Do you ever wish you could just ask your child something simple about what happened at school, or wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a better way to include your non-verbal student in classroom discussions and activities?
One simple voice output device can do these things! It’s called the Step by Step. It’s a device that allows you to program a series of messages that can be easily accessed by physically challenged students. Just think of the possibilities!!!
- Repeating lines in a children’s story book
- Verses to a song
- The Pledge of Allegiance
- Instructions for making simple snacks like popcorn
- Conversations with other non-verbal students
- Roll call for attendance
- Circle time activities
- Comments and opinions on a novel everyone is reading
- Assist teacher in giving spelling word test
For a complete list of ideas, take a look at my Resource Page on the website!
You’ll be surprised at how closely you can predict what a conversation partner will say during a simple exchange and you’ll LOVE how much your child will LOVE this new independence!
Take a look at the video and see how close you get to engaging in a nice little exchange with me as I play one half of a conversation on the Step by Step!
The Step by Step has been around for several years and is made by Ablenet. They also make a version that has three levels so that you can pre-record three series of things that you can have ready to go. I mentioned in the video that it can program up to 75 seconds of material, but I need to correct that. You can actually program up to two full minutes of material!!
I credit the Step by Step with helping me to show a young teenager with severe disabilities that she could actively participate in multiple activities with me. The first time I expected her to “help me read” a story that I pre-programmed on the Step by Step, I just told her to “push the button” and let me hear her voice. Then I waited. She had always had someone do everything for her and now I was expecting her to do something. I waited long enough and suddenly one day she pushed the button herself. Her grandmother was in the room and said to me, “Did she do that?” I put my hands in the air to show her that I was nowhere near the device. Grandma started to cry. An awesome moment!
Try a Step by Step with your non-verbal students and get creative. You can open so many new and exciting doors to communication!