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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.

Back to basics with a new laptop from HP. #BTSwithHP ad

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.

using the laptop

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.

my computer time-page-002

The chart does not need to be used but for Sweet B, it helps in the beginning.

my computer time-page-003

That way she knows that she can pick her laptop (as opposed to a desktop) to do her work.

sweet b using a program

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.

front view of the laptop

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.

sideview of the laptop

So what do we use in our afterschool program now? We’re integrating an HP Laptop.

You can find them at your local Walmart:

HP at 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.

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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Heather @ Kraus House Mom
7 years ago

My oldest is on the spectrum and it is not easy. She has a lot of difficulty processing and physically writing her thoughts. She uses my laptop to do her homework. We have been looking into laptops for each of the kids for this year.

7 years ago

It’s so good to know there are programs out there to help Autistic children. I didn’t realize that there were computer programs like this.

Pam Wattenbarger
7 years ago

There are so many programs and technologies for disabled and special needs kids now. I’m glad that you’ve found a great laptop to help your daughter.

Nancy at Whispered Inspirations
7 years ago

This is amazing. I am glad there are programs to help autistic children. I can imagine it’s so helpful!

7 years ago

This is really great information to have, I love that there are ways to help children with autism speak. I love hearing when a child can have help to find their voice!

Liz Mays
7 years ago

Oh this was really clever. I can see this being really helpful once it becomes part of the routine. Great use of technology!

Jenn @ EngineerMommy
7 years ago

It’s great you have a system set up to help her communicate. I love HP computers. THe performance and value are always top-notch.

Angelic Sinova
7 years ago

My uncle works for HP (they’re such a great company). I love that they sell such high quality computers at such affordable prices.It’s great that this computer can help your daughter find her voice.

Gwendolyn Mulholland
7 years ago

It is amazing how far things have come to help those with special needs. I am glad that you were able to find what you needed to help your daughter.

7 years ago

Wow, I learned a lot in this post. It is so amazing that technology can be so helpful to children with autism.

7 years ago

Sounds like she has a wonderful parent on her side. I love how technology is helping families.

7 years ago

Great advice! My daughter is very high functioning autistic, you wouldn’t know she was until she doesn’t talk back when you speak to her….and we use a lot of these programs on her iPad since she uses a picture system on her iPad to communicate. Glad to see you can use these programs on a computer too!

Terri Beavers
7 years ago

I have a friend who has an autistic child. I’m going to share your post with her because she’s always looking for ways to help him learn.

7 years ago

Such great info for special needs parents! I think technology can help so much!

chubskulit rose
7 years ago

Isn’t technology amazing? You can have as many resources as you want, you just have to look for it. I am sure this would help your daughter a lot.

7 years ago

Thanks for sharing! Good for you for being so active. Our son has an IEP as well and we try to stay on top of it. He used a program called Sentence Master to help with reading and learning the computer. He is now on to an iPad and got his first phone. So exciting!