Week 3 – AT: Myth or Reality & AT for Young Children

The article, Special Education Assistive Technology Policies: Myth or Reality?, deals with medically necessary vs. educationally necessary assistive technology, among other things. Have any of you had problems with this in your schools? If so, how did you resolve the issue?

The second article, Assistive Technology for Young Children in Special Education, discusses “appropriate” education. How much mainstreaming or inclusion is going on in your schools, and how is it working for you and your students?

Please share hints (especially low tech ideas) that you have incorporated to make mainstreaming or inclusion work a little better or to make life easier for your students and staff.

This is also a good time to share some problems that you may be having with mainstreaming or inclusion. We can all pitch in to help brainstorm some possible solutions.

Tina

26 thoughts on “Week 3 – AT: Myth or Reality & AT for Young Children”

  1. While I am unaware of any situation in our school systems where there has been a problem defining medically necessary vs. educationally necessary, I did find this article helpful in educating me regarding the possibility that we might encounter such a situation as we move forward with formation of an assistive technology team. This article gave excellent food for thought. Points of particular interest to me include remembering the continuum of options. Obviously, I am guilty of the presumption that most assistive technology is computer based, highly technical and expensive. I fail to remember the many ways we already implement assistive technology through the use of low-tech solutions that are proving themselves to be highly successful. Another point of interest was the statement, “…the piece of assistive technology that is “right” for a person is the one they use.” Therein lies the beauty of the Patins Project. We can come up with the most wonderful, high-tech solutions for our students, yet they are not used. It is our job to determine if they remain unused because the student or educator lack appropriate supports or they are just nonfunctional for the student. Again, this points to the need for a formal process when approaching the use of any form of assistive technology.

    Having worked in the field of developmental disabilities for quite some time, I have always advocated for inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the mainstream of society. So it was a natural progression to view inclusion for all students, regardless of ability, in the general education classroom when I began employment with the public school. After one short year, I am beginning to question my “inclusion for all” view. I am uncertain if this view is being challenged due to the student or the educator (or a combination of both in some cases). I find myself continually grappling with the thought that every student can and should be educated in the general education classroom. One unshakable belief I still hold is that the general education classroom is the “best” potential placement for every student. But is it always appropriate? Even if we provided every type of assistive technology available and appropriate, would all students meet with success in the general education classroom? Can you tell I want to believe in inclusion as the answer? Yet I know that many of you, as classroom educators, may challenge my belief.

    In our schools, we have “life skills” and a few segregated classrooms. Since I work with educators of students on the spectrum, I see students in both settings. For those students in the segregated classrooms, I do not see assistive technology as being the answer to inclusion. If the answer were so simple, it would certainly be implemented.

    I will add that I am a stanch believer in early intervention. For many students on the spectrum, communication is an issue. The earlier we intervene, the more success we will see with these students. We continue to implement the use of various assisted communication devices, PECS, AVB and sign to name a few. And we will continue to strive to meet the needs of each student, whether through assistive technology and/or methods and strategies of instruction. Our primary goal is the progressive education of the students within our schools.

  2. I am not aware of any health related difficulties associated with students with assistive technology medical issues. I believe that there are times a teacher must have instruction on how to use particular feeding tubes, etc. In this area I’ve been impressed with the process of hiring a nurse who has more hours and greater breadth of involvement due to being hired as a nurse/paraprofessional. I have heard of the support team going the extra mile to address needs of students within the school, homebound situations, and a combination for those with complex health needs.

  3. I am lucky that our corporation can provide many AT’s to our students. We work with almost all low-tech solutions though. They do not like to buy expensive computers and when you request AT they tell you to be very vague in what you are asking for so there are many options. I teach a life skills class so most of my AT is both medically and educationally used throughout class. Many of my students need these items to do simple tasks such as eating and drinking. I ask for AT’s all the time and many times I will receive extra items to try.

    I also agree with Kshelley that we as teachers get put in tight circumstances. I could have possibly had a student in my class with a feeding tube and who was on oxygen. The Aides and I did not feel comfortable doing all of this without proper training and the school did not want to provide the training or a nurse. I told the principal about the situation and he did not feel comfortable. Now she is being homebound. I believe that medical necessities are harder to get because they are usually more expensive (wheelchairs, feeding tubes, breathing devices, etc.)

