Is there anyone on earth who welcomes an email from SingleDad?
Sent to Pearlsky’s Team Facilitator and the school’s Director of Special Ed. Note that a day earlier I had a discussion with the TF about how the attempts at communication have been a joke, and particularly told her this story from just about exactly a year ago. So yesterday I wrote …
Subject: Pearlsky, communication, the farce continues
You and I just had a discussion on Pearlsky and augmented communication just yesterday. I told you that in my humble opinion, what the school district has offered all these years has been a farce. I have said at at least the last six or seven IEP meetings that switches won’t work the way they are using them and no one listens. I offer other ways of communication and again, no one listens.
Remember the main point, you cannot tell someone’s intent without a second mode of communication. She hits the switch on the right, did she intend to? Unless she tells you she did, you probably don’t know. Simple.
Here is a quote from the first page of the most recent progress report which I just got drunk enough to read.
“When presented with an activity or object Pearlsky will independently hit a switch that says “yes” to indicate that she would like more of an object or the continuation of an activity 80% of the time.”
You can ONLY know she is indicating she would like more of the object if in fact you already know that she would like more of the object. How do you rate 80% of the time not knowing what she is trying to do? Makes no sense. And if she does not want more of the object, or does not want to continue the activity, then not hitting the switch at all will be 100% accurate.
“Given given [sic] a simple one step direction, Pearlsky will communicate using change in affect [sic], switch, or other means to indicate her interest in following directions related to her daily activities with 80% accuracy.”
What what if she is never interested? Then she will never indicate with the switch, and hence, she will be 100% accurate if she NEVER hits the switch if you are boring her. What are you testing here? Certainly not mastery of English.
Later on …
“Given a switch attached to a computer Pearlsky will purposefully depress the switch to interact with a prefered [sic] computer program 80% of the time.”
“Preferred” by … Pearlsky? How do you know? Preferred by the tester? Again, a joke.
And you wonder why after 17 years of this I am a curmudgeon. Yet not a single effort at the types of communication I have explained have promise.
Where’s that bottle …
Now, admit it, you dread an email with FROM: SingleDad in the header.
To the contrary. Bring it on.
First of all, I would be honoured to be emailed by SingleDad (there- flattery out of the way)
Second of all, I think you will have to accept that some people don’t listen, don’t care, and don’t have brain cells. Not to say you shouldn’t continue the kvetching… as a matter of fact, I vote for upping the kvetching! Not that you asked.
They are pulling those numbers out of their ass, to cover their ass!!
Communication is a RIGHT, and should be treated as such.
We started my son learning communication skills using food as a reward, which is the only thing that we could clearly know was a preference (happy nom, nom, nom sounds being the secondary form of communication) as activities and objects held little interest for him – and even when they did are not as repeatable in the way a series of small size M&Ms are.
Yes the school were opposed to ‘food as a reward’ of course, but we just ignored them and paid for our own professionals to go into the school and work with him.
Basically, none of these people have experience working with someone as disabled as Pearlsky. So they pull out ideas that work for students with more function and hope you’re not bright enough to notice. That’s what all of this boils down to, and it pisses me off.
What if she has understanding but loathes switches? Or can’t move reliably enough for them to be of any use? Bah.
They have to cover their asses by pretending to have a communication program for Pearlsky. That way, they get to check off a box on some form that gets sent to the state department of ed., where it will be filed away and forgotten. Because, despite all the platitudes about no child being left behind, they really don’t give a shit.
Most schools and staff used canned “IEP” generator…from the child’s name above, they chose the simplest one from a bank of objectives and put in a target like 80%.
Adam used to have 50% in his IEP; good as random flips of a coin. We tried every system, no matter the cost…nothin’ worked. Can you put “mind reader”or “clairvoyant” in the IEP? The hourly rate would be cheaper…
Love your email! I’ve written my fair share of these; and I’m proud to say Ana’s school has a file on her parents! I love seeing I’m in good company SD!