A handful of my colleagues recently went to Orlando, Florida for the annual ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) conference. The ATIA conference is “the world’s most extensive assistive technology conference showcasing international excellence in the field.” I always love hearing all about the conference and the myriad of products and services available for individuals with disabilities. One such service is TeachTown.
For over 4 years, I have spent countless hours researching and educating others about available assistive technologies. I spend every single day scouring the internet for devices and services to benefit individuals who have difficulties with hearing, vision, mobility, or other special needs. Bottom line is I spend a LOT of time learning and writing about assistive technology. But each year, this conference proves to me that there are more available technologies and services than I could ever dream!
TeachTown was founded with one clear mission: “to improve the academic, behavioral, and adaptive functioning of students with disabilities.” TeachTown’s products utilize research-based “best practices derived from the methodologies of ABA, making it easy to deliver this proven treatment with existing staff in any school or setting.” It’s designed to be used in a classroom, clinical, or home setting. Keep on reading to learn about the different programs.
5 TeachTown Programs:
There is a variety of programs available from TeachTown, each varying on the specific age group. There are programs for individuals ages 18 months through young adults.
For ages 18 months through 4 years
The Meta-Play Method is based on four pillars: object-to-person, transition from part-to-whole, activities that foster imagination, and the absence of control and predictability.
- Imagination from object existence to more abstract human imagining
- Engagement that is out of the learners’ control or unpredictability
- Fostering movement on the object to human continuum
- Fosters movement on the part to whole continuum
Click here to learn more about the Meta-Play.
2. TeachTown Basics:
Developmental ages 2-12; chronological ages 2-22 years
TeachTown Basics offers a myriad of programs to increase a student’s vocabulary, listening skills, social-emotional development, independence, academics, and cognitive skills.
Here’s how it works:
- Students choose where to begin their session by clicking anywhere on the town map
- Lessons are presented in a “discrete trial format”
- Facilitators are then presented with the student’s session report
- Student data is automatically graphed and organized
- Generalization lessons are identified to help teachers
There’s a lot to this program so click here to learn more about it.
3. Elementary Social Skills:
Ages 4 through 8 years
Social skills can be extremely difficult for some individuals to learn or master.; this is especially true for individuals on the autism spectrum. The Elementary Social Skills program covers 5 different behavioral domains:
- Following rules
- Interpersonal skills
- Self-regulation and coping
- Good communication
Each target skill contains:
- A 2-3 minute animation
- 5 sequential teacher-driven lessons
- Extension activity lesson plan
- Comic book activity
- Visual supports
- Online assessment
- Data reporting
4. Middle School Social Skills:
Ages 9 – 15 years
The Middle School Social Skills program offers educators a “comprehensive curriculum to teach crucial social skills, with a focus on increasing emotional intelligence and building self-management skills.” It uses video modeling, peer-mediated instruction and intervention and more to promote positive social skills.
There are six domains within this program:
- Building and maintaining relationships
- Interpersonal skills
- Personal care
- Safety and community participation
5. BE SAFE:
For middle school through young adults
BE SAFE is a video-modeling curriculum for teens and transition-aged students that helps them learn how to interact appropriately with law enforcement, as well as how to handle emergency situations.
BE SAFE features 7 episodes teaching different safety tools:
- Laws Help Us Be Safe
- Law Enforcement Officers Help Us Be Safe
- Uniforms and Safety Tools
- Stay Calm When You Meet the Police
- The Right to Remain Silence
- Be Safe in an Emergency