  4. Our building is set up to meet the needs of a wide range of students. We have a direct instruction classroom that teaches math and language to our lowest functioning students and those kids are mainstreamed into science and social studies and unified arts. We also have co-teaching for math and language. The two teachers have up to 18 SE kids in the GE classroom along with some lower functioning general kids. I really enjoy the co-teaching environment and think that it is great for our SE kids. I will admit that we still have a few teachers that view the SE kids as “your kids” and they will not deal with them at all in the classroom. This is a struggle, but our building is really focusing on making them “OUR” kids and getting everyone to pitch in and help no matter what program the student is in. We have a ways to go, but are definitely on the right track and headed forward. 🙂

  5. I’ve seen feeding tubes managed by preschool teachers, therapists, nurses, teachers of multiple disabilities but never a general classroom teacher. In each case the individuals who addressed the feeding tube issue were given specific training, usually by the parent and with the precedure in writing provided by the doctor.

    True collaboration can not be forced. Adults can be scheduled for the same room, the same equipment, the same kids, the same work day but to address the true aspect of sharing that makes the collaborative synergy work then the individuals involved have to make the decision to trust, respect, share.

  6. I feel most of the adaptations made to include our students in general education would be considered instructional modifications rather than AT. Most of our students are included in their local schools and are in their age equivalent gen. ed. classrooms for significant periods of the day. The most common assistance I see for mainstreaming is use of additional personnel i.e. instructional aids and Resource teachers. For many students modifications are made for individual student curriculum and schedules to allow for breaks, extra work time, and/or 1:1 or small group instruction periods with Spec. Ed. staff.

    We have had several students with specific medical needs and usually the Spec. Ed. teacher or assistant assigned to the student handles feeding tubes, suctioning, bathrooming with a catheter, etc. Many times these staff were trained by the student’s family member and these procedures are documented in a health plan or as an IEP modification. As someone has already commented, we have also had several medically involved students who were homebound with home nursing care.

    Many classrooms have implemented rotating schedules for assisting personnel so that the students do not become dependent on individual assistants and all staff share the load of handling difficult students. As an OT, I assist with inclusion by developing individualized materials that Gen. Ed. and Spec. Ed. teachers can use in the classroom. One very helpful tool for me since handwriting is often an issue is a software program called Educational Fontware. This software can add any/all the handwriting fonts i.e. DNealian, Zaner Blozer, Palmar, Getty-Dubay, etc. to a computer’s word processing program and allows the teacher/therapist to design their own matierals using a variety of methods.

  7. As an educator I have never had any problems with medically vs. educationally…thank goodness! These articles made me very aware of the possibilities that could surface in these areas. In our school district we have a broad spectrum of services to meet the needs of the population. At the elementary level we have a life skills program, which is a SSE; Special Ed. Support outside or inside the general education setting; Full inclusion; and consultation. I do not work with any students in the Life Skills Program, it’s housed at one elementary. I have visited and these students have significant physical or moderate handicaps. I’m sure their educators deal with a lot more medical issues than I do.
    All of my students are members of a general education setting. They spend around 80% of their day with their school-age peers; this does involve certain amounts of support, with about 20% outside the general education setting for intensive skills. I have quite a few students with writing disabilities. They use slant boards, pencil grips, alphasmarts, other software programs, etc. Most teachers don’t have a problem with it, but they often feel that every student should get an alphasmart if one student gets one. I’m sure that issue comes up a lot around the county…the good old “fairness” issue! I have one student who did not receive special education services until 6th grade and made huge progress after working with an alphasmart, tape recorders, and AT Premier. We knew he had the knowledge, but was unable to produce clear thoughts and legible handwriting.
    I have found that when initiating AT, you really have to experiment with all types. Sometimes the biggest isn’t the best. I’ve really loved getting more familiar with the low tech AT!

  8. In the school I work at, we have teachers that teach a class for each of these types of disabilities (LD-EH-SEH-MOMH and MIMH). Many of these students are mainstreamed into a regular classroom, sometimes an aid has to accompany the student. A few teachers still protest to this placement. The biggest complaint is lesson modifications,the child getting tech devices that they would like to use for all the kids or behavior issues. Most of the teachers have willingly adapted their classroom to assist the students need. Some of the technology that we are using at BMS is board maker, alpha smart note taker and assisted hearing devices. I have not worked around students that require feeding tubes, catheter or suctioning. I would hope that if I do I will receive the necessary training to properly assist them. We are heading in the right direction,like anything else it requires constant communication, good attitudes and working toward the good for all the students not just a few.

