Tech Eval: Last summer the transition coordinator at our town’s High School referred our daughter for a tech evaluation to determine if she would benefit from iPod touch’s many apps for special needs. The answer was yes so the school purchased the iPod touch and trained our daughter over several sessions, before she went back to her boarding school last Fall.
Follow Up: The public school then coordinated with the boarding school to continue the training as a part of our daughter’s class work over the subsequent ten months.
The Apps are a series of social stories and pictures that help the individual navigate the daily challenges of moving about in society. They are entitled: Asking For Help; Asking for Information; Asking Questions; Waiting in Line; Asking to Join a Group; Restroom Training; Walking Down The Street; and many others.
Competence Achieved: Our daughter became quite facile with the iTouch; she was trained in the classroom and each night her homework included reviewing the scripts.
Technology Rocks for Special Needs: This little device will serve to guide our daughter if and when she is uncertain how to proceed in any given situation. Technology has played a significant role in our daughter’s growth, starting in elementary school when a new language program Fast Forward allowed her to use the computer and headphones to spur on expressive and receptive language development. She is a good reader, in part, because of the internet. And she is up to date on the social mores of her chronological peers, enough to schmooze with any one of them, and many adults, because she is proficient in social networking. and quite agile in checking out the latest movies, theater, and music.
We are lucky that the technology of the times and the progressive educational philosophy of her schools dovetailed to provide some vital tools for her adult journey.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W, L.C.S.W. 2011