Children these days often seem to know more about technology than their parents or teachers do. Turning on a tablet or playing a game on a touch-screen surface seems to be intuitive from the time a child learns how to talk. Therefore, even special needs children seem to have few problems getting used to technology in the classroom or at home. However, for those who do struggle, there are a few things that parents can do to ease the learning process.
First, parents can give their child a chance to use some similar technology at home. A family computer or laptop in the kitchen lets children have some freedom to surf the Internet or type up school projects while still under the supervision of mom or dad. Children should also have the opportunity to use tablets at home.
Second, parents can help their children know what to expect with technology at school. Some school-based technologies, such as text-to-speech readers, are difficult to afford for home use. However, children can benefit from a special learning session outside of normal school hours to test out new technology devices.
Third, parents should be aware of the many types of school-based technologies available for special education students today. Technology can help with every subject, including reading, writing, arithmetic, and even memorization. Technology helps these children catch errors in their work, reads texts to struggling learners, and provides support for basic math. Some of the options your child may use especially as he reaches higher grades include talking calculators, electronic worksheets, graphic organizers, information managers, audiobooks, portable word processors, spell checkers, and specialty keyboards. Today, the technology choices are nearly limitless for children who struggle with learning in school.
Your local school district should help your special education student get the technological help that he needs and let you know what you can do at home to help him get used to this new technology. Be sure to check that any accommodations are listed on your child’s IEP as well.