|: About Us : Contact Info : Discussion Boards : Products : Resources : Site Map : Workshops :|
One of the keys to successful acquisition of literacy is children's active participation in literacy activities. Children need to be actively involved in handling books and interacting with family members and teachers during reading time. Through the help of adaptations to materials or adaptive equipment, all children can participate in literacy activities. Activities can be easily customized to meet children's individual needs.
Children with disabilities as well as very young children who do not have the fine motor skills to turn pages can benefit from page turners, communication boards and aprons, and a book holder. Visual adaptations can also be made to make materials more interactive and appealing to young children.
To make books easier for children to manipulate, adaptations can be made for page turning. Page fluffers, made by putting a large dot of hot glue in the upper right hand corner of the page, help hold the pages of the book slightly apart so that a child can slip his/her hand in between the pages to turn it (Musselwhite & King-DeBaun, 1997).
Another page turning adaptation can be made using velcro.
An idea for "Making Your Own EZ to Turn Books" appeared on Illinois Assistive Technology Project's website in their Ten Dollar Tech Ideas. JoAnn Bayer from Springfield, Illinois, came up with this adaptation for herself, but it could also be applied to children's books.
Since language development is an important part of early literacy acquisition, activities can be designed around software to encourage communication for children with disabilities. Communication displays can be used beneficially with all children. Figures from commercial software or customized programs can be printed and used on a board, book or apron for communication activities. Children increase understanding of early concepts about print when they use communication boards to act out stories (Musselwhite & King-DeBaun, 1997; Pierce & McWilliams, 1993).
Figures can be laminated and velcro attached to the back so that children can play with them and attach them to a board covered with special velcro-sensitive material.
Designing Dynamic Displays for the Beginning Communicators
This article by Linda Burkhardt, Special Educator, Technology Integration Specialist, provides ideas for creating activity based displays arranged consistently to meet individual children's needs.
A choice board is a low-tech communication display that can be used to present choices for children. Patti King-DeBaun provides instructions for making one and ideas for using it during circle time, music and storytime.
Very young children learn literacy skills as they explore and manipulate books; however, keeping a book in place during reading sessions may be difficult for some children. A simple adaptation can be made by placing male velcro on the back of the book so that it will attach to carpet. If the room does not have carpeting, a small carpet sample can be used to hold a book in place.
A book holder can be made out of plastic piping to elevate a book to a comfortable eye level for children, as well as hold it in place (Musselwhite & King-DeBaun, 1997).
Once the book is attached to the stand, the child can look at the book and turn pages by him/herself. Storybook reading sessions can also be conducted with the book holder. This frees the adult's hands and arms to better support the child.
Many children can benefit from visual adaptations to books and other reading materials.
Since young children's books often have repeating lines, it is natural to encourage children to repeat lines of text in a story. Children who are unable to speak the words could use a small communication device.The devices say the words for objects or choices when children press the surface. There are a variety of such devices on the market, all having the capability of recording a phrase of speech which is then repeated with each press by the child.