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While we aren’t back to school until after Labor Day in NY, I’m still trying to do whatever I can to help Sweet B get ready. That means adding to and preparing for her afterschool at home program. And it also means going by her IEP plan to determine what we’ll do- both for the rest of the summer and for the school year.
One of the things I’d love to work on with her are basics like literacy skills, counting, and using a computer. The last one is especially important because once she learns how to use a computer, I hope to help her find a voice. Currently she still uses a combination of PECS and ASL to make her needs known. However, I have also been greatly inspired by Carly Fleischman- a non verbal autistic woman who uses a laptop as her primary form of communication.
I’ve always felt that Sweet B can do the same or would be capable of doing the same given the right amount of support and the proper tools.
First, I knew that I would have to find the right programs for her to use to help meet the personal goals that I was setting for her.
That meant finding:
* A typing program
* A text to voice program
* A learning program that could adapt to her needs
* A timer
I also knew that I couldn’t do this without setting up some sort of reward system; whether that meant watching a favorite TV show or listening to music.
Was she absolutely thrilled about the prospect? Not so much. But I didn’t let that stop me from proceeding anyway.
I also knew that I would have to set up some sort of cards and chart for her. She relies heavily on visual aids and I knew that this experience would require that extra bit of assistance.
Her card system needed to be set up so she would understand:
* For every fifteen minutes of work, she could have fifteen minutes of leisure.
* That she could pick what to work on first and then have a break
* That her learning time would increase with each session.
To facilitate this part, I created a simple chart and card set.
The chart does not need to be used but for Sweet B, it helps in the beginning.
That way she knows that she can pick her laptop (as opposed to a desktop) to do her work.
Again, she wasn’t exactly thrilled with having to do work but I also know that with repetition, it would quickly become a part of her daily routine at home.
The touch pad was a bit of a challenge for her at first, so I just wanted her to become familiar with using the keyboard.
From there, she’s able to point to what she wants when it comes to choosing her leisure activity.
So what do we use in our afterschool program now? We’re integrating an HP Laptop.
You can find them at your local Walmart:
But why HP?
• Dependable performance: With the latest Intel processor and plenty of hard drive space, you can multitask and store more.
• Vibrant display: The crisp HD screen lets you enjoy your photos, videos, and web pages in detail.
• Measurable quality: Enjoy outstanding performance backed by over 200 tests.
I know that this laptop will stand up to Sweet B and serve our needs for quite some time.
Empowered to do more!
Tackle all your daily tasks with an affordable laptop that comes packed with the features you need.
With our HP laptop as an integrated part of our afterschool program, I know that I’m giving Sweet B the tools that she needs to get back to basics and to help her find a voice.
How would an HP laptop help your autistic child? If you and your family are enjoying your HP computer as much as we are, be sure to visit Walmart to share your thoughts! Encourage other families to shop smart this back to school season with your online review.