Sunday, November 24, 2002

A little low-tech assistance

My kids have been having some luck lately with some very primitive forms of "assistive technology" -- maybe assistive low-tech instead. For my daughter, the newly willing-to-reader, it's been a bookmark with strip of see-through yellow celophane along one edge to use as a reading guide. Her teacher gave her this gadget, called an EZC Reader and available from an aptly named site called Really Good Stuff, and whether the yellow color atop the type really does make the words more available to her eyes or the novelty of the thing just makes reading a little more fun, it seems to be an element in her recent non-hatred of reading. I take what encouragement I can get. Meanwhile, my son, who's hated writing (the fine motor part) about as much as his sister has hated reading, is showing a lot more willingness to write his spelling words and try his hand at cursive when using a gel pen instead of a pencil. The smooth-flowing utensils are messier and less correctable than their leaden counterparts, but if it gets us through homework without tantrums and meltdowns, I give it two thumbs up. Sometimes little things can mean a lot.

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