This is an age of computers. Computers are used in homes, in schools, and in businesses. Software programs are available for even very young babies. Many aspects of computer use are advantageous to the child with a special need. He will benefit from developing a range of strategies to use computers and related programs and devices to their fullest potential.
The spell check feature on computers is great — to a limited extent. If the writer meant to type The boy ate hamburgers, but typed The boy are hamburger, the spell check would miss the two incorrect words (are and hamburger). Although those words were not intended, they were indeed spelled correctly. For the student with a learning disability the spell check feature is helpful but cannot be used exclusively.
Skills Practice Programs
Your child can practice many skills with online skills practice programs or skills practice software. Computer activities and games are available for math, reading, spelling, writing and grammar, science, and social studies.
Be picky about the computer practice programs that you let your child use. A program that promises addition practice may or may not be what your child needs. If he is learning math facts and the program asks him to add numbers in the hundreds, it is not a good match.
Check with your child's teacher about recommended computer programs. Often a list of Internet sites will be listed on a school website for at-home practice. Also, look up the publishers of the textbooks your child uses at school. Many have online practice activities that specifically go with the lessons or chapters in the book.
Visit a teacher supply store and talk with the employees about appropriate programs. Many stores are manned by certified teachers who can help you find the needed programs. Some stores have demo programs for you to see exactly what is included.
Various software programs are on the market that will read aloud the information on a computer screen. Some programs “read” material from books and papers that have been scanned into the computer. Screen reading programs allow the student who has a reading disability or visual impairment to access print material for textbook assignments and research.