Children with Special Needs - Mouse Training | SPD - Singapore

Children with Special Needs - Mouse Training

So, you have assessed a child with special needs for mouse access, and have figured out what can help them. Now what do you do?

Training the child to access the computer with the specialised mouse

Training of course!

What many teachers and therapists fail to realise is that many of the children who have been assessed to have the potential to use computer access assistive technology (AT) may not have ever used the computer. Other than teaching the children to use the specialised mouse, another challenge would be to first teach the basics associated with operating a computer. Drawing on our experience in integrating computer access AT at a special school, we will be looking at what is involved in teaching children with special needs to use the computer and computer access AT.

There are many programmes out there that can be used for training a child to access the computer with the specialised mouse. However, if you are trying to reach personalised goals, like spelling their names through the use of computer, or if the child gets bored of repetition easily, these programmes may not be the best tools for your purposes.

We have been working with a special school to help their children use the computer for various purposes, such as leisure and learning the alphabet or their names. After the initial assessment, we started off using some commercially available programmes to train the children in using the mouse, but soon came to realise that we needed something more specialised.

Most of the children we met have not used the computer before, and they were unable to understand the relationship between the mouse and the cursor. There were others who understood it, but they had short attention spans. There were also children who were not familiar with the alphabet, and the goal for them is to learn how to spell their names.

To help these children, we came up with some slides that enabled us to customise training programmes for each child. We will be sharing these with you in later posts.


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