As we know, not all disabilities are visible and to look at ten-year-old Peter* you’d be forgiven for not being aware of the struggles he faces due to his disabilities.
Peter* has a number of disabilities that effect his everyday life both at home and at school. Some of these include Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Auditory Processing Disorder, as well as fine and gross motor difficulties. Peter is also currently going through the process of being reviewed for an Autism diagnosis and Sensory Processing Disorder.
Peter’s disabilities make him struggle with numbers, reading and writing as well as retaining information and dexterity issues. As you can imagine this has a huge impact on Peter’s school life and in September Peter will be heading to high school so ensuring a successful transition from primary to high school is so important to Peter and his family.
A member of our assessment team went to visit Peter at his school to see how technology could help him to progress with more ease in school. Thankfully, Peter loves technology so we were sure he was going to love trying out the different hardware and software!
The assessment was also incredibly important as Peter’s disabilities also affect his personal life as his lack of literacy affects many aspects of his life and sadly it has knocked his confidence and self-esteem even to the extent of him making friends. It’s hoped that with the help from technology it will not only improve Peter’s school work but also help him gain more independence and therefore boost his confidence outside school!
At the beginning of the assessment Peter was shy and very quiet, but after a quick chat about football and his favourite video games he soon came out of his shell and our assessor had Peter try out the scanning pen. This clever device reads out whatever words you move the pen over. Using it just as you would a highlighter, you move over the sentence as it audibly reads it back to you. It also connects to headphones so Peter could use it in class without disturbing his class mates. Additionally, it has a dictionary feature so if Peter was unsure what a word meant he can scan it and have it read its’ definition. You could tell that Peter loves technology as he was soon using the pen with ease and knew exactly what buttons to press.
The scanning pen will be great for Peter to check things over when reading and writing. He can still learn to read and write independently, but if he is struggling and wants to double check he has the correct word, then he can simply scan the text.
Peter also liked software that he can dictate to and would then write the text directly onto the page. This helped to overcome his issues around using a keyboard due to his poor dexterity. This would be used when long pieces of written work will be required. Another piece of software was added to the recommendations that would proof-read the dictated text as it is written by the computer.
The assessment team at Everyone Can are now able to make suggestions for Peter that will hopefully benefit him in the future not only with school but with his personal life. Andrew has also suggested some educational games for Peter to try out. It became clear he engages really well with technology and what child doesn’t love a video game! Games such as Epistory and Nanotale are great for learning to touch type, spell and read whilst having fun!
Peter is such a lovely child who is eager to learn and we really hope with the support of technology he can progress in his education and become more confident in and out of school.
*Names have been changed due to our safeguarding policyback