  9. I have not had any medical issues that caused us any problems. So far our admin. has been good about hiring assistants that are also nurses when necessary but we have also had children that had their own nurse that came to school with them. This was a great relief to the teachers especially since many schools share nurses between two or three buildings. I know this has been a great concern.

    Working with the students with hearing loss has thrown me into the world of AT probably deeper than I would like to go at times but in the end it is truly helpful for the students. However, I have seen many low tech things happen in the classroom that I don’t think teachers even realize they are using. For example, teachers will highlight words for students having vocab trouble without even realizing that is a low tech AT service. We are probably using alot more AT than we even realize at times!

  10. I haven’t yet encountered issues dealing with the discrepancy of medically necessary or educationally necessary devices. I think that teachers and parents in my district do not yet know enough about assistive technology to dive into issues this deep. I have had to distinguish though if a device was necessary at home. Some of the AT in my building is extremely high tech and expensive. I think the key is the need for the device to complete homework assignments or other academics. If a device is not being sent home, then there had better not be a need at home driven by educational expectations. This is such a fine line.

    There are two special ed. teachers in my building. One is younger, fresh out of college and is doing a lot of collaborating, allowing students to remain included in the general curriculum. The other teacher is pulling students to the resource room. Feelings are mixed. I think as long as we are keeping the LRE for the child in mind, everything should fall into place (in a perfect world). Everybody has their opinions on how this should be done. As long as the student is making progress in the general curriculum, he ought to be given a chance to do so through mainstreaming and inclusion. I have seen the need of AT to allow a student to remain in the general curriculum. For instance, a fifth grader uses an alphasmart to do all writing assignments. This allows him to stay with the other children in his class. A first grader is using Kids Keys 2.0 to allow her the use of computer center when it is her turn. There is an ED student who requires the use of a timer to reduce anxiety levels which has allowed him to stay in the general ed. classroom. AT is giving students a fair chance to succeed!

  11. In my school corporation, the vast majority of our “identified” students are included in the general education setting. We do have a few self-contained resource rooms (severe/profound and emotionally disabled), but even most of these students are mainstreamed for some classes. I do feel that mainstreaming does not always work, especially when it is extremely disruptive to the rest of the students, affecting their learning.

  12. These articles were very interesting to read. Once again I have learned things I did not realize before. Like many of the others I have not found myself in a position that questions the medically necessary or educationally necessary devices. After reading the articles I am now more aware of these issues.

    The system that I am working in has gone to full inclusion. This is our 3rd main year for this program and we are beginning to see both positives and negatives with this approach. A.T. is not necessarily to answer to help the negative aspects of our program. I am a believer in A.T. and I feel it benefits so many students. The problem I am seeing with our program is that all students (except) life skills are placed fully in the gen.ed. classroom with support. This placement is not necessarily the best place for ALL.

  13. To my knowledge there have not been any problems in dealing with health related issues in assistive technology for the students in our school. We have, fortunately, assistants for the students who have to have help on a regular basis, such as the blind student at our school. Probably the one issue that may need to be addressed is the education of the teaching staff about the different needs that these students may have and how they are used for the students’ benefit. We have had several new teachers come to our school and they may not have received the information that we did when these students (such as the blind student) came to our school. I am sure that they have many questions about the tools that they use and how they can be of more assistance to them.

    The mainstreaming of special education students is accomplished with extra classes with the Special Ed teachers and assistants. Since I do not work with this population of students I have limited knowledge of who receives what services. I do know that they have many resources available and many forms of assistive technology from calculators with extra large keys, sound centers, to a braille machine.

    There are a few severe students that have an assigned teacher and paraprofessionals that work with them in life skills. There are separate resources (chairs, walking frame, braces ect) for them due to their special assistive technology needs. Again, since I work mainly with ESL students and work in all five of our buildings, I really am not that exposed to what we do have available. However, what I have seen so far is that the school corporation gets whatever they need to help the students.

  14. I do not work in a school system, but am encouraged by all the possibilities for inclusion. It seems a shame for a student to receive only homeboud services, as this does not allow for the medically involved child’s education to be a social experience with peers as it is for all other students. What has amazed me are the examples of how special and regular education teachers, occupational therapists, nurses, parents, and paraprofessionals can work together, often in the same classroom to create a inclusive, accepting environment.

    It seems that we now must change our view of the educational process as teachers must be extraordinarily flexible and work in coordination with so many other people. Yet this opens up exciting possibilities for collaboration. It also opens up opportunities for non-disabled students to see how others learn, to be helpful to their peers, and to potentially be involved in helping create new ways for accomodating and adapting resources and materials. It seems everyone can now be truly learning together, while using many different learning styles, taking advantage of every students capabilities and strengths.

