Assistive and Supportive Technologies on Mental Retardation – Essay Example

The paper "Assistive and Supportive Technologies on Mental Retardation " is an outstanding example of an essay on social science. Today we all are here to discuss something which I am sure has given all of you a lot of pain in the past few days. The realization and a feeling of helplessness being the parent of a special needs child can be both frustrating and painful and I know, not easy to share. However, the pain that you are going through because your child is what the medicine has termed as “mentally retarded” is far less compared to what your child will feel if your love and guidance is not there to see him or her through the difficult times ahead. You encounter challenges in life which must be overcome and what can be a greater challenge than bringing up a child who cannot learn things in a normal way. And like every other challenge, this also can be overcome with proper love, care, attention and a little bit of courage mixed with a great deal of patience. As Euripides aptly puts “this is courage.....to bear unflinchingly what heaven sends”. There are various ways one can help and cope with disabilities of any kind. Today we shall discuss the Assistive and supportive technologies that are used widely with beneficial results. First, we must know what the term means. It is described as “devices...that compensate for functional limitations and increase learning independence, mobility, communication, environmental control, and choice. This term also refers to direct services that assist individuals in selecting, acquiring or using such devices.” (South Carolina Assistive Technology Program, August 16, 2007 ). So as you can understand your child will be able to interact and take part more in the normal daily activities of life be it at home, at the school or even with other children without much help from other people. In other words, they will have a better grasp over their own lives and will be able to interact more with people without disabilities. Now let us know how assistive technology can be used. For children who have communication problems technology can be used as a substitute for voice. Again for severely disabled children incapable of free movement, technology will help them to be mobile with the availability of wheelchairs ranging from manually operated ones to those which are computer operated. A disabled child can also operate any electrical appliances with the assistance of technology and even do something very simple like switch off or switch on lights, open and lock doors etc. CA computer can be used to work upon special skills like working out mathematical problems, learning language and also learning certain social skills. There are special software made for special needs where the computer can be made to run slowly to suit needs and other ways to operate keyboards. So your child will be learning almost everything which any other kid without the disability would learn. Thus as you can see that assistive technology can help your child to achieve confidence and steadily gain independence and acceptance by becoming a substitute for the shortcomings which your child may have. Assistive technology should be introduced as early as possible so that your child adapts it better and faster and should be present in all walks of your child's life from home to school and should be flexible to suit your children need. You will find it to be a positive step towards life. As Diane Bryen and Donna DiCasimirro (1997) says “When you help people help themselves when you assist a person in finding tools or devices that aid her in being more self-reliant and less dependent upon others, you help create a situation where that person feels more in control and less helpless. What could be more positive?”