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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 curriculum.

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?)

Recognizing Progress
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 challenges, just
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 switch, etc.)
* 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 objectives. Data
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.


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)
* music
* involvement in movement (e.g., dancing, skiing, swimming)
* humour
* using his hands for familiar activities
* rough housing
* variety in routine activities
* animals
* 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 questions:

* 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)

Environmental Scan:
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)



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