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Early Childhood and Assistive Technology

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Presentation on theme: "Early Childhood and Assistive Technology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Childhood and Assistive Technology

2 Use of This Power Point Presentation
The information in this presentation is accurate and current as of November You may copy and distribute portions of the Power Point without prior consent. Of course, we would appreciate attribution to the Family Center on Technology and Disability, under U.S. Department of Education Grant H327F

3 Identification of Products
Products that are identified in this presentation are meant only as examples. The Family Center on Technology and Disability and the U.S. Department of Education do not endorse specific products. There are many other fine AT devices and resources available in addition to those discussed and pictured in this tutorial.

4 What Is Assistive Technology?
Devices Services “. . . any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether bought off the shelf, modified, or customized, used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of students with disabilities.” “. . . any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of assistive technology.”

5 AT Continuum No Tech Medium Tech Low Tech High Tech
Simple Modifications Relatively Complicated Without Technology Mechanical Devices Low Tech High Tech Less Sophisticated Very Advanced Low-cost Tools Computers and Digital Devices

6 Categories of AT for Young Children
Adapted & Universally Designed Toys Communication Tools Computer Access Daily Living Aids Educational Aids Mobility Aids Sensory Aids

7 Examples of Daily Living and Mobility Aids
Daily Living Aids -Utensil cuff -Sippy Cup -Pediatric reacher Mobility and Ambulation Aids -Manual/Power Wheelchairs -Leg Braces -Platform Walker

8 Seating and Positioning Supports
In getting ready for play, make sure that children have the necessary physical supports so that all their efforts can focus on playful interactions.

9 Seating and Positioning Supports
Motor and positioning supports include items that stabilize a position, i.e. sitting or standing and allow a learner to be independent in a learning activity, i.e. reading or writing. An occupational or physical therapist can provide valuable input regarding seating and positioning.

10 Seating and Positioning Supports
Supports include: Seat and table at correct height and depth Modifications to standard seat or desk Alternate seating Adapted seating or stander Custom fitted wheelchair or insert

11 Sensory Aids Make simple low-tech adaptations to sensory materials and look for tools that meet children’s individual needs by: - Increasing attention - Eliminating distractions - Improving focus

12 Examples of sensory aids
Device that provides sensory input to help the learner to attend (Pictured – Disco Sit) Aid may have heightened or lessened sensations of taste, touch, vision, accompanied by examples

13 Communication is Power!
The ability to make choices is a powerful method of communication! Alleviates frustration Provides an outlet for expression

14 Communication Sometimes a child is born with little or no speech abilities. Children with little or no speech need a way to communicate their wants, needs and desires. Tools for communication provide a way for these children to interact with their environments.

15 Tools for Communication
Tools can be as simple as a gesture or paper symbol or as complex as a computer system with a digitized voice. Often more than one tool or strategy will be used to create a language-rich environment.

16 Tools for Communication
Sometimes parents and teachers are afraid that if their child uses an alternate tool to communicate that regular speech will never develop. Research has consistently shown that the use of alternative or augmented communication tools will not hurt, and will often help, the development of normal speech.

17 Communication & Social Interaction
Young children benefit from using communication symbols and communication devices as a bridge to language. Make sure that children have the necessary communication supports to be a play partner. Consider how the child will make choices and communicate their wants and needs during play.

18 Communication Tools Picture Symbols: May be organized as symbol sets
Can be used to create simple activity boards Reinforce basic literacy skills Voice Output Devices: Range from mid-tech to high-tech Allow a child to have a “voice” Boardmaker Symbols by Mayer-Johnson BIGMack by AbleNet

19 Low-Tech Communication Boards
Inexpensive Easy to Use Require little maintenance Portable Durable Flexible

20 Low Tech Options Use picture communication symbols to…..
Make communication boards Create calendars Design schedules Enhance IEP’s and progress reports Create worksheets, flash cards, and symbol cards And much, much more. . . Web sites with free tools and/or free materials for people to use to make these things One or two to add in

