THE SITUATION You are a teacher who has a few students that require you to differentiate your instruction. Tammy, Sandy and Isaac have been diagnosed with ADHD. Karrie has an auditory disability, and requires a special device in order to hear. Also, you have a number of students that have mild learning disabilities that impact all areas, especially reading and writing. As you prepare for the school year, you ask yourself, "What resources do I have in order to help me meet my students needs?"
OVERVIEW Working with “special needs” students takes time, patience, and love. These students need assistive technology in classes to help them succeed. There are several different resources, with or without technology, that we can use in order to enhance our students’ education.
WHAT IS AN IEP? An IEP is an “Individualized Education Program” primarily created for those students with delayed kills or other eligible disabilities. It is free of charge for families of students with needs.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR AN IEP? Any child who has difficulties learning and is classified as a “special needs student” is qualified for an IEP. Students with the following illnesses are commonly receivers of an IEP: Learning disabilities ADHD emotional disorders cognitive challenges autism hearing impairment visual or speech impairment developmental delay
ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a “neurobehavioral disorder characterized by either significant difficulties of inattention or hyperactivity or a combination of the two.” inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Students with ADHD frequently have problems with reading and writing.
AUDITORY DISABILITIES? Auditory disabilities refer to many disorders that affect the way the brain processes auditory information. These disabilities can affect children or adults and normally can be fixed with a hearing aid.
MILD LEARNING DISABILITIES Disabilities that can generally be regulated with appropriate medical, educational, or other special services provided.
WHAT IS ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY? Assistive Technology refers to “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”Students with learningdisabilities can be helpedgreatly with these assistivetechnologies. There areeven some alternatives thatrequire no technology.
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY..Interactive programs to create a focus Prezi presentations, smart boards online interactive games, flash cardsUse diagrams, graphics and other visuals to gain their attentionVary the tone of your voice: loud, soft, whispersUse activities that require hands-on experience and “multi-sensory strategies”Act out any stories and let students delegate the characters.
CONCLUSION Assistive technology helps all students, especially those with learning disabilities or special needs. It does not necessarily require the physical use of technology. It just requires patience and special thought that these children deserve. The Georgia Department of Education has a project which helps local schools provide AT devices to students with disabilities.
REFERENCES"Assistive Technology for Students with Mild Disabilities: Update 2002. ERIC Digest." Assistive Technology for Students with Mild Disabilities: Update 2002. ERIC Digest. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013."Assistive Technology." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.Board, A.D.A.M. Editorial. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Jan. 0001. Web. 20 Feb. 2013."Georgia Project for Assistive Technology." Georgia Project for Assistive Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013."Hearing Assistive Technology." Hearing Assistive Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
REFERENCES, CONTINUED"Help for Young Learners: How to Choose AT?" LD Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013."Help for Young Learners: How to Choose AT?" LD Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013."KidsHealth." Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013."Ramp Up to Access: Assistive Technology." Ramp Up to Access: Assistive Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013."Touchscreens and Tablet PCs - Global Assistive Technology Wiki." Touchscreens and Tablet PCs - Global Assistive Technology Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013."Types of Assistive Technology Products." Types of Assistive Technology Products. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.