Data, Data, Data
I let data do the talking. I like data to be the bad guy if there needs to be a bad guy. I use data to be the good guy too! Let me give you a couple of examples.
We had a situation where one student was coming to school and literally sleeping for two hours a day several times a month. We all know that school is a place to learn, not a place to catch up on sleep, so I asked the teacher to keep track of which days the student was sleeping and for how long. Then I asked the teacher to put the information in graph form so staff and parents could clearly see the patterns that emerged. We scheduled a meeting with the parents who happened to be divorced, which meant the student was switching households on a regular basis.
We sat down with the parents and presented the data. It was clear that every Thursday and every other Monday, this student would come to school exhausted and sleep. I simply said, “ We obviously have a pattern here. What is happening on the Wednesdays and Sundays before the dates that the data indicates that the student has lack of sleep?”
The dad quickly said, “That’s when she spends the night with me.” He went on to say that he was the one who was contributing to this difficult situation because he was having trouble getting the child to go to sleep at a reasonable time.
No one had to say anything to this dad or point fingers. The data said it all. The ex-spouse didn’t have to be the bad guy and neither did the school. The data allowed all of us to work together and come up with ideas for solutions. It was awesome.
Another example of data saving the day was when a parent was frustrated because she didn’t feel her child had made progress in his communication skills. The problem was that she had forgotten where he was a year ago with his communication skills!!! When I looked at the data we took a year ago, there was significant improvement. In this case, the data was the good guy!
This scenario is very similar to what happens when we look at how children grow physically. Children grow just a bit every day and we hardly notice, yet when we look back at pictures from a year or more ago, we can see just how much they’ve grown. We forget sometimes until we see pictures. Until we see proof. Until we see data!
When a child who is non-verbal or has low verbal skills is learning language, it happens very slowly over time. We forget how far they come unless we’ve got data….proof that we’re making progress in the right direction.
Take a look at today’s video to see how you can get your proof of progress in communication skills!
I encourage you…no I challenge you to take this data now. Then come May, 2017, I want to hear from you again. J
You take care and I’ll see you next time!