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Special Tools for Special Needs: New Technologies Help LD Kids

In recent years, new assistive technologies (AT) have made strides in helping children and adults with learning disabilities overcome their specific areas of weakness. Whether it's a phone that reads text messages aloud for dyslexics or an iPhone application that uses graphics to help special needs people transition from one activity to the next, new devices are helping LD kids succeed.

The use of AT is a compensatory approach that allows a student with a learning disability to capitalize on his strengths and work around a deficit. These tools help kids with many disabilities, ranging from cognitive to physical impairments. Some AT tools are as simple as whiteout and highlighters to help children with writing and organizational disabilities, while others are more high-tech. For example, some AT services include audio books for children who suffer from dyslexia, and talking calculators for those who have trouble remembering math facts. In addition, the term AT applies to computer hardware and software, electronic devices, and Internet tools that help kids learn and communicate.



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