21 Examples of Symbol Making Tools
Boardmaker TheraSimplicity Pogo Boards Mrs. Riley Symbol Mate Picture This

22 Toy Selection Select developmentally appropriate materials and curriculum Work with the child’s team to develop strategies and address challenges Look for qualities of “Universal Design”

23 Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL): The design of products to be useable by all people without the need for adaptation Toys that are universally designed might have one or more of the following features: Sound Color Texture Manipulatives

24 Discount School Supply
Educational Aids - Cause & Effect Software - Early Literacy Software - Writing Aids - Stamps - Pencil grips - Slant board Early Learning 1 by Marblesoft Stamping Sticks by Discount School Supply

25 Computer Access Adaptations
Neurotypical children generally access the computer via a mouse. When a child cannot access the computer via a mouse then an alternate way is needed, such as a switch. A switch is a way for the user to take control of the computer. A switch generally requires less manual dexterity than a mouse.

26 Computer Access Adaptations
Switch Considerations Style & Type Size Placement Switch Interface

27 Computer Access Adaptations
Mouse Alternatives Touch Screen Trackball/Joystick Pointing Devices

28 Computer Access Adaptations
Alternative Keyboards Different Key Configurations Variable Sizes Programmable Availability of On-Screen Keyboards

29 When used appropriately, technology can…
Provide support for independence Engage all learning styles Reduce distraction Develop social skills Promote active learning and inclusion

30 How does AT support inclusion?
Technology can provide a bridge for students to Communicate, Participate, and Learn along with their typically developing peers. Communicate: Through augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and methods Participate: Through inclusive playtime Learn: Through adapted curriculum and materials Move this slide to beginning of presentation

31 What is the process for choosing AT for young children?
Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) teams for children ages 0-3 and Individual Education Plan (IEP) teams for children consider and select appropriate assistive technology for each child with a disability. Move to beginning of power point? Or leave Look at IFSP language in the transition guide Spell out IFSP Developed for children 0 – 3 What is the goal of IFSP – look at transition guide page 5 Discussion of IFSP – take a couple things from and make a slide Don’t discuss funding/money This ppt needs to focus on EC

32 What is the process for choosing AT for young children?
ISFP and IEP teams: Consider whether AT is needed to assist in the student’s educational development Identify AT devices and services and any training needed for the child, family, school, therapists, or support staff School districts may have their own consideration processes and forms

33 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
IDEA is the Federal special education law concerned with educational outcomes for students with special needs. IDEA requires that schools track the educational progress of children with identified disabilities. IDEA requires that assistive technology must be considered for all students with disabilities. This does not mean that it must be provided, but a meaningful consideration process must take place.

34 What is “Consideration?”
Consideration is not defined by law. It is usually part of the process of developing a child’s annual IEP or IFSP. The IEP/IFSP team members consider whether assistive technology and related services are needed by the student to achieve the developmental and educational goals identified in the plan.

35 Documenting AT in the plan
IFSP/IEP sections most likely to include AT are: Special Education and related services Present level of performance/strengths Annual goals and objectives Transition goals and objectives Comprehensive evaluation Adaptations and modifications

36 How to pay for AT Evaluation and Devices
Schools are required to provide AT devices, including assessment, training, and evaluation, if the device is included in the child’s IEP/IFSP. The school then owns the device, even if it has been customized for the child. If an AT device is paid for by a child’s parents or their insurance plan, the family owns the device. Medicaid will only pay for devices that have been documented as “durable medical equipment.” Community Service groups, such as Lions or Elks clubs, may offer partial or total funding.

37 Resources

38 Additional Resources ABLEDATA - - Center for Early Literacy Learning - Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD) –

39 Additional Resources Infinitec -
National Assistive Technology Technology Assistance Partnership (NATTAP) - PACER Center - Tots-n-Tech –

40 Family Center on Technology and Disability 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC phone: (202) fax: (202)

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