    Regarding medical technology, I would like to think schools could be collaborating more closely with hospitals like Riley that have materials and experts who can offer much to the educational system. I think it is rare for medical personnel to be a part of the IEPs, but maybe this should be encouraged.

  15. The readings again were very interesting. In my practice with 5 school corporations everybody is working hard to have the “identified” students mainstreamed and follow the recommendations for AT the best they can.
    AT for young students such as preschool is very important since they need to familiarize and develop skills to become “experts” with the AT provided. They need to get familiar as well with the big variety of computer programs to develop the skills necessary to be succesful in the future. Please we cannot forget that paper and pencil are still important and above all we need to develop these skills! Playgrounds are great for their development.

  16. Our school system has many students with serious medical conditions that have been able to leave the homebound program and attend regular preschool. I would like to know how Jane Ellen’s district got passed the “privacy” concerns with a nurse in the classroom. We have a student with round the clock nursing and the school district said there were privacy issues with the other students in the classroom setting. I will not deal with feeding tubes, etc. since I feel unqualified and do not want to put myself in a life/death responsibility situation even with an offering of “training.” This may seem to cause an unfair burden on assistants or other school personnel, but I don’t feel it’s their job either.

  17. After I completed the readings for the week, I decided to do a fun activity with my family. I did not perform well and injured myself. I have been through surgery and a very sleep-filled week. I now find myself in need of AT! I am learning to do things one-handed (with my non-dominant hand). Everything, from dressing to mobility, requires much more thought and effort. I have gained tremendous insight into what our special needs students go through each day. I now know why they may “seem” lazy! I’m exhausted after trying to write a few words by hand – I could do that without even thinking before.
    I am not aware of any issues in my corp. with medically necessary/educationally necessary conflicts. We are relatively new to inclusion for most special needs students. I am unsure as to the best way to encourage the use of AT in the gen. ed. setting. We would be using the AT for students who already take longer to produce work. Using AT will, initially, take longer than usual. Students will be even further behind! I think that the best possible solution will include a combination of gen. ed. and specialized instruction.

  18. I’m the OT at my school. It would be no exageration to say that as a therapist working in the academic setting I am faced with the medical versus educational dilemma on a daily basis. It can be very difficult to seperate medical based practice from educational based practice. Just the other day I was trying to determine appropriate goals for a student that is on the diploma track however had numerous self-help/safety concerns. His parents want him to be able to come home after school without supervision (he is in 6th grade). Despite parents’ efforts, he still couldn’t unlock the door because the fine motor/ strength deficits, he doesn’t understand how/ when to call 911, not to open the door to strangers, how to fix a snack, or care for the dog. The solution? I got with the speech therapist and she decided to work on saftey goals and incorporate family concerns at home. I made goals for being able to manage a lock for his locker next year. In my opinion, without the “manipulation”, the school would be missing an important lifeskills and vocational piece needed for this student’s success. My next battle will be getting him enrolled in appropriate voc and home ec classes next year.

    I have actually been impressed with the success of inclusion this year in my school district. I think most of us have a group of students that we really struggle with placement for what ever the reason (behaviors, stimming behaviors, sensory seeking, AT needs, Aide assist needs). At my school I have noticed the trend of giving certain teachers certain kids. If not, it would be a long year. And thats not fair in my opinion. Now, with the use of AT. It is a struggle. I’m always open to ideas on successful transitions of use of AT in the classroom. I’ve tried planting seeds so it appears to be the teacher’s idea, giving inservices, modeling (which has yet to work because then they want you to “handle it” all the time), teaching students to self advocate, working with the aide. Getting the kids into the classroom is no problem. Getting AT into the classroom so the student can be successful, now thats a whole new ballgame. One of my biggest battles is the fact that I’m not a teacher. I’m often viewed as the women that comes in making suggestions and has no idea what its like to be a teacher dealing with “these” students all the time. I’ve had one go as far as questioning my creditials in front of parents. (I look young) I’m married to a teacher. I work very hard at my approach and what is a reasonable request. My poor husband can attest to that. Most of the kids on my caseload that would benefit from AT the most are older and are consults. I’m not able to be in the classroom daily. I know that is one of the problems. I noticed that there are a lot of teachers taking this class. What have you found to be successful with use of your supplemental services? Especially when students are in the gen ed for all classes not the resource room.

