Young children need to use AT equipment and adaptations in real tasks throughout each day in order to become effective and efficient.
Watch the following videos to view examples of children using AT in various routines throughout the day. Think about how AT allows these children to successfully participate in activities or routines where they might ordinarily struggle.
A preschool aged child uses pictures and symbols to communicate with a teacher about the clothes and toys she wants in the dramatic play area (running time 1 min. 11 sec.).
What do you want to put on Gabriella? Shoes?
We have a housekeeping area, that is also with dress up. And what we have is lots of Mayer-Johnson Boardmaker symbols that we’ve placed all around our housekeeping area. And the reason that we’ve done this, is that we want all our kids to be able to communicate to us what it is that they want to do in the housekeeping area.
Some of our kids love to dress up, but they’re not able to reach into the bucket to get the clothes out that they want. So if we are able to offer them a choice of what clothing items they would like, then we’re able to reciprocate and help them get the clothing that they want. And by putting comments and descriptors and adjective in there, then they can comment about how they feel about being dressed up.
You’re all dressed up, right.
Wwright, all essed up, wwwright.
Using these tools allows children to communicate what they want and don’t want. It builds their independence while emphasizing critical self-determination skills.
A therapist shows a mother how to use and adapt everyday household items to help her child who has physical delays (running time 1 min. 33 sec.).
Are there any difficult parts of the day for you?
I would say the most difficult thing with Nolan is bath time. I have a really hard time giving him a bath. He doesn’t like it, he cries and screams, and it’s hard for me to handle him and wash him and try to make it fun at the same time.
One of the best things that we could do is to come up with some ideas that can immediately help the child and help them participate in their environment and encourage their learning. For instance, we can come up with using everyday household items to enable them to sit up, for instance, using the laundry basket in the bathtub. And by doing this—by working with the family they see what we do—often times the family comes up with some of the best ideas that we have gotten and we’ve been able to share those ideas with other families.
There he goes! There he goes! He’s still going! Good. Nakita, do you want to try one?
A therapist shows a mother how to use a communication board with her daughter to ask for what to eat at a restaurant (running time: 42 sec.).
And so before the meal starts or while the meal starts, you would say, “Tianna, this is chicken. Tianna this is drink. This is cookie. Which one do you want?” And then she would point to which one she wants.
Juice! You want juice? You want juice? Let’s see. You want juice. OK, I’ll hold the fork. All right, let’s see.