The following is taken from posts to
the Lowincidence listserv in British Columbia in June 1998
It is important to make the reporting procedure "user-friendly" for parents,
providing personal anecdotal information and measurable objectives which indicate progress
and identify new directions for the next term.
Identifying Short Term Objectives
The entire team needs to have input in developing and reviewing the objectives as they
relate to the student's long term goals. These will become the basis for the student's
Monitoring and Measuring Progress
When collecting periodic data throughout the term, measurement of progress needs to occur
within the meaningful routines in which the student's skills are learned. It is often
challenging to sort out
subjective versus objective observations regarding behaviours. Some of the criteria used
to assist in evaluation, may include the following:
* Degree Of Active Participation From The Student.
How much assistance or prompting (physical and/or verbal) does the
student require overall? Has the prompt level changed? (e.g., physical
cue paired with verbal cue, to just the visual cue)
* Frequency Of The Behaviour
How often does the student perform the activity as desired? (e.g., How many times does the
student request "more" for an interrupted favorite activity?)
* Accuracy Of The Behaviour
How precisely does the student perform the behaviour? (e.g., during switch work, how many
"false hits" (hitting the switch involuntarily) occurred? Did the student
point/gaze accurately at the picture choice?)
* Appropriateness Of The Behaviour
Does the student demonstrate the desired behaviour in appropriate
situations? (e.g., the student vocalizes when requesting attention, but is quiet during
designated times within the classroom.)
* Duration Of The Behaviour
How long does the student engage appropriately in the desired behaviour? (e.g., Does the
student hold onto the spoon during mealtime for the desired length of time?)
The student, staff and parents all need to recognize improvement. When evaluating long
range and even short term objectives for students with severe multiple disabilities, areas
of growth are sometimes difficult to see. Sometimes due to increasing health or physical
maintaining the student's level of ability may be considered a valid short term objective.
By monitoring progress on short term objectives through specific tasks, we can note
achievement in the accomplishment of that skill in that situation and through the
generalization of that skill.
Some examples of these smaller increments could include:
* Generalizing the same skill to new people (e.g., from assistant, to peers)
* Generalizing the same skill to new situations (e.g., from using a switch to sharpen
pencils with an electric pencil sharpener, to accessing a blender)
* Decreasing the physical and/or verbal prompting (e.g., from hand over hand, to starting
the hand movement while the student finishes, to touching the elbow, to tapping the
* Changing the object involved in the activity (e.g., grasping a fork for short periods of
time, to grasping a felt or paint brush)
Additional components can be varied to assist the student in generalizing new skills to
new areas. Therapists should be asked to provide assistance in developing these measurable
collection can occur periodically.
Providing Anecdotal Feedback
The update on objectives can be followed with short anecdotal comments which can be
relayed to parents through parent conferences and/or in written form. This provides a
combination of measurable objectives and more personal anecdotal information for parents.
Summary Of Reporting Process
1. With your team, identify an objective or skill which the student is currently working
on. (Start by drawing from one of the student's long term goals (e.g.,MAPS) and identify a
particular skill under that
2. With your team, take the above objectives and build in a measurable
increment or change to generalize this skill as indicated above.
3. Identify the areas that you changed in some way to change the objective,(e.g.,
generalized to new people, situations, objects; increased the expectation for frequency or
lessened the prompt, etc.)
4. What are some of the areas you might include in your anecdotal section whether through
parent interview or as part of your written feedback? (e.g., interactions with other
classmates, favorite classroom activity, etc.)
5. Determine how and when measurement will take place and who will monitor that skill.
IDENTIFYING MEANINGFUL AND PURPOSEFUL ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE COMMUNITY:
What Does A Meaningful Activity Look Like For A Student with severe/Profound Multiple
physical & cognitive disabilities?
When including students in age-appropriate activities, we need to keep in mind the skills
that they need to work on and the components of an activity that keep their attention and
motivate them. Otherwise, students will not be motivated to attend and engage in the
activity. When the student does not attend, he/she will not learn. What motivates each
student is student specific. We need to ask, "What makes an activity meaningful for
each particular individual"?
Team members have indicated that some of the components that seem to be most motivating
for a sample student,may include:
* stories with interest and animation
* talking with an animated voice
* involvement with peers (one to one preferred to attend to)
* involvement in movement (e.g., dancing, skiing, swimming)
* using his hands for familiar activities
* rough housing
* variety in routine activities
* auditory stimulation
What Does A Purposeful or Functional Activity Look Like?
We need to make sure that the activities we engage the student in will help prepare
him/her for real activities he/she can actually participate in as an adult. When trying to
determine if an activity has purpose for students you may wish to consider the following
* How would we visualize the student using this skill as an adult? Let's practice it in
that context now, to make it functional.
* Is this something an age-appropriate peer might do?
* Does the activity provide something for others that needs to occur? Is it a real job?
* Is the activity transferable to other environments, people and related
* Does the activity increase the student's level of participation or
The skills that the student needs to work on during his/her school years and throughout
his/her life, should support development in the key
areas identified in long range goals. These may include the following:
* communication skills
* increased independence through partial participation (e.g., switch use)
* increased attention and appropriate use of vision (e.g., greetings)
* use of reach, grasp and bi-lateral hand skills (i.e., using both hands
* partial weight bearing in his transfers
(sample skills from student)
When doing an "environmental scan", we need to refer to our list of
* motivators or components which make an activity meaningful for the student
* features that make an activity purposeful and functional for the student
* a list of businesses and activities around the local and school communities (both
existing and potential)