When should I choose this Area of Focus for my Gabadoo?
The area of focus 'assistive technology' on Gabadoo refers to how a device or system can help support a person's ability to perform a task more independently, more efficiently or increase their ease and safety with which a task can be performed.
You may select this area of focus if you are looking for support and advice around:
- The use of a device or software to support your child's independence or learning in the home or school environment.
- Seating and positioning while using assistive technology.
- How to motivate your child to engage with assistive technology.
- How to integrate assistive technology into the school environment.
There is a separate area of focus for AAC so if you are looking for support around how to use a device to support your child's communication, this might be more appropriate. Read about it here.
There is a separate area of focus for fine motor skills so if your concern is around e.g. colouring, drawing, cutting with scissors, using cutlery etc. please refer to this blog post on fine motor skills to see if this area of focus is more appropriate or maybe two separate Gabadoo's would work better.
There is also a separate area of focus for handwriting, so if your child needs support in this area, please read the blog on handwriting here.
If your completing a Gabadoo because your child is constantly fidgeting when seated, chewing on their pencil or falling off their chair, it might be more appropriate to select sensory processing as your area of focus. Read about it here.
What information do I need to include in my Gabadoo?
As our Gabadoo Team have never met your family before and know nothing about your child, they can only provide strategies based on the information you provide so be very detailed!
After you have filled in the relevant information in your Gabadoo, go through this checklist to make sure you have included the following:
Family & Home Life:
Description of your family & the structure of your family including siblings, pets or any extended family who are living in your home.
Your daily routine including school hours, drop offs, child-care and free time in the evening and at the weekends so our team provide activities that are achievable for your routine.
Strengths and Interests:
What does your child like to do?
What games, toys, T.V. programs, characters do they like?
What topics are they interested in?
What motivates them?
Do they respond to praise from adults?
What class is your child in at school?
What type of schooling do they receive? i.e. homeschooling, mainstream N.S., gaelscoil, preschool, ASD class, Special School.
Have you seen any professionals in the past in relation to their motor skills or assistive technology? Or has your child ever had a medical review because of their motor skills ?(i.e. arthritis, hypermobility, fractures). If so, what was the outcome?
What level of knowledge about assistive technology do you (caregivers) have? Can you touch-type?
Is there any devices or software currently available in the home or school environment? If yes, detail exactly what device/software (include pictures if possible).
What have been some of the barriers in the past to developing this skill?
What have you tried before to work on this area? Include previous groups, software, typing programmes, tutoring etc.
Make sure to include:
What would you like to gain from this Gabadoo?
List your observations in relation to this skill include details like how your child feels about using assistive technology, what part of the skill they find challenging, if you have practiced this skill with them before and whether they are engaged/avoidant.
What level is your child at with this skill? e.g. what level of typing are they at, what software can they engage with easily, what programmes are they currently using to support their learning.
If you don't want to display your child's whole face, that's fine and just display their hands when typing and their posture when seated.
Remember: The more information you give our team, the more individualised and relevant your plan will be. Videos can be helpful for this area if you want our therapist to review how your child is typing or using their current assistive technology.
What support will I receive for my child?
Your information will be reviewed by one of our Gabadoo Experts who is experienced in supporting families with assistive technology. They will detail individualised strategies, activities, next steps and helpful organisations and products that you can use at home to develop your child's skills in this area.
PLEASE NOTE: our Gabadoo Team do not complete handwriting or typing assessments, write letters for the Department of Education or complete reports to submit for grants.