  19. In my 2+ years of working in the school systems, we have never faced a problem with medically versus educatinally necessary AT. In my opinion, this is largely due to the fact that many of us (parents, teachers, therapists, aides….) simply are not aware of what is out there and how to get it!

    There was one situation in which there was a dispute over a student’s need for a particular software program to help with his difficulties processing language. The parents were adamant that he needed the program, dispite the fact that he was in a gen ed classroom at his age/grade level and he was making A and B grades with only a few instructional supports. This issue has not yet been resolved because there is a huge litigation in process. The parents have filed and lost a hearing, an appeal and are now headed through the federal court system. So, this is an example of the challenges we face, not only with our students, but their parents too!

    In my current setting, which is an amazing preschool, there are no seperate classrooms. Each classroom is taught by a special ed teacher with typical peers and special needs students in each class. I am amazed each week to see how the students teach eachother and the wonderful opportunities afforded the all of the kids through the direction of the teachers and their Reggio philosophy which promotes student-directed learning. The peer models allow the other students the opportunity to imitate behaviors that are typical for preschoolers!

    One idea that has worked well (that was implemented by a friend of mine at New Pal Elem) was sharing a book about special kids in the classroom where they are implementing inclusion and teaching some sign language used by the student that also overlapped with concepts in the book (the book was about how children all have similarities and differences, so some of the signs taught included “same” and “different”).

    One problem that I have encountered with inclusion being able to provide the students with communication boards that contain enough, but not too much information to allow them to communicate as naturally as possible. Also, due to the nature of changing lesson plans, I grapple with trying to remain topical, yet functional at the same time.

  20. Several of you have mentioned the need to change how we teach in order to best serve all of the students that are showing up in the classroom these days. Using the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), teachers and school personnel can design their curriculum so that they are anticipating that there will be different needs and learning preferences among their students. If you plan for some disabilities before they show up you won’t have to deal with them on the run during a lesson.

    For example, as you plan a lesson consider that some of your students may have difficulty physically writing answers to questions at the end of the chapter, so provide alternate means of answering those questions: typing them out on a class computer or a portable keyboard (like the AlphaSmart NEO or The Writer) or recording them into a tape recorder or using voice recognition software. Make these options open to all the students in the class…you will find that some who don’t NEED them will prefer and use them. (Kind of like some people needing the automatic doors, but all of us using and appreciating them because they make what we are doing easier.) UDL asks that you look at offering a variety of options and supports in how material is presented to students, how you assess what the students have learned, and how you engage the students in learning.

    You students will be learning something besides the lesson…they will also be learning “how” they prefer to learn and how they learn best. The curriculum changes and assistive technology that some students need may make learning easier for others who don’t need it, but prefer it. For more information about UDL (Universal Design for Learning) go to the CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) web site (http://www.cast.org). (I’ll put a link to this site on the Blogroll at the side of our blog to make it easier for you to investigate it.)

    Tina

  21. I have very few students on my caseload who there is a conflict between medical and educational, although I know there are other therapists within the district who do. I agree that the best way to complete trials for the more high tech software and devices is for the student to have access to them within the classroom. I am open to suggestions from teachers or other therapist on how to accomplish this. I have had the most success with portable keyboards( I need to remember the comment about listing a specific brand in the IEP. I have had the most success with Alpha Smarts in assisting older students with poor handwriting. This technology has been around long enough that most teachers know how to use them. Unless they use them at least for a few assignments per week the students typically never learn the keyboard adequately to type at a functional speed. As for low tech. Industry is coming up with modified paper for handwriting problems, ie. raised or highlighted paper, lined paper with start and stop lines and hash marks to help with appropriate size letters and spacing.

  22. As a speech therapist, I have to explain the difference between medical and an educational impact for students. Many times parents have a prescription for speech therapy (sometimes not applying to a students educational needs). For example, I had a prescription from a doctor to try trial swallows for a student that had a trach and that was NPO (nothing by mouth). This had nothing to do with the students education. I had to explain the difference to the parents and they chose to get outside speech for the medical aspects of swallowing.
    We also do as much mainstreaming as possible in our school . Our school starts really early with mainstreaming and we also have a “buddy” program for our special needs students. The buddy helps get the students off the bus, helps on field trips, and comes to visit the students in the classroom. I think this is a great program to start with students in elementary.

