FAQ’s

Common questions asked and answered here.

GENERAL PHILOSOPHY

What is a complex global disability?

Complex Global Disability is the term that the connections model uses to identify disabilities that impact multiple areas of the brain, and thus various areas of functioning. Students with complex global disabilities tend to have challenges not only academically but socially and emotionally as well. The connections model is a new approach to addressing these challenges holistically.

We know you most likely haven’t heard this term before.  We started using this many years ago when we felt we needed “something” to explain what we were seeing in the kids we were working with.  We had kids with disabilities ranging from Autism(Asperger’s), ADHD, Emotional Disability, and PDD-NOS.  Some of our most challenging kids didn’t have defined disabilities at all.  We used CGD to describe the areas that overlapped among the disabilities.  It was amazing to us that the areas of need within the disabilities overlapped in such similar ways.  It was almost as if this overlap was a disability in itself and thus, the idea of a Complex Global Disability was born.

You might be thinking why change terms?  After all, people know these diagnoses and understand them. It’s true people know the terms and we aren’t looking to change “diagnoses” or reporting categories.  Our goal in using a new term was to highlight this new area of need in our students so that we could better design both curriculum and technology tools to help them.

It is exciting that the research is beginning to show what we have been observing.

Now we focus on Emotional Regulation when we speak about the overlap in the disabilities. However, we still use the term CGD and thought you should know how we’ve developed and changed with the research

What is the philosophy behind KidConnect?

KidConnect is routed in Cognitive Behavioral Theory. This theory says that in order to change behavior, you must first change the negative thinking behind the behavior. KidConnect was developed because we realized that so many children struggle to understand the feelings they are experiencing. When they struggle to understand these feelings students will often exhibit many maladaptive behaviors because they don’t have a particular way to understand or manage the feeling. KidConnect pairs behaviors kids exhibit with the feeling that influence them and then provides a range of strategies that are available to the student to access instead of the behavior in question.

What is the difference between KidConnect and a behavior plan?

KidConnect is designed both to teach strategies and to help kids to understand their feelings. It is meant to augment, rather than replace, a behavior plan. It is also used in the moment the behavior has occurred so that greater change can occur. KidConnect can be used in tandem with a behavior plan to reinforce the behavior strategies.

Why is KidConnect considered 'new' or 'non-traditional'?

The KidConnect App™ and the connections model™ as a whole are different from traditional approaches to special education. We start with fundamental functional skills such as identifying and moderating feeling and social interactions and only once those skills are sufficiently supportive do we then focus on academics. We have found that academic efforts are mostly lost on students who are deficient in functional skills, yet can be very successful once those underlying skills are taught.

Who should be using KidConnect?

Any student that a teacher or staff member feels is struggling with understanding their behavior is a candidate for KidConnect. It was designed to help students to remain in class and learn to connect their feelings with their behavior.

When should the student use KidConnect?

Students should use KidConnect immediately or as soon as possible after a behavior has been noticed where an appropriate strategy was not used. Remember, the philosophy behind KidConnect is that all students learn the feelings they are dealing with as they feel them. They then can use a strategy they have chosen from KidConnect to handle the feelings before a behavior is exhibited.

Should the Student use KidConnect in the classroom?

Absolutely, this is highly preferred! Whenever possible the student should use KidConnect immediately following an incident either at his or her desk or in another area of the classroom. Remember, KidConnect is designed to be student friendly and allow the student to remain in class as much as possible. It also is important to remember that the administrator of the app has control to set the volume abilities for the student.

How often can I use KidConnect?

A student can use KidConnect as often as necessary. Any time a negative behavior is observed in a classroom, the student should use KidConnect to understand the feeling behind the negative behavior and to learn strategies to better manage their feelings.

How long should KidConnect take to use?

KidConnect is designed to be kid friendly and very easy to use. We envision that after a few experiences with it, a willing student will only need 2-3 minutes to complete the route. Teachers can also add a reward for using KidConnect that is built into the end of the route if necessary or preferred.

GETTING STARTED

How do I add a new student to my list?

To add a new student simply touch a blank student circle “tap to add”.  If all circles are filled with student names, you will need to purchase more through an in app purchase.

How do I remove a student from my list?

To remove a student, click on “Manage” on the bottom left of the home screen.  Then select the student you want to “delete”.  This will bring you to the administrative page for this particular student and at the bottom of the page is a red “delete this student” button.

Where do I start?

The first thing you will want to do is set up your pin number and secret question. This will launch the first time you launch KidConnect.

How do I set up a student profile?

Tap the “Tap to add” circle.  A small window will popup where you can add the student name, grade, gender, and any notes about the student that you feel are necessary. Then click create!

How do I set up a student route?

After clicking create on a new student, the app will bring you to the manage students section.  You will see the student profile you just created with “incomplete” underneath the student name.  Click on the “incomplete student icon” to be taken to the edit route section for this particular student.

What is the route that I should follow to set everything up?

We suggest going in order with each tab under the “student settings” section of the administrative page.

 

Classes

Behaviors

Feelings and Strategies

Rewards (optional turn on/off)

Audio Controls (optional turn on/off)

How many feelings should I offer for the student to choose from?

We suggest no more than six feelings for any given student. Providing up to six feelings to choose from will allow the student to most likely choose the feeling he or she is experiencing and avoid getting overwhelmed by too many animated choices.

How many strategies should I offer for the student to choose?

We suggest no more than four strategies as this will allow the student an easier time remembering the strategy that he or she chose in the future when this feeling in class arises.

