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Hilltopmom

Tech supports for teens- what's new?

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It's been 12 years since I stepped foot in a high school special Ed toom as a teacher.

 

Zero tech was available for my kids then, other than word processors for typing notes!

 

My 14 year old plans to go to public school next year & before her CSE mtg, I want to know what sort of things we even available to ask for, that may be helpful. (I fully don't expect the school to offer ideas up on their own)

 

She has LDs, borderline IQ (maybe?? Not sure how accurate last eval was), low working memory, low processing speed, executive functioning deficits, maybe ADD (working in that diagnosis), & severe dyscalculia (barely 4th grade math level at age 14).

No note taking skills or essay writing skills, or spelling for that matter.

 

So, what's out there these days?

 

Eta- I'll definately ask for books on audio, including textbooks, she does well with audio stuff. And a second set of books at home. But no idea what else.

 

Thanks!

Edited by Hilltopmom

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I would assume they'd have access to the texts as ebooks. Then the ebooks may be dynamic, with embedded videos, ability to do tts (text to speech), etc. Anything with ebook plus tts will usually be able to do immersion reading, where it highlights the text while reading.

 

Probably will depend on your school's budget. Some schools have ipads for kids. The dyslexia school around here gives everyone a macbook pro. Any tech at all now will have dictation, so what you're really asking is what *combination* of tech in what ecosystem will get her the farthest. And you're wanting a combination with supports for EF (meaning something portable and small that's on her all the time like an iphone) and stuff she can do immersion reading, etc. on (ipad, laptop, whatever). 

 

Don Johnston has some software. There's all kinds of stuff out there. We're just starting to dabble in that for ds. You'll probably be able to get prediction software, etc. for both ecosystems (android/google and mac). Inspiration will work on both I think. 

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Most schools give the students Chromebooks now. And I really mean "most" -- Google has about 50% of the school tech market currently and is still growing. That is way up from just three or four years ago, so the popularity is surging. You can read articles online about this and should be able to look into what kind of helps the Chromebooks offer.

 

My kids have speech to text in their IEPs, though they do well enough with typing that they have not used that accommodation. Their teachers have the whole class (not just kids with IEPs) type and turn in assignments on the computer. My kids also have audio versions of texts as an accommodation in their IEPs.

 

Some students can have a smart pen as an accommodation in the IEP, but my kids are younger than that target audience, I think, and we haven't tried them yet.

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When I was preparing for our IEP meetings, I spent a lot of time looking up sample IEP accommodations online. You can find huge lists just by googling, which can give you many ideas.

 

For notetaking, the IEP can stipulate that she receive copies of the teacher's notes.

 

DS's IEP also says he is to receive study guides already filled out with answers, because he was having problems copying the correct answers down properly during class review sessions, while the other students were completing their study sheets. So he would end up with study guides that were incomplete, illegible, had answers written in the wrong blanks, or had wrong answers -- making the guides impossible to study with.

 

For writing, he is given simple graphic organizers.

 

He is allowed to give answers orally instead of writing them, as long as the assignment does not have writing as its goal. We just used this accommodation at home during homework this afternoon, because he had a bunch of workbook pages to fill out for social studies. He gave DH the answers; DH wrote them in and then indicated with a note that he was doing the scribing. We have used this accommodation in a very limited fashion -- usually he writes everything himself -- but on days like today it is very helpful. DS found the volume of expected work so overwhelming today that he had a hard time starting on it; removing the writing element made it possible for him to begin and complete the work.

 

 

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The school will have ideas, by the way. Even though the IEPs are individualized, they will have standard things that they do for students with certain disabilities. Bring your own suggestions, but they will only put them in if they have data to show that she needs them.

 

For example, we asked that the school add something to DS's IEP this year. He has visual spatial deficits and dysgraphia, so we wanted him to be able to write his answers in the test booklet instead of filling in the bubble sheet. But there had to be evidence that this was needed, and since bubble sheets are not normally used in the regular classroom, his teachers had not could not vouch for him needing this accommodation. They can only put an accommodation in the IEP for testing if it is also used in the regular classroom.

 

So they did not put this in this year. But his intervention teacher said she will have him practice bubble sheets between now and his IEP meeting next year, so that they can say for sure whether he needs this accommodation.

 

Since you worked in special education previously, this is probably not news to you, but I thought I'd mention it.

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Are you in the US? Because I don't recognize what "CSE meeting" stands for. I assume it is an IEP meeting? If you are not in the US, some of what I wrote may not apply to you.

 

If you think she will enroll in the fall, you should request your school evaluations now. Don't wait until she has started classes, because she won't have the help and protections of an IEP until the process is completed, and it takes several months.

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Yep, in US.

CSE is committee on special Ed meeting when the IEP is written.

 

I "wish" our district had chrome books! Only one local district in our rural area uses any tech at all district wide , not ours:(

 

Eval already requested,paperwork started, on that :)

 

Good ideas, thanks everyone.

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