How do you get a 4 year old child with Cerebral Palsy to learn to use computers – something that is bound to make his life easier? I have tried getting him to use a desktop as well as laptop, and the biggest problem he seems to have is in the coordination between the screen and his actions on the keyboard or mouse or touchpad. On other hand, he seems to find my touch phone easier to understand, but since he can pick and drop it easily, I am wary about letting him use it. And he really needs to get into computers soon. He is fascinated, though unable to use.
He immediately commandeers the laptop or phone when opportunity presents. He has sent tweets from my laptop accidentally. He loves seeing photos on the phone and computer and is absolutely thrilled to get into any opportunity that gives him access to these wonders.
A tablet, on the other hand, would be a perfect “full screen” for him. Something he can move easily too, but not pick up and drop that easily (he has limited use of his body). As his abilities are increasingly evident as limited, it is important for him to find actualization beyond them. Perhaps it is time for him to have a fancy gadget his parents envy?
What would I do if I had access to a tablet? I’d rig it up for productivity for my self and the kid. Myself, for going out. Which wouldn’t really take more than the default installations for the most part.
And I would go out on a limb to make it Nisarga’s gateway to wonder. Icons leading directly to his favorite videos, so that he can touch the screen to start what he wants. Kids games, and possibly even skype (with contacts mostly with his grandmothers, who don’t seem to mind talking to him endlessly). Touching what attracts him the most? Yep, even a kid can do it. And in the process, laying a foundation for discovering and using more of computers.
The Lenovo Yoga tabet with its flexibility in positioning would most certainly be an added plus in adapting it to his needs (and for the tablet’s safety), so that educational videos could be viewed with an upright display, while letting him explore the tablet and how it works and using it interactively would probably be done best with it flat on a safe surface (and thus less likely to be knocked over and more difficult to pick). I am also imagining possibilities of both of us viewing and using the content more efficiently side by side.
In other words, I want to use the smartness of the computer to make it so simple that a child with cerebral palsy uses it because it is a tool, rather than a challenge. And then I’d like to share the configuration and idea with more parents.
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