Assistive Technology to Help Students with Down Syndrome Succeed Academically
For students with Down Syndrome, assistive technology provides adaptations that make accessing curriculum goals and completing tasks easier.
Why Down Syndrome students need access to assistive technology
Assistive technology allows Down Syndrome students to complete assignments quicker than if they had tried the tasks on their own. Other benefits include
- Giving students control of their learning
- Promoting success rather than focusing on failure
- Offering individualized adaptability
- Providing control over pace and number of tasks
- Encouraging both verbal and nonverbal responses
Assistive technology to consider
While you may first think of computers to help students leverage access to the curriculum, assistive technology can be as simple as special scissors fitted with springs that control the blades and help them close, or the technology could be specially shaped thick pencils that allow for a better grip for drawing and writing.
Assistive technology can be far more complicated, as well. Consider these high-tech examples that help students diagnosed with Down Syndrome succeed academically:
- See and Learn Speech – This software matches speech and pictures to help children develop vocabulary skills. The sequentially oriented program focuses on helping students learn the sounds of speech, understand how these sounds combine to form words, and learn how to identify the words themselves.
- Solo 6 Literacy Suite – This software provides a boost to literacy skills by reading text aloud. Several devices read text for the user, but Solo 6 integrates reading and writing skills by predicting words as a student writes. The program eliminates the tedious task of looking up words and typing them, allowing the student to focus on ideas. The software is intuitive and easy to use.
- Simple Smartphone – Operating a smartphone can be a complicated task for Down Syndrome students, considering all the functions this mobile device offers. Simple Smartphone makes these devices less complicated and more user-friendly.
No one type of assistive technology is right for all Down Syndrome students
The IEP committee, made up of parents, teachers, administrators and the student, can select the assistive technology that will help each student met his or her academic goals and becoming an independent learner.
Electronic tablets allow for object manipulation when studying mathematics or geography, and many apps simulate experiences for students.
Every child has different needs, and the wise IEP committee will select the assistive technology that supports students in mastering their goals and objectives.