Using technology to help children with learning disabilities at home

I have been watching and following different good teachers via the internet lately and am amazed at how effective and really quite inspiring they are. I never thought that I would be saying this into a group most especially as I consider myself a technophobe.

But there are many people who spend a lot of time in their homes for various reasons. So, it is not always, for them, about going out to find a group to join, or a course to study or to find a new job. Sometimes it is about laying down your roots at home and having the opportunity of flourishing from there. At least this is my experience of having two little children who I want to spend quality time with and a full time job that requires me to drive a lot, not to mention a husband with whom I love to be with.

I want to continue studying, learning, and being open to good quality teachings that can benefit my practice. I know too, of many people who are at home either as housebound mums, carers, professionals in their own right who would jump at the chance of being guided / supported in their homes. For them the television or the computer could become great tools in journeying and learning.

I think that there are advantages of using technology to help children with learning disabilities. Whether the child is a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner it is possible for them to be taught through the medium of technology. For visual learners, videos, books; drawings and lights work. For those who learn through the listening sense, recordings and verbal repetitions work and for the kinaesthetic learners hands on moving activities; role play and learning with music are effective.

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Through my work with children in school, I have come to feel that in some cases school is not always the best place for them to be as their struggles in the classroom can cause them to doubt themselves and their abilities. Most especially if this is the case, something that works at home would seem most beneficial.

Dr Wendy Keaybright, Reader in inclusive Design at Cardiff School of Art and Design has created applications that use touch, gesture and camera to encourage and explore the interests of young people with ASD and other communication difficulties to promote greater self-awareness, confidence and independence. Light, movement and shapings are a big part of her products. Whilst they are not a substitute for the human experience in any regard they do encourage participation and exploration.

Why am I saying this? Because the child with learning disabilities oftentimes has much anxiety, add this to the difficulties at school and you have a situation that seems hopeless. Hopeless not only for the child but, her parents, carers and friends too! They do not participate or explore anymore! Perhaps a programme that could be applied regularly at home where their senses are stimulated in a healthy way that encourages participation and exploration in an environment that is conducive to the flowering of their self-worth, confidence, inner strength and happiness could go a long way to addressing these needs.

School is only one part of the solution for the child with learning disabilities and I know of many people who educate their children at home with great results!





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