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Technology and Special Needs

Feb 03, 2016

As Dr. Jerome Shultz says, today’s technology allows special needs children to achieve more. The invention of the touch screen and corresponding development of tablets and smartphones have opened a whole avenue of learning. Now those with physical limitations don't have to worry about moving a mouse. Applications (apps) can be navigated using a simple touch and even eye movement. Yes, this technology has been around for some time, but now the cost to the user is extremely reduced.

Physical motion gaming, made possible by using specialized controllers synchronized to movements, allow children to control characters on screen. This links what they feel with what they do. By wanting to do better in their game, they’ll learn the steps required to progress. In the end, they learn body control while having fun. Games can be an insightful glimpse into how the special needs child sees himself. Physically impaired children are given a way to be free of those limits.

Social media affords children a way to keep in touch with other kids they've met at playgroups or specialized camps. Using social media can also provide a window into learning about kids with similar disorders. Many children want to help others understand by posting insights and clips of achievements.  Talk to text apps are like magic for special needs children! Speaking to create written words generates a wealth of communication outlets via computers and smart phones. Video chats can link kids together, but also make available specialized care with doctors or therapists. Speech therapist Sarah Clifford Scheflen notes that some therapists can even record sessions, which provides precise learning for the parent and child and eases collaboration.

Advances in technology can also afford special needs children more freedom. By using a cell phone and specialized apps, parents can stay in constant contact and locate children if needed. Planning apps can also be used to remind children when to take medication, do therapy or remind them of special appointments. Children can listen to a wider selection of books via online databases made possible by updated file formats and the Internet. Voice command technology in automobiles also lets special needs children play their favorite songs and set a course for trips.  

For children with physical limitations, exciting work is being done with required tools. Innovations have made wheel chair and walker materials lighter for easier transport. Not to mention specialized designs adapted for individual users. Robotic limbs and prosthetics continue to be updated to enhance the reality of motion and appearance.

Encourage your child to find what fits him among this plethora of technological breakthroughs. Who knows, your child’s desire for a new project, aid, or process may lead to another new invention! Many parents like you have gone the extra mile to help their child. Be brave, boldly explore, and create a brighter future for your family!


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