Exploring and reflecting on meaningful pathways to inclusive and personalized learning and living for students with complex developmental needs because education should prepare all students for a lifetime of inclusion, connection, growth and learning.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Communication System


A while back, I ordered P.O.D.D. (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display) materials that included a manaul on the system as well as a bunch of files on disks to use with Boardmaker to create P.O.D.D. Communication books.

I have been hunting high and low for and SLP in the area that I live in who has some awareness or experience with this communication system but keep coming up short. I'm also only finding training sessions that are a great distance from where I live.

Although I seem to keep running in to hurdles in regards to finding resources to learn more about this system, I am finding that by just creating some books using the files that are included, reading the manual and finding information by searching online (lots of summaries and power points related to P.O.D.D.) that I'm wrapping my mind around the concept on some level.

Some of the key things that I'm liking about this system include:
  • How active the student needs to be in the communication process.  They are the ones who can direct where exchanges go.
  • The many functions of language that can be directed.  I'm finding that so much of what we use in the classroom right now is related to us setting up choices for the student and the student having limited control over anything but those few choices we are giving them.  I think long term this system will open up that door.
  • The idea of "immersion" in this system.  I really liked the explanation in the manual about starting this way of communicating should be like when a child enters a langauge immersion school - the input communication needs to be in the language they are going to learn.  They may not understand it right away but by being immersed in it, they being to learn it.  I love the idea that we, as teachers, need to model this system when we are talking with the student.  This is a great place for us to start!
  • The long term ability to personalize and or grow the system.
  • The long term possibility of moving this paper system to a communication devise.  I can see how you could take this method of organizing and move it over to a leveled devise. It doesn't have to happen that way but its nice to have that option open in the future.
I want to jump in on whatever level I can at this point so my plan right now is:
  • Go back through everything that I've been reading and make summary notes of what I have learned about the system so far and share that with learning assistants and parents.
  • Create trial books for 4 of my students (starting with just these four as I have other communication system focuses up and going for the others right now) and have staff start using them.  I really like the concept of having "input communication" and "output communication" be the same for students and so inially using the books may mean mostly modeling the use of the books when we communicate with the students.  I'm planning to use the one page display with nine pictures per page for each of these students (in the image above it is the one in the top right hand corner but I've added horizontal lines to aid in the partner-assisted scanning process as recommended in the materials that come with the system).  I will have myself and learning assistants make notes right in the trial books that I create so that I can eventually create more personalized books for each of the students.
  • Continue to work on establishing solid yes/no responses with two of the four students mentioned above.
  • Continue to use all other communication systems and aides that we have been using with these students as this will be just one tool that they can use.
  • Keep looking for training or people who have used the system and expand my knowledge that way.  I'm tryin to figure out if I might be able to swing Closing the Gap 2-day Preconference Session both on the financial end and on the child care end of things.  I'm sitll hoping something closer might come up before that.
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