Paula, I just put a switch in front of you. I am going to name 100 colors and I want you to hit the switch when I say a color you happen to like. OK?
Red, blue, green … etc. At the end of the 100 colors, we see you hit the switch 47 times. Got it?
Then I turn to each therapist and teacher in the room and ask …
Is it true that Paula utilized the switch properly 47% of the time?
Each and every one said “yes.” Every one. Educated teachers and therapists with degrees.
I explained that every report they gave me about Pearlsky, the OT, PT, SLP, teacher, etc., each speaks about Pearlsky and switches and percents.
You are all wrong. Not only is using switches the way you are useless, your reporting of it is outrageous. Paula most likely utilized the switch properly 100% of the time. She hit it 47% of the time because she liked 47 colors, but not hitting it 53 times is just as important. And IF she followed directions, she got it right 100% of the time. Additionally, since I have no idea what colors she likes, if she heard wrong and thought I wanted her to hit the switch for colors she did not like, she utilized the switch properly 0% of the time. She may have just randomly hit the switch to mess with me as well.
The teacher’s report says “Pearlsky communicates her desire for an activity to continue by pressing a ‘yes’ switch in 48% of opportunities.” I am not really sure what that means, but the inference is that she is missing it 52% when in fact, she may NOT want the activity more than she wants it and is using the switch “in 100% of opportunities.”
The big time out of district communication consultant says “Pearlsky releases items upon request but this is inconsistent.” Isn’t that the definition of “random”? She mentions a switch that causes music to play for a little bit every time it is hit. “If the switch remained on the tray, Pearlsky would hit it multiple times even though the music was playing. The jellybean switch was moved away after Pearlsky accessed it resulting in more music.” Since she would hit it inappropriately, they move it after she activates it, then put it back. Huh? And if she does not like the music and never hits the switch?
Speech and Language Pathologist: “She is able to inconsistently utilize a switch to indicate she would like to continue an activity.” Love that sentence, go read it again.
Psychologist: “She was able to follow instructions and utilize the yes/no switch 50% of the time.” And she can flip a coin and get heads 50% of the time. What is your point?
Punch line? Every report brought to the meeting is being rewritten. No more sentences with numbers, percents, and the word “switch.” And no more use of the word “intent.” Ever.
Want to know more of this IEP or do we move on?