Matt is my student with TBI. I started working with him when he was in middle school where his teacher
was very patient and good at emphasizing letter sounds and word attack skills. He's in a high school
self-contained community-based class.
Matt is very interested in rap music so this year, as he writes his journals and comes across new words to
add to his vocabulary he is rewarded by being allowed to make a video based on the words. We use
Window Movie Maker. He choses the color scheme and types in some of the sentences. The themes for
each video are all his but some of the small details for WMM have to be done by me. He feels he should have
enough in his collection of videos to have an album to sell.
Update: Wow! Matt's about ready to graduate! He has opened a secure blog that only invited family
members, teachers and friends can access with a password. There he types a daily journal and other
writing exercises based on his classwork. He can also upload photos with assistance. His parents have
access from home to what he has written in his blog that day. They can even reply to him in his blog if they
It is easier for Matt to write his blog in MS Word where he can enlarge the 36 point font in a view of 200%.
Then he copies and pastes the entry into his blog.
Intellitools is a great tool for teaching! Go to http://www.intellitools.com and download the 30-day trial.
Register and look in the Activities Exchange section. There you will find several activities that I have created
for my students with low vision. All of the "Big Apple Braille" series I created to make reviewing braille
lessons fun for one of my high school girls with Stargardt's who may need braille as a back-up. There are
also lessons on Famous African Americans for February and Famous People with Visual Impairments for
March. Simply go to "activity search or look for my screen name there: "MsKathy0724." I hope you like
Update: I now have several more activity lessons on the web site. Having had to move from school to
school, I have found it easier to get lessons to student at different schools that way. Sometimes I can email
lessons straight to a teacher's class. Sharing them on the web site also means that if my school computer is
moved to another school's interface and all my programs get wiped out, then I can reload the lessons at my
new school on the new interface.
CLICK HERE for more activities
For a little boy with multiple disabilities who had a hard time holding on to his hoop cane yet he did not like
to attempt walking without an adult, I discovered he loved giant play ground balls. He would push that ball
all over the place and while he did he was not concerned with an adult nearby. While pushing the ball in
front of himself instead of a hoop cane he could detect drop offs, columns and other obstacles. Soon he
was running with the ball ahead of him; pushing it further out of his reach and running to find it. This way he
taught himself every inch of the court yard area in which he played with the ball.
To get him started, sometimes I'd walk ahead clapping my hands or talking to him. After a while I would only
clap so that he could concentrate on listening to the echoes for walls of the building that surrounded the
courtyard. After a while, he was laughing and running alone...Well, actually I had to run behind him!
Another activity that was a collaboration between the speech therapist and myself was a video for a child
with Cornelia deLange syndrome. I have known the child since she was in elementary school; however, her
teacher and her new high school staff were not familiar with some of her modified signs. The speech
therapist also works with her on a communication device. Together we made a video using WMM. In it we
recorded the signs we had witnessed her using and those she showed she understood. We also used one
of her friends to "star" in the video to demonstrate some of the signs we felt she was capable of learning.
The video was shared with her parents and all of the special services staff who worked with her.