Literacy instruction for individuals with CCN: Perspectives of school-based SLPs — Presentation

PSU Master’s student, Nora Eskin

Caron, J. Eskin, N., McNaughton, D., Holyfield, C., Curtin, E., Molinari, A., Weintraub, R., (2017, March).  Literacy instruction for individuals with CCN:  Perspectives of school-based SLPs.  Poster presentation at the Pennsylvania Speech-Language Hearing Association (PSHA) Convention in Harrisburg, PA.  [Handout].

The acquisition of reading and writing skills are imperative for full participation in the 21st century. These skills are especially important for individuals with complex communication needs (CCN). With literacy skills, individuals can use a range of communication options (e.g., social media and texting) to augment or supplement their speech and independently share their own thoughts and ideas. Access to adapted literacy instruction can potentially break the cycle of limited outcomes, expand communication options, and support fuller participation in an increasingly text-based society.

SLPs have specialized knowledge that can be used to provide the help and adaptations for students with CCN in order to build vital language, communication, and literacy skills and support the maximization of literacy and communication outcomes.   In addition, within the scope of practice (ASHA, 2016), SLPs: (a) should provide direct literacy and language instruction; (b) have an obligation to provide effective literacy instruction to individuals with CCN that they serve; and, (c) have the responsibility to advocate for best practice. Yet, to date, no research has investigated the provision of literacy instruction for individuals with CCN by common service providers, like speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Towards this end, 12 SLPs that currently work in schools with children with CCN were interviewed to document current their experiences with the provision of literacy instruction.

Results were summarized through success stories, challenges, and barriers.  Future training options to maximize the provision of literacy instruction were discussed.

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