All of my students are diagnosed with emotional disabilities, which affects their behavior, social skills, and access to academics. They are making progress, but continue to need support to control their feelings and behavior, to maintain a calm demeanor while they try to navigate through their school day to learn. Often, they are easily frustrated during routine academic demands, miscues during social interactions, and internal stimuli that they are often unable to express verbally.
Several of my students also have a dual diagnosis of autism, health and or developmental delay, which further hinders their academic, emotional, behavioral, and social growth: They have needs that cannot be met in the regular education classroom.
Several of my students cannot tolerate other people to look at them, speak to them, or to touch them, they struggle to be accepted and to accept others. It takes a lot of consistent effort, creativity and patience to help my students to feel safe in their surroundings, and with each other. This year they will be spending more time learning in pairs and small groups of 3 or 4; working on projects that encourage movement, participation, peer trust, tolerance, and enduring friendships.
I have an old iPad and iPod that I bring to school and my students are so smart and know so much more about what they can do with them than I ever will. However, the technology is old and I see my students getting frustrated when they try to do something and the old technology just won't support it. For instance, I had an old picture of one of my students on the wall, but it was scratched and one of my students wanted to show everyone else how to fix a picture with the iPad pro, like he did at home. Another time, a student wanted to show how she was able to paint a beautiful picture with a stylus and then print it out.
Having this iPad would allow my students to be able to write and color with a stylus, take pictures of their completed work (such as projects and things they have built), as well as nature and events, allow them to complete academics on appropriate apps, and well, a myriad of things that I can't even comprehend.
Today's youth is so much more technologically advanced. I would hate to think that I am holding them back because I am not, or because I don't have any type of latest technology available for them to use.
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