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Monday, June 25, 2012

Selecting Skills to Teach Communication Partners

From Cathy Binger and Jennifer Kent-Walsh in their presentation at the ASHA Partner Instruction in AAC Online Conference on Partner Instruction in AAC (6/13-25/12)
Some highlights from this great (!) presentation:

--> Common Problems With Partner Skill Selection
  • Focusing on what is ‘wrong’ with the partner instead of improving client behaviors
  • Trying to change too many partner behaviors at once
  • Trying to change too many client behaviors at once
  • Trying to change client and/or partner behaviors in too many settings or situations at once
  • Failing to link changes in partner behaviors to identifiable, measurable changes in the client
--> Direct instruction (to partners) coupled with hands-on practice with the client is identified by partners as the most desired learning mode (this moves new information from the level of "book knowledge" toward integrating it as a new partner skill)

--> Five Guidelines for Selecting Partner Skills to Target/Teach
(1) Focus on client outcomes during instructional sessions with partners
(2) Identify the partner techniques that will result in the desired client skills
(3) Select client and partner skills that change quickly and are easy to identify and quantify
(4) Practice the selected partner techniques with the client before teaching it to the partner
(5) Start small; expand after achieving initial success 

--> Begin with Highly Specific Contexts (activity 10-15 min, MAX)

--> Moving Toward Generalization
• Once the partner has mastered one context, THEN select additional contexts

  • Continue to select specific contexts
  • Continue to limit use of technique in new contexts (activities to last no more than 10–15 minutes)
  • Keep expanding as the partner builds his or her success

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