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Technology at a Touch

  • Posted on February 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Between smart boards, iPads, and our Kindle Fire, Alex is used to technology that he can simply touch to make things happen.  I haven’t decided whether I consider this a good thing or a bad thing.

On the one hand, this puts more kinds of technology within Alex’s reach.  This is very good.  He likes technology and he likes what he can do with it.  So do I.  Traditional computers, the ones that require a mouse, are very difficult for Alex to use.  First, he has delays in fine motor development.  He’s getting better, but it’s still hard for him to make his hands do what he wants when it involves small tasks.  Second, his eye sight is not so good, but he still doesn’t have glasses that he’ll wear.  Between the two of them, using a mouse is hard work and touch technology makes it much, much easier.

On the other hand, because using a mouse is so difficult for him, he’s stopped trying.  He’ll watch someone else while they use our at-home computer, but he’ll only use the Kindle Fire, which involves touch technology.

I’m considering upgrading our computer to one with touch capabilities, but I’m worried that this will simply reinforce the notion that he doesn’t have to learn how to use a mouse.  And I’m worried that that will limit him in the future.

So, I’m still undecided.

A Step Back Moves Us Forward

  • Posted on February 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM

First off, I’m a terrible photographer.  There it is.  But, I’ve got a little story to tell.  And I’ve got pictures.  Bad pictures to be sure, but, like I said, there it is.

When Alex was a toddler, I fed him the same as any other toddler I’ve fed.  I used the plastic-coated little baby spoons and spooned mashed goodness into his eager little mouth.  Then, he used those same plastic-coated spoons and eagerly spooned mashed goodness into his mouth.  Somewhere along the way—kind of forgotten where—it stopped.  No utensils would go into that eager little mouth.

The mouth grew bigger thanks to food that could be eaten without utensils.  Crackers.  Eventually pizza.  Then noodles.  Yes, noodles can be eaten without utensils.

Then:

Alex with a fork with a noodle on it about to enter his mouth.

Alex with a fork with a noodle on it about to enter his mouth.

 

Alex bringing a fork with a noodle on it up to his mouth.

Alex bringing a fork with a noodle on it up to his mouth.

Alex getting ready to bite the noodle off the fork he brought to his mouth.

Alex getting ready to bite the noodle off the fork he brought to his mouth.

You can’t really tell (bad photographer, remember), but I am feeding Alex noodles using a fork.  He’d let the fork into his mouth, but didn’t try picking it up with hands—at first.  Then, he’d pick it up after I stabbed the noodles with the fork.

So, back to me feeding Alex; but forward, because it’s with a fork!