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In an early childhood special education classroom, some areas of primary focus include self-care and social-emotional skills. The SETT framework would assist the special education teacher in observing the student’s strengths and areas of concern as well as their environments, specific tasks, and needed tools. Once the IEP team members have been identified and all important information regarding the student and SETT framework has been established, the team can identify assistive technology that may help the child maintain, improve, or increase a function that relates to a specific task. For example, a student may need support with self-care, such as hand-washing. Augmentative and alternative communication would be utilized to assist the child in reaching a goal to, hypothetically, successfully complete and comprehend the handwashing sequence before eating each meal (breakfast, lunch, and snack) at their school for all 3 meals and for 4 out of 5 days of the school week. Based on the IEP and SETT framework information and an AAC assessment, the team might have been able to identify that this child is a visual learner who may benefit from an aided form of AAC, such as, graphic communication systems in the form of a picture handwashing schedule attached to a bracelet. This bracelet would include pictures and words of each step of the handwashing process such as walking to the sink, lifting the faucet, pumping soap onto hands, rubbing hands together for the duration of the “Happy Birthday” song, rinsing hands under water, turning the faucet down/off, drying hands on a paper towel, throwing away the paper towel, and sitting down at the table. Of course, these steps can be simplified and are made specifically for the child. The teacher would read aloud each step on the visual bracelet, using their index finger to “read along” and once the child masters each step of the task, the teacher can ask more open-ended questions about the handwashing sequence such as, “What do we do after we sing “Happy Birthday,” or “What do we do after we turn the faucet off?” The SETT framework is very beneficial in an early childhood special education classroom. It allows the IEP team to identify the challenges and strengths of the student and determine if assistive technology is needed to further the child’s ability to perform tasks as well as assist in outlining measurable goals for the student.


Virginia Department of Education. November 2008. Assistive Technology: A Framework for Consideration and Assessment. Retrieved from: Web.

King, Alison, Ph.D. June 17, 2019. Augmentative Communication Strategies: Manual Signs, Picture Communication, and Speech-Generating Devices. Powerpoint.

King, Alison, Ph.D. Nd. SETT Framework. Powerpoint.

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