Book Review: Assistive Technology for Young Children: Creating Inclusive Learning Environments

Jan 8, 2013 by

5120YC0YEUL._SL500_AA300_The authors provide an introduction, and discuss the legal foundations and funding options for early assistive technology.

Authors: Kathleen Curry Sadao and Nancy B. Robinson, forward by Sharon Judge

Published by Brookes

Reviewed by Michael F. Shaughnessy and Valerie Lopez- Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico

This book is divided up into 9 chapters- The authors provide an introduction, and discuss the legal foundations and funding options for early assistive technology. They then review assistive technology for inclusion in early childhood environments, and follow with a chapter on dynamic assessment and intervention in Early Assistive Technology

Then there are four chapters addressing Assistive Technology and Communication, Play, Emergent Literacy, and finally, Computer Access.

Each one of these chapters has a summary and a section with self-reflective questions and a number of “ tips “ that are relevant to each chapter.

The book ends with a chapter on “Bridging the Divide with Assistive Technology Toolkits”

Throughout the book are a number of quite excellent tables and figures which help clarify certain points

Also included with the book is a C.D. that provides various forms.

These forms include :

FEET forms, which addresses (Functional Evaluation for Early Technology Process) and which examines:

Family concerns

Child Characteristics: Communication modalities

Team assessment planning

Observing activity based participation

Assistive Technology (AT) action plan

AT observation trials

AT evaluation plan

Follow up needed

There is a section on what is termed “Feature Matching Checklist” which examines:

 Client positioning for access

 Switch location for access

 Motor abilities

 Switch selection considerations

 Switch activation attributes

 Feedback considerations

 Purpose of switch use

In Appendix C there is a “Software Features Checklist” which provides

 Features

 Descriptions

 Evaluations

 Comments

There is a AT Toolkit Map which explores the OSEP (Office of Special Education Program ) outcomes

And in appendix E, there is an AT Confidence Scale to provide for self-evaluation. A sample question might be:

I feel confident in my ability to:

There are ample FEET Form Samples, and a number of case studies to explore in depth some of the issues in this realm.

o Case Studies

 Abby

 Jorge

 Scott

 Sean

Overall, this is an important book for those in the realms of assistive technology for young children. The subtitle is: Creating Inclusive Learning Environments and the book addresses assistive technology and communication, play, computer access and emergent literacy. The chapter on dynamic assessment and intervention complements the text. Certain chapters are more highly developed than others, but each provides a nice overview of the most salient realms.

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