What is assitive technology and how can you incorporate its use into your special needs child’s homeschooling program?
In a nutshell, it’s any device, item, equipment, tool, system, or structure that helps a person with disabilities learn, communicate, and function more effectively.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Assistive technology will not cure your loved one with special needs. However, it sure can help them accomplish things that they might never have thought possible before!
The following assistive technology devices are all items that might prove to be excellent additions to your special needs homeschooling program!
- Pencil Grips such as the Writing Claw could make all the difference in turning your child into a writer!
- Magnetic letters letter stamps and are both acceptable forms of low tech assistive technology for kids who lack the fine motor muscle control needed for handwriting! They’re perfect for completing spelling assignments!
- Does your student experience hand and arm fatigue when writing? A slant board may help reduce such fatigue!
- Raised lined paper and highlighted paper can help kids keep their place and stay in the lines while working on writing assignments.
- Lack of a talking calculator may be the only thing preventing your special learner from being able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide!
- A Braille talking calculator is the perfect choice for helping visually impaired learners sharpen their math skills!
- Does your little learner find math boring? Inchimals, Counting Bears and the Counting Owls Activity Set are both fun aids to help spice up math lessons!
Assistive Technology Reading Aids for the Blind and Visually Impaired
You can easily include assistive technology devices into your child’s life skills lesson plans.
- Elastic shoe laces, Comfort Grip eating utensils, and dressing aids are all examples of assistive technology. Obviously, these aids can help people with disabilities become more independent in accomplishing activities of daily living.
- My severe hip arthritis has left me unable to reach my own feet! Imagine how overjoyed I was when I discovered the Deluxe sock aid! It feels so good not to have to rely on someone else to put my socks on for me anymore!
- All you need to do to cut with these Loop Scissors is squeeze your hand!
- A protective helmet might help your special loved one be safe enough to venture out into the community for exciting field trips!
Augmentative communication devices help those with speech difficulties.
- They can be as low tech as pointing to picture cards to answer questions, and using sign language, or as high tech as the programmable Dynavox Speech Output Device and everything in between.
- The Go Talk series of speech devices are a low tech alternative developed to help kids communicate. Use your own pictures and recorded messages to say what you want when the buttons are pushed! You can create a custom made speech device relevant to your special loved one’s particular needs!
- And last but certainly not least, let’s not forget the amazing and nearly limitless ways in which the Apple iPad can help those with special needs! You’ll find apps available for communication, academics, daily schedules, and more! While I can’t speak for everyone, I can honestly say, we could not survive without our iPads!