First 3 Things to Tackle

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)