Claire highlights a good example of using assistive technology with a pupil

Claire highlights a good example of using assistive  technology with a pupil


Could you give an example where everything
just fell into place, the technology worked and give the reasons why it happened. With
the same group of learners, this was another learner who we were also thinking about switch
access for. We had, we believed that she had a really good understanding of cause and effect.
That is, if I press this switch, it is me that is making that song play on the computer.
That’s the kind of experience she’s had, she was also using switch adapted toys as
well, pressing them to make them go. Quite often one of the barriers for learners with
switch access is that they get stuck at that cause and effect stage and they don’t really
move on from there. We were looking at ways that we could scaffold learning to help this
learner move on. We introduced 2 switches, one switch was going to move music, so if
you imagine a music player it was going to fast forward it and one switch was going to
play or choose the music. We set it up, so that one song that we knew she absolutely
loved, which was Gangnam Style, would play on one of the choices. It was kind of like
a jukebox and you could skip through with one switch the move switch to get to Gangnam
Style and play it. So we showed her and scaffolded how that worked, we demonstrated it with her,
we prompted, we prompted her to do that as well and the support staff, who I was working
with got on board with that and gave her lots of experiences to practice that with no expectation
that she would do it herself. Over a period of time she worked out that eventually the
Gangnam Style song came on, and that was great, she always got very excited. We decided to
use sabotage as a way to try and teach her that she’s got the control to move the music
on to the one that she wants. Sabotage? We sabotaged it. So we basically, we had Gangnam
Style playing, and then we would say that’s a terrible song, so we use the move switch to move it on to another song and after a couple of times of doing this, this particular pupil would have a bit of a giggle, and then
worked out that if she kept pressing, move, move, move switch, eventually it would get
back to Gangnam Style. What really made that work was a number of things. Number 1, we
found that absolutely, really, really motivating for that particular pupil. The song Gangnam
Style, she loved it, so she was motivated to hear it as much as she could. The second thing
that was really important was the support staff and getting them on-board and practicing
with the pupil and everyone using exactly the same language, exactly the same cues and
prompts. When it did work for them it was a real ‘aha moment’ as well and they could
see ‘ah, this is what we can now go on and give her an opportunity to learn using these
two switches’.

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