Robin Wisner is the mother of four boys, ages 18, 15, and 13 (twins). Her thirteen year old twins have identical physical disabilities and communicate using – Lloyd, Fuller, & Arvidson (1997) “>Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Because of her children’s disabilities, Robin has educated herself about ways to help her sons learn language on their communication devices and shares what she has learned through conferences, workshops, and other activities. Listen as Robin discusses some key things teachers should keep in mind when working with children who use assistive technology devices.
When my kids were younger, and they were in the preschool setting using assistive technology, it was hard for the teaching staff to be comfortable with the assistive technology. And I think they felt like they were supposed to know everything and be the expert. And they knew that they weren’t real comfortable with what the boys needed but had trouble asking and getting help and talking to the assistive technology specialist or whoever they need to, to find out how can I do this better. I think the biggest thing I would say to teachers is don’t be afraid to try things and don’t be afraid to ask questions. And being a parent kind of feels like a card, a free pass, to ask dumb questions and sometimes I wish we could give our teachers one of these as well. That each child may be using a different kind of technology, it may be something you’ve never seen before that works for a kid in your class and I wonder sometimes if we should actually hand out cards saying this is your free pass to ask a dumb question, to ask the questions and to say I really don’t understand, I really don’t know how to do this, I need help. And its ok to ask for help.