When you think about where a child spends most of his time, it seems rather obvious that home would be the single most important place for a child to communicate. Yet evaluations for assistive technology rarely (if ever) take place in the home. My experience has been that these evaluations take place in the school setting. While communicating in school is important, there is a completely different type of communication that occurs in school versus the home environment. School communication revolves around a student being able to respond to demands put on them by teachers. Spontaneous communication is limited. The act of learning assumes that the student will be doing a lot of listening, not talking. In your average classroom, the teacher stands in front of the class and teaches. The only communication given, or tolerated in some classrooms, is answering a question asked by the teacher after raising hands and being chosen to answer. School is not a place that naturally fosters independent, spontaneous communication. No, that would be home, where for much of the time the child is self-directed, communicating with family members about things that they choose. Yet despite this rather obvious fact, AT evaluations, programming and use almost always revolve around school, not home use.
May 7, 2007
To get a voice (The ins and outs of AAC) continued….