The internet is not created merely for the purposes of US online shopping and Singapore wine delivery. Young children with disabilities need an augmented environment to nurture their communal and cognitive involvement and growth and Technology, from low to high-tech, can play a part in stimulating their participation. Sad to say that this is often underused.
In the course of the initial three years, children change more quickly than at any other phase of their lives. Assistive technology (AT) tools and strategies make it simpler for young children with disabilities not only to participate in day-to-day activities, but also to do so on their own. Although AT demonstrates appreciable assurance in bolstering up the growing child, families of young children with disabilities and the professionals who provide services to them may not be acquainted with these tools or know how to use them. A national sample of service providers agreed that a consequential number of young children (45 percent) who may need AT are not be given with it at the time being. Although the deliberation of AT for young children with disabilities is mandated by legislation , the reported low rates of utilization strongly put forward that AT devices and services are not being used to their fullest degree.
Technology solutions make it easier for children to move, communicate and use materials to participate. Such AT supports can encompass low-tech items, like pillows and mirrors, as well as high-tech items, such as augmentative communication devices. Caregivers and support personnel need to become more familiar with the range of AT supports and successful strategies to coalesce them in order to ameliorate children’s participation and recreation.
Recognizing AT solutions to support a child’s participation is best done as a team operation. By first scrutinizing the interests, abilities and needs of a child and the specific constituents of the activity where support for participation is indicated, AT solutions can be planned and implemented and the effect can be discerned immediately. A six-step process defined below is one illustration of a structure for AT decision making for young children.
Accumulate child and family particulars. Start the discourse about the child’s strengths, abilities, preferences and needs. Which approach have been found to work best?
Pinpoint activities for participation. Explore the various activities within the environments that a child confronts throughout the day. What is averting the child from participating more?
What can be discovered that stipulates the intervention is victorious? What is the child’s current level of participation and what observable conducts will reflect a growth in independent interactions?
Brainstorm AT solutions. With the activity and desired upshots entrenched, start discussing feasible solutions with educators, family members, physical therapist, and other people with whom the child interacts on a regular basis. Begin with what is accessible in the environment (what other children use) and consider modifications to those materials. A range of alternatives that address particular support areas should be considered.
Try it out. Direct when the AT intervention will begin and build an observation plan to write down how the child participates with the AT supports.
Identify what worked. Choosing AT interventions is a continuous learning opportunity. Reflect on your plan and discuss what worked and what did not. If necessary, make modifications as needed and try again. Only by trying the AT can certain factors such as technology placement, amount of force, mounting and number of choices be determined and calibrated.