* Econ, apps, and eye gaze

Mix Tobii Dynavox, Communicator 5, economics, and the Township app to get… a terrific way to learn while playing!  Playing is indeed one of the best ways for all of us to learn.  Let me explain how a special needs student applies theories of supply and demand, micro and macroeconomics, opportunity cost, and much more while using an eye gaze system and this fun app.

I’ve blogged before about Tobii Dynavox eye gaze technology and the Communicator 5 software that accompanies it.  I also described a cool book, “How to Build Your Own Country, that supports the creative development of nation states, government, and even national anthems.  My student is president, of course, and has named his township after his country.  He uses Communicator 5 to select what actions he wants to perform, from breeding animals to mining for ore.  The image below is the main topic page.  When he looks at each box, the button “reads” the text I’ve added and then takes him to additional pages, where he can make decisions about what crops to plant, which friends to help, and whether to ask the city market dealer for help.  The black box in the upper left links to a rest page for his eyes, while the blue arrows return him systematically to the main menu.

township C5

These images are from the Township Wiki.  

I’ve only encountered a couple of difficulties so far.  For one, my dearest teaching widower does get tired of hearing the Communicator 5 program repeated over and over, as I make sure all the links are correct.  Then there’s the issue of my own addiction to this game!  Finally, my student does love using Mrs. Everson’s bank, but he must first earn the bills and coins (he named them doodads and dubas in his country).  And who supplies Mrs. Everson’s bank?  Shh….  This will be a test of whether my widower still reads my posts!!

* Day #253 – Our Games

Here’s a post which highlights the importance of early OT for kids with sensory problems, whether on the spectrum or not. Another well-written post by Tucker’s mom.

366 Days of Autism

Most parents have the opportunity to play many great games with their children in their toddler/early elementary years.

Spectrum parents are not different – except our games are.  Instead of playing hide and go seek or tag, we often play games directed by our OT (Occupational Therapist).  Here are a few examples of games we played in Tucker’s early years….

What’s in the bag?  One of the early ‘games’ that we played to help Tucker develop his sense of touch was “What’s in the bag.” We would put a variety of objects in a paper bag – starting with larger obvious items (a fork, a nerf ball, a banana) then ask Tucker to reach in and tell us what he could find.  As he would master those larger objects, we would replace with smaller, more complicated objects.  He really struggled with this game in the early years – with enough…

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