October 31, 2012
Happy Halloween everyone!!!
Tonight we worked from home so we could celebrate Halloween with our families and all the visiting ghosts and goblins!
In between answering the door and spinning “The Wheel of Treats” I took the time to watch the webinar about Nick and his success with Proloquo2Go.
Nick is autistic and struggles because of his inability to communicate. He can answer yes or no, but cannot initiate conversations. Static communication tools were introduced to Nick with little success; they just didn’t grab his interest. However, Proloquo2Go has opened a whole new world for Nick. He can now initiate conversations and let people know what he wants! He can enjoy life on his own terms!
Nick is a very fortunate young man. Not only does he have his Mother as an advocate, he has access to a Speech Language Therapist and the support of a gym specialist as well as other services.
Having had the opportunity to use Proloquo2Go to design a communication platform for a fictitious case study I am humbled to see how versatile the tool can be for a variety of settings. Nick was able to use it at home with his Mom, with his SLP, at the gym and outside while playing. It really is an assistive device that opens up worlds for those that are non-verbal, worlds that we take for granted.
I also watched a couple webinettes :
· The iPad, iPod Touch and Apps for Sensory Regulation
· Student led webinette . Lucas and how he uses the iPad to meet his needs in school.
After watching both of these webinettes I started to ponder the question of how I, as a Principal, might help my Resource Teachers, Teaching Assistants and Classroom Teacher use this technology in their environments to meet outcomes. The answer I came up with is simple in theory, but somewhat difficult in practice. There are two key factors needed if people are going to be able to implement technology successfully in their daily practice.
1. Training for all (staff & students).
2. Proper piece of technology and applications.
Through the program planning process, I can ensure that students receive assistive technology assessments. I can also ensure that we do our best to put the technology in the hands of students. However, the biggest hurdle I face is the cost. It takes time and money to ensure all teachers are trained. It also costs money to put technology in the hands of teachers and students. All stakeholders, (students, teachers, and parents) agree that assistive technology is what is needed and all of us will do our best to make sure it is accessible, in spite of obstacles.
As I watched the webenette by Lucas I was overcome with goose bumps when he was able to express what his disability, (writing), and how the iPad has helped him overcome his disability.