A child centred approach

Switch access can be overwhelming and scary for children and families. We worked with children, families, therapists and educators to develop a child centred approach to switch progression frameworks.

Combining the theory and practice from Ian Bean and Linda Burkhart with the Pace child centred approach, our specialists have developed a curriculum, assessment framework and supporting stories to enable and inform the children we work with on what to expect and aim for as part of their switch journey.

This project was created by Luke Thompson, Occupational Therapist and AT Specialist and Claire Donner, Speech and Language Therapist, and funded by the Rayners Special Educational Trust.

Special thank you to Kat at Anidoodle.com for the illustrations.

Seven Stages Curriculum

The Seven Stages of Switch Development is a resource designed for switch users, their families, caregivers and those who assist them in using switches and features child-friendly characters and stories that support learning.

The framework provides a helpful reference for measuring and tracking progress while offering flexibility to accommodate the unique needs and preferences of each switch user. 

Written directly to the child/switch user, the framework can be read to them if they are unable to read it themselves. Our aim is to ensure that those supporting the child/ switch user can prioritise the child’s needs and perspective in the process of developing their switch skills.  We have seen the impact of involving the child in the learning process. Seeking their input and feedback regularly empowers them to take an active role in their development and combat learned helplessness.

Assessment Tool

Our assessment tool helps track the switch users’ progress against all pathway stages. It recognises the potential to develop skills in multiple stages and allows the assessor and user alike to understand their level, and potential.

Social Stories

To support the children and young people in their understanding and expectations we have created a series of social stories, Switch Heroes! Follow Exploring Egbert , Journeying Jiao, Growing Gareth, Budding Brayton, Flourishing Fatima, Succeeding Saffi and Celebrating Syed as they show the children what switches can do and what to expect as they progress.