You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'technology'.
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 entries.

Nabi vs. Kindle

  • Posted on September 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

So, Ben’s Kindle Fire refused to charge. I’d lost the information about the warranty we had and misjudged the time left on our warranties. I also had my student loan check. Flush with cash and in a minor crisis, I ran out to Target and bought a Nabi. I’d been looking, so I knew it was a Nabi I wanted and not another Kindle Fire.

So, why a Nabi:

  • I got the Nabi for the same price as a Kindle Fire.
  • The Nabi comes with a wrap that protects it when dropped. (The Kindle Fire doesn’t.)
  • The Nabi comes with kid-friendly programming already loaded on, including Veggie Tales. (The Kindle Fire doesn’t.)
  • The Nabi was built with children in mind, including children with autism. (The Kindle Fire wasn’t.)
  • The Nabi was programmed with parental oversight in mind, blocking access to undesirable sites automatically. (The Kindle Fire wasn’t and I can’t figure out how to make it do it.)

When I can, I’ll probably get Alex a Nabi, too. For now, I have managed to contact Amazon about the Kindle that will no longer charge (Ben’s) and the Kindle that will only charge up to 30% (Alex’s) and both are being replaced.

So, it all goes back to Christmas. My very generous brother bought my family our first Kindle Fire. Mainly, it was for me, so I could read e-books. “But the boys can use it, too, of course.”

The boys loved the Kindle Fire so much that they took it over. It was so sought after that I purchased a second one the first chance I got. Now, with Ben and his Nabi and Alex and his Kindle and an extra Kindle on hand, I finally get to read those e-books.

I consider it a win-win all around! But, when it comes to the boys, the Nabi wins out over the Kindle hands down. When it comes to me, I want the grown-up toy.

Hope to Talk

  • Posted on April 16, 2013 at 6:36 PM

I read about what’s available on the East Coast of the US. I read about what’s available on the West Coast of the US. People in these population centers tend to make it sound like certain kinds of resources are readily available to help people with disabilities. Living in the Midwest, I know there are a lot of resources available in other parts of the country that aren’t readily available here. And we’re not alone. A lot of the resources that are available in some “centralized” areas are not available just a few states away.

This is not to say that these resources don’t exist. Sometimes they really don’t, but sometimes they do. They’re just hard to find. When you find them, they have long, long waiting lists. But it’s better to finally find them and to wait than to have no hope at all. I know, because I’ve finally found and connected with a resource that may empower Alex to communicate using technological assistance.

I’ve read about how more and more people with autism are being hooked up with technological devices that help them communicate effectively. I’ve worked with the local school district for years to help Alex take advantage of these opportunities. We haven’t found the right fit and we don’t have the expertise we need to get the match.

Now, I’ve finally found the local place that has the resources and expertise to get that match. At least, that’s the hope. I admit it could have happened earlier. I dropped the ball. I didn’t understand back during that IEP that kicked off this school year that I was the one who was supposed to act. They all made it sound like it was something that would be done through the school district. Maybe that was just wishful thinking. I don’t know.

Then, with all the busyness and chaos of this year, this issue fell through the cracks of what was necessary and what was urgent. Even now, I had to sneak it in between preparations for another MRI, not to mention the other urgent and/or necessary tasks of this week.

Yet, looking ahead to the appointment we’ll have months from now, I can’t help but feel hopeful. Having read so much of others’ success with technologically assisted communication, I’ve long believed that would be the key for Alex. He loves technology and is more adept with manipulating technology than I would expect. When it comes to the new touch-based technologies, he’s much better at it than I am!

Not only is he ready to access the technology, we also know that communicative intent is definitely there, but the means to make that connection with others is not. A technological device could be the bridge between where we are and where we could be. This could be the key that unlocks Alex’s ability to communicate. As much as we don’t want to wait, it’s definitely an outcome worth waiting for. I just wish the resources weren’t so difficult to find and that the centers that provide those resources weren’t so overwhelmed in the vast populations between the East and West Coasts.

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.