- (this is where AAC low or high tech will be documented. It most likely will NOT say the program
- Look over the current goals (what is the focus, when are they due, what does the most recent benchmark say)
Observe the student and notice:
- Modes of Communication (sign, gestures, body lang, low tech, high tech)
- Communication intentions (greeting, protesting, negotiating, requesting,
- How is he/she engaging or interacting with others/items, etc?
- What are they protesting? Highly engaged?
Call/Talk to the caregiver.
- Do this right away! They give great insight, can tell you what has been attempted, tried, failed, etc.
- What does the caregiver want for the child?
- Get a list of “power” words. Highly used/needed words.
- Chat with sibling or send home a sibling survey (attach this)