Assistive technologies help children with Down syndrome. Here's how
Assistive technologies are one of the best things about modern technology and digitalization. For people with disabilities, assistive technologies have helped them in many ways to make day to day tasks easier and better. When it comes to education, assistive technologies have been a great blessing by reaching out and providing right guidance.
For children with Down syndrome, assistive technologies are helpful in many ways. It makes academics and daily tasks easier. Hence, all schools with children who have Down syndrome ensure that assistive technologies are an integral part of their curriculum because children with Down syndrome can finish given tasks and assignments easier. Apart from helping students to control their learning, it helps to focus on success, encourage verbal and non verbal process, provides control over pace and offers adaptability to name a few of the benefits.
Over the years, many new techniques have been introduced to teach children with Down syndrome. One of the best things is introduction of assistive technologies which are used even while taking classes and for group discussions. It makes imparting knowledge easier for children with Down syndrome. Even the basic smart phone is an example of that. It has helped them to understand lessons better-Rekha, Co-founder, Buddhi Special School, Bengaluru
Here are some ways in which assistive technologies helps children with Down syndrome
- Writing skills - For a child with Down syndrome, writing is definitely not an easy task. It requires more practice when compared to other children with and without disabilities. In fact, even holding a pen or pencil can be a difficult task for them because they have shorter and stubby fingers. Short and triangular shaped pencils, exclusively for use of children with Down syndrome, are available in the market. It makes writing easier and fun for the child.
- Technological skills- In today's world, technology is inevitable. Computers and smart phones have become a part of our lives. When it comes to a child with Down syndrome, using these devices can be a complicated task. But devices like simple smart phones makes things easier for them. Schools for disabled children are now installing smart boards for their computers where children can use them without hassles. Students can move objects with their fingers and use the mouse for enhanced motor skills.
- Cutting skills- Most of the children with Down syndrome find it difficult to cut objects using scissors. This is a task which must be learnt by children because it is used in day to day activities. There are specially made scissors where springs are fixed to automatically open the scissors once it has been shut. These special scissors are truly helpful for children with Down syndrome.
- Speech skills- Children with Down syndrome have speech difficulties too. But there are many assistive devices that reach out to them. For instance, the see and learn speech is an assistive technology that helps in developing the speech of the child by clearing the speech production and allowing them to practice speech skills with help of different techniques.
"My daughter is 26 years old now. So during her school days, assistive technology was not too popular. But now, many students with Down syndrome are using it and parents also feel great about it. Also, there is a lot of awareness among parents about Down syndrome which has made things better", says Usha Menon, parent of adult with Down syndrome.