  23. Both articles were very interesting. I haven’t encountered alot of concerns regarding medically vs. educationally necessary equipment although I have written reports to be included with Medicaid applications for AAC devices for students in order to prove the “medical necessity” of the device and have been required to obtain a physician’s prescription for the device. At the high school where I work we have had students in the intense interventions class with feeding tubes and catheters and I agree with Mary Watson that dealing with such things should not be the realm of a teacher or paraprofessional whether trained or not. The risk of infection (for either the student or the caregiver) is very real and complications can arise very quickly and get out of hand for personnel not medically trained. Those of you whose schools provide nursing assistance seems to me to be enlightened. In my schools these things are handeled by teachers and para’s with the assistance of an over burdened school nurse.

    As far as inclusion is concerned, I will betray my age when I say that when I trained and first began to work as a speech pathologist in the schools, I never saw a student with severe disabilities for that was the realm of other institutions, self-contained centers and the like and there were specially trained speech pathologists who worked with those students. I left the school setting in the late 80’s to work in a hospital for 10 years and when I came back to work in the schools in 2000 there was this “incluson” business going on. After nearly 7 years back in the schools, I still have difficulty seeing the possibilities of inclusion. I see the reasoning for it but collaboration is so very difficult compared to pull-out to a resource room. I envy those of you who are recent graduates and are steeped in and enthusiastic about inclusion. In my schools I have seen inclusion welcomed and resisted and it seems to me to be a mixed bag.

    Concerning the dictum that what works is what the student will use: I had a student who had a Prenke-Romich communication device which used minspeak with icons that have multiple meanings (very sophistocated) and we butted heads trying to learn to use the system because he wanted only to type actual words into the device and he was an increadibly fast typist: in the end he won because that’s what he wanted to use and would use.

  24. I have been very fortunate that I have not had a student with any major medical issues. I know some of the other special needs teachers have students that need feeding tubes — usually it is the school nurse that handles instruction as to how to feed the student. Then it’s the special ed teacher or teaching assistant that feeds the student. We have inclusion, but in my opinion it still is not full inclusion until the general ed. teachers take on ownership of “all” students.
    The readings have been very informative and interesting.

  25. I have a nonverbal student who is using a low tech communication device and she is being mainstreamed during lunch and recess for socialization. So far it is working well, but we are looking at ways for her to be able to expand to other topics that are not on her board. I have another student we are attempting to mainstream using signing, but we are finding we have to teach what many of the signs are to his peers. We are still working with this student to make this transition a success. He really wants to communicate with his peers, so I will we will try a low tech board with him.

  26. As a parent, the article “Special education Assistive technology policies: Myth or Reality?” has been a very useful resource to read. The clarifications made in it are valuable, specially when looking for the services that you can expect to have for your children when you are negotiating the IEP meetings with the school personnel.
    On the other hand, the article “Assistive technology for young children in special education” has interesting reflections about what new technologies (including Assistive Technologies (AT)), and the way they keep rapidly modifying themselves, determining in many way who we are, with or without disabilities. New technologies (with or without Technologies Related Assistance Acts) have the economic resources that are generating new parameters of training and performance. The potential education applications of the new technologies offer an unprecedented view for educators when working with typically developing students as well as with persons with disabilities. If typically developing children have access to computers and they learn how to look for information on the internet or make presentation with programs like PowerPoint, these abilities give them the opportunity to be actualized in fields that they are will encounter when they join the work force after finishing high school or college. However, what people with disabilities get from new technologies, tools for learning, and from teachers, are more broad perspectives that need to be expanded to offer equal accessibility to the employment opportunities available to typically developing people. When we talk about the tools that technology can offer to people with disabilities (vision, hearing, communication, or orthopedic) what we mean to say is that they will get the opportunity to interact with their learning environment in a more developmentally appropriate manner.
    There is a lot of interest and enthusiasm to continuously develop new approaches for more innovative ways of teaching, or as ways of attaining independently resolving physical or cognitive limitations. I think that there are intermediate steps that still need to be followed – such as learning how to read or how to write, that go hand in hand with mental and cognitive processes. There are computer reading programs, with or without the proficient editing, spelling, or grammar skills that are difficult to teach. AT is a tool, a tool that help us reach the level of understanding that go beyond the results attainable by using an editing, composition, spelling, or grammar program to write an essay
    My experience as a parent with children with autism I found that there are different disabilities that require methodologies that are very specific, and some times if the school decided not to work with them, this kids are missing the opportunity to be educated with normal developing children. The point is that inclusion is possible and realistic as much as the services that each kid needs, taking into account diagnosis and personal characteristics in learning, are available.

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