I have spent the last few hours analyzing Joey’s data over the last year and looking at trends and patterns. I have the opportunity to present Joey’s journey and the data of his progress at both the DADD Annual Conference in January 2020, and at the Council for Exceptional Children’s Annual Conference in February, 2020.
Previously, Joey’s data was fairly remarkable. The last time I had the opportunity to present on Joey’s work he was 4 and a half. He had recently made impressive progress on the number of words he generated in a ten minute time sampling, and the graph this created was remarkable. When I went in and added the 2019 data into the graph, I had a moment of disappointment. I no longer have that beautiful uphill climb I’d seen in 2018.
Instead, it is more of a mountain range – with peaks and valleys, and currently, what seems to be a decline.
What’s going on?
more closely at the data, I see that there was a data decline that began in October 2018 and continued into December. It was at that time we noticed there was something wrong with the device, and that device was not responding to Joey’s eyes as it should. The device was sent “to the shop” when he finally got it back in February 2019. A decline from October to December makes sense – it is just a shame it took so long to realize it was not user error, but the computer itself.
I need to spend more time looking at the hard data from April 2019 to see what may have been supporting that spike in words. I suspect (but need to look back to confirm) that Joey had new words added to the device here, and that he was exploring where they were.
Another decline began in October 2019. (This is interesting, as it corresponds with the 2018 decline as well. Perhaps we should check the device itself again.) My work with Joey transitioned in October to include more academic expectations that correspond with what he is doing in his kindergarten classroom. I am working on not just his communication, but his ability to read the words on a page and identify them on his device. Although he continues to exceed my expectations, this tires him out. After we have read a book or gone through his sight words, he is often tired, which leads to a decline in his output.
Perhaps I should take a ten minute time sampling of my own five year old’s communication output to compare how many words she says after reading a difficult guided reading book.
I am fascinated by Joey’s journey and will continue to look deeper into his data as we prepare for our 2020 conferences.