Can I rename the behaviors?

Of course! After adding a new behavior, under either the sight or sound category, it will ask you to name the behavior. By clicking on the “name behavior,” your keyboard should pop up allowing you to type the name of the behavior.

Can I rename the feelings to say something else?

No, at this time the feelings cannot be renamed. Part of the purpose of KidConnect is to teach language about feelings that will be easily understood in whatever setting the child may find themselves in.

Can I change the limits that the student has control over?

As the administrator, you are in total control of the amount of choices the student has for each section. Knowing your student’s abilities should help you when determining how many choices to offer for each area. You also have the ability to shut off the student’s ability to use the volume control. This can be done on the main administration page under “incident settings” where it says “student has volume control”. Simply turn this feature “on” or “off” by sliding the button left or right.

You also have the ability to add a reward for completing the route.  This may be useful for students who are used to rewards for completing tasks.  The reward option can be turned on or off in the student settings section for each particular student.

Does the student need to have the sound on during class?

No, the student can have control of the volume button if you feel he or she will use it appropriately. Some students will need the volume for particular behaviors but some will also be able to tell without the volume.

What is the 'Data Collection' section?

The data collection section is the daily assessment area for each class to record relevant information pertaining to the student performance within each class.  This data is then sent to a reports section where it can all be sortable for reporting purposes.

What is the “Reports Section”?

The reports section is where all your daily student reports from their classes is stored.  It is sortable data that allows you to sort all the sections.

SUPPORT FOR TEACHERS

What if the student doesn't answer all the questions in the route?

The student has to answer in some capacity in each field in order to continue.  If he or she attempts to move on without entering text into any field, they will receive a message that reminds them that the field is blank and must be answered in order to continue.

What if the student refuses to finish using KidConnect?

If a student refuses to finish using KidConnect you have three choices.

1. You can wait and approach the student after a few minutes to see if he or she is ready and willing now to finish the route.

2. You can assist the student by typing or offering supportive questions that will help them complete the route.

3. You can close out of the KidConnect app by pressing your button on the iPad to close out of an app and then double click that iPad button so you can sweep close the app.

By sweep closing the app you are essentially closing out the app entirely and will be asked for your pin when you restart KidConnect. Any data that you had collected from the incident prior to sweep closing for that student will be lost.

Can someone help the student through the route?

Of course!  It is up to the administrator of the app to know the student and assist as he or she sees fit for each particular student.

Can someone type for the student?

Yes. Often students will welcome assistance with typing or pressing the buttons.  Use your judgement depending on the comfort level or abilities of the student.

What if the student doesn't agree with any of the choices for strategies, feelings, or behaviors seen or heard?

KidConnect is designed to remove much of the back and forth communication that often exacerbates behavioral difficulties. Therefore, students should be reminded that what is contained within the KidConnect route is valid. It may take time for a student to become willing to agree that behaviors, feelings, and strategies were actually necessary. Stay with it. The route is designed to teach so even if you are experiencing difficulties initially, over time you will see progress.

Can I use KidConnect to communicate with parents and other teachers?

KidConnect has the ability to email or print the recap page each time a student uses KidConnect. The recap page provides the route in text format and shows each choice or answer that the student has made. We suggest emailing the recap page to any relevant party that would benefit from knowing previous uses and the strategies developed. In addition, KidConnect has an assessment that can be used to track a student’s behavior in classes. Assessment reports can be sorted and also emailed out in column format allowing review and tracking of performance across settings.

Can I share KidConnect with other teachers?

We encourage you to show other teachers KidConnect and share the results of your students. However, you are not able to actually share the app with anyone. Please direct them to the KidConnect website. Click here to email this website to a colleague.

Is consultation available to teachers?

We encourage you to use the FAQ section first. Should you have further questions please use the contact button from this site.

When should the student use KidConnect?

Students should use KidConnect immediately or as soon as possible after a behavior has been noticed where an appropriate strategy was not used. Remember, the philosophy behind KidConnect is that all students learn the feelings they are dealing with as they feel them. They then can use a strategy they have chosen from KidConnect to handle the feelings before a behavior is exhibited.

Should the Student use KidConnect in the classroom?

Absolutely, this is highly preferred! Whenever possible the student should use KidConnect immediately following an incident either at his or her desk or in another area of the classroom. Remember, KidConnect is designed to be student friendly and allow the student to remain in class as much as possible. It also is important to remember that the administrator of the app has control to set the volume abilities for the student.

How often can I use KidConnect?

A student can use KidConnect as often as necessary. Any time a negative behavior is observed in a classroom, the student should use KidConnect to understand the feeling behind the negative behavior and to learn strategies to better manage their feelings.

How long should KidConnect take to use?

KidConnect is designed to be kid friendly and very easy to use. We envision that after a few experiences with it, a willing student will only need 2-3 minutes to complete the route. Teachers can also add a reward for using KidConnect that is built into the end of the route if necessary or preferred.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

What if I forget my pin number?

If you forget your pin number simply press on the “I Forgot” tab on the opening page. This will then ask you for your answer to your secret question.

Who can I get technical support from?

Technical support should first be attempted by the user searching for a solution to the problem on the FAQ section of the connectionsmodel.com website.  If you need further assistance with a technical issue please contact us using our form here.

What if the app crashes during the course?

Our apologies if the app happens to crash during the route.  If it does crash, please restart the app and also let us know by using our contact form here. Thanks!