Assistive Technology to Help Students with Developmental Delays Succeed Academically
Developmental delays can affect almost every area of a child’s life. This broad issue can cover any possible milestone that a child doesn’t meet according to the expected timeline, including speech or movement. While children with developmental delays can still be successful, it will require some additional help from patient teachers. Educators would do well to research the available assistive technology that can help to bolster a child’s education and encourage academic success.
What tools are available to help students compensate for their developmental delays? Here are just a few of the top technologies that parents and teachers have found to be successful in the classroom.
One of the areas where many students with this diagnosis fall behind is in literacy and reading. Teachers have several tools at their disposal to make reading more accessible for children who struggle to make sense of the words. Audiobooks are frequently recommended as an alternative to traditional reading. For younger children, teachers can use the AbleNet Bookworm to transform any book into an audiobook. Older kids might appreciate a better variety of stories found on subscription websites like Audible.
Speech is often one of the primary areas that are affected by developmental delays. Some students might need more help communicating what they need and asking any questions that arise during class time. A text-to-speech software could help students to gain control of what they need to say. With one of these programs, they can type out what they want to share while the computer reads it out loud for them. Many computers come with this software built into the hard drive, so all educators need to do is teach students how to use it appropriately.
Sometimes, students with developmental delays have a difficult time understanding and processing all of the sounds that bombard them in the classroom. FM systems can help by connecting the teacher and student in an audible way with radio broadcast technology. The student holds the receiver while the teacher has a microphone. This arrangement allows the student to hear the teacher more clearly without interference from classmates and other background noises. It is an ideal assistive technology for a child who also has hearing issues and may wear hearing aids.
Achieving success with developmental delays is possible when you harness the power of the tools that surround you. Remember that each child is different and these tools might not all work for every student. Educators and parents will have to work together to decide which types of assistive technology are going to be the most beneficial to the child. With this mindset, you can be absolutely positive that children with developmental delays will find academic success.