Assistive Technology Tools / Kidspiration + Inspiration

The Time Timer helps individuals judge how much time is left — even if they can’t "tell" time. Time Timer products feature high visual contrast, large dial numbers and ultra-quiet operation, making them perfect for special needs counseling, therapy and rehabilitation sessions

WatchMinder is a vibrating, silent alarm and reminder system, it can be worn with minimal disruption to the user or those around him.  The watch is currently being used by persons with:
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
  • Learning Disorders
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Autism and Aspergers’s Syndrome
  • Developmental Disabilities

Benefits of Mind Mapping

The benefits of Mind Mapping are far reaching and therefore somewhat difficult to measure accurately. In fact, the benefits of Mind Mapping extend into just about every area of our lives, helping us to think more effectively and grow exponentially as a result of the improved efficiency of thought they bring forth into our daily reality.

Kidspiration/Inspiration software is an ingenious tool to help students who have difficulty structuring their thinking to create a paper outline and then turn it into a thoughtful and well-organized piece of work. The student can “throw” ideas onto the screen, creating a mind-map without particular order, linking connected ideas with arrows, and adding details as they come to mind. Then, with one click, this graphical web of ideas can be turned into an outline and exported to Word for further elaboration. Various templates exist for different types of writing and the computer interface makes what is often an overwhelming task much more appealing.

Using Inspiration as part of a Language Arts lesson will help students with executive dysfunction in several ways:

1) They will be able to get started more easily.

2) The templates provided in Inspiration will help them to organize and plan out their project.

3) They can express themselves quickly and effectively using both words and graphics.

4) It will be easier to sustain attention, since Inspiration involves many different tasks, like choosing graphics and linking elements together.

Above is an example of a Language Arts Inspiration web template that allows students to explore themes in a novel, based on the thoughts, words, and actions of several characters. Since theme is such an abstract concept for most students, this Inspiration template helps students conceptualize theme in a more concrete and specific way.

For students whose visual processing might be overwhelmed by the web and who prefer to process information in a more linear fashion, the graphic web can easily be converted into a more formal outline with the click of a button! Inspiration documents can also easily be imported into Microsoft Word or other word processing software. Below is the word processing/formal outline version of the Inspiration web at the top of the page.

The Hunger Games 
by Suzanne Collins

Choose a theme from the work you are reading and explore it through characters' words, actions and thoughts.

I. Rue

   A. Words: What did this character say that reinforces the selected theme?
        1. Shares info about life in District 11
   B. Actions: What did this character do that reinforces the selected theme?
        1. Forms an alliance with Katniss
        2. Treats Katniss' wasp stings
   C. Thoughts: What did this character think that reinforces the selected theme?
        1. Is hesitant to trust Katniss at first
        2. Love for music keeps her going

II. Peeta

    A. Words
        1. Declares his love for Katniss
   B. Actions
        1. Saves Katniss' life
        2. Can lift heavy objects
   C. Thoughts
        1. Does not reveal his inner thoughts or strategy

III. Katniss

   A. Words
        1. Distrusts Peeta's declaration of love
        2. Sparkles in her interview
   B. Actions
        1. Forms an alliance with Rue
        2. Is a skilled archer
   C. Thoughts
        1. Love for family and friends
        2. Desire to protect Prim 
This lesson is provided courtesy of  Mariah Pospisil @ NDNU Project: Executive Functioning

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