Have You Ever Heard of a Fidgee?

Have You Ever Heard of a Fidgee?

Just because a student with special needs gets older and heads to the Intermediate School, Middle School or High School, doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she no longer needs a sensory outlet. The problem is usually that the sensory options often look babyish.

This is why when I saw today’s idea being used in one of our special education classrooms, I had to invite the designer of this wonderful idea to join me at Behavior Communicates.

Take a Look!

For my subscribers, Next month, I want to share some before and after results from language samples our SLP and Life Skills team have been working on. What you will see is the result of integrating communication throughout the school day using all kinds of communication outlets. Our students have been using communication apps like Touch Chat, they’ve been using PECS, sign language, core vocabulary boards, etc.

For years, I’ve witnessed program after program give limited functional communication opportunities during snack time and maybe during circle time. All too often incorporating communication during every part of the day, throughout the day is rare. When I’ve asked parents of students with moderate cognitive disabilities what they want for their children, there are always two answers: Self help skills and communication skills. This is what families want yet I’ve seen teachers spend lots of time doing other things yet developing communication was not at the heart of that program. When a program with these students integrates functional communication at the heart of the program, AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN.

Let me give you a taste of what I’m seeing.   Fifteen months ago a young student came to us with about 30 words. He rarely put two words together. Now our SLP shared with me that this same child was in PE recently and saw one of his classmates climb on something he shouldn’t have been on.   The student I’m describing said to the IA, “It’s Ok, Ms Sherry, I got this”.   Then later that day this little guy and another assistant were walking in the hallway looking at some art work hanging from the ceiling. He said to the assistant, “Ms Michelle, those aren’t birds, those are dragons”.   From a vocabulary of 30 words to 7 and 8 word sentences in 15 months….. REMARKABLE.

You may remember that I suggested in a blog at the beginning of this school year that you take a language sample of your students who are low verbal or even non-verbal and then work to incorporate functional communication throughout their day. If you did that, now comes the payoff.   I’m going to share my results with you. If you have joined in on this exercise, then I would LOVE to hear from you!!!

Making communication a priority, making communication the heart of your life skills programs is the best thing you could ever do.

Quite simply, it works.

You take care and I’ll see you next time!


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