Week 5 was not nearly as exciting or busy as previous weeks. I was supposed to go to Phoenix on Tuesday for an ADE ESS staff meeting, but due to the longer than average agenda, I had to miss it and stay in Tucson for school. It all balanced out as my son was sick last week with croup, so it was good I could stick around and help him, plus that gave me more time to take him to the doctor. He’s all better now.
Aside from working on some smaller projects, the big thing I learned for the week was the difference between an AT eval and an AAC eval. I got so wrapped up in the world of AAC for so long that it can be difficult to think outside of that world, and realize that in Assistive Technology AAC is a very small component. For an AAC eval you need a Speech Pathologist to write the report, and then depending on the funding source you have other requirements and team members needed, such as a primary physician and often an Occupational Therapist. But for an AT eval you need the entire IEP team. This can consist the teacher, the resource teacher, the SLP, OT, PT, and potentially many other group members. Plus AT can be almost anything, from a pencil grip to a CCTV, and so many things in between. It’s a larger world I’m still working on comprehending, but it is very interesting.
A less common example of AT I got to try out is a light machine that can attach to any MP3 player (cell phone). This can be a great sensory tool for many students, and functions as an alternative and probably more entertaining light board. The pictures alone give a nice picture of this, and adding music almost always makes things better. We also made a string abacus for counting from 1-10. Pretty simple, especially as abacus’ go, but it was neat to see how to make it using just 10 beads and some string.
Next week should be much busier with an AT overview, a TLC Grant Team Training in Phoenix on Wednesday, and a “Crazy for Chrome” training on Friday. Still a great week this week, just a little slower than the past few weeks.