Ysgol Crug Glas

Palletto and Poetry.

Crug Glas School currently provides for 50 pupils aged between 3 and 19 years.  All have profound and multiple, or severe and complex learning difficulties. Many have associated communication, behavioural and / or sensory difficulties, and a significant number have very specific health care requirements.  All pupils are considered to be unique individuals, with the potential to develop and learn. The aim of the school is to find the means to maximise this potential. Crug Glas provides a warm, loving, safe and happy environment where pupils are nurtured, cared for and provided with fantastic learning opportunities.

The pupils in Mrs Eveleigh’s class had very little mobility and fully rely on adults to provide them with all their care and needs.  Mrs Eveleigh wanted to engage the pupils in an activity where they could enjoy and participate at a level appropriate to them.  The pupils were to listen to a familiar and pre recorded story ‘The Commotion in the Ocean’ by Giles Andreae on a Palletto.  A Palletto is a sound recording device which plays back sounds through its many different levels and buttons within those levels.  The Palletto requires touch to trigger the different sounds or voice recordings.  The pupils were to make choices as to which part of the story or which poem they heard by motioning at the correct time.  The pupils had favourite poems, which we hoped they would select as it makes them laugh.

The pupils we observed has very little movement and control as they are severely physically disabled and are confined to a complete frame with head support.  The pupils were not able to hit or press the buttons on the palletto or indicate which button they would like to touch, so a gripping device was to be used where it detects a gentle squeeze and triggers a response and choice when the palletto is in scanning mode.  This device was plugged into the Palletto and placed in the pupils’ hand.  The teacher indicated a number as each sound clip scanned and played through.  After a few times of hearing the sound clip and the associated number the pupils were able to squeeze the grip on the one they wanted to hear.  The pupisl were making choices and independently selecting.

The pupils were able to be independent, take responsibility and make choices. They were not reliant on an adult doing an action for them and this little movement gave them control in an activity which must be so rewarding when almost everything in their life means relying on the help of others.  The pupils indicated that they were fully aware of what was required of them and were able to make choices by gripping the handle after what they needed to do was clearly explained and demonstrated.  The pupils smiled at a familiar poem that had previously made them laugh.