Example | Vocabulary in a Self-Contained Setting for Autism & Intellectual Disabilities


After I finish my group lesson in my therapy room, I travel to the self-contained autism classroom. Many of these moderate to severe students are working on developing a repertoire of single-word-requests for requesting and labeling. They need constant adult supervision.

I have two students I like to work with together because they are able to follow simple directions on an iPad as they enjoy simple iPad games in their leisure time. I join my two students at their table and establish rapport focusing on our individual relationships, getting them ready to learn. Then we begin our lesson on Amplio, vocabulary building. All SLPs know having a good receptive foundation supports increased expressive language. Since both of these students are very excited about the iPad and have experience doing receptive ID tasks with flashcards, I know they are going to love this! What is nice about Amplio is that I can have them working simultaneously and I can easily monitor their progress on their “boards” from my device.

I assign numerous receptive identification tasks through a learning path for each student. One of the students is working in a field of two, identifying one of two pictures when asked. So I assign the “find the dessert” activity, “find the animal,” and the “find the toy activity” while simultaneously student 2 has a bit more independence and is working on receptively identifying vocabulary in field sizes of four. I toggle between the two students and adjust the learning path as needed.

Our second activity is to label pictures. One of the students uses a speech-generating device to communicate. I show him pictures in the “describe a scene” activities. Here I show him a picture and he navigates through his device to find the matching button in his device. He pushes the button and the “describe a scene” activity documents the speech to text that came from his voice generating device “at the beach” – “umbrella, boy swim, ball, sun.” Even though he doesn’t use speech to communicate, I can still capture his utterances and AAC responding through the Amplio platform.

After this, I grab their preferred items and we get up and play in the room practicing their requesting skills.

  • Self-contained autism classroom, two mod – severe students at one table sitting across from me
  • Both working on receptive id tasks; field of 2 and field of 4
  • Part 2 we will get up and play in the room focusing on single word requesting with their reinforcers/preferred items; document in my session note requesting activities before I close out the session
  • Fun and engaging technology for students with autism; drag and drop style activities
  • Labeling with a speech-generating device
  • Get up for play-based requesting; take notes and input into the final session note.
Dr. Teressa Chapman

Dr. Teressa Chapman

Dr. Teressa Chapman is a special education leader with two decades of experience. Teressa has served as a special education teacher, grades K-8, and also has experience serving in administration in K-12. Dr. Chapman also has extensive knowledge with supporting pre-service and graduate-level teachers with best practices and individualized support through experience with her own nonprofit and higher education roles. Teressa has a passion for innovation and integrating technology into supporting students. Her doctoral dissertation research focused on blended learning interventions for vulnerable groups. Teressa is thrilled to be part of the innovation taking place at Amplio, and is excited to use her knowledge and expertise to support partners with individualized support utilizing effective interventions for their students.

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