- My local Virginia support group, GiftsNVA, had the privilege of hearing Joan Green. Joan helps parents find software and other tech tools to help their special children. Joan’s newest book is out, The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education. This gold mine of resources includes technology to improve verbal expression, to improve auditory comprehension, and all kinds of adaptive technology. I hope to review it soon, but meanwhile, check out the table of contents here.
- Joan’s website has a great newsletter and first rate resource page. When you visit her, be sure to click on “Read more.”
- Touchscreens like the iPad are changing lives. My friend, Stephanie Buckwalter says that six weeks after their purchase of an iPad, her six year old non-verbal daughter is showing great progress in cognition and in fine motor skills. This mom also reported, “We didn’t know she had a sense of humor” until she used an iPad communication tool to make a joke.
- 3dLiteracy makes a good program to help build phonemic awareness. Look at the video demo: this looks like a good way to reinforce any Multisensory Structured Language reading method. (MSL is another name for an Orton-Gillingham approach.) Homeschooling mother Amber Basener, who has trained extensively in teaching reading to teach her children, says:
I think it makes working with tiles a whole lot easier! By the time you get higher in reading development, there are so many tiles it takes a long time to set them all up and it is hard to find what you are looking for. It is not a curriculum or a game, but a very helpful teaching tool. The teacher is definitely still going to need to know how to construct an O-G [Orton-Gillingham] lesson.
My first thought was that it wouldn’t be enough tactile stimulation. One of the basics of O-G is to use Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Tactile all at the same time. But, I think they address this problem well on their question and answer section. For some kids it simply will not be enough, and the teacher will have to break out the sand paper letters and tiles, but if the student is older or not as effected by dyslexia I think it would be fine.
I also really like the sound maps. It is a nice way to organize your thoughts about the spelling of sounds. Overall, I think it would be very helpful.
- Moms with Apps “is a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families. Most of our membership is comprised of parents who have launched their own apps on the App Store.” Check it out.
- Lillie’s Pad is another good resource for “everything related to the special needs community and the iPad.” Blogger Kevin Sitek says:
I am the father of a beautiful daughter named Lillie who has severe cerebral palsy and CVI. The iPad has been a godsend for Lil that has empowered her in so many ways that were unavailable to her before.
The mission of this site is to be an up-to-date resource for everything special needs related to the iPad and the iPhone. Whether it be apps, app giveaways, videos, music, news stories, accessories, links, helpful hints, etc.