The many advantages of switching systems.
How, then, can switching systems help you to teach, and your student to learn? When I compiled the following list of benefits I was surprised at how many there were.
Questions of accountability.
You may already have access to switches, or to a SNOEZELEN® Room, or to some of the apparatus described in the catalogues. You may already be sitting your student in front of a switch, so that she can produce the wonderful effects of bubble tube or fibre-optic spray, or the peaceful sound of 'Ocean Waves at Sunset'.
However, if you are answerable to the Ofsted Inspection Team, or other similar professional referee, you will know the sort of questions which are likely to be asked.
Why is she sitting in front of that switch?
What did you have in mind, when you set her to that task?
How do you know that she likes that fibre optic light effect?
What are your short term objectives? That is, what learning skill do you anticipate that she will acquire in the very near future?
What were your longer term plans for her - how will being able to switch on those light sprays help her future development?
How did you plan to encourage her to 'generalise' her new-found switching skills towards such longer term independence skills as opening doors or making choices?
These and other such questions will not be new to you. The simple first answer might be, "She can't do it yet. When she eventually does it, the sheer joy of knowing that the light came on, and she did it, will be justification in itself!" Certainly I know of visually impaired tiny tots who have not cracked it yet, and the short-term objective for them is that they understand the principle of making things happen, or 'operating upon the environment' as it is sometimes rather grandly called. It may be impossible for you to have a long term plan in mind. It is quite acceptable to say, "I'll see how she manages with that switch, and if she gets the hang of it, I'll decide then how to make it more challenging for her."
Booklet reproduced with kind permission of Chris Addis and ROMPA.