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TCI Technology Specialist Addresses The Use of Technology for Students with Autism

TCI Technology Specialist Addresses The Use of Technology for Students with Autism


            Livingston, NJ- “Increasing Independence using iPod and iPad Technology”, led by Randy Palmer, Computer Specialist at The Children’s Institute (TCI), was the topic of a free, educational forum, held at The Livingston Library, on November 30, 2011 from 7pm-9pm and at The Children's Institute on December 8, 2011 from 7pm-9pm. Topics covered by Randy Palmer, of New Providence, included the iPod and iPad applications for communication augmentation for children with autism and speech and language delays, available social skills applications, activity scheduling software and self-regulation products that are available today for parents, educators, speech and occupational therapists.

                  To encourage and increase communication skills, Mr. Palmer demonstrated various apps available today for the iPad, iPod and iPhone, including Scene Speak, Verbally, Proloquo2Go, My Choice Board, iCommunicate and Locabulary. Social skills apps reviewed by Palmer included Stories to Learn, Sōsh and Conversation Builder. The activity scheduling software packages recommended and reviewed by Palmer included Chore Pad and First Then Visual Schedule. Palmer also spoke about software packages such as a functional skills system by The Conover Company and self-regulation tools such as Time Timer, and iReward, and Read to Go. A lively question and answer session followed the presentation and some complimentary door prizes were presented to participants chosen at random. Palmer also presented this workshop at the Florida Educational Technology Conference on January 26, 2012 and is scheduled to present at several other conferences in New Jersey.

    Randy Palmer a resident of New Providence, and a graduate of Nova Southeastern University and Rutgers University, was recently selected from hundreds of applicants from around the world to attend the Honeywell “Educators at Space Academy”. He has also won numerous awards for his work, including New Jersey Educator of the Year Award from ASAH, the New Jersey Technologist of the Year New Jersey Association for Educational Technology (NJAET), and an award from the New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA) for Innovations in Special Education. Palmer, a special educator and computer expert who has nearly two decades of teaching experience, has taught teens and young adults with autism to develop multi-media social stories using Garage Band software to digitize pictures and incorporate voice over techniques. He is a requested speaker and lecturer

                  The Children's Institute is a private, non-profit school approved by the New Jersey State Board of Education, serving children facing learning, language and social challenges, ages 3-21. Originating in Newark, New Jersey as an orphanage and sheltering home in 1883, TCI has evolved into a school that has been a pioneer in special education since 1963. Today, TCI serves children from northern New Jersey, including Essex, Union, Morris, Hudson, Middlesex, Passaic, Bergen and adjoining counties. For more information about the school or to schedule a tour, please call 973-509-3050 Ext. 233.

Ann Dassing