ERIC Number: ED232330
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Critical Learning: Multiply Handicapped Babies Get On-Line.
Behrmann, Mike; Lahm, Liz
The ability of at-risk and handicapped infants and toddlers to interact with microcomputers was studied. One research phase focused on the parameters (motor, language, and cognitive developmental levels) for using the microcomputer. The overall project examines eight levels of use culminating in using a menu driven program for making choices to initiate an interaction. Level 1 objectives begin with assessing the needs of each individual through an information-gathering process. Objectives at level 2 attempt to establish the cause/effect relationship, while level 3 teaches the concept of making choices. The first three levels were implemented with 10 infants and toddlers. Five of the children were functioning at 55-77% of their chronological age. These children were more mildly handicapped and were capable of performing the level 2 task without assistance (i.e, minimal positioning/adaptive equipment). The other five functioned from 6-15% of their chronological age. These children were multihandicapped, including severely motor and sensory impaired. They required a great deal of teaching and assistance to perform the task at level 2. The children appeared to understand the cause/effect relationship between the computer screen and activating a switch. It also appears that their response time can become adequate and consistent in a very short time period. It is concluded that when level 8 is reached, the child will be able to select from a variety of categories, which perhaps will provide the consistent control of the environment necessary for normal concept development. (SEW)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Computer Assisted Instruction, Developmental Stages, Early Experience, Exceptional Child Research, Feedback, Infants, Language Acquisition, Microcomputers, Motor Development, Multiple Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, Preschool Children, Technology Transfer, Time Factors (Learning)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Council for Exceptional Children National Conference on the Use of Microcomputers in Special Education (Hartford, CT, March 10-12, 1983).