Tag Archives: iPad

ID in Poland

The only certainty is that there had been 130,000 adults with intellectual disabilities in Poland 13 years ago.

And only those with legal disability status—those aged 16 or over—and living in households are included in the figure. Those living in institutions are not counted.

In Poland, the rights of its citizens with intellectual disabilities are guaranteed in its constitution. The country has ratified “most important international human rights instruments,” too, with the exception of the revised European Social Charter and Protocol No. 12 to the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights].

Still, it has no anti-discrimination legislation that applies specifically to education. Only that the education system is regulated by the Act on the Education System that enables every children and young people with disabilities in Poland to study at any type of school or to individual teaching, curricula and classes.

The assessment procedures for placing PWDs under guardianship are also not sufficient; the courts usually impose plenary, rather than partial, guardianship for people with intellectual disabilities. The PWDs in Poland have no legal support if ever their guardians violate their rights.

There are computer software and devices nowadays that could alleviate the situation, however. Aside from touch screens, interactive whiteboards, and hand-held tablets, generic and tailor-made Apps have already been developed for on-the-merging tablets, most particularly the iPad, to cater to almost every facet of learning, therapy, communication and engagement. These tools and strategies are collectively called AAC [Augmentative and Alternative Communication].

AAC can help students with communication impairments to express themselves. Its ultimate goal is functional communication, self-advocacy and independence.

“Providing real access to education and employment for people with intellectual disabilities is critical to ensuring that they can live and work in the community as equal citizens.” ~Open Society Foundation

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Respect For People with Intellectual Disabilities

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Autism

The most severe form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by severe deficits in social interaction and communication, by an extremely limited range of activities and interests, and often by the presence of repetitive, stereotyped behaviors. The role of genetics and environmental factors in its cause is still being studied while theory factoring on parental practices has long been disproved.

Symptoms of autism improve with treatment and with age. Children whose language skills regress before the age of 3 may develop a higher risk of developing epilepsy. Adolescents may become depressed. Services and support are then vital for them to be able to work successfully and live independently. Autismspeaks.org has listed the various sites  linking to how technology can assist PWDs with autism.

Portable computers—iPad or tablet—can encourage communication; the screen just have to be touch to be activated. There are apps that come with plenty of pictures, too, for beginning language learners or scheduling apps with visual support. Recently, Drs. Connie Kasari and Ann Kaiser along with team members, Drs. Charlotte Mucchetti, Stephanie Shire from UCLA and Dr. Courtney Wright from Vanderbilt University have found out that speech generating devices (SGD) aid social communication.

These application programs are listed in this site while the suggestions on how to set up a portable computer are discussed in another.

Meanwhile, Rosalind Picard, founder of the Affective Computing Research Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, is finding out how a facial recognition software with Google Glass can be used to identify emotions. Other devices can also teach simple tasks, social skills, interaction with a computer-simulated environment, or steps in a specific activity such as robots, social stories, video modelling, and virtual reality.

“Autism is like a rainbow. It has a bright side and a dark side. Even though it can mean rough weather, it can be beautiful.” ~Lacy Bella Designs

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the behaviorfrontiers

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome is a psychological condition characterized by obsessive and rigid behavior, poor communication skills, clumsiness, and a lack of empathy and reciprocity. State-funded outreach workers asserted that the condition had ‘exploded’ in Silicon Valley over the past 20 years and common among start-up founders of Internet companies. There is no clear consensus about it till today, however; it could just be a mild form of autism, a developmental disorder characterized by severe deficits in social interaction and communication.

Although it could last a lifetime, Asperger syndrome has no cure. But there is an ideal treatment plan: improve the social skills of the patients as well as their behavior management. There is the OASIS @ MAAP: The Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support Center where one can learn about this condition.

Also, while those with Asperger’s may be especially interested in video games, computers, or other screen-based media such as TV, it is advised to keep them out of their bedroom so that they wouldn’t be likely to sleep fewer hours and develop worse symptoms.

Those with Asperger’s would have poor handwriting. Make homework easier by typing schoolwork. Short videos of social stories available as apps for iPod Touch, iPads and smartphones can help those with Asperger’s navigate through social situations such as in how to carry on a conversation, how to compliment someone, how to resolve conflict, how to respect other people’s boundaries and other common social situations. Extant empirical literature also suggests that assistive technology—the iPad, for one—is an effective method of improving the emotional recognition of those with Asperger’s. These devices allow a close-to-real-life practice of turn taking, greetings, salutations, and eye contact.

“A person with autism lives in his own world, while a person with Asperger’s lives in our world, in a way of his own choosing.” ~Nicholas Sparks

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of The National Center for Learning Disabilities