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Teaching Early Numeracy Skills Using Single Switch Voice-Output Devices to Students with Severe Multiple Disabilities (short summary)

Teaching
 
early
numeracy
 
using
 
single
switch
VOCAs
 
to
students
 
with
 
severe
 
multiple
disabilities

The authors of this paper investigated the ‘effect of a systematic instructional package with individualized adaptations on the acquisition of numeracy skills’ on students with multiple disabilities. The research involved three children with severe multiple disabilities and complex communication needs (CCN) who attended a special school.

The intervention took the form of five different maths lessons being delivered a minimum of 3 times each either to individuals or groups of two pupils. The lessons followed a scripted ‘maths story’ and each had 12 early numeracy skills objectives built in together with a range of modified curriculum support resources adapted to make them accessible to the students. The use of maths stories gave the children opportunities to perform maths skills such as rote counting, identifying numbers, making sets etc. The children actively responded in different ways; using yes/no switches, number-lines, touching story –related resources etc.

The found that all of the participants showed a significant increase in scores from the baseline to the final assessment, indicating improvement in their ability to demonstrate early numeracy skills within the lessons.

The results of the research indicate that the ‘systematic instructional package with individualized adaptations … was effective for teaching … targeted early numeracy skills’. However the use of single switch voice-output systems was limiting, only enabling responses to questions not supporting comments, questions or voicing of opinions. Informally the participants were all observed to use other non-verbal communication to convey a range of meanings in addition to activating switches.

The authors support the idea that AAC and other assistive technology helps improve student outcomes and increase opportunities to learn and show their learning.


Things you may want to look into:

Microswitch Technology for Enabling Self-Determined Responding in Children with Profound and Multiple Disabilities: A Systematic Review

Where are teachers' voices? A research agenda to enhance the communicative interactions of students with multiple and severe disabilities at school

Added to site May 2016


 

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