A child centred approach

Switch access can be overwhelming and scary for children and families. We worked with children, families and therapists 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 led by Luke Thompson, Occupational Therapist and AT Specialist and Claire Donner, Speech and Language Therapist, and funded by the Rayners Special Educational Trust. Thank you to Linda Burkhart, Ian Bean and Charlie Danger for their peer review and feedback on our switch progression model.

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 prioritises 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 online assessment tool enables providers to record achievements, sets goals and review progress. On submission a PDF of the form is produced and sent to you for your records. The form is also setup for research and collaboration purposes. You can see an example of what to expect here.

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 Egbert Elephant, Jiao Giraffe, Gareth Goat, Brayton Bear, Fatima Flamingo, Saffi Squirrel and Syed Sloth as they show the children/switch what switched can do and what to expect as they progress.