Region 13 would like to take this opportunity to present a video series. Katie Adams, speech-language pathologist (SLP) extraordinaire at McNeil High School in the Round Rock Independent School District, does inclusion speech and language therapy in the classroom on a weekly basis. For an entire hour, she sees all students in the classroom. Throughout the six mini-lessons, Katie differentiates to each students’ individualized needs. This model of language therapy not only provides teaching of skills in a functional classroom environment, but it also gives an opportunity to build capacity for the teaching of language skills with the classroom teacher and educational assistants in attendance. In this model, the educational assistants are sitting at each table and taking data for the SLP! This series will include:
1. How are YOU? (Video Below)
2. Question time
3. Choice Time
5. Listen Up
6. Relaxation Time
So, you may ask, what do I need to do to make something like this happen? Katie Adams has been kind enough to share her work. Here are the specifics:
- 1 hour once a week taught by the SLP
- Around 15 students or less in the Functional Academic Classroom
- Paraprofessionals in the Room
- Students are grouped at each table by language ability in order for efficient differentiated instruction
- Lesson is broken into 6 sections that target different aspects of communication to meet individual language needs
- The lesson is the same for one month for CONSISTENCY and MASTERY
- Paraprofessionals teach a section of the lesson the last month as they have watched the lesson for three weeks
- The lesson has 6 items on the schedule (10 minutes for each)
- Students are given a Speech Packet with Visuals of the Lesson that is sent home at the end of the month for generalization at home
- 2 hours at the beginning on the month (Less each time as it gets more routinized)
- No prep after the initial 2 hours as the lesson is the same for one month
- Collaboration with paraprofessional and teacher for hour-long lesson
- Visual Picture Schedule in the Same Format Every Week
- 6 Language Sections Numbered 1 through 6
- Allows for Students to know Expectations of the Class
- Promotes Consistency as the students know the objectives in each section
- Helps with organization for the SLP
- Decreases Behaviors due to decreased anxiety and stress
- Helps paraprofessionals know what to do
- SLP created simple easy data collection forms
- Paraprofessionals take data with the students at their table during the lesson
- SLP trains during the lesson
Alright, here is the first lesson: How Are YOU?
Notice how Katie uses the Little Mac to engage Matthew. Finding opportunities to engage all students at their communicative level is VITAL. Katie knew that one of Matthew’s interests is basketball, and she used that knowledge in this communicative interchange. As an SLP, what else can you do? You could give opportunities for multiple conversational turns, sabotage a routinized communicative exchange with a bizarre answer to facilitate new communicative intent and humor AND create opportunities for the student to independently initiate the communication. The possibilities are ENDLESS!
Remember, the goal and emphasis of this model is on generalizing functional communication skills in order to better prepare our students for work and assisted living environments as well as education to the staff on strategies that increase language development.
Stay tuned for the next five lessons!