Incorporating adaptive technology into your home school is a phenomenal way to help your child learn without getting bogged down. Sometimes our children with autism can’t do certain things physically . We are working on those weaknesses. Do we stop teaching them just because they can’t physically do it? Sometimes the answer is yes. More often, the answer is no. We just need to make some modifications just like they would do in public schools.
Writing is excruciatingly hard for Logan. His hand strength is poor. He gets tired which makes him frustrated beyond measure. We could do one of two things here. Figure out a way to get him to write whether or not he likes it. Let him type out his assignments. I would much rather make him successful by doing the latter. Now, he does keep on working on his fine motor skills and hand strength. In the meantime, he can build up confidence by using his laptop. The adaptive technology I use in this instance is the laptop. In the early years when his hand strength was too weak as well as his processing, I simply had him dictate to me what he wanted to write. If it had continued to be weak then I would have invested in a talk to type program like Dragon Speak.
My children have copy work which contributes to spelling as well as handwriting. This is done by hand with a pencil or pen in Logan’s case. He likes that the pen writes darker making it easier for him to follow. He likes the feel of the pen in his hand as opposed to the pencil. The adaptive equipment here is the pen. I allow him to use it rather than a pencil. He still has to write it. The instrument he chooses to write with is based on what makes him more comfortable. He does this so that he can continue to practice writing while using his laptop for other assignments.
Is your child non verbal? While you are working on his speech, why not get an iPad or other electronic device for with an augmentative and alternative communication app? You aren’t giving up on working with your child on speech . You are however making him feel less frustrated . You are using the iPad or other electronic device to work on his ability to articulate his needs, feelings or wants. If you simply waited until he started talking, valuable time will be lost. Everyone will be frustrated as well beyond measure. Extreme frustration leads to behavior problems which no one wants in their homeschool. When Logan is acting the fool, the first thing I look for is frustration with a task.
You simply can’t stop working towards a better quality of life because your child needs modifications. You must think out of the box to make it work. It can be hard to find what works. I guarantee it will be beneficial for both you and your child to put in the work to be successful. You can move on to higher level thinking while continuing to shore up weaknesses. One day it will all fit together. You will be grateful to have adapted and pressed on.
What adaptive technology have